A History of Sikalongo Mission, Part 3

Indigenization and Independence at Sikalongo, 1947-19781[1]


The end of World War II brought significant changes around the world. The effects reverberated in Northern Rhodesia as well. At Sikalongo, things seemingly continued much as they had before; but even this remote outpost of Brethren in Christ missions was influenced by the war’s consequences.

The missionary experiences of the Cullens, Manns, Hersheys, and Anna Eyster were imbued with the spirit of the colonial era and informed by colonial sentiments. Although they sought to serve the local people and build the church, their perspectives were undeniably colonialistic. After all, these missionaries came to Africa prior to the outbreak of World War II when the authority of the British government and the white missionary were still mostly unquestioned. By contrast, those who came to Sikalongo after 1947 found a political environment in which white authority was under siege, independence was in the air, and the pressure to indigenize was growing. Moreover, nearly all of the new missionaries were born after 1920, had little African experience, and naturally bought the new missiological thinking of their generation.

Changes in Brethren in Christ mission leadership in Africa occurred at the same time as the shift in missionary demographics. Longtime superintendent, Henry H. Brubaker, was on the verge of retirement. He had supervised African mission work for two decades, taking over after the death of Bishop Henry Steigerwald in December 1928.[2] Like Steigerwald, Henry Brubaker’s worldview was decidedly colonial. The 1950 appointment of a considerably-younger man, Arthur Climenhaga, as mission superintendent signaled an overall shift in mission outlook.[3] Climenhaga’s educational background and missiological orientation influenced the direction of African mission work. In North America, the Foreign Mission Board underwent changes as well. In 1948, Graybill Wolgemuth became secretary of the Foreign Mission Board (FMB) with Henry N. Hostetter as assistant secretary; and in 1949, Wolgemuth assumed the chair of the FMB and Hostetter became “Executive Secretary.” Both men traveled to Africa to assess the situation in 1948, and the two men had an increasingly important role in mission policy.[4] These North American leadership changes had a profound impact on the work in Northern and Southern Rhodesia. As a result of changing political winds, a new generation of missionaries and shifts in the FMB, the years leading up to Zambian independence in 1964 were years of adjustment and change. Indigenizing the church became a high priority and preparing for independence became an unavoidable reality.

Adjusting to Changing Currents: 1947-54

The David and Dorcas Climenhaga years (1947-1953)

David and Dorcas Climenhaga came to Sikalongo in January 1947 to relieve Dorothy and Elwood Hershey. The Climenhagas left in January 1954, having served for seven years.[5] Anna Eyster remained at Sikalongo in her role as head mistress, but left in August 1948 and was replaced by Anna Graybill. Rhoda Lenhert served as the nurse in charge at the clinic. Donna, the Climenhaga’s first child, was also a member of the American missionary team. The African staff included longtime workers, Peter Munsaka, Arthur Kutywayo and Steleki Mudenda, and other capable educators such as Jonathan and Stephen Muleya.

David and Dorcas met while studying at Beulah College in Upland, California (later called Upland College).[6] David was born in the United States to missionaries John and Emma Climenhaga, traveling as a young child with them to Africa where they served at Matopo Mission. Like their parents, both he and his older brother, Arthur, gave significant service as Brethren in Christ missionaries in Africa. Dorcas was born in Martinsburg, Pennsylvania to David and Cora Slagenweit. After their marriage in October 1942, the Climenhagas served at Waukena Brethren in Christ Church. David also taught in the local public school. Ordained by the California church, they went to Africa in 1946.[7]

When Climenhagas arrived in 1947, Sikalongo was already a well-established mission station with a healthy church, a respected school, and an upgraded clinic. Peter Munsaka was in his second term as the deacon, and the church was active and well-attended. Anna Eyster had worked tirelessly to improve the educational quality at Sikalongo Boys School during the previous two decades. Additionally, the Hersheys had increased the number of outschools under Sikalongo supervision.

Although much of the work at Sikalongo Mission continued as before, the Climenhagas energetically began to make their own contributions. David Climenhaga’s 1948 report, for example, mentions the continuing work of local evangelist, Samuel Munda. Munda was apparently one of the first students at Wanezi Bible School. The 1948 report also highlighted the evangelistic visits of Kalaluka, Mizinga, Mafulo, and Jamu.[8] Active evangelism and ongoing church ministry resulted in 51 baptisms at Sikalongo Mission in 1951.[9]

Similarly, educational work moved ahead. The student body at Sikalongo increased steadily, while the number of outstations and teachers fluctuated between 12-15 schools and 15-17 teachers. Sampson Mwaanga, long one of the anchors in the boys’ school, left Sikalongo and moved to Livingstone. Anna Graybill was transferred and Anna Kettering subsequently assumed the role of headmistress for Sikalongo, with Jonathan Muleya and Stephen Muleya taking important supporting roles. Kettering remained in the role for six years, providing a period of relative stability for the school. David Climenhaga’s educational presence is still remembered fondly at Sikalongo. Sikalongo students gave him the nickname, Hampolombo. Isaiah Muleya, a long time Sikalongo resident and son of Peter Munsaka, claimed that the nickname referred to the imposing way David walked. [10]

By 1948, the teaching staff at Sikalongo Mission was largely African. It included longtime teachers, Arthur Kutywayo and David Muleya, as well as Joseph Moono who eventually became the headmaster at Sikalongo Boys School.

n other educational developments, Climenhaga continued to supervise the remote outschools and Sikalongo’s “Primary School” (formerly called “Sikalongo Day School”), which had relocated on the hill north of the Sikalongo Dam. Climenhaga made regular visits to Brethren in Christ primary schools to monitor the performance of the teachers, talk with local people and check on the results of the students. Brethren in Christ outschools which were part of the Sikalongo District included: Mboole, Siazwela, Mutukula, Myonzo, Singani, Masopo, Nakeempa, Bbombo and Siamvula. The histories of these various schools have yet to be written, but names of some of the teachers appear occasionally in the written record: William Mudenda, John Siantete, Josiah Chela and Paul Mudenda.

Sikalongo Clinic

Various medical staff, along with the Climenhagas, continued to encourage and improve Sikalongo Clinic. Hersheys had made strides to improve the clinic, but more needed to be done to meet the growing demand for health treatment. The 1948 Handbook of Missions noted that the clinic gave more than 14,000 treatments in 1947 while Rhoda Lenhert was the nurse in charge. [11] The Executive Board approved new clinic buildings to meet the need.2[12] More patients required expanded facilities so a new 12-bed building was built.[13] On the recommendation of the Provincial Medical Officer, the mission purchased a microscope for Sikalongo Clinic with half the cost coming from the government and the other half from mission funds. [14] Climenhaga also supervised the building of a nurse’s house near the clinic.[15]

General improvements at the mission included a new water system with large brick tanks and a substantial pump.[16] In 1952, Sikalongo Mission burned 80,000 bricks in order to build new buildings and repair older ones. Some bricks were used for a new two-ward building at the clinic and some for the small “Guest Cottage” north of the main house. [17] Anna Graybill drew a map of Sikalongo Mission in 1951 which gives a good indication of the place at that time.

A variety of other noteworthy activities occupied people at Sikalongo Mission. In the area of music, David Climenhaga helped compile a new edition of the Tonga hymnal and, in 1953, the African conference decided to approve the use of musical instruments in worship.[18] This decision clearly did not include traditional African drums. The North American church at that time disapproved of drums as well, and tThe ongoing tension between traditional North American Brethren in Christ understandings and African culture surfaced periodically. One such instance occurred in 1949. In the June issue of the Evangelical Visitor, Climenhaga wrote disparagingly about the African use of drums in an article entitled “Prayer, Praise and Drums.”[19] Interestingly, Arthur Morris Jones, an Anglican missionary at Mapanza (not far from Macha) at this same moment in time was researching and analyzing traditional Tonga music and drumming. One of his best-known publications examined the intricacies of traditional African drum rhythms.[20] Both Dorcas and David Climenhaga were intelligent, well-informed, musically-astute, and well-meaning. The comparison is not meant to tarnish Climenhaga’s legacy but merely to highlight the difficulty of discerning the difference between principled biblical practice and local cultural norms.

Unsung Heroes and Heroines

Histories often overlook the contribution of certain groups of people. Three categories of unsung heroes and heroines deserve recognition for their contribution to Sikalongo Mission: African support staff, missionary women, and children.

African support staff

From the earliest days at Sikalongo, a variety of local people assisted missionaries in their work. Several have already been mentioned: Peter Munsaka, Jesse Chikaile, Arthur Kutywayo, and Jonathan Muleya. Others were not as prominent so they received little or no mention in reports. Although support staff played auxiliary roles, their contributions were critical. Davidson Mukonka (also called Manchisi), was a stalwart church member at Sikalongo for many decades. He did evangelistic work, taught in rural schools, served as the deacon at Sikalongo Church, and later filled the role of evangelist at the clinic. His daughter-in-law and grandson (Lenford Muchindu) are faithful members of the congregation today. Women, such as Bina Beulah (wife of Jesse Chikaile) and Bina David (wife of Peter Munsaka), supported their husbands by tending to village responsibilities, caring for their children, and assisting missionary women in advising and organizing other women in the church. Workers such as Ticki and Tound are remembered for their help in mission gardens and their care for mission animals. Some workers came and went, of course, but some helped at the mission station for many decades.

Steleki Mudenda was one of those loyal workers whose name surfaces periodically in the written record but who receives little attention. He grew up at Sikalongo, living near the mission. He apparently moved away from Sikalongo for a period of time, but he was back at Sikalongo in 1931. He was important enough at that time to be among the six men chosen to carry Myron Taylor’s coffin.1[21] Until his death in the 1990s, he lived just north of the mission dam. His village is labeled on Anna Graybill’s 1951 map (see above). Adda Taylor referred to him as one of the “herd boys” in 1931. [22] However, in the mid-1930s, Sikalongo Boys School photographs show Mudenda seated with Arthur Kutywayo and David Muleya in school pictures, indicating his status as regular staff member. Anna Eyster included several photographs of Steleki Mudenda in her photo album.

Mudenda’s responsibilities at Sikalongo Mission included cooking for the students and helping to supervise them. Although the 1931 account refers to him as a herd boy, he is later called “the Father of the boys,” implying that he was well-loved by the student body.[23] Sikalongo residents still remember him as one of the key workers at Sikalongo mission.  [24]

Missionary women

Missionary women frequently receive little attention because they were not often official leaders, but their contribution should not be underestimated. Because single women had no children or grandchildren to write about them, their stories largely remain untold. But, married or single, the role of women at Sikalongo Mission must not be overlooked. Some missionary women worked primarily in education, others in health ministry, and some in supportive roles to enable their husbands to do other work. A partial list of the women who worked at Siklaongo would include: Adda Engle Taylor, Beulah Musser, Elizabeth Engle, Anna Engle, Anna Eyster, Janie Cullen, Annie Winger, Esther Mann, Dorothy Hershey, Anna Graybill, Rhoda Lenhert, Anna Kettering, Edna Lehman, Blanche Kipe, Gladys I. Lehman, Kathryn Hossler, Mary E. Heisey, Martha Lady, Fannie Longenecker, Ann McCuen, Grace Holland, Mary Olive Lady, Rachel Copenhaver, and Lois Jean Sider. Each one made an impact on Sikalongo and played a role in its history.

The single women made direct contributions to the work at Sikalongo Mission through teaching, administration, nursing, writing and editing, and village evangelism. The educational work of Anna Eyster, Anna Kettering, and Fannie Longenecker were crucial in improving Sikalongo’s educational life. The nursing work of Edna Lehman, Kathryn (Becky) Hossler, and Rachel Copenhaver sustained and enhanced medical care for the Sikalongo community. The writing and editing work of Mary E. Heisey and Lois Jean Sider significantly enriched religious education. And, the persistent evangelistic work of Annie Winger and many other women strengthened and grew the church in the Sikalongo District.

Annie Winger’s village trips exemplify the earnest contribution of single women to the life of Sikalongo Mission. She spent about three months in 1951 trekking from village to village, spending a week at each location. [25] In her Evangelical Visitor account, she noted that she took three Christian girls with her to help in various ways. Wanting to convey a descriptive image of her work to readers in America, Winger listed her travel supplies:

These are some of the things it takes to make up my camping outfit, A folding cot, a folding table, a folding chair, a roll of bedding, an air mattress, a box of cooking utensils and dishes, several boxes of provisions, a box with flannel graph pictures and similar articles, a suitcase, a blanket bag containing an extra coat, sweater and extra clothing for cooler weather. A tin and several small bags of mealie-meal, also a small bag of beans, and one of monkey nuts, 2 water buckets, a small wash tub which is used for laundry and also serves as my refrigerator, for I hang it in a shady cool place and put water in it, in which I place such foods as meat, butter, milk, etc. [26]

Winger’s work was important both relationally and spiritually, and deserves more space than this essay can spare. That she made a valuable contribution to the work at Sikalongo through her village evangelism is undeniable.

However, mission life for single women posed special challenges. Throughout most of the first century of Brethren in Christ mission work in Africa, men made the decisions. Long after World War II, African Executive Boards were still composed entirely of men. Although single women enjoyed a degree of autonomy, they were subject to constant supervision and sometimes required to submit their finances to the male superintendent for review. They were abruptly shifted from mission station to mission station in order to fill temporary vacancies or furloughs. Although capable of greater responsibility, they frequently filled subordinate roles on behalf of their male supervisors. Some women, such as Frances Davidson, Anna Engle, Annie Winger, and Fannie Longenecker, were able to exercise their gifts by working away from the male-dominated mission structures or by carving out distinctive ministry roles. Others found reward in whatever they were asked to do. Despite needing to endure subordinate status, single women played a crucial role in denominational mission work during the twentieth century.

Moreover, the single women appear to have enjoyed deep bonds of friendship resulting from their unique status. They often did evangelistic work with each other and usually lived together in a separate “ladies’ cottage,” sharing household responsibilities as necessary. The ladies’ cottage remains at Sikalongo today with little change, although it is currently used as the house for the Sikalongo Church pastor.

The unique niche single women occupied in Brethren in Christ mission structure in Africa did not diminish their contributions. Their work had tangible outcomes, many of which remain today. In a delightful gesture of recognition, many single women are remembered today by having had their names given to African babies.

Missionary children

Among the saddest events during the Climenhaga years was the death of their daughter, Dorothy, in November 1948. [27] Accounts of this event are heart-rending. Her death highlights the inescapable nature of life as a missionary child, which included a mixture of benefits and burdens. Many missionary children were separated from their parents at age six or seven to attend boarding schools. The experience was okay for some, but an unhappy circumstance for others. Separation from parents was difficult enough, but some Brethren in Christ missionary children report having been bullied in school because of their American citizenship. Frequently their alienation was not alleviated when they returned to North America. There, too, many missionary children felt like outsiders. The term “third culture kids” is now commonly applied to those who have this unique heritage.  [28]

At the same time, many missionary children have fond childhood memories of their time in Africa. They remember African playmates, African baby sitters, and African workers with nostalgia. Some point to their atypical upbringings as a source of strength and self-sufficiency. Moreover, the evidence suggests that early exposure to mission work often led children of missionaries to continue in their parents’ footsteps. Ruth Taylor was born in Africa, grew up in Northern Rhodesia, and later returned to Africa as an adult with her husband, Chester Wingert. Anna Eyster, grew up as a missionary child in South Africa and later worked for nearly two decades at Sikalongo. Children of the Manns, the Hersheys, the Climenhagas, the Kipes, the Hollands, the Thumas, the Books, and the Brubakers all came back to Africa later in life. Life as a missionary child had its benefits.


Missionary children also enjoyed special bonds of friendship which endured throughout their lives. Their shared experiences gave them common understandings. Below is photograph from the Missionary Conference at Sikalongo in 1949 showing missionary children wearing their craft project.

Emergence of African independence

One of the obvious trends after World War II was the emergence of African independence movements. International events and political sentiments in Africa were moving unmistakably toward self-determination and independence. In mission work, a concurrent trajectory toward indigenization began to shape the thinking of church leaders. These two trends progressed somewhat independent of each other but were clearly related.

Brethren in Christ missionaries whom I interviewed emphasized that they focused primarily on the work of the church and pointed out that their non-involvement in political affairs was simply a reflection of the traditional denominational preference of remaining as apolitical as possible. [29] It is important to remember that many North American Brethren in Christ not only refused to be actively involved in military service, but many were even unwilling to vote in national elections. Despite their apolitical stance, it is clear that everyone was aware of current events.

The recognition of external political forces was not new for the Brethren in Christ in Africa. As early as 1929, Henry H. Brubaker, who had just then become African mission superintendent, wrote disapprovingly about political activism. At the time, the term “nationalism” was widely used and generally implied political opposition to colonial authority. As such, it usually had negative connotations for whites in southern Africa. Brubaker was reacting specifically to the so-called “Ethiopian Movement” and its impact. He expressed “grave concern,” describing the movement as “a Nationalist feeling arising among the natives strongly influenced by Bolshevistic propaganda.” Moreover, Brubaker suggested that a direct link existed between the movement and the African Episcopal Church, which was making inroads in Northern Rhodesia at the time. [30] In an earlier essay on the life of David Moyo, Frances Davidson’s co-worker, I documented Moyo’s connection to the African Episcopal Church and suggested the likelihood that his political involvement may have contributed to his dismissal from Macha. Statements like Brubaker’s lead me believe that some missionaries probably projected their political biases onto Africans who displayed political inclinations.

Brubaker’s discomfort with political dissent surfaced again in 1948 in the minutes of the Executive Board:

“Following prayer by Brother Brubaker a short time was spent in discussing the African unrest which is so apparent in the Colony. Expressions of regret were voiced and petitions arose to our Heavenly Father on behalf of the African people of the Colony.

It was our general opinion that some of our African leaders be spoken to about general conditions and that we endeavour to enlist their influence in behalf of their own people in guiding them in their actions if the spirit of unrest reaches our mission stations.”[31]

The “unrest” mentioned here is undoubtedly related to rumblings of independence that were beginning to surface.

After World War II, signs of unrest appeared everywhere. The nationalistic trajectory toward self-determination and independence gained momentum and continued throughout the decade of the 1950s. [32] In 1945, the Pan-African Congress met in Manchester, England, issuing a strong statement demanding independence for Africa. Similar sentiments for self-determination began to express themselves in the Rhodesias. The Federation of African Welfare Societies (FAWS), a forerunner of later black political parties, began in 1946.[33] FAWS changed its name to the Northern Rhodesia African Congress (NRAC) and elected Mbikusita Lewanika as their president. Both Harry Nkumbula[34] and Kenneth Kaunda[35] began to engage in campaigns for political equality and self-determination. Nkumbula worked with Nyasaland’s Hastings Kamuzu Banda in 1949 to draft a document that expressed African opposition to the proposed White-dominated Central African Federation. Nkumbula defeated Mbikusita Lewanika in 1951 and the party was renamed African National Congress of Northern Rhodesia. The formation of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in 1953 was viewed by many as an effort to maintain the status quo of white minority rule and led to continued opposition from Kaunda and Nkumbula and others. These included political activism among teachers and boycotts in Lusaka in the mid-1950s.

Concurrent with nationalistic political currents after World War II, a new generation of Brethren in Christ entered mission work and older ones retired. Most of the younger generation had attended either Upland College (formerly Beulah College in Upland, Califronia) or Messiah College. They brought fresh thinking and youthful enthusiasm to the field. [36] The idea of indigenization was probably the dominant new direction in missions in the mid-twentieth century. The term “indigenization” was not new, but it achieved fresh potency after World War II. In missiological circles, it was frequently associated with the so-called three-self principle of missions: self-supporting, self-governing, self-propogating. How this concept came into denominational thinking is unclear, but by1948, it began to surface in church documents. The minutes from the 1948 joint meeting of the American delegation (Henry N. Hostetter and Graybill Wolgemuth) and the Executive Board specifically mention two of the three “selfs.” Article X stated the question bluntly:

“ARTICLE X. What can the church in America expect relative to a self-supporting, self-governing African church?

“The statement was accepted in that we look forward to an ultimate self-supporting, self-governing Church. This aim is in line with the general view taken by missionary bodies operating in Africa. We many times deplore the progress being made, but have not lost sight of our aim and continue toward that end.”7 [37]

The idea continued to appear in Foreign Mission Board correspondence and other publications. It seems that Graybill Wolgemuth, one of the two men in the 1948 delegation and the newly-appointed chair of the Foreign Mission Board in 1950, was acquainted with the writings of Melvin Hodgins outlining and explaining the three-self concept. According to Frank Kipe, Wolgemuth gave Hodgins’ book, The Indigenous Church, to outgoing missionaries in the early 1950s in hopes that these ideas would be realized in Brethren in Christ mission work.8[38]

Denominational structural changes also contributed to the climate of change for African missionaries. Wolgemuth’s new role as chair of the Foreign Mission Board was mentioned above. However, in the same year, Arthur Climenhaga was ordained as the bishop and replaced Brubaker as African mission superintendent. [39] This marks a significant change of leadership for Brethren in Christ missions, which coincided with the trend toward indigenization. Two years later, Northern Rhodesia chose its first two national overseers, Sampson Mudenda for Macha, and Peter Munsaka for Sikalongo. [40] The two men were ordained on August 17, 1956 at the African General Conference, which also celebrated 50 years of mission work in Northern Rhodesia. [41] These and other actions signaled denominational commitment to developing national leadership.

Despite these obvious signs of a desire to indigenize, missionaries and leaders continued to be wary of active political engagement. Item 27 of the Executive Board minutes from September 1952 stated plainly that members should not be involved in politics:

“We reaffirm our church position that we do not take part in the political movements of a country. Church leaders have a larger job instructing the church members in the way and teachings of Christ.

It has been brought to our attention that certain leaders are taking part in movements which are detrimental to the church and their own spiritual welfare. As a combined group we feel that such should be lovingly admonished about the error of their way, and if they persist, they should be disciplined accordingly.”2 [42]

In December, the Executive Board was more specific, instructing the church that the denomination would not allow members to hold official positions in the African Congress. Item 29 stated that failure to comply would result in suspension from membership in the church. [43] Missionaries were obviously trying to thread the needle and begin indigenizing the church while trying to navigate the political situation of the time.

Complicating the situation further, a number of people associated with the Brethren in Christ were actively involved in the independence movement. Vernon Mwaanga, son of Sikalongo Boys School teacher, Sampson Mwaanga, actively participated with the African National Congress of Northern Rhodesia. And, Elijah Mudenda, a prominent Sikalongo student, showed sympathies with independence factions in Northern Rhodesia. [44] None of my missionary interviews gave evidence that missionaries talked directly with African Brethren in Christ about politics. However, several Zambian church members stated unequivocally that sentiment within the national church strongly supported independence. [45] Despite the official denominational policies, it seems that church members held strong opinions but were reluctant to discuss political trends openly.

Daniel Munkombwe: From enthusiastic debater to seasoned politician

Another noteworthy Brethren in Christ student with political inclinations came to Siklaongo Boys School in 1950. Daniel Munkombwe spent his early years in the Macha area and during his primary years attended church schools near Macha. [46] He studied for two years at Sikalongo Boys School and then moved south to Matopo Mission for secondary school in 1952. Throughout his school years, Munkombwe says he had a keen interest in politics and excelled at debate. His uncle, Sampson Mwaanga, taught at Sikalongo Boys School during the 1940s and was an independent thinker with keen political instincts. Mwaanga had a strong influence on Munkombwe’s ambitions. Moreover, Mwaanga’s son, Vernon J. Mwaanga, was an age mate of Munkombwe’s and also showed an early predisposition to political activism. Both men spent their adult years in politics. Munkombwe’s inclinations eventually led him to get involved in the African independence movement as a young man. He does not recall specific political engagement at Sikalongo, but while a student at Matopo Mission School, Munkombwe and several other Matopo students clandestinely went to Bulawayo to participate in political meetings of the African National Congress (ANC). He later attended the historic Monze meeting at which the NRC changed its name to African National Congress of Northern Rhodesia and elected Harry Nkumbula as their president.

From 1955-1972, Munkombwe held various positions within Zambian independence parties. In 1973, he was elected as Member of Parliament for Choma Central District and served three subsequent terms as MP. President Mwanawasa appointed him minister of the Southern Province in 2001, a role he occupied until 2012. Despite accusations from some of his detractors that he lacked scruples, Munkombwe credits his Brethren in Christ upbringing with providing him with a moral compass. In particular, he points back to his years at Sikalongo Boys School and Matopo Secondary School as formative times. Like Elijah Mudenda, Daniel Munkombwe found himself in an awkward position. When asked whether it was difficult to navigate the circumstances of those pre-independence years, he answered simply: “Sometimes I had to choose between my church and my country.”  [47] Although Munkombwe’s choice to pursue political posts deviated from official Brethren in Christ policy, his sympathies for self-determination and independence from colonial rule were shared by most church members. [48]

The interplay between the trajectory toward independence and desires for indigenization

The connection between the trend toward independence and denominational desires to indigenize is complicated. Lazarus Phiri, in his doctoral dissertation, divided Zambian Brethren in Christ history into roughly the same time periods as I have in this history. He argued that “the strategy of developing indigenous Church leaders was ambiguous and delayed.” Furthermore, Phiri proposed that the process “was largely prompted by the prevailing nationalistic political climate of the 1950s and 1960s, and the indigenous desire for self-leadership.” I share Phiri’s viewpoint to a large degree, although, as I point out in this essay, one can see significant indications of missionary desire to indigenize as well. [49]

Preparing for Independence: 1954-1964

In addition to the shifting political and mission structures mentioned above, other significant changes were in motion at Sikalongo before David and Dorcas Climenhaga left in January 1954. [50] Blanche (Pat) and Frank Kipe came to Northern Rhodesia in 1953 and moved immediately to Sikalongo Mission. However, before long their role and location changed. The departure of the Climenhagas and the arrival of Ethel and Graybill Brubaker coincided with a new educational management structure for the Northern Rhodesian church. Climenhaga’s 1954 report noted that new government regulations had altered the situation in Brethren in Christ outschools:

“At the beginning of the year we had 32 outschools, each a little outstation spreading the Gospel light. At the close of the year we have 26. We have had to close some schools due to new Government regulations—requiring an average attendance of, at least, 60 children, and at least two teachers per school. Some schools were not able to make an average attendance of 60. Wherever possible we have tried to join two schools together so as to continue to serve as many people as possible. We have had to close several other schools because of failure among the teachers. Some teachers have left teaching and taken a second wife. A couple of teachers have fallen morally. This loss of teachers coupled with increased Government regulations has made the staffing of all schools a most difficult thing. Your earnest prayers are solicited.”[51]

One response to these new realities was to consolidate oversight of all Brethren in Christ outschools at a single location supervised by one office. 1953 began the shift to centralized control of the outschools with Frank Kipe as the head in the newly-opened Nahumba office and Zambian assistants helping in Macha and Sikalongo districts.

The centralization of educational oversight at Nahumba meant that Sikalongo area schools no longer fell under the Sikalongo Mission superintendent but under the central office. In Climenhaga’s words, “Before this year the outstations were attached to the two mission stations in Northern Rhodesia, Macha and Sikalongo. They are now joined together ‘in one unit.” [52] In subsequent years, especially after the creation of the position of Zambian bishop, this appears to have weakened the significance and decision-making power of mission superintendents in favor of the central office at Nahumba.

Climenhagas’ departure from Sikalongo began a revolving door of missionary personnel that continued for several decades. The 12-year chronology below gives some indication of the turnover at Sikalongo:

954-56: Ethel and Graybill Brubaker[53]

1956-57: Agnes and Robert Lehman[54]

1957-59: Gladys and Lewis B. Sider[55]

1959-61: George and Rachel Kibler[56]

1962-66: Keith and Lucy Ulery[57]

This frequent transition differed from earlier missionary tenures and was not always good for Sikalongo’s well-being. It probably related directly to the centralizing of administration at Nahumba. It might also have been influenced by the trend toward indigenization and away from a missionary anchor. Whatever the reasons, the transitory nature of leadership seems to have contributed to a less stable environment at Sikalongo than had been true prior to the departure of David and Dorcas Climenhaga.

Sikalongo Mission continued to move ahead despite the challenges of the time. Ethel and Graybill Brubaker provided strong leadership during their three years. Graybill’s construction knowledge equipped him to oversee a number of building projects. Among them, was the construction of a completely new main house. Workers demolished the older building (constructed by Myron Taylor and renovated by Cecil Cullen) and built a new house at the same location. Other building projects related to the school or to the clinic. For example, Brubaker supervised the construction of a new 12-bed ward at the Sikalongo Clinic, which was made possible by a partial grant from the Northern Rhodesia Medical Department. [58] He also supervised construction of a new dormitory for the school and the addition of a metal roof.[59]


Sikalongo Boys School

Like later Sikalongo missionaries, Graybill Brubaker was eager to maintain a high level of academic achievement at Sikalongo and encouraged staff and students to strive to attain this. It appears that he maintained a busy schedule and expected the students to do likewise. In a 1956 article, Brubaker described a typical day at Sikalongo Boys School, which began with the “rising bell” at 5:45 a.m. and included academic studies and manual labor and finally ended at 5:30 p.m. with supper.  [60]

The 1956 Handbook of Missions report noted that there were 137 boys in the school in 1955 and some had to be turned away because of government limitations. [61] Brubaker was helped by Anna Kettering, who had come to Sikalongo in 1951. However, shifts in educational trends in the early 1950s began to impact Brethren in Christ schools, including Sikalongo Boys School. Specifically, the government wanted only upper primary girls’ schools to be on mission stations. Item 16 of the 1956 Executive Board minutes from May 2 stated:

“Since there is a strong trend in N. R. African education for all male upper primary schools to become boarding establishments in reserve areas under the direction of the Manager of Schools but notn a mission station; and since the African Education Department has stated the policy of keeping girls’ upper primary schools on mission stations: and since this involves the future of the Sikalongo boys’ boarding school and raises the question as to whether Sikalongo should become a girls’ boarding institution; Decided that this question should come to conference as a matter for discussion and for possible action.”[62]

From this time forward, Sikalongo’s mission school faced a series of complications and obstacles that ultimately led to difficulty for both the church and the community.

Jonathan Muleya’s leadership during the early 1950s also played a role in keeping academic standards high at Sikalongo Boys School. However, in 1956 Jonathan Muleya went to Messiah College for four years of study. According to the 1957 Handbook of Missions, Muleya left in February 1956 with his wife and young son, Jacob.[63] Muleya’s study at Messiah College was part of an intentional effort on the part of the North American church (with Messiah College assistance) to help train a new generation of African leaders. Denominational leadership in America at that time believed this sort of training would make a direct contribution to their desire to indigenize mission work in Africa. An article in the Evangelical Visitor announcing the Muleyas arrival in the United States recognized the importance of this effort: “The first African member of the African Brethren in Christ Church to set foot on American soil and to study on the Messiah College Campus under the student exchange plan, arrived in New York by plane with his wife and child on Friday, February 17.” [64] Muleya was merely the first of a series of African leaders to come from Northern Rhodesia (later Zambia) to study at Messiah College. [65] After his return from studies at Messiah, he served at David Livingstone Teachers’ College and later became the first Zambian Headmaster at Choma Secondary School.

With the same goal in mind, Wanezi Bible School in Southern Rhodesia established an “Advanced Course “and a “less Advanced” two-year course in 1956. Four students from Northern Rhodesia were among the early participants: Sampson Mudenda and Davidson Mushala in the “Advanced,” and Peter Munsaka and Kalaluka Muchimba in the “Less Advanced.” [66] That both Northern Rhodesia overseers (Mudenda and Munsaka) participated in this program is an indication of the serious desire to elevate national leadership in anticipation of increased autonomy. These educational efforts occurred at the same time that the church in Northern Rhodesia was taking other steps toward indigenization.

Mueya’s departure from Sikalongo Boys School left a big gap. However, Stephen Muleya and other experienced educators stepped into the void. Stephen Muleya, for example, was assigned to be the assistant for the Christian Service League (CSL). The CSL, started in the early 1940s, continued to play a part in Sikalongo’s educational life up to the mid-1960s. Executive Board Minutes from this time period show detailed curricular instructions for the CSL program, with specific designations for various ranks such as the Volunteer Corps, Willing Workers, Light Foot, Helping Hand, Ready Heart, Third Class, Second Class, First Class, Junior Leadership, Senior Leadership. [67] One set of minutes shows drawings indicating the hand sign for organization.

Sikalongo Clinic

Staffing at Sikalongo Clinic was also a challenge at times. Gladys Lehman came in 1954 to replace Blanche (Pat) Kipe at Sikalongo Clinic, and in February 1956 Kathryn (Becky) Hossler arrived to take Lehman’s place. During this time, the clinic appears to have been under-staffed, overworked, and under-supplied. The 1956 Handbook of Missions noted that the clinic was crowded and overloaded with “as many as 100 inpatients for 12 beds.” [68] The 1957 report stated that they had administered over 30,000 treatments during 1956. [69] In 1958, the African Executive Board expressed concern for the clinical work at Sikalongo and requested that the American Foreign Mission Board send Dr. Alvan Thuma back to the field as soon as possible in order to have two doctors at Macha, thus allowing more frequent visits by doctors to Sikalongo.[70]

Other events

Other noteworthy events at Sikalongo included the wedding of Arthur Kutywayo. He came to Sikalongo in 1930 and remained single until 1955. On April 29, Kutywayo married a local woman, Ruth Mwaanga. He remained at Sikalongo until his death in 1977, and his wife still lives near the mission in 2017. The Evangelical Visitor documented the event, showing the happy couple just after their marriage. [71] The same year, 1955, was also noteworthy as the year construction began on Kariba Dam. The dam required resettlement of tens of thousands of Valley Tonga people and resulted in the destruction of habitat for local wildlife. Elizabeth Colson and others have documented this event and its impact in detail.  [72] Some Valley Tonga resettled up the valley in the Sikalongo district. The increased population put additional strain on Sikalongo Clinic as the closest medical facility.

 The Jubilee Conference of 1956

1956 was a pivotal year for the African church. It marked the fiftieth year of Brethren in Christ mission work in Northern Rhodesia, and the denomination celebrated it with a Jubilee Conference held at Macha Mission. As noted above, missionaries were already engaged in discussions about indigenization and the nation was experiencing political unrest. This conference presented an opportune moment to recognize 50 years of diligent mission work, make changes in mission structure, and discuss and implement new missiological strategies.

The Jubilee at Macha included moments for celebrating the accomplishments of the previous 50 years. It also featured a discussion of new structural changes that included regional councils led by Africans and the transfer of committees to “church control” (i.e., to African control), a new pastoral system, and a reorganized board structure aimed at greater African involvement in administrative affairs. Arthur Climenhaga’s preview of the event stated:

The African Conference this year is to be held at Macha Mission. The program is so arranged that the Church Conference with African members will be held on days including the Jubilee. Several features of the Conference are being included to mark the Jubilee celebration. The business conference on Thursday afternoon, August 16 has as the main subject of discussion the establishment of a pastoral system and the development of indigenous church administration in the Northern Rhodesia Church.

Friday, August 17, as the Jubilee day, is a fitting time for the first ordination of African ministers in the Northern Rhodesia Church. Overseers Peter Munsaka and Sampson Mudenda are to be ordained in the 8:30 a.m. service. Following a noon meal, the Jubilee Anniversary will be held. While most of the Conference is for church members only, the Anniversary celebration is thrown open to all. When one considers that a thousand people are not uncommon for baptism-communion weekends, we will not be too surprised to see two to three thousand Africans in attendance at that service. Then, too, invitations are being issued to about seventy special African and European guests.[73]

The ordination of Peter Munsaka and Sampson Mudenda was understood by everyone as an important step toward indigenization in the Northern Rhodesian church. Both men had served as overseers since their election in 1952, but ordination conferred an increased degree of responsibility and legitimacy.

The inclusion in this conference of discussion related to “the development of indigenous church administration in the Northern Rhodesia Church” marks a significant step forward. In the previous year, a special committee was established “for preparation of memorandum for indigenous church development.” They produced an outline of structural and strategic changes aimed at moving the church from missionary to national control. Ironically (and perhaps significantly), the working committee included no Africans! [74] Disappointingly, the language of related minutes made it quite clear that missionaries wanted to retain substantial control over the pace and direction of any changes. For example, the document recommended the establishment of district councils chaired by an African district superintendent, but “with missionary deputy of general superintendent present as adviser.” The document also stated: “All council deliberations and decisions to be only of an initiatory nature with transactions going to the Church Executive Committee for disposition either by giving answers necessary, or submitting major issues to Conference.”  [75] However, despite limitations and the implicit caution, I believe their intent was genuine. Arthur Climenhaga’s article in the June 1955 issue of the Evangelical Visitor restated the three-self principle in order to emphasize the desired goal of indigenization. [76]

From mission jubilee to national independence

In November 1956, Ethel and Graybill Brubaker moved from Sikalongo to Nahumba and Agnes and Robert Lehman came to assume leadership at Sikalongo. The Lehmans’ stay was short-lived, however, and they were replaced by Gladys and Lewis Sider in December 1957. Siders remained at Sikalongo for less than two years, leaving in October 1959. Despite these short tenures, work at Sikalongo Mission continued to move ahead. Workers built two new houses for teachers and installed the new metal roof on the school. The Siders moved into the new main house before it was entirely finished and had to complete the work while living in it. Lehman noted in his 1958 report that Sikalongo students had performed well and 19 had qualified for further training. [77] Church work included the usual weekly services with several revivals per year. 1959 was especially successful in bringing new members into the church with 30 baptisms. [78]

In 1958, the Methodist Church invited the Brethren in Christ to cooperate with them in the Kafue Secondary School. At that time, the government was pushing hard to develop secondary education, but denominational leadership did not feel it was possible for the Brethren in Christ to open a secondary school. So the African Executive Board agreed to transfer Anna Kettering to Kafue to represent the denomination. [79] She was replaced at Sikalongo by Joseph Moono. Kettering had provided strong, capable leadership at Sikalongo Boys School and the school thrived under her leadership. After leaving Sikalongo, she continued to make important contributions to the Church’s educational efforts. Below is a picture of Kettering with Brethren in Christ students whom she taught at Kafue.

Joseph Moono was a skilled educator and a capable administrator, who later worked with George Kibler as one of the regional school managers of Brethren in Christ schools. [80] Lewis Sider’s glowing biographical description of Moono suggests not only his admiration for Moono, but the intense desire of missionaries to see nationals take leadership roles. Sider noted that Moono was raised in a Brethren in Christ family and nurtured by church leaders.[81] His early education was in denominational schools, but he continued at Chikankata Teacher Training School and did additional studies at Chalimbana Training College. Sider stated:

“He is an outstanding Christian leader. The understanding and spirit with which he underwent the recent change of superintendents at Sikalongo was commendable. Beginning with the school year in July he has taken over fuller responsibilities. He takes responsibility humbly but with efficiency and determination and cooperates well with the missionaries. His is not an easy task. He acts as liaison between his African staff and the missionaries.” 82[82]

t appears that the Moono family was especially gifted. Sider’s account noted that Joseph, along with both of his brothers, John and Albert, served as members of the then-recently-established Northern Rhodesian Executive Committee. Moono is pictured with other 1957-58 Sikalongo Boys School staff in a photograph which appeared in the same Evangelical Visitor article.


Most of these men served for many years in educational and administrative roles within the denomination. Stephen Muleya taught and held positions on various committees; Arthur Kutywayo worked at Sikalongo Boys School and the clinic, and also held denominational roles; Jonah Munsanje was among the first members of the Northern Rhodesian Executive Committee, Jacob Muchimba taught in church schools and became a headmaster, and Joseph Moono became one of the Managers of Schools. Sikalongo was where these men first honed their educational and managerial skills.

Sikalongo Mission and Church

George and Rachel Kibler came to Sikalongo in July 1959, remained for two years, and were transferred to Macha. Keith and Lucy Ulery followed them at Sikalongo in 1962. During the years leading up to independence, Sikalongo missionaries worked with local people to strengthen and improve services at the Mission. The Executive Board approved the burning of 100,000 bricks for building projects at Sikalongo in 1959. [83] The Board also allocated a tractor and a plow to Sikalongo, and approved money to purchase a maize sheller. [84] And in 1960, Sikalongo was given a store license to sell goods to the community. 85[85] Paul Muleya played a centrol role in Sikalongo’s Mission Store for some years afterwards.

After his ordination in 1956, Peter Munsaka continued as the Overseer for the Sikalongo District, visiting outstation churches and schools and encouraging spiritual development. Arthur Kutywayo, along with other loyal members, helped guide ministry at Sikalongo Mission Church. Manchisi Davidson Mukonka was chosen to serve as a second deacon at Sikalongo Mission, alongside Emerson Munsaka. Semi-annual revival meetings were common at the time and Sikalongo’s revivals featured a series of well-known Zambian evangelists: Jack Munsaka (a former Sikalongo Boys School student), Mizinga, Kalaluka, and Mafulo. These religious efforts yielded positive results for the church. George Kibler noted that fifty Sikalongo area people were baptized in 1961.6[86]

Broader church developments in the years leading up to independence had an impact on life at Sikalongo and other mission stations. Opposition to the Federation escalated after 1955 and the divide between Southern Rhodesia and Northern Rhodesia widened. As a result, it became increasingly evident that each Rhodesia would need its own denominational administrative structure. In response, mission leadership created new board and committee structures. In January 1957, the Northern Rhodesia Executive Committee held its first meeting at Macha. Its membership included American missionaries, but most members of the committee were African church leaders representing various segments of the constituency:

Missionaries Northern Rhodesian Leaders
rthur Climenhaga, chair

Ira Stern, Macha Mission superintendent

Graybill Brubaker, outstation supervisor


Rev. Sampson Mudenda, Macha overseer,

Executive Committee secretary

Rev. Peter Munsaka, Sikalongo overseer

Manchisi Mukonka, Sikalongo deacon

Emerson Munsaka, Sikalongo deacon

Apuleni Moono, Macha deacon

Taul Chiyoma, Macha deacon

Simon Munsaka, evangelists representative

John Moono, church treasurer

Simon Mudenda, Macha teachers representativee

Arthur Kutywayo, Sikalongo teachers representative

Jonah Moyo, church representative

Their primary item of business for the first meeting was the assignment of pastors at outstation churches in Sikalongo and Macha Districts respectively. 87[87] The follwing pastors were assigned to the Sikalongo District:

  • Nakeempa – Simon Mweetwa (teacher)
  • Siamaluba – Millius Munkombwe (teacher)
  • Mutandaalike – Jeremiah Muloongo (teacher)
  • Siankope – Laban Chipali (teacher)
  • Singani – Jobe Mucimba (teacher)
  • Masopo – Henry Muntanga (teacher)
  • Bbombo – Andrew Moono (teacher)
  • Siacidinta – Joseph Mucimba (teacher)
  • Mukombo – Simon Munsaka (evangelist)
  • Mboole – Manchisi Mukonda (deacon)
  • Siazwela – Sampson Mucimba (teacher)
  • Mudukula – Jam Muleya (evangelist)

One can readily see the intimate connection between the school system and the local church congregations in this list of assignments. The early Brethren in Christ strategy of establishing schools and attaching churches to those schools was still strongly-entrenched 50 years after Frances Davidson initiated this paradigm in 1906.

Earl Musser became the bishop for the Northern Rhodesian Brethren in Christ Church in 1962, almost two years before independence.[88] The choice of a North American missionary as the first Zambian bishop has been criticized by some. Others believe it was the right decision for the time. In my view, it is difficult to judge. In retrospect, it seems the Brethren in Christ could have moved faster to indigenize, and choosing a black bishop would have been one way to do that. However, the written record gives too few clues to clearly evaluate the situation and oral accounts generally seem overly-biased to me. It was obviously a difficult moment in time, complicated by secular political sentiments, internal denominational dynamics, and practical issues. I suspect all of these things contributed to the final decision.

Musser was consecrated as bishop on December 30, 1962 at Macha Mission. The circumstances of the event were noteworthy. Heavy rains preceded the meeting and a major river between Choma and Macha was swollen far beyond its normal width. When missionaries reached Mbabala river, they found it impossible to cross. But, they were determined to get to Macha for the consecration service. So, they threw a rope across the river, tied it to trees, and stretched it tight with help from a Volkswagon. One at a time, the intrepid missionaries walked across the strand of rope to the opposite side of the river. A number of adults remained with the children in Choma rather than risk their safety. The photograph accompanying Rachel Kibler’s account in the Evangelical Visitor is remarkable. [89]

Musser’s five-year tenure from 1963-1968 straddled Zambian’s independence in October 1964, and he, along with others, had to adjust to significant governmental, political, and educational changes that accompanied the newly-gained freedom from British authority. It required delicate and experienced relational and administrative skills. Musser is pictured below administering communion at Sikalongo with Rev. Peter Munsaka and Rev. Keith Ulery.

 Sikalongo schools

During the late 1950s, Sikalongo Boys School continued under the leadership of Joseph Moono. However, government policies were beginning to force the church to consider alternative educational possibilities for Sikalongo. The role of the government in the educational affairs of mission schools must not be overlooked when evaluating decisions made by missionaries and church leaders.[90] Both the British Colonial Office and the independent Zambian government imposed policies on mission schools that forced a variety of adjustments. Although the church was able to choose its administrators and teachers, their salaries were paid by the government. For example, the 1959 minutes of the Executive Board noted that a government grant from the Ministry of African Education paid the full time salary of the Brethren in Christ education secretary in Northern Rhodesia (Graybill Brubaker) and the Assistant Education Secretary (Joseph Moono). [91] Government financial support also required that missions follow government policies and abide by their regulations.

It has already been noted that government policies in the mid-1950s sought to develop more highly-trained educators and wanted to encourage the creation of more secondary schools. The church proposed the idea of turning Sikalongo Boys School into a boarding school for girls as a possible compromise that might be acceptable to the government. Unfortunately, this proposal was repeatedly denied. However, the church continued even after independence to try and convince the government to allow them to continue operating a boarding school at Sikalongo.[92]

Additionally, the re-evaluation of mission schools eventually led the denomination to entertain the possibility of establishing a secondary school in Choma. The acquisition of land at Nahumba in 1954 and the shift of administrative offices made this an attractive option. The decision in 1956 to assign Anna Kettering to the secondary school in Kafue turned out to be merely a first step toward later developments. Additionally, Item 6 of the Executive Board Minutes from December 28, 1959 suggested that the church should submit a request to the government to allow the church to convert Macha Girls School into a junior secondary boarding school for girls, and Sikalongo Boys School into a junior secondary boarding school for boys. As deliberations progressed, official responses made it clear that the government viewed the Macha proposal favorably but had a less positive outlook regarding Sikalongo.

The various government and denominational dynamics led the Brethren in Christ to focus on the idea of a co-educational secondary school located at Nahumba, and to initiate discussions in 1960 with the Pilgrim Holiness Church about possible collaboration. [93] Plans for the proposed school moved remarkably fast. The government apparently viewed this move much more positively than other proposals and, in 1961, the Executive Board approved a detailed description of school operations. [94] Construction began almost immediately and, in August 1962, Choma Secondary accepted 70 boarding students.[95] In September 1963, the school officially opened with Harry Nkumbula, the Minister of African Education, in attendance.

Sikalongo Boys School continued to operate, despite the uncertainty of its future status. Henry N. Hostetter, Executive Secretary of Brethren in Christ World Missions visited Sikalongo in 1961 and described the situation at the time. He noted that Sikalongo “is our one mission station with no American in the schoolroom. All reports here indicate that the Africans who are in charge of the school program—doing all the teaching, one man serving as Headmaster—are doing a commendable piece of work.” 96[96] It is difficult to known whether Hostetter’s comment is meant as a commendation of the increased level of indigenization at Sikalongo, or whether it reflects a certain paternalistic spirit.

Unfortunately, it is likely that the Sikalongo community viewed the absence of an American presence at Sikalongo as evidence that the Brethren in Christ considered it to be less important than other mission stations, Macha in particular. This criticism can still be heard from Sikalongo people. 97[97] Many long-time Sikalongo residents I interviewed expressed frustration at what they perceived as an unequal distribution of resources, with Macha receiving preference over Sikalongo. They complained that the schools and the clinic both suffered as a result of a Macha bias. Moreover, they have suggested that even the assignment of national personnel favored so-called “Macha boys” over “Sikalongo boys.” I have not been able to fully judge the merits, but it seems that perhaps these complaints are not without some justification. However, Hostetter did concede that Sikalongo Clinic needed assistance: “It appears we could very well use a doctor here at Sikalongo if one were available and if we could arrange to finance such a program.”  [98] In principle, at least, he seems to have been aware of the disparity between resources allocated to Macha Hospital and those given to Sikalongo.

Sikalongo mission and outstation schools continued to experience change during the early 1960s. Sikalongo’s headmaster, Joseph Moono, was pulled away to work as assistant manager of schools under Graybill Brubaker in 1962 with 13 schools under his supervision. [99] John Moono, Joseph’s brother, was assigned to oversee the outstation schools of the Sikalongo District, and Simon Mudenda supervised another 13 schools in the Macha District. The result was that by 1963 three African school managers supervised the outstation schools. This was yet another step towards indigenization of Brethren in Christ institutions in Northern Rhodesia. Missionaries retained supervision of the two mission schools, Keith Ulery at Sikalongo Boys School and George Kibler at Macha Girls School. [100] Once again in 1963, the idea of converting Sikalongo to a girls’ school resurfaced as a way to continue operating the school and meet government expectations. Despite the extensive work of launching Choma Secondary School in September 1963, the church wanted to preserve boarding schools both at Sikalongo and Macha. That the Executive Board approved burning 100,000 bricks at Sikalongo testifies to their commitment to improve facilities at the mission.  [101]

Clinic (“hospital”)

During the late 1950s, Kathryn (Becky) Hossler was the only trained medical staff at Sikalongo Clinic (referred to as “Sikalongo Hospital” at the time), but she, too, forged ahead in an effort to provide the community with adequate health services. The clinic administered 21,031 outpatient treatments in 1959, a fact that highlighted the need for additional help and improved facilities. Sikalongo treated more patients than any of the Southern Rhodesian facilities and 70 percent of the number treated at Macha. The Executive Board responded to this need by approving a proposed plan for a new ward and delegating the decision of location to the superintendent and nurse in charge. [102] Additionally, recognizing the need for more help at Sikalongo, they approved additional staffing. Their minutes stated:

Whereas the in-patient load at Sikalongo Hospital has been running on average comparable with some hospitals staffed with doctors for a number of years; and Whereas consideration has been given in the past by the executive Board on the advisability of placing a second nurse there; and Whereas it has been indicated in consultation with Dr. Kauffman that Mtshabezi Hospital could be operated with a missionary staff of a doctor and a nurse;

Therefore Decided that Sister Norma Brubaker be transferred to Sikalongo Mission to serve on the hospital staff and in such other duties as may be assigned, said transfer to take effect so that Sister Brubaker will arrive in the north no later than February 27. Further Decided that the General Superintendent, Sikalongo Mission Superintendent, and Dr. Thuma with Sisters Hossler and Brubaker work out a proportionate share of duties, with the understanding that Sister Hossler remains in charge of the hospital program. Further Decided that Dr. Thuma give brother Sider assistance in seeking for grant-in-aid for Sister Brubaker as a second nurse at Sikalongo. [103]

Despite these good intentions, Sikalongo Clinic remained overloaded, understaffed, and undersupplied for many years. As noted above, this situation was a source of frustration for Sikalongo residents for decades. This 1959 action at least provides evidence of a denominational desire to respond in proportion to the need.

Subsequent board actions approved roofing for the dispensary and the addition of running water in the maternity ward. [104] Later improvements at Sikalongo included the addition of a washroom/latrine, a salary for Samuel Muleya to serve as a helper at the clinic, and construction of a nurse’s house. [105] From 1955-1978, a series of capable nurses came to help Sikalongo Clinic. Unfortunately, many of their African helpers receive almost no mention in the written record. Nevertheless, Sikalongo Clinic could not have survived without their labor:

1955-59: Kathryn (Becky) Hossler

1960-63: Mary E. Heisey

1963-66: Martha Lady

1967-69: Shirley Heisey

1971-74: Anne McEwan

975-81: Mary E. Heisey

Because they were often the only trained staff, they sometimes had to function as if they were medical doctors. The full impact of these nurses is a story that deserves to told, but is beyond the scope of this essay.

Tragic death of a Sikalongo Boys School student

Among other noteworthy events in the Sikalongo area during this period, one deserves special mention. Jonathan Muleya’s family has been mentioned a number of times in this history because of his role at Sikalongo and in the denomination. The family lived in Mudukula, a small village southeast of Sikalongo Mission, the same village in which Peter Munsaka was born. One of Mudukula’s native sons achieved global recognition in the early 1960s. His name was Yotham Muleya, Jonathan’s brother. Both brothers attended Brethren in Christ schools as children, Sikalongo Boys School in particular. Yotham was an extraordinary runner. In 1958, he competed on behalf of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nysaland in a three-mile race in Salisbury. He was almost barred from the race because of his color. William Dubois, the man in charge of applications, refused to admit Muleya. However, the association overruled Dubois, and Muleya went on to defeat the British runner, Gordon Pirie, by 100 yards.

Muleya was subsequently invited to attend Central Michigan College on a sports scholarship. Tragically, he and three other athletes were killed in a car accident en route to a competition. Muleya’s remains were sent back to his home village, where he was buried after a funeral service at Sikalongo Mission. The Evangelical Visitor included details about the event and a transcript of the funeral sermon delivered by Graybill Brubaker.[106] An earlier letter from Yotham to Anna Graybill indicates the closeness of his relationship to the Brethren in Christ and to people at Sikalongo Mission. [107]

American ministers from Michigan later donated money in Muleya’s memory. The Northern Rhodesian Executive Committee decided to use the money for a communion table with 1 Corinthians 9:27 printed on it. The table was intended for use at the Sikalongo Mission Church.

Continued rumblings of independence and implications for indigenization

Indications of impending autonomy and the necessity for indigenization surfaced regularly in the years immediately preceding Zambian independence. Across the African continent, independence movements gained ground. In Northern Rhodesia, signs of change included the jailing of Kenneth Kaunda and Harry Nkumbula for their political activities. In 1959, the governor of Northern Rhodesia declared a state of emergency, arrested 45 members of the Zambia African National Congress including Kaunda, and banned the party. Disagreements within the ranks of black activists led to a number of divisions, with Kenneth Kaunda eventually assuming the mantle of leadership. In 1960, British Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, delivered a speech to the South African parliament in which he made it clear that the British government saw black autonomy as inevitable, necessary, and desirable. The speech has come to be called the “Wind of Change” because of Macmillan’s use of the phrase: “The wind of change is blowing through this continent. Whether we like it or not, this growth of national consciousness is a political fact.” [108] The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland had been established in August 1953, but it was beset with steady opposition up to its official dissolution in December 1963.

Related winds of change can be seen within the Brethren in Christ in Northern Rhodesia. From missionaries, the dialog found its voice in “indigenization” language rather than political language. Oral reports from nationals, on the other hand, suggest that strong political sentiments existed but were often concealed in deference to the missionaries. That independence was not far from peoples’ thoughts can be seen throughout the 1950s in the actions of people like Daniel Munkombwe and Elijah Mudenda. Other indications of political sentiment existed. The 1960 minutes of the Northern Rhodesian Executive Committee noted that teachers at denominational schools were exerting a degree of collective resistance to missionary authority. Brethren in Christ members had previously been prohibited from becoming officials in the ANC and it seems that teachers’ organizations, Northern Rhodesia African Teachers Association (NORATA) in particular, were eliciting a degree of influence and loyalty that began to conflict with teachers’ denominational commitments. [109] The actions of teachers’ associations seem to have had political overtones that made missionaries uncomfortable. Sampson Mudenda confronted the political issues of his day directly in a paper delivered at a conference in Kenya. Entitled, “The Prophetic Christian and Local and National Politics,” the paper asked whether Christians should become totally involved in the political process and complete separate themselves from such affairs. [110] Mudenda’s response shows that he clearly favored non-involvement. However, that he addressed the issue this bluntly reflects the significance of the issue for Brethren in Christ in Africa.

Independence and Indigenization: 1964-1978

Independence and the immediate years after

Zambia gained independence on October 24, 1964. It was a pivotal moment both for the Zambian people and the Brethren in Christ Church. Earl Musser had been chosen as bishop two years earlier, an important step in the division of the two Rhodesias. But 1964 was filled with other events that signified fundamental shifts in Brethren in Christ life in Zambia. In May 1964, the North American church formally transferred church leadership from North America to the Brethren in Christ Church in Northern Rhodesia.

The Evangelical Visitor considered the event important enough to feature it on the cover of the June 22 issue. The caption to the issue read: “Rev. Samuel Wolgemuth, Chairman of the Board for World Missions, presenting the document conferring full responsibility for church operations to the N. Rhodesia Church, Rev. Sampson Mudenda accepting in the name of the Brethren in Christ Church in N. Rhodesia. “[111]

This moment marked an important milestone in the indigenization of Brethren in Christ mission work in Africa. Henry Hostetter’s interpretation of the events of 1964 was effusive:

“The full transfer of Church leadership to the Brethren in Christ Church in Africa in May of 1964 brought to fruition the goal of establishing a Church in Africa. It has been a most satisfactory experience. Right in the midst of it we have seen illustrated the power of Redeeming Grace to make all races one in Christ in: the choice by the Church of a missionary to be their Bishop in Rhodesia; the request of the Church leaders for missionary guidance in evangelism; the appointment of nationals to the principalships of the Secondary School at Matopo, the Teacher Training School at Mtshabezi, and the Macha Girls’ School—positions formerly held by missionaries. Missionaries and nationals continue to work side by side with and under one another in the midst of political and racial agitations. We praise the Lord for these manifestations of a unified Christian witness.”[112]

Earl Musser struck a similar tone in a portion of his report, which began “There Is Progress!” [113] His article in the Evangelical Visitor in June, entitled “Northern Rhodesia Regional Conference Meets,” describes the “epochal” meeting at which Northern Rhodesian church achieved autonomy.[114] And, Lois Musser’s account of independence celebrations in Lusaka conveyed an undeniable pride in the event. [115]

Others were less ebullient. Some from the American church mixed praise for Zambian independence with peculiar support for seemingly contrary sentiments. John N. Hostetter, editor of the Visitor, commented on independence in a perplexing juxtaposition of anti-communist sentiment and praise for Kaunda and Elijah Mudenda. [116] H. H. Brubaker’s history of denominational mission history and indigenizing events leading up to independence betrays a degree of self-rationalizing. He wrote: “There was a total absence of any feeling that that which was about to be done should have been done long ago.”  [117] That seems hard to imagine. And, just a month earlier, Sampson Mudenda marked the moment with an article entitled “The Unfinished Task.” In it, he wrote about education, health and faith, but also included a section related to race relations. [118] Mudenda clearly viewed independence and the transfer of denominational control as merely first steps toward greater autonomy and equality in the church. And, one wonders whether members of the national church at the time might have thought this was a good thing, but could have occurred earlier.

The consequences of independence for Sikalongo varied. On the positive side, Zambian independence legitimized the authority of national leadership in both secular and Christian spheres. However, American missionaries continued to control financial resources and maintained significant decision-making authority. After all, in 1964, the Ulerys and Gladys Lehman were in the lead positions of authority at Sikalongo, Earl Musser was the bishop, and Macha and Nahumba were both still under American missionary supervision. Concurrently, the shift to “national control” left pastoral and congregational leadership somewhat ill-defined, especially at Macha and Sikalongo. As a result, it became necessary to further redefine administrative structures and decision-making processes. The 1957 restructuring had created national “Executive Committees,” which fell under the “Executive Board.” Both Executive Committees (Southern Rhodesian and Northern Rhodesian) had a mixture of American missionaries and national leaders. However, membership on the Executive Board remained largely American missionaries. Illustrating this imbalance is the fact that even as late as August 1964, the nominating committee for the first African Brethren in Christ General Conference consisted of four Americans and only two Africans. From 1964 to the mid-1970s, American missionaries and the Zambian church worked to discover an administrative structure that represented true Zambian autonomy.

Sikalongo after independence

Other changes occurred at the local level in 1964. In July, Peter Munsaka retired as overseer of the Sikalongo District and Davidson Mushala replaced him. Mushala’s story was unique. He came to Sikalongo in 1943 as an orphan. According to Earl Musser, he worked his way through primary school with encouragement from Anna Eyster. He took further studies at Wanezi Bible Institute and eventually studied for a year at Messiah College. After his selection as District superintendent, the Mushala family moved to Sikalongo where he continued in the role of overseer for five years. [119] With Africans in key administrative positions, the transition from missionary control to African control was well under way: Davidson Mushala as district superintendent of Sikalongo District, Sampson Mudenda as district superintendent of Macha District, John Moono managing outstations schools in the Sikalongo District, and Joseph Moono and Simon Mudenda managing outstations schools in the Macha District. The shift of the name from “overseer” to “district superintendent” no doubt implied a new level of responsibility.

In this new environment, the work of mission superintendents such as Keith Ulery appears to have focused more narrowly on the routine needs of the mission station. At Sikalongo, for example, mundane administrative matters needed attention: a sports fee was imposed, the mission purchase a power mower, gas stove and Milch cow, 100,000 bricks were approved, and the Executive Board approved an engine and electrification for Sikalongo Mission. [120] Shifts in the relationship between missionaries and the national church became more obvious as the decade progressed and were accompanied by intentional efforts to codify new structures. The Appendix of the “Minutes of the First General Conference of the Brethren in Christ Church in Africa” includes a complete version of the Manual of Doctrine and Government of the Brethren in Christ Church in Africa. [121] Moreover, a 1965 document specifically addressed the relationship of the Brethren in Christ Church in Africa and the Board for World Missions. [122]

Increasingly during the 1960s, much of the spiritual work in Zambia was in the hands of the national church, and missionaries found themselves preoccupied with institutional demands. During the latter half of the decade, this included the establishment of Choma Bookstore, the creation of a Bible institute at Sikalongo, helping launch a new Tonga Bible, expansion at Macha Hospital and the regional clinics, and the many-faceted educational program. [123] The Evangelical Visitor noted that the Sikalongo Clinic was merely one of a number of regional clinics under the supervision of Macha Hospital. Bishop Earl Musser and Dr. Robert Worman wrote letters describing the expansion of medical and educational services in Zambia after independence. An article in the Evangelical Visitor began:

“Newly independent Zambia is taking great strides in the enlargement of educational and medical services to its people. To the extent that it will increase our Christian witness and service, we are eager to cooperate and take advantage of their assistance in these programs.”4[124]

The article went on to describe expansion of the clinic system at Sikalongo, Singani, Batoka, and elsewhere. The Executive Board recognized the need for improvements at Sikalongo. In response, they established a special committee to plan for enhancements.

Worman’s mention of government assistance highlights an important point. During the era of British colonial rule, Brethren in Christ schools and hospitals at Sikalongo and elsewhere received significant financial assistance from the government. This practice continued after independence, but it could not be sustained indefinitely. David Brubaker has noted that, during the 1960s, a significant portion of educational development in Brethren in Christ schools was funded by government grants. [125] A complete analysis of the impact of government funding for denominational schools is beyond the scope of this essay, but it is fair to state that the church could not have maintained its institutions without British support during the colonial period or support from the Zambian government after independence.

Peter Snelson, Michael J. Kelly, and Brandon Carmody, well-known scholars of Zambian education, have documented the role of government in a number of books. [126] Kelly suggested that the financial stress became progressively more acute from 1980 onward. He also argued that, despite British assistance before independence, too little attention had been given by the British South Africa Company (BSAC) to educating the native population of Northern Rhodesia and that the result was a newly-independent nation with an under-educated population. He wrote:

“The failure of the BSAC to invest in education during the 34 “somnolent years” [Peter Snelson’s words] of its rule meant that a generation and more of Northern Rhodesians lost their chance of receiving an education. This loss had its repercussions 40 years later when Zambia entered independence with a largely illiterate adult population and a pitifully small supply of educated manpower.” [127]

These dynamics undoubtedly contributed to the sense of urgency that the newly-independent Zambian government felt in the mid-1960s to encourage educational efforts. Brethren in Christ schools benefitted greatly from the generosity of the moment.

The 1966 Handbook of Missions report of the Brethren in Christ education secretary, David Brubaker, emphasized the government’s desire for educational development:

Since Independence the Government has launched a Transitional Development Plan calling for very rapid expansion in both, primary and secondary facilities. In our own primary schools we are due to open in January, 19 new classes with a potential intake of 760 additional pupils, requiring 19 new teachers. This involved the erection of 30 new teachers’ houses and 30 new classrooms. The government made grants available to cover the cost of the teachers’ houses, the cost of steel frames, roof, and furniture for the classrooms. School councils and communities organized and worked hard to carry out these building projects and to do the “self-help” portion of the classrooms. This included brickmaking, carrying sand and water, finding builders and labourers and erecting the classroom walls. They did a commendable piece of work.” [128]

Educational enhancements occurred both in Sikalongo and Macha Districts. Three Assistant Education Managers helped Brubaker implement the various projects. Frey Mweetwa became the Assistant Manager of Schools for the Sikalongo District at the end of 1965.  [129]

A Bible institute in Zambia

In the wake of Zambia’s independence, it became increasingly difficult for people to move between Rhodesia and Zambia. It was clear that the church in each country would need to become more autonomous. This led to discussions in a recently-created Theological College Administrative Committee about the possibility of a pastoral training program in Zambia. Item 11 of the minutes of June 14, 1966 listed a number of reasons for such a move, finally deciding that:

“…a single stream Bible course be started in Zambia in 1967 and that Sikalongo Mission buildings be utilized. Further decided that the Sikalongo Mission Superintendent shall assume this work and that it follow the basic curriculum requirements of the church. Further decided that it be considered a branch of the current Bible Institute programme.”” [130]

The 1967 single stream Bible course led to the creation of Choma Bible Institute in 1968, which eventually came to be called Sikalongo Bible Institute (SBI). The Theological College Administrative Committee approved the creation of a Bible institute at Sikalongo in August 1966. [131]

Fred and Grace Holland began classes at Sikalongo in 1968. With their help, plans for the Bible school moved steadily ahead. The Handbook of Missions noted with excitement the impending opening:

The Church in Zambia will realize a long-cherished dream when Bible School opens for the first time in January, 1968. As training of our national pastors is a vital necessity, we thank God indeed. It is further planned that when the Bible School has been started, a mobile unit will go out into communities to take teaching and training to many who cannot leave their homes to go to the School. During this year preparations to open the school have included renovation of some present buildings and the building of a new washroom at Sikalongo Mission. We pray the Lord to lay His hands upon the persons who should be the students for this opening year.  [132]

The inclusion of the idea of “a mobile unit” reflects the Hollands’ efforts to extend theological education beyond a central location through an itinerant teaching system. This eventually led them to develop a Theological Education by Extension (TEE) for the Brethren in Christ church in Zambia with extension centers at Halumba, Singani Central, Batoka and Mweebo.  [133]

Choma Bible Institute opened formally at Sikalongo in 1968 with three students: Jonathan Mwaalu, William Silungwe, and Moses Munsaka.  [134] In the beginning, the school functioned with limited facilities, taking advantage of vacant rooms and offices.

The advent of the Bible institute at Sikalongo not only contributed to the church through active pastoral training; it breathed new life into Sikalongo Mission. Fred and Grace Holland played a pivotal role in opening Choma Bible Institute, but they were soon joined by others, notably Fannie Longenecker in 1969 and Eleanor and Marshall Poe in 1972. Moreover, the Bible school gave new focus and direction to the mission. The first graduates completed their courses at Choma Bible Institute in 1970. William Silungwe was posted at the new church in Choma; Jonathan Mwaala went to Livingstone to serve as Assistant Pastor; and Moses Munsaka went to Muchila as the chaplain for the recently-established rural clinic.  [135]

In spite of the small number of students in each class, the Bible school served a critical role in the Zambian Brethren in Christ Church from its inception and continues to do so nearly 50 years later.

Sikalongo Secondary School

The difficulty of getting approval for a secondary school at Sikalongo plagued the church throughout the 1960s and into the following decade. Minutes of the third Gneral Conference noted government hopes for educational expansion and the likely impact on the Brethren in Christ system. It also expressed some frustration at the reluctance of the Ministry to grant permission for secondary schools at Sikalongo and Macha.

On the secondary level, the Ministry is also scheduling considerable development. Applications for secondary schools at both Macha and Sikalongo have been before the Ministry for some years. We have now received the approval for two streams of Form I at Macha to open in 1967 in temporary quarters of the upper primary school. The Ministry is expected to make decision early in 1967 approving permanent sites for secondary schools to be developed during the four year plan. It is hoped that Macha will be approved as a permanent site for a 3:2 girls’ school to open 1968 and Sikalongo to be approved to open as a 3:2 co-ed school sometime thereafter. We have no assurance that any of these permanent openings will be approved, but we anticipate at least a partially favourable decision. [136]

The Brethren in Christ maintained Sikalongo’s boarding school throughout the 1960s. The church had appealed to the government repeatedly to allow a secondary school. Minutes from October 1968 stated:

“Whereas it still seems the intention of the Ministry of Education is to close Macha Secondary School at the end of 1970 and,

Whereas the latest circular from ministry headquarters includes Sikalongo as one of the two proposed schools for Southern region,

Decided that as early as possible, we renew our emphasis on the Sikalongo site on the crest of the rise due east and adjacent to Sikalongo Mission. And submit to the Ministry of Education a proposed (1) Plot site plan, (2) Phasing plan for building, (3) Details of cost, (4) Phasing plan for expansion and development over a four to five-year period; And to secure permission from Chief Singani and support of District Secretary and Choma Rurual Council on the basis that it has already been approved regionally and been passed through ministry headquarters.

Executive Board decided that if the Brethren in Christ are required to contribute 25% of the building cost of the new secondary school, that we request permission to build the secondary school on our own church property.

Further decided that for the present we allow Macha Mission to remain in the picture of secondary development and consider possible progress on a step-by-step basis, in light of decisions made by the Ministry several years ago that are now being reconsidered.”[137]

Ultimately the government forced the church to completely close Sikalongo’s boarding school in 1972. [138] It was a painful moment for the church and for the community.

Throughout its nearly 50-year history, the boarding school had served the community and the denomination well. Several generations of church leaders laid the foundations of their intellectual and spiritual lives at Sikalongo. Peter Munsaka, Sampson Mudenda, Jonathan Muleya, Elijah Mudenda, Daniel Munkombwe, Davidson Mushala, and a host of other Zambians spent some of their formative years at Sikalongo.

Sikalongo Clinic

Martha Lady came to Sikalongo in 1963 to carry the responsibility of heading the clinic. She remained for four years and was followed by Shirley Heisey. Various improvements occurred during the 1960s with grant money from the government and donations from North America. Upon his retirement from working at Sikalongo Boys School in 1966, Arthur Kutywayo began to help at the clinic as an evangelist and chaplain. [139] In the same year, the African General Conference approved a four-year plan that included building two staff houses, a kitchen, and a tuberculosis unit. [140] A chapel was built in 1969. In that same year, two trained African nurses came to help Sikalongo, having graduated from Macha’s first class of Zambia Enrolled Nurses. [141]

Several American nurses gave extended service to the Sikalongo community at the clinic. Rachel Copenhaver Sollenberger is the most notable recent example, having served as the nurse-in-charge for two decades. During the 1960s and 1970s, however, Mary E. Heisey played a pivotal role in maintaining health services to the Sikalongo community. She first came to Sikalongo in 1960 and stayed for three years. She returned in 1975 and remained for another six years. For most of her years at Sikalongo she was the only trained nurse on staff.

Heisey made other significant contributions to the life of the church. She was recognized as one of the best linguists among the missionaries and consequently served as the Tonga language teacher and examiner for Brethren in Christ missionaries. She developed a detailed Tonga syllabus for use by missionaries. She also applied her linguistic skill to music, collecting Tonga choruses. She is probably responsible for the Tonga translations of two choruses brought to Zambia by the evangelist, Maloka. “Ivangeli” and “Uluyando Ndupati” can still be heard occasionally in Brethren in Christ congregations, and the older generation sings them with a nostalgic enthusiasm that would have certainly pleased Mary Heisey. She also translated Christmas songs for use in Zambian settings. For many years, her Christmas songs held a special place in the hearts of Sikalongo church members. Heisey also helped translate teaching materials for use at Choma Bible Institute and the extension program. [142]

The Kipe years

In 1968, H. Frank Kipe was elected bishop of the Zambian Brethren in Christ Church. The selection of Kipe as bishop has received some criticism. Some Zambian church members felt that Sampson Mudenda should have been chosen for the role. [143] It is an understandable point of view. Despite the incremental steps towards indigenization begun as early as 1948 and the turnover of autonomy in May 1964, the denomination had not yet chosen an African bishop for Zambia. These concerns notwithstanding, Kipe clearly intended to hasten the pace of indigenization. Kipe and others had obviously become more keenly aware of the inequities of the colonial era and the power imbalance that existed between missionaries and nationals. Various actions of the time attempted to reflect this new sensibility. In 1967, for example, the “Minutes of the Fourth General Conference of the Brethren in Christ Church in Africa” included a long list of recommended reading for missionaries and potential missionaries. Although some of the books on the list seem rather colonialistic by today’s standards, many were clearly intended to encourage a broader cultural awareness and sensitivity to racial and political inequities. [144]

Wanting to grow the church and at the same time move ahead faster with indigenization, Kipe and the denominational leadership began to promote a series of goals in 1970. These goals drew once again on the three-self principle that had surfaced more than 20 years earlier. The three primary objectives were: 1) to establish a strong self-governing, self-supporting, and self-propagating church in Africa; 2) to fulfill the Great Commission of Christ by extending the witness of Christ to all unevangelized near and far; and 3) to nurture all the members in the Word of God so that they become mature, soul-winning, and church-supporting members. [145] That Brethren in Christ World Missions was being influenced by the missiological trends of the time is evident in a page from the 1971 Handbook of Missions, entitled “Mission Strategy—Long Range.” A screened copy of the cover of Donald McGavran’s book, Church Growth and Christian Mission, appears in the background behind the title. [146] Coupled with these goals was a 10-year “draw down” of American financial support for the Zambian bishop. [147] The scheme proposed that support from North America for the bishop would decrease by 10 percent each year beginning in 1972. The timing was clearly meant to coincide with a transition from Kipe as bishop to a Zambian bishop.

Critical voices

In spite of the slow but measured progress towards indigenization, some were not happy with the institutional emphases of Brethren in Christ mission work in Zambia or the pace of indigenization. Glenn Schwartz was probably most outspoken in his criticism. He had come to Africa in 1962 and lived and worked in Zambia for nearly a decade. Schwartz argued that institutionalization of mission work ultimately leads to dependency and an unhealthy reliance on external resources—finances, personnel, etc. He was not alone in his thinking. Stan Shewmaker, an American missionary born in Zambia, expressed similar sentiments in his book, Tonga Christianity, published in 1970. [148] Schwartz expressed his thoughts forcefully during his time in Zambia. After serving with the Brethren in Christ in Africa, he returned to the United States and entered Fuller Theological Seminary. His masters’ thesis dealt directly with issues related to Brethren in Christ work in Africa. [149] Whether Schwartz’s criticisms contributed to their thinking or not, Brethren in Christ missionaries and the missions office in North America were obviously doing some self-examination. Their actions and rhetoric from this period reflect an increased desire to indigenize.

Kipe and other Zambian missionaries continued their steady march toward indigenization. Zambian administrative structures gradually changed during the early 1970s, shifting towards greater African involvement and fewer missionaries. The earlier “Zambian Executive Committee,” which fell under the control of the “Executive Board,” was converted to the “Zambian Executive Board,” with the understanding that it had full authority and autonomy.


The trend toward a “diminishing presence” was unsettling for some Zambian Brethren in Christ, so Earl Musser and Dr. Kenneth Hoover travelled from the United States to Africa to explain the American strategy. [150] They clarified the 10-year reduction plan, emphasizing that the American church did not want to support operational expenses. However, he assured the Zambian church that North America would continue to support the church through pastoral training, special projects and recruitment of volunteers.

Sikalongo Mission developments

Although the establishment of Choma Bible Institute infused new life into Sikalongo Mission and brought new people to help, the mission station struggled at times. Sikalongo Boys School had indigenized earlier than any other school, but the absence of steady missionary leadership in the late 1960s and the constant uncertainty about the future of the school undoubtedly left people at Sikalongo somewhat unsettled. Hollands came, but were focused on the Bible Institute. Steve Fisher came, but left fairly soon thereafter. Davidson Mushala’s term as district superintendent expired in April 1971, creating yet another vacuum. Additionally, it appears that financial problems were beginning to undermine the situation at Sikalongo. The 1971 minutes of the Executive Board stated: “It seems the time has come for a study of the future of Sikalongo Mission and its facilities…” A committee was established to study the issue. [151] By October 1971, things were critical enough that the Executive Board wrote:

“Whereas, this committee has been asked to consider the future of Sikalongo Mission, including the Choma Bible Institute, the Primary School, the Hospital and Mission operation in general, and

Whereas, these operations are tied together in the areas of common services,

Whereas, certain Mission operations in the past have been a financial liability, and have not directly contributed to the goals of Church growth, and

Whereas, we feel that the development of the Bible School both in its residential and extension courses deserves high priority for personnel,

Decided to make the following recommendations:

  1. That for the present time the Bible School operation be considered the
    main function of the Mission;
  2. That the Church Executive Committee give early attention to the future
    location of the Bible School;
  3. That for the present time, the Bible School assume responsibility for
    utilities (i.e. water and light) for the various units operating at
    Sikalongo Mission;
  4. That the animal husbandry and extensive gardening projects be discontinued;
  5. That the financial accounts of Sikalongo Mission be closed as of 31st
    December, 1971, and that the resulting asset or liability be the subject
    of Executive Board action;
  6. That the medical programme be considered autonomous in its own right
    including building and maintenance and that it operate within the above
    framework for utilities;
  7. That immediate notice be given to Mission workmen who may become redundant;
  8. That the Study Committee reconvene and make decisions relative to the
    disposition of equipment, vehicles and other viable assets that are
    irrelevant to the operation, and to the allocation of lands;
  9. That the Bible School take responsibility for the Mission phone and post
  10. That the Bishop meet with the heads of all the units to establish a
    Station Committee to ensure the smooth working of the whole programme. “[152]

These actions look drastic, and the situation was undoubtedly exacerbated by the ongoing difficulty of getting government approval to establish a secondary school.

Despite the somewhat unsettling circumstances, people continued to do the work of the church. Frey Mweetwa assumed the pastoral role at Sikalongo Mission Church. The three Sikalongo District deacons—Paul Muleya (Sikalongo Mission), Arthur Kutywayo (Siakongo North and East), and Laban Chipali (West and South)—visited area churches, encouraging lay pastors and church members. Arthur Kutywayo continued evangelistic work at the clinic. Peter Munsaka, although old, continued to provide a stabilizing presence at Sikalongo. And, William Silungwe, who replaced Davidson Mushala as district superintendent, lent his quiet spirit to the mission.

Will there be a Sikalongo Mission school?

The situation with Sikalongo Mission School had been brewing for over some time. Even before independence, the government had begun to show a preference for secondary boarding schools over primary boarding schools. Throughout the 1960s, the Brethren in Christ education secretary and the Education Committee earnestly continued to seek approval to convert Sikalongo Boys School to a secondary boarding school. Responding to government denials, they periodically suggested the idea of becoming a girls’ boarding school. As noted above, this, too, was rejected.

At the April meeting of the Zambian Regional Conference in 1972, delegates were told about the government decision that boarding facilities at Sikalongo Boys School must be closed. The reaction of the conference body was strong disapproval. After all, Sikalongo Boys School was one of the jewels of the Brethren in Christ educational crown. Most of the male Brethren in Christ leaders had studied there; Elijah Mudenda, a member of Kaunda’s independent government, spent six years there; and scores of other students lived and studied on the mission compound. To not have a school at Sikalongo Mission was unthinkable. The conference report stated:

“A deep concern came to Regional Conference over the action of the Ministry of Education in closing the boarding facilities of Sikalongo Upper Primary School. This was seen by some members as hindering the progress of educational affairs around Sikalongo. After a lengthy discussion, it was decided to choose two conference members to serve with our existing Education Committee to carry our concern to the Ministry of Education with a view to getting them to reverse their decision. Those chosen were Mr. Jonathan S. Muleya and Mr. John S. Munsaka.”[153]

Again in September 1972, the Zambian Executive Committee expressed its strong disapproval of the government decision and insisted that the decision be appealed. The decades-old suspicion that Sikalongo might have been slighted by denominational leadership in favor of Macha was addressed head-on in Appendix C:

  1. “The Education Secretary gave a background of how it happened that Sikalongo was among those schools where boarding was closed in the Region. The Government policy of doing away with all boarding schools in the Region was fully explained and circular L/F. 29 dated 25th February, 1970 was read to the members. The Manager’s reply dated 12th March, 1970 to the above-quoted circular was also read.
  2. Extracts from minutes of various meetings such as Local & Regional Councils of Education were also read. The Circular F/29 dated 17th December, 1971 was also read. All members were then convinced that paper work had gone through and that the management’s stand on the issue was always clear with the Ministry and that there was not a time when one school was pushed above the other one by the Management. “[154]

That last clause, “…there was not a time when one school was pushed above the other one by the Management,” is obviously meant as a response to charges of bias in favor of Macha.

Again, at the October meeting, the Executive Board recommended “that we begin re-applying for a secondary school in the Sikalongo area.” In an apparent effort to stave off potential criticism from abroad, the board noted that they did not intend to ask Americans to supply personnel. [155] At the December meeting of the Zambian Executive Committee, Stephen Muleya reluctantly reported that after a series of letters to officials, he was convinced the government was not likely to approve re-opening the primary boarding school. He therefore suggested that the denomination continue to push hard to get permission for a secondary school. This saga of denominational appeals and government denials continued until 1975, when the government reported that plans for increased educational facilities in the Southern Province were on hold. It is likely that this decision was a result of the economic limitations of the government mentioned above.

Sikalongo Clinic

Like the mission school, Sikalongo Clinic experienced increased financial pressure as a result of government cutbacks in assistance. The church did what it could to help during the 1970s, building a fence and providing a bore hole. But the mission board in North America was unable to provide nursing staff at points, and the monthly visits of a doctor from Macha were suspended due to distance and the diminished number of patients. [156] Arthur Kutywayo, who had been functioning as the clinic evangelist, died in December 1976. Manchisi Davidson Munkonka assumed his responsibilities at the clinic.

Three of the old guard pass on

Arthur Kutywayo was one of several people who were intimately connected to Sikalongo Mission. His death in December 1976 left a big gap at the Mission. [157] Two other early Sikalongo pioneers died at nearly the same time. Anna Eyster, headmistress of the Boys School for 16 years, died in 1975. And, Peter Munsaka, long-time mission worker and the first Sikalongo district overseer, died in 1977. The passing of these three icons marked a new stage for Sikalongo. Few of the earliest mission workers remained. Frank Kipe wrote passionately about Peter Munsaka and his impact on Sikalongo Mission and the work of the church in Zambia. [158] Munsaka’s death occurred on a Thursday during Zambia’s General Conference. Out of respect for his contribution and his memory, conference suspended business for the day so people could travel to Sikalongo to offer their sympathies to the family and attend the funeral. [159]

Sikalongo Bible Institute

The Bible Institute provided the brightest light at Sikalongo during the years leading up to 1978. The name was changed from “Choma Bible Institute” to “Sikalongo Bible Institute” in 1975, when it became evident that the school would remain at Sikalongo Mission. [160] Indeed, had it been moved, it is possible that the entire mission station would have dissolved. The infusion of new energy and enthusiasm created by the Bible Institute is evident in the written record. It can be seen in the staff, in their various activities, and in the students who attended and graduated from the school.

The Hollands laid the foundation for the success of the Bible Institute. Fred served as the principal for most of the early years, and he and Grace taught and produced learning materials. Their energies shifted to their Theological Education by Extension (TEE) work after a number of years, and the Hollands’ TEE program seems to have contributed to the excitement of the Bible Institute in the early years. Very early in their tenure, Fred and Grace established learning centers in four remote locations, and expanded the number to nine within several years. [161] The Hollands traveled regularly to the learning centers in order to coach and tutor students. [162]

The Holland’s TEE paradigm has not lasted in the Zambian Brethren in Christ Church. But, ironically, the remarkably similar idea of “distance learning” is now spreading across the Zambian educational landscape.

Fannie Longenecker became a fixture at the Bible Institute after her arrival at Sikalongo. She was the backbone of the Bible Institute for 12 years, serving from 1969-1980, and returning in 1984, 1988-89, and 1991-92. She is fondly remembered even today by former students and many Sikalongo residents. Like Mary Heisey, Longenecker loved music and enjoyed playing her accordion with Bible School students.

Marshall Poe assumed the role of principal in 1974. He continued that role until the Hollands left, when he assumed the responsibilities of the TEE program. The Poes left Sikalongo in 1979. Sampson Mudenda became principal of Sikalongo Bible Institute in 1976 after his return from studies at Messiah College. From that point onward, nearly every principal of the Bible Institute was a Zambian national.

Although SBI has generally averaged about ten students per year across its history, its impact has been immense. The vast majority of today’s pastors and church leaders in Zambia’s Brethren in Christ Church studied at Sikalongo Bible Institute. The list is long: Jonathan Mwaalu, Thuma Hamukangandu, Joseph Sikalima, George Hansumo, Leonard Hamaseele, Moses Munsaka, Hopeday Botani, Charles Muunga, Daniel Njina, and Mudenda Halupepe. The school continues in 2017 with 10 students in attendance, and will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2018.

A new period dawns

The changes at Sikalongo from 1947-1978 were enormous. The mission started as a mostly autonomous outpost managed by a white superintendent who also oversaw a series of outstation schools and churches. By 1978, many of those earlier responsibilities had shifted. Most roles were no longer filled by missionaries but had been indigenized. All of the Brethren in Christ schools were managed by Zambian nationals with Zambian teachers and a genuinely indigenous church was firmly established. Politically, the country went from British colonial rule through independence to stable self-rule. Institutionally, Sikalongo Mission ceased to operate as a farm and no longer had a boys’ boarding school. But, in the place of a boarding school, a successful school for training Brethren in Christ pastors was established and continues to exist.

The next period in Sikalongo’s history begins in 1978 with the installation of William Silungwe as Zambian bishop, and Jonathan Mwaalu as the national overseer. Both men were graduates of Choma Bible Institute. In 1976, Frank Kipe announced that he would not serve another term as bishop of the Zambian church. Elected as bishop-designate in 1976, Silungwe began his tenure as bishop in January 1978. 163[163] The Handbook of Missions noted the importance of this new phase in Zambian Brethren in Christ life: “In Zambia, the year 1978 represents a major step on the road to that Brethren in Christ fellowship becoming a self-propagating body. The consecration of Bishop William Silungwe on January 8 signals an era of new partnership relationships with the North American church.” [164]

The remainder of this history of Sikalongo must be told by Zambians. It will probably take a different form than the first three parts. However, those who know Sikalongo well—especially those who have spent time in the community—understand the beauty of the place and charm of its people. The local Tonga are fond of saying, “If you step foot on this place once, you will have to come back.” My wife and I have found that to be true. Despite its various trials, Sikalongo Mission, its workers, and the surrounding community maintain a passionate desire to serve the immediate region and beyond.



[1] I want to acknowledge the many people who contributed significant advice and information about this period of Sikalongo’s history: Daniel Munombwe, Chief Singani, William Siayula, Jacob Muchimba, Dennis Mweetwa, Stephen Muleya, Ethel Brubaker, George Kibler, Keith and Lucy Ulery, Edith Miller, and Dave Brubaker. I also wish to thank Beth Hostetler Mark for her editorial help and for scanning African executive committee and board minutes, which have been invaluable.

[2] For an account of Steigerwald’s life and death, see S. B. Stoner, “The Life and Death of Bishop Steigerwald,” Evangelical Visitor, January 7, 1929, 12-13.

[3] Henry N. Hostetter, “Foreign Mission Board Report,” in Handbook of Missions Home and Foreign of the Brethren in Christ Church – 1951 (n.p., 1951), 8-10. Note: There are slight variations in wording of the title over the years, but Handbook of Missions will be used for all.

[4] See “Missions Deputation,” Evangelical Visitor, May 3, 1948, 2.; Graybill Wolgemuth and Henry N. Hostetter, “Report of Delegation Visit to Africa and India,” in Handbook of Missions, 1949, 15-34.

[5] David Climenhaga and Dorcas Climenhaga, “David and Dorcas Climenhaga,” in My Story, My Song: Life Stories by Brethren in Christ Missionaries, ed. E. Morris Sider ([Mount Joy, Pa.]: Brethren in Christ World Missions, 1989), 209-22.

[6] For a more detail account of David and Dorcas Climenhaga’s early lives, see Donna F. Wenger, “God’s Way Is The Best Way,” Brethren in Christ History and Life 33, no 3 (December 2010), 456-540. See also: E. Morris Sider, Messiah College: A History (Nappanee, Ind.: Evangel Press, 1984).; Ibid., A Vision for Service: A History of Upland College (Nappanee, IN: Evangel Press, 1976).

[7]Anna R. Engle, John A. Climenhaga, and Leoda A. Buckwalter, There Is No Difference: God Works in Africa and India (Nappanee, IN: E.V. Publishing, 1950). David Climenhaga and Dorcas Climenhaga.

[8] David E. Climenhaga, “Sikalongo Mission General Report, 1948,” in Handbook of Missions, 1949, 57.

[9] “Sikalongo Mission Station General Report, 1951,” in Handbook of Missions, 1952, 103ff.

[10] Isaiah Muleya, interviews with Dwight W. Thomas; David E. Climenhaga, Facebook communications with the author, August 17, 2016. Hereafter, all cited interviews are with the author.

[11] David E. Climenhaga, “Sikalongo Mission General Report, 1948,” in Handbook of Missions, 1949, 57.

[12] Edna E. Lehman, “On the Foreign Field,” Evangelical Visitor, August 7, 1950, 11.

[13] “Days Following the Smoke and Fire,” Evangelical Visitor, April 2, 1951, 11.

[14] Minutes of Executive Board, Brethren in Christ Missions in Africa, Item 6, November 7, 1951. Hereafter, all citations to minutes, unless otherwise indicated, will be to Brethren in Christ Missions in Africa minutes.

[15] David E. Climenhaga, “Sikalongo Mission, General Report, 1952,” in Handbook of Missions, 1953, 44.

[16] Minutes of Executive Board, Brethren in Christ Church in Africa, Article 40, January 1, 1947.

[17] Minutes of Building Committee, January 1, 1949. See also Henry H. Brubaker, “Africa General Report, 1949,” in Handbook of Missions, 1950, 68.

[18] Minutes of African Conference, Item 39, August 8, 1953.

[19] David E. Climenhaga, “Prayer, Praise and Drums,” Evangelical Visitor, June 27, 1949, 7.

[20] Adda E. Taylor, “Sikalongo,” Evangelical Visitor, February 2, 1931, 46.

[21] See photo in Dwight Thomas, “A History of Sikalongo Mission Part 1: Beginning a New Work, 1912-1931,” Brethren in Christ History and Life 39, no. 3 (December 2016), 282.

[22] Arthur M. Jones, African Rhythm (London: International African Institute, 1954).

[23] Esther Mann, “August at Sikalongo,” Evangelical Visitor, November 3, 1941, 9.

[24] Sister of Steleki Mudenda, interview, June 12, 2017.

[25] Climenhaga, “Sikalongo Mission Station General Report – 1951,” in Handbook of Missions, 1952, 103ff.

[26] Annie E. Winger, “Village Visitation in the Sikalongo Mission Area,” Evangelical Visitor, July 23, 1951, 11.

[27] Verna Ginder, “The Passing of Dorothy Lee [Climenhaga],” Evangelical Visitor, December 13, 1945, 10.

[28] Donna F. Wenger, “Three Generations of Third Culture Kids,” Brethren in Christ History and Life 29, no. 3 (December 2006), 255-273; Harriet Sider Bicksler, “The Missionary Kid Experience,” Shalom! A Journal for the Practice of Reconciliatiion, Summer 1998, 2-5.

[29] George Kibler, phone interview, March 30, 2017, phone; Keith Ulery, interview, January 27, 2016; David M. Brubaker, interview, March 27, 2017.

[30] Henry H. Brubaker,”African General Report, 1929,” in Handbook of Mission, 1930, 45.

[31] Minutes of Executive Board, April 19, 20, 1948.

[32] For a thorough historical analysis of Zambia’s move to independence, see Robert I. Rotberg and University Harvard, The Rise of Nationalism in Central Africa: the Making of Malawi and Zambia, 1873-1964 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1971); Jan-Bart Gewald, Marja Hinfelaar, and Giacomo Macola, Living the End of Empire: Politics and Society in Late Colonial Zambia (Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2011).

[33] Rhodesia Federation of African Welfare Societies in Southern Rhodesia, Origin and Development of the African Welfare Movement: Together with the Annual Report of the Federation of African Welfare Societies in Southern Rhodesia for the Year Ended 31st March, 1955 (Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia: Federation of African Welfare Societies in Southern Rhodesia, 1955).

[34] Harry Nkumbula Sources: Giacomo Macola, Liberal Nationalism in Central Africa: A Biography of Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula, 1st ed. (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2010). Goodwin B. Mwangilwa, Harry Mwaanga Nkumbula: A Biography of the Old Lion of Zambia (Lusaka: Multimedia Publications, 1982).

[35] Kenneth Kaunda Sources: Colin M. Morris and Kenneth D. Kaunda, Black Government?: A Discussion between Colin Morris and Kenneth Kaunda (Lusaka, Northern Rhodesia: United Society for Christian Literature, 1960).; Kenneth D. Kaunda, Zambia, Independence and Beyond: The Speeches of Kenneth Kaunda (London: Nelson, 1966).; Kenneth D. Kaunda and Colin M. Morris, A Humanist in Africa: Letters to Colin M. Morris from Kenneth D. Kaunda (Nashville,: Abingdon Press, 1966).;

[36] A partial list of the Northern Rhodesian staff arranged by date of arrival: 1945, Ruth Hunt; 1946, Fannie Longenecker; 1946, Rhoda Lenhert; 1947, David and Dorcas Climenhaga; 1948, Anna Graybill; 1951, Earl and Lois Musser; 1951, Alvan and Ardys Thuma; 1952, Blanche (Pat) and H. Frank Kipe; 1953, A. Graybill and Ethel Brubaker; 1956, Agnes and Robert Lehman; 1958, Dorothy Gish; 1959. George and Rachel Kibler.

[37] Minutes of Joint Session, Delegation and Executive Board, September 29, 1948. The deputation’s purpose was described in: “Missions Deputation,” 2ff.

[38] Melvin L. Hodges, The Indigenous Church (Springfield, MO.: Gospel Publishing House, 1953); H. Frank Kipe, “From Mission to Church : Zambia and Zimbabwe,” Brethren in Christ History and Life 17, no. 2 (August 1994), 145-156.

[39] Henry N. Hostetter, “Foreign Mission Board Report,” Handbook of Missions, 1951, 8-10.

[40] Anon., “Our African Conference,” Evangelical Visitor, July 21, 1952, 11; Minutes of African Conference Minutes 1952, May 28, 1952.

[41] Arthur M. Climenhaga, “Preview of the Jubilee–Northern Rhodesia Field,” Evangelical Visitor, Missions Supplement, June 18, 1956, 1.

[42] Minutes of Executive Board, Item 27.F, September 13, 1952.

[43] Minutes of Executive Board, Item 29, December 31, 1952.

[44] Daniel Munkombwe, interview, January, 2017.

[45] Ibid.; Dennis Mweetwa, interview, January 17, 2017.

[46] Daniel Munkombwe, interview, July 6, 2008.; Daniel C. Munkombwe, The Politics of Influence: An Autobiography by Daniel C. Munkombwe (Lusaka: Fleetwood Publishing Company, 2014).

[47]Daniel Munkombwe , interview, 2008.

[48] In nearly all of my independence-related interviews with Zambian Brethren in Christ, informants expressed this sentiment.

[49] Lazarus Phiri, “The Brethren in Christ Mission in Zambia, 1906-1978: A Historical Study of Western Missionary Leadership Patterns and the Emergence of Tonga Church Leaders” (PhD diss., University of Edinburgh, 2003), xii-xiii.

[50] A. Graybill Brubaker, “Sikalongo Mission,” in Handbook of Missions, 1955, 32-34.

[51] David E. Climenhaga, “Northern Rhodesia Outstations,” in Handbook of Missions, 1954) 77.

[52] Ibid.

[53] A. Graybill Brubaker and Ethel Brubaker, “A. Graybill and Ethel Brubaker,” in My Story, My Song: Life Stories by Brethren in Christ Missionaries, ed. E. Morris Sider ([Mount Joy, Pa.]: Brethren in Christ World Missions, 1989), 209-22.

[54] Agnes R. Lehman and J. Robert Lehman, “J. Robert and Agnes Lehman,” in My Story, My Song: Life Stories by Brethren in Christ Missionaries, ed. E. Morris Sider ([Mount Joy, Pa.]: Brethren in Christ World Missions, 1989), 243-50.

[55] Gladys Sider and Lewis B. Sider, “Lewis and Gladys Sider,” in My Story, My Song: Life Stories by Brethren in Christ Missionaries, ed. E. Morris Sider ([Mount Joy, Pa.]: Brethren in Christ World Missions, 1989), 429-37.; Lewis B. Sider, “Chapter 4 – Sikalongo and Macha,” in Missionary Reminiscences: An Autobiography (Grantham: Author, 1989), 87-94.

[56] George Kibler, interviews, August 2, 2005; January 27, 2016; March 30, 2017.

[57] Keith and Lucy Ulery, interview, January 27, 2016.

[58] Minutes of African Conference, Item 1.F, May 10, 1955.

[59] Photograph caption, “Sikalongo School Building…” Evangelical Visitor, January 30, 1956, 11.

[60] A. Graybill Brubaker, “The Glory and Grind of a Missionary Day,” Evangelical Visitor, June 4, 1956, 7.

[61] Ibid.; “General Report for Sikalongo Mission,” in Handbook of Missions, 1956, 71ff.

[62] Minutes of Executive Board, Item 16, May 2, 1956.

[63] See Henry N. Hostetter, “The Muleyas Coming to America,” Evangelical Visitor, January 30, 1956, 10; J. Robert Lehman, “Sikalongo Mission,” in Handbook of Missions 1957, 23ff.

[64] Anon., “The Muleyas Arrive,” Evangelical Visitor, March 26, 1956, 7.

[65] Others who came to Messiah College included Sampson Mudenda, Davison Mushala, and Jonathan Mwalu,

[66] Jesse F. Lady, “Wanezi Bible School Advanced Course Begun,” Evangelical Visitor, March 26, 1956, 8.

[67] Minutes of Executive Board, February 6, 1957.

[68] Brubaker, “General Report for Sikalongo Mission, 1956,” 71.

[69] J. Robert Lehman, “Sikalongo Mission,” Handbook of Missions, 1957, 23ff.

[70] Minutes of Northern Rhodesia Executive Committee, Item 9, June 9, 1960.

[71] Anna Kettering, “Teacher Arthur Kutywayo Marries,” Evangelical Visitor, August 15, 1955, 9.

[72] Elizabeth Colson, The Social Consequences of Resettlement; the Impact of the Kariba Resettlement Upon the Gwembe Tonga (Manchester, England. Published on behalf of the Institute for African Studies University of Zambia by Manchester University Press, 1971).

[73] Arthur M. Climenhaga, “Preview of the Jubilee – Northern Rhodesia Field,” Evangelical Visitor, Missions Supplement: Look on the Fields, June 18, 1956, 1.

[74] Minutes of Executive Board, Item.29-B, August 16, 1955.

[75] Minutes of Missionary Conference, Article 4, December 7, 1955.

[76] Arthur M. Climenhaga, “The Brethren in Christ Church in Rhodesia: How Far… Self-Propagating? Self-Supporting? Self-Governing?,” Evangelical Visitor, Missions Supplement: Look On The Fields, June, 1955, 1-2.

[77] J. Robert Lehman, “Sikalongo Mission,” in Handbook of Missions, 1959, 80.

[78] Lewis B. Sider and Kathryn Hossler, “Sikalongo Mission,” in Handbook of Missions, 1959, 18-19.

[79] Minutes of Executive Board, January 29, 1958.

[80] George Kibler, phone interview, March 30, 2017.

[81] Lewis B. Sider, “Headmaster at Sikalongo Mission,” Evangelical Visitor, December 15, 1958, 5-7.

[82] Ibid., 6.

[83] Minutes of Executive Board, February 10, 1959.

[84] Ibid., Items 13-14.

[85] Minutes of Executive Board, December 8, 1960.

[86] George Kibler, “Sikalongo Mission,” in Handbook of Missions, 1962, 58.

[87] Minutes of Executive Board, January 5, 1957.

[88] Rachel M. Kibler, “Consecration of New Bishop,” Evangelical Visitor, March 18, 1963, 6-7.

[89] Earl Musser and Lois Musser, “With Praying Hearts We Decided to Try,” Evangelical Visitor, March 4, 1963, 6; Rachel Kibler, “Consecration of New Bishop.”

[90] Conversations and correspondence with David M. Brubaker have been especially helpful in understanding the role of the government and the nature of church decisions in Northern Rhodesia relative to education.

[91] Minutes of Executive Board, Item 4, January 1, 1959.

[92] This idea surfaces repeatedly in minutes and is confirmed by my conversations with David M. Brubaker.

[93]Minutes of Executive Board, Item 6, December 28, 1959; Minutes of Executive Board, Item 45, May 24, 1960.

[94] Minutes of Executive Board, Item 18, September 4, 1961.

[95] H. Frank Kipe and Blanche Kipe, “Answers to Prayer,” Evangelical Visitor, July 9, 1962, 9.

[96] Henry N. Hostetter, “Memoranda – African Missions Tour,” Evangelical Visitor, January 9, 1961, 10.

[97] Isaiah Muleya, Chief Singani, and Headman Siyayula, interviews.

[98] Hostetter, “Memoranda – African Missions Tour,” 10.

[99] Minutes of Executive Board, Item 33, May 7, 1962.

[100] Minutes of Executive Board, Item 42, December 16, 1963.

[101] Minutes of Executive Board, Item 42, July 16, 1963.

[102] “Statistical Report on Medical Work in Africa,” in Handbook of Missions, 1960, 57.

[103] Minutes of Executive Board, Item 6, February 10, 1959.

[104] Minutes of Missionary Conference, Item 35, May 20, 1959.

[105] Minutes of Missionary Conference, Item 43, May 2, 1961; Minutes of Missionary Conference, Item 44, May 2, 1961; Minutes of Missionary Conference, Item 47, September 4, 1961.

[106] Anon, “Tribute to Yotham Muleya,” Evangelical Visitor, December 28, 1959, 4-5; A. Graybill Brubaker, “Funeral Sermon for Yotham Muleya,” Evangelical Visitor, February 22, 1960, 10.

[107] Yotham Muleya to Anna Graybill, December 1959, in Evangelical Visitor, February 22, 1960, 10.

[108] The following books are all by Harold Macmillan, Winds of Change, 1914-1939 (New York: Harper & Row, 1966). The Blast of War, 1939-1945 (New York: Harper & Row, 1968). Tides of Fortune, 1945-1955, vol. 3 (London: Macmillan, 1969). Riding the Storm, 1956-1959 (London: Macmillan, 1971). Pointing the Way, 1959-1961 (London: MacMillan, 1972). At the End of the Day, 1961-1963, (London: Macmillan, 1973).

[109] Minutes of the Executive Board, Item 27.5, September 13, 1952; Minutes of Executive Board, Brethren in Christ Church in Africa, A Letter from Teachers (NORATA), March 5, 1959.

[110] Sampson Mudenda, “The Prophetic Christian and Local and National Politics,” Evangelical Visitor, October 1, 1962, 8-9.

[111] “Cover,” Evangelical Visitor, June 22, 1964.

[112] Henry N. Hostetter, “From the Executive Secretary,” in Handbook of Missions, 1965, 7.

[113] J. Earl Musser, “Zambia,” in Handbook of Missions, 1965, 24.

[114] “Northern Rhodesian Regional Conference Meets,” Evangelical Visitor, June 22, 1964, 7.

[115] Lois Musser, “The Zambian Independence Celebrations — as I Saw Them,” Evangelical Visitor, December 7, 1964, 5-6.

[116] John N. Hostetter, “Zambia,” Evangelical Visitor, February 15, 1965, 2.

[117] Henry H. Brubaker, “Macha Church, Zambia, Africa,” Evangelical Visitor, December 7, 1964, 3.

[118] Sampson Mudenda, “The Unfinished Task,” Evangelical Visitor, March 2, 1964, 6.

[119] “News Notes,” Evangelical Visitor, May 25, 1964, 6-7; J. Earl Musser, “New District Superintendent for Sikalongo District,” Evangelical Visitor, September 14, 1964, 6.

[120] Minutes of Executive Board, Item 35, January 14, 1963; Minutes of Executove Board, Item 42, July 16, 1963; Keith Ulery and Lucy Ulery, “News Notes — Sikalongo Mission,” Evangelical Visitor, February 15, 1965, 9.

[121] Minutes of General Conference in Africa, Appendix, August 30, 1964.

[122] Minutes of Executive Board, Item 12, October 26, 1965.

[123] Lamar F. Fretz, “Good News in Tonga,” Evangelical Visitor, September 28, 1964, 6; George Kibler and Rachel M. Kibler, “The New Choma Bookstore,” Evangelical Visitor, January 3, 1966, 9.

[124] Editor, “Macha Hospital Expansion,” Evangelical Visitor, December 6, 1965, 7.

[125] David M. Brubaker, correspondence and conversations with the author, 2016 and 2017.

[126] Peter Desmond Snelson, Educational Development in Northern Rhodesia, 1883-1945, 2nd ed. (Lusaka, Zambia: Kenneth Kaunda Foundation, 1985); Michael J. Kelly, The Origins and Development of Education in Zambia: From Pre-Colonial Times to 1996 (Lusaka, Zambia: Image Publishers, 1999); M. J. Kelly, The Financing of Education in Zambia (Paris: International Institute for Educational Planning, 1991); M. J. Kelly, Primary Education in a Heavily Indebted Poor Country: The Case of Zambia in the 1990s (Lusaka: s.n., 1999); Brendan Patrick Carmody, The Evolution of Education in Zambia (Lusaka, Zambia: Bookworld Publishers, 2004); Brendan Patrick Carmody, Religion and Education in Zambia (Ndola, Zambia: Mission Press, 2004).

[127] Kelly, The Financing of Education in Zambia, 8; Ibid., Primary Education in a Heavily Indebted Poor Country.

[128] David M. Brubaker, “Education Secretary (Nahumba Mission),” in Handbook of Missions, 1966, 70.

[129] For a biography of Frey Mweetwa, see Frey Sinankupa Chizongo Mweetwa, “The Autobiography of Frey Sinankupa Chizongo Mweetwa,” Brethren in Christ History and Life 31, no. 3 (December 2008), 397-425.

[130] Minutes of Executive Board, Appendix, Item 11, June 14, 1966; J. Earl Musser, “Teaching Them to Observe All Things,” Evangelical Visitor, January 16, 1967, 10.

[131] Minutes of General Conference in Africa, Item 6, August 26, 1966.

[132] “Zambia,” in Handbook of Missions, 1968, 22-23.

[133] The story of Fred and Grace Holland can be found in: Fred Holland and Grace Holland, “Fred and Grace Holland,” in My Story, My Song: Life Stories by Brethren in Christ Missionaries, ed. E. Morris Sider ([Mount Joy, Pa.]: Brethren in Christ World Missions, 1989), 209-22. Their TEE work is well-documented in the Evangelical Visitor, in Handbooks of Missions, and in mission minutes. See, for example: Minutes of Theological College Administrative Committee in Minutes of Executive Board, Appendix, Item 12, June 14, 1966. Minutes of Executive Board, Item 31, April 1, 1971. Minutes of Executive Committee, Zambia, Item 12, August 20, 1970. See also: Grace Herr Holland, “Planting Seeds: A Missionary Story,” Brethren in Christ History and Life 39, no. 2 (August 2016), 1-213.

[134] Fred Holland, “From Here and There: Zambia Bible School Gets Going,” Evangelical Visitor, April 8, 1968, 6; Grace Holland, “First Graduation–Choma Bible Institute,” Evangelical Visitor, April 10, 1970, 13.

[135] Anon, “Choma Bible Institute Completes Second Year,” in Handbook of Missions, 1970), 17.

[136] Minutes of General Conference in Africa, Article 11.2, August 26, 1966.

[137] Minutes of Executive Board, Item 19, October 1, 1968.

[138] Minutes of Zambia Regional Conference, Appendix B, Item 13, April 19, 1972.

[139] Minutes of General Conference in Africa, Article 12, Item 1.C , August 26, 1966.

[140] Ibid., Article 12, Item 2.D, August 26, 1966.

[141] “By All Means Some,” in Handbook of Missions, 1970, 19.

[142] Mary E. Heisey, “Mary E. Heisey,” in My Story, My Song: Life Stories by Brethren in Christ Missionaries, ed. E. Morris Sider ([Mount Joy, Pa.]: Brethren in Christ World Missions, 1989), 209-22.

[143] Stephen Muleya, interview, Feburary 11, 2010. Sarah Muleya and Ruth Muleya, interview June 25, 2008; Daniel Munkombwe interview.

[144] Minutes of General Conference in Africa, Article 15, Item 2, August 25, 1967.

[145] Zambian Brethren in Christ Church, “Objectives and Goals–Brethren in Christ Church in Africa (as Presented to the General Conference, 1970),” (1971).

[146] “Mission Strategy — Long Range,” in Handbook of Missions, 1971, 26.

[147] Minutes of Executive Committee, Item 5, March 14, 1970.

[148] Stan Shewmaker, Tonga Christianity (South Pasadena, CA: William Carey Library, 1970).

[149] Glenn J. Schwartz, “Crucial Issues of the Brethren in Christ Church in Zambia” (masters thesis, Fuller Theological Seminary, 1974). Schwartz’s subsequent work has continued to explore issues related to institutionalized missions and dependency syndrome. See, for example, Glenn Schwartz, “Is There a Cure for Dependency among Mission-Established Churches?,” World Mission Associates, n.d.; Glenn J Schwartz, “When Charity Destroys Dignity and Sustainability,” in Improving Aid Effectiveness in Global Health, ed. Elvira Beracochea (New York: Springer, 2015).

[150] Minutes of Zambian Executive Committee, Item.5, November 30, 1973; Minutes of Zambian Executive Board, Item.1, September 9, 1974.

[151] Minutes of Executive Board,, Item 31, April 1, 1971.

[152] Minutes of Executive Board, Appendix J, October 12, 1971.

[153] Minutes of Zambia Regional Conference, Appendix B, Item 13, April 19, 1972.

[154] Minutes of Zambia Regional Conference, Appendix C, Item 3.2, September 8, 1972.

[155] Minutes of Executive Board, Appendix A, Item 21, October 12, 1972.

[156] Minutes of Executive Board Zambian Quorum, Item 3, June 21, 1973.

[157] Editor, “Arthur Kutywayo,” Evangelical Visitor, February 25, 1977, 15.

[158] H. Frank Kipe, “We Stood Together: A Memorial to Peter Munsaka,” Evangelical Visitor, October, 1977, 8, 10.

[159] Minutes of Zambian General Conference, Funeral of Reverend Peter Munsaka, August 17, 1977.

[160] Minutes of Zambian Executive Board, Item 9, June 5, 1975.

[161] Eleanor Poe, “T.E.E. In Africa,” Evangelical Visitor, June 10, 1975, 8-9.

[162] Fred Holland and Grace Holland, “Teachers on Wheels,” Evangelical Visitor, November 10, 1971, 8-11.

[163] H. Frank Kipe, “Church in Zambia Elects Bishop-Designate,” Evangelical Visitor, September 10, 1976, 8-9.

[164] “Rapid Growth of African Mission Program,” in Handbook of Missions, 1978, 29.

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