Dutch Reformed Church: Zimuto Mission

Dutch Reformed Church

Zimuto Mission

African evangelist from the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) first entered the area of what would become Zimuto Mission in the 1870-80’s, but it was the Berlin Missionary Society (BMS) that opened Zimuto Mission in 1904, 15-20 km north of Fort Victoria (Masvingo). BMS transferred control of Zimuto to the DRC in 1907.

The first DRC missionary, Rev. G. S. Murray, was sent to the mission in 1907 and did a lot of evangelism in the area. Educational and medical work was started soon after the mission opened. In 1956 a secondary school was opened with the aim of offering preparatory training for entering the Higher Primary Teacher Training Course, an advanced nursing course, or a course for African ministers. The Margaretha Hugo School for the Blind (Copata) was moved from Chivi to the Zimuto Mission farm in 1938 as a sister institution.

Along with DRC’s other missions in Southern Rhodesia, Zimuto Mission was transferred to the local control of the African Reformed Church – later renamed Reformed Church in Zimbabwe (RCZ) – in 1977.

Today Zimuto is also one of the RCZ’ s largest mission stations. It has a conventional primary school, a primary school for the blind, a high school, a secondary school for the blind, a clinic and workshops for basketry and chalk making. Zimuto High School has students from Form 1 through “A” level and more than 50 teaching staff. Zimuto Clinic has 6 beds and serves the majority of the people in the Zimuto area. It averages 6 deliveries a month.

References

Contributors
  • Mark Loomis

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The Salvation Army: Howard Institute

The Salvation Army

Howard Institute

In 1923, Major James Barker and Captain Leonard Kirby of The Salvation Army moved the education facility that was at Pearson Farm to Nyachuru in the Chiweshe Communal lands, approximately 80km north of Salisbury (Harare). The new mission was built on 105 acres granted by the British South Africa Company and named Howard Institute after T. Henry Howard, the Salvation Army’s second Chief of Staff, who died in 1923.

Howard Institute would become the Salvation Army’s primary education center in Southern Rhodesia, with a “Practicing School” (where student teachers could practice in a class room), a combined Central Primary School with boarding section and theological training school for Salvation Army Officers, teacher training (established 1933 by Captain Thomas Lewis) and a nurses training school (begun 1939). By 1928, Howard had 48 students. Secondary education was added as of the 1960’s. Howard Hospital was opened 1928.

Eva Burrows, future General of the Salvation Army (as of 1986), was appointed an officer teacher at Howard Institute beginning 1952. During her 14 years at Howard, Burrows focused on the training of teachers to serve in the network of Salvation Army schools throughout Southern Rhodesia. She was promoted to Head of the Teachers’ College and then Vice-Principal of Howard Institute, before leaving to become Principal at Usher Institute in 1966/1967.

Howard Institute currently consists of Howard High School, with approximately 800 students, and Howard Hospital.

Facilities

References

Contributors
  • Mark Loomis

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Roman Catholic Church: Apostolic Vicariate of Shire

Roman Catholic Church

Apostolic Vicariate of Shire

 

The Vicariate Apostolic of Shiré was an Apostolic vicariate located in Nyasaland Protectorate, Africa.

On 15 April 1908, Pope Pius X erected the prefecture into a vicariate Apostolic with Mgr Auguste Prezeau (1871-1909) of the Missionaries of the Company of Mary (Montfort Missionaries) as the first vicar.

On 4 May 1910, Mgr Louis Joseph Marie Auneau (1876-1959) received from Rome the notification of his elevation to the dignity of Apostolic vicariate. Mgr Auneau was consecrated at Chilubula, Northern Rhodesia, by Mgr Dupont of the Society of Missionaries of Africa (Missionari d’ Africa /White Fathers), 1 November 1910.

On 15 May 1952, the Apostolic Vicariate of Shiré was renamed as the Apostolic Vicariate of Blantyre. In 1959 it was promoted as the Archdiocese of Blantyre.

Postcards

References

The Salvation Army: Bradley Institute

The Salvation Army

Bradley Institute

The Bradley Institute was founded in 1926 by Major James and Captain Bennett of the Salvation Army. It is located near the village of Madziwa, Mashonaland Central Province, about 100 km northwest of Salisbury (Harare) and 32 km north of Shamva. A central boarding school was soon opened for boys; girls were accepted later.

Bradley has had an acute water problem from its very inception that has threatened closure many times over the years. Even after a dam was built for the school, the water was muddy. During the tenure of Lt Col Gaughey Gauntlett, 1953 – 1962, the school was able to drill deep wells to produce a supply of water. Gaughey also arranged for building water storage tanks, which have been important as the water table sank. Nonetheless, Bradley was closed 1964 – 1966 due to severe water shortage.

In addition to Lt Col Gauntlett, other missionaries at Bradley have included Captain Jean Wylie (as of 1948 – 1949); Major Margretta Nelson (Headmistress as of 1954-1955, during which time the institute consisted of a boarding school for 200 boys); and following departure of Gauntlett in 1964, Major Hafford, who was soon replaced by Captain William Evans.

Bradley Institute was closed in 1976 during the Bush War in Rhodesia by authorities who feared the school would be a breeding ground for “terrorist.” At time of closure, the school was a primary boarding school teaching from Standard 4 to Standard 6. In addition to basic academics, the school also taught building, carpentry and agriculture. Bradley reopened in 1980 as a mixed boarding school and upgraded to a secondary school, Form 1 to Form 4 (“O” level). Captain Brian Knightley (with his wife Dorothy and daughter Helen) was Superintendent as of 1981 – 1984. During his tenure, enrollment increased from 220 to 320.

The mission currently consists of the Bradley Institute Secondary school.

References

Contributors
  • Mark Loomis

The Salvation Army: Usher Institute

The Salvation Army

Usher Institute

The Usher Institute was established by the Salvation Army at Leighwoods farm near Figtree, Southern Rhodesia in 1933 by then Staff Captain Salhus and his wife, but has its origins in the work of pioneer Salvationist James Henry Usher and his wife Jessie who informally began teaching Africans living in the area starting in 1906. The school was later named Usher Institute in their honor.

The first class in 1933 consisted of five boys and one girl. By 1935, enrollment had risen to thirty-four. A new classroom block was opened in 1939 with an enrolment of 101 students. Boys were taught “practical subjects” such as Metal work, Gardening, animal husbandry and carpentry while the girls learned needlework, cookery, child line and domestic sciences. Captain and Mrs. Morton came to Usher Institute in the mid-1950’s, establishing a post standard six course in Domestic Sciences in 1956. Major Brigadier Lavinia Benson later started the first Boys Secondary School. Between 1966 and 1970, Usher was under the leadership of Eva Burrows, who would go on to become the 13th General of the Salvation Army (1986 – 1993). It appears that during her tenure, Usher became a secondary boarding school for girls only.

Usher Institute witnessed the tragic murder of two women Salvation Army missionaries, Charon F. Swindells (age 25) and Diane B. Thompson (age 28), by guerrilla fighters on June 7, 1978 during the Bush War. Two other missionaries were injured. Their deaths led to the school’s closure and the Salvation Army withdrawing from the World Council of Churches (which supported the rebels’ cause against the Rhodesian government). As of its closure, Usher had 267 secondary boarding students and 260 primary students, of whom 60 were boarders. The school reopened March 1980 with 240 students.

The school is presently known as Usher Girls High School or Usher Secondary School.

References

Contributors
  • Mark Loomis

Dutch Reformed Church: Chibi Mission

Dutch Reformed Church

Chibi Mission

The Berlin Missionary Society (BMS) established Chibi Mission near Chief Madhangove’s stronghold at Nyaningwe Hill (currently in Chivi District, Masvingo Province, Zimbabwe) in 1894 under the supervision of Reverend Diedricks. The mission was met with resistance from the local inhabitants, the Chivi people, and by 1907, only three “kraal schools” (outstation schools) had been established. Faced with lack of success, BMS made the decision to abandon Chibi along with its other missions in the territory in 1907, and transfer them to the control of the Dutch Reformed Church (DRC).

DRC nearly closed Chibi Mission due to lack of a “European” missionary willing to serve at the station. It was saved from closure by an African evangelist, Joseph Mboweni, who continued run the mission until the arrival of Reverend Hendrik C. Hugo, his wife, Margaretha, and their two-year old daughter in 1911. The mission grew under Rev. Hugo’s leadership, including a significant increase in the number of kraal schools from 3 to over 58 by 1923. A women’s association created by Mrs. A.A. Louw called “Sungano Yamadzimai” was organized at Chibi in 1935.

Along with DRC’s other missions in Southern Rhodesia, Chibi was transferred to the local control of the African Reformed Church – later renamed Reformed Church in Zimbabwe (RCZ) – in 1977. Today, the mission consists of Chibi High School and the Chibi Mission Clinic.

Facilities

  • Chibi High School
  • Chibi Mission Clinic

References

  • The Dutch Reformed Church in the Victoria Circle: Chibi Circuit, Mashonaland, 1874-1956 – Gerald Chikozho Mazarire
Contributors
  • Mark Loomis

MABUKU

MABUKU

The Dutch Reformed Church ran a literature book printing programme with a very successful book distribution network throughout Rhodesia. Part of this network was the book stores named MABUKU (meaning books) which were found through all major cities and towns.

Reference

  • I won’t call you sir!: black journalist’s encounters in white-ruled Rhodesia –Ezekiel C. Makunike 

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Andries Adriaan Louw

Andries Adriaan Louw

1862 – 1956

Andries Adriaan (Andrew) Louw, a pioneering Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) missionary, was born February 26, 1862 in Fauresmith, South Africa. He was the eldest son of Rev. A.A. Louw, the first minister of the DRC church in Fauresmith, and Jemima Murray, and nephew of Andrew Murray. Louw was forced to discontinue studies at university due to poor health. He then worked on a sheep farm for five years before answering the call from the DRC mission committee to become a missionary in Mashonaland (present day Zimbabwe).

In 1891, with the help of Black evangelists, he founded Morgenster Mission, DRC’s first mission in Mashonaland. With the help of his wife Cinie (Malan), he is credited with translating the Bible into Karanga. He also started the first theological courses for evangelists, which later developed into a theological seminary. In recognition of his services, he was ordained a minister of the DRC in 1919, even though he had never completed theological studies.

He was awarded the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 1954. Rev. Louw died August 12, 1956 at Morgenster, Southern Rhodesia.

Postcards

References

Reformed Church in Zimbabwe

Reformed Church in Zimbabwe

Masvingo

The beginnings of the indigenous Reformed Church in Zimbabwe (RCZ) date back to the founding of a “Synod for the Shona Reformed Church” in 1952 with an initial 20,0000 communicant members. The name was later changed to “African Reformed Church (AFC).”

The Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) withdrew the majority of its missionary staff from Southern Rhodesia in the late 1970’s because of security concerns during the “War of Liberation”/”Bush war.” On 4 May 1977, after the signing of a Deed of Agreement, all the DRC’s mission work and properties were officially handed over to ARC, which had grown into a full-fledged autonomous indigenous church.

The name was changed to the “Reformed Church in Zimbabwe” following Zimbabwean independence in April 1980. Today the RCZ consists of 18 presbyteries, more than 49 congregations and approximately 100,000 communicants.

References

Contributors
  • James Gavin
  • Mark Loomis

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Dutch Reformed Church: Morgenster Mission

Dutch Reformed Church

Morgenster Mission

Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) missionary, Andries Adriaan Louw, established DRC’s first mission station in Southern Rhodesia at Morgenster in 1891. Despite poor health and not yet being ordained, Louw was the only one to answer the call for missionaries by Reverend S.P. Helm following Helm’s exploratory trip to Mashonaland the prior year.

Louw set off by ox-cart in April 1891 accompanied by seven Sotho-speaking African evangelists. After a laborious journey of several months, they reached Chief Mugabe’s mountain near the Great Zimbabwe ruins. With the Chief’s permission, a mission was established on 9 September 1891 about 35 km from Fort Victoria (Masvingo).

The mission was named Morgenster (meaning morning or day star) after the house Louw grew up in his hometown of Paarl, Cape Colony. The mission was granted 6000 acres the following year by Dr. Jameson, the British South Africa Company’s administrator of the territory.

Louw’s wife, Cinie, later joined him and they began their ministering among the Karanga. Five years later, the first two converts were baptized. The work grew rapidly and within ten years of their arrival, in 1901, the first outstation (prayer house), Pamushana, was established. The first presbytery meeting of the Church in Mashonaland was held in 1918.

A mission school was started in 1892. A school for evangelists was begun in 1925 with Reverend Henry Murray (Sr) as the first lecturer. A seminary was established in 1936.
The first African pastor, Rev. Ezra Shumba, was trained and admitted to the ministry in the late 1930s. As of 1936, the mission already employed one thousand school teachers, who were required not only to educate children, but also to spread the Gospel.

By 1948, schools for girls, the deaf and dumb, and another for the blind, had also been established. A printing press was installed at Morgenster to enable the Church to provide mission literature in the vernacular language.

DRC began one of the earliest medical missions in the territory when it opened a hospital at Morgenster in 1894 with the arrival of medical missionary Dr. John T. Helm. Dr. Helm also ministered to lepers, starting a voluntary leper settlement at Morgenster in 1899. By 1912, the number of leper patients had grown to 40. In 1913, the government removed the lepers to a farm in the neighboring Native Reserve.

Dr. M. H. Steyn arrived at Morgenster in 1924. Under his supervision, the John Helm Memorial hospital (1930) and Cinie Louw Memorial hospital (1934) were established. In recognition of his many years of service, Dr. Steyn was awarded the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1951.

Morgenster Mission was handed over to local control on 4 May 1977, which at that time consisted of the Teachers College, schools, hospitals, Theological College, printing press, Mabuku (department of church bookshops), Munyai Washe (the Christian church magazine), Penya (the evangelism outreach program) and farm.

Reference

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