Wednesday, September 15, 2010

History

The Second group of missioneries into Nyasaland after Dr.David Lingstone was Dr.Laws who set upLivingstonia mission sponsered by the Free Church of Scotland and Rev Henderson who set up mission in Blantyre now called H.H.I sponsered by the Church of Scotland. The Centrla region of Nyasaland was not explored by missionary work. The two missioneries from HHI and Livingstoniarequested the Dutch Reformed in Cape Town to come to Nyasaland and start missionary work in the Central region.


Two Church ministers from the Dutch Reformed Church(DRC) in South Africa, the Rev.A.C. Murray and T.C.B.Vlok arrived in Nyasaland and established a mission station in the Achewa tribal land of Chief Chiwere in Dowa district on 28November,1889.


Before starting their work, the two DRC ministers approached Chief Chiwere to allow them establish mission station.With some apprehensive feelings the Achewa chief permitted them to start the mission station just a few kilometres north of his headquarters.

Three well known sites were Katawa,Msungudzi and Kaso. They arrived at river Msungudzi near chief Chiwere's headquarters.The two ministers decided to put their tent near a river called Katawa. The river was called Katawa because there were alot of birds called Katawa thet were nesting and sheltering their young ones in the M'bawa trees in the area.

Kaso Hill, was a beautful site on the western part of Mvera.In the course of time,the two Church ministers decided that Kaso hill was a suitable site for translating the Holy Bible from Hebrew and Greek languages into Chichewa

When they were settled at Katawa, Rev.A.C. Murray and T.C.B Vlok preached their first holy message from Acts 17:23 to the first group og prospective christians.It is believed that the mission is called Mvera from a folk story that women in the area found the soil very suitable for pottery.In Chichewa language when one says"Dothi Lonvera," it means that the soil is good for pottery. Other people say that Mvera is translated from English word Listen.

Whenever the two DRC ministers preached to the local, they all listened to them; since the people listened to the word of God then they were described as Anthu Omvera" people who listened.

In 1912 the mission moved to Nkhoma where it is now as the headquarters of all the mission centres in the central region. The first Christians who
frequently attended the services were Sara Nabanda, Chimchere Tsilizani, Kapolo Gulani and Namoni Katengeza.


The first Christians to be trained as teachers, evangelists and then church ministers were Rev Andreya Namkumba andRev Namoni Katengeza. The two were ordained as Church ministers in 1925. Although they were fully qualified as church ministers they worked under a white DRC Church minister. This was why Rev Andrea NamkumbaRev Katengezaworked under Rev Loni Murray, cousin to Rev A.C.Murray at Malembo congregation near cape Maclear. Rev Namoni Katengeza worked under William Murray at Mvera.


In 1932, however, the DRC missioneries decided that local ministers should head their own congregations.
The first Malawian to do that work was Rev.Namoni Katengeza who was posted to Machetche congregation a few kilometres west of Mponela.Rev Katengeza performed his work as a church minister extremely well.Following that succcess many Malawian ministers were given their own congregations. As church expanded, new mission stations were established at Kongwe,Livulezi,Nkhoma,Malembo,Mphunzi to mention just a few.

In 1962, the DRC decided to handle over all its activities to the indigenous people of Malawi to run their own church affairs.This very important function
took place at Dzenza mission station, where all local ministers and missioneries came together to witness this occassion.The mother church in South Africa sent a very powerful delegation led by P.S.Smit who was then mission Secretary of the Dutch Reformed Church to perform the handing in over ceremony.

Rev G.F.Hugo who was then Mission Superitendant handed over the keys to the first young and dynamic church minister. Rev. Killion Mgawi who became the first Malawian General Secretary of Nkhoma Synod.

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