Methodist Episcopal Church: Mrewa Mission
Methodist Episcopal Church
Mrewa (“Murewa”) Mission was established by Methodist Episcopal Church (MEC) missionary and medical doctor Samuel Gurney in 1909. It is located in the Murewa District of Zimbabwe (formerly Southern Rhodesia), approximately 140 miles from MEC’s initial base at Old Umtali (Old Mutare).
Dr. Gurney took possession of an abandoned trader’s post strategically located less than a mile from the Government center where the Native Commissioner resided. He faced “the persistent refusal of the local Native Chief to have a Christian Mission within his domain, and apathy and disdain of early white settlers” – yet, working only with assistance of “native helpers,” he persevered. The existing “pole and mud buildings” were improved and he carried on missionary and medical work. Dr. Gurney left Mrewa in 1915 to establish a new center at Mtoko.
In 1919, Miss Emma D. Nourse and Miss. Sadie Rexrode with the Methodist Women’s Foreign Missionary Society (WFMS) were appointed to Mrewa and opened up work for girls. Permanent brick structures were completed for the boys and girls boarding departments in 1926. As of 1924, Mrewa Mission had eight missionaries, one ordained native minister and 65 native pastor-teachers
Other missionaries serving at Mrewa over the years include: E. H Greeley; H. N. Howard; T. A. O’Farrell (7 years); H. I James and E. L. Sells (1929-32); Miss Mulilkin (appointed 1922); and Miss E. A. Hess (as of 1923); C.E Fuller and Mr. and Mrs. Murphree.
Murewa Mission Center (Murewa Methodist Center) presently consists of a church, primary and secondary schools, and boys and girl’s hostels (boarding facilities). It is also headquarters for the Superintendent of the Methodist Murewa District.
- History of Methodist Missions, Vol. IV; Twentieth-Century Perspectives (The Methodist Episcopal Church, 1896-1939) – Tremayne Copplestone
- Missions in Rhodesia Under the Methodist Episcopal Church, 1898 – 1934, Old Umtali – James Henry
- A History of Christian Missions In Zimbabwe, 1890-1939 – Chengetal Zvobgo