“Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more” (Luke 12:48).
Pastor Kabwe Kabwe (picture below) of Grace Reformed Baptist Church, Ndola, Zambia, and I were in Barberton, South Africa, last weekend preaching at the African Pastors Conference (formerly, the Evangelical Press Conference). We must have had slightly over 100 pastors and church leaders present, largely from the area around Barberton and from Swaziland. The theme of the conference was “Marks of a Healthy Church”. Pastor Kabwe handled the need to ensure regenerate membership, faithfulness to church discipline, a biblically qualified and working leadership, and a commitment to the work of missions. I handled the need to ensure biblically regulated worship, commitment to biblical preaching, and the need to ensure biblical dispute resolution. I also presented a biographical sketch on the life of William Carey, “the father of modern missions”.
The chief organizer of this conference is Karl Peterson (seen below with his wife, Glynn), an American missionary living and ministering in Barberton. He is a very committed conference organizer and is also involved in organizing the annual FIEL Conference in Nampula, Mozambique, together with Dr Charles Woodrow. Erroll Hulse, who is part of the organizing team of all the African Pastors Conferences, also came down from the UK to lend his support to this conference. His indefatigable labours in ensuring that Publishers give a most generous discount on books that are sold at these conferences ensures that pastors and church leaders go back home with these books to help them in their ministry. Without this discount, most of the pastors who attend these conferences would only wistfully watch these priceless ministry tools on the book tables because many of them are too poor to purchase them at their real market value.
These African Pastors Conferences are growing both in attendance and in number. About seven of them were held last January all over South Africa, where Pastors Choolwe Mwetwa and Raymond Zulu were the main preachers. Two more were held in Botswana and Zimbabwe last year, where Pastors Ronald Kalifungwa and Isaac Makashinyi were among the main preachers. There are plans to start another one in Swaziland soon. Enquiries have also been received from Tanzania. We need to pray for these conferences. The organizers would like to maximize on—though not limit themselves to—the use of Zambian pastors. So, we have a very heavy responsibility on our hands! Remember the words above: “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more” (Luke 12:48). These conferences are a rare opportunity to introduce biblical Christianity to the many African pastors who are easy prey to false doctrines simply because of ignorance. I am grateful to God for the opportunity to participate in them and I gladly commend them to you for your prayer support.