The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland: Ingwenya Mission

The Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland

Ingwenya Mission

After ordination by the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland, Rev. John Boyana Radasi traveled to Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), arriving December 1904.    After hearing a report of “a Presbyterian minister from Scotland, Xhosa speaking, who was in search of a place in which to settle,” the local Ndebele Chief offered twenty acres of land in what is now the Ntabazinduna Communal Land about 25 miles northeast of Bulawayo.   The offer was accepted and Ingwenya Mission, named after the river that flowed nearby, was founded.

As of the visit of Rev. J. R. Mackay in 1909, the Ingwenya congregation consisted of approximately 100 “worshiping in a thatched church of clay and six other small buildings.”  In 1921, there were 64 members in full communion and a congregation of 200 with five preaching stations and schools.

Rev. John Tallach arrived in Bulawayo in 1924 to join Rev. Radasi, only to learn that he had been accidently killed that morning by a train.  Rev. Tallach would go on to serve at Ingwenya for the next twenty years.  Under his leadership, a small clinic was opened.  The medical work was furthered by the arrival of Dr. McDonald in 1926.

Education was also advanced.  The school at Ingwenya became a girl’s boarding school in 1933 with the coming of Miss J. Nicolson.  Rev. James Frazer later joined the teaching staff.  John Tallach Secondary School – named in Rev. Tallach’s honor – was opened in the late 1950’s.   The school was granted the status of High School in 2016 recognizing the addition of Form 6 curriculum.  There are currently over 600 pupils, the majority of which are boarding students.

The Ingwenya Church, located at the school compound, has a congregation of over 600.

Images used with permission of The Free Scottish Presbyterian Church of Scotland.


  • Mark Loomis