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Congo (Kinshasa)


Congo (Kinshasa)

World Convention is currently building a global reference for the  countries and territories where we know there are Christian – Churches of Christ – Disciples of Christ Congregations. Of the 193 United Nations States, the Stone-Campbell Movement exists in 174. This listing includes other nations and territories, numbering 194 countries where there is at least one representation of our churches.

Rather than waiting for comprehensive, complete information we are putting up the details we have available. If you can correct or add to this information, please contact the World Convention Office with details at gary@worldconvention.org.

Description

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly known as, in chronological order, Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Republic of the Congo, and Zaïre) is a country located in Central Africa, . It is the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa by area and the eleventh largest in the world. With a population of over 75 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the nineteenth most populous nation in the world, the fourth most populous nation in Africa, as well as the most populous officially Francophone country.It borders the Central African Republic and South Sudan to the north; Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi in the east; Zambia and Angola to the south; the Republic of the Congo, the Angolan exclave of Cabinda, and the Atlantic Ocean to the west; and is separated from Tanzania by Lake Tanganyika in the east.  Kinshasa is its capital and largest city with a population of 9 million.

Religion

90% Christian, 50% Catholic; 40% Protestant, with over a third of the Protestants federated in Church of Christ in Congo or CCC made up of sixty-two of the Protestant denominations.

 Stone-Campbell Presence

Over 1 million members of the Eglise du Christ au Congo trace their roots to the work of Ellsworth E. Farris (1874-1953) who was sent by the Foreign Christian Missionary Society of the United States to the Congo in 1897. He was soon joined by Dr. Royal (1874-1966) and Eva (1977-1951) Dye. Royal opened a clinic at the Bolenge mission station and Eva worked on Bible translation.  The Disciples of Christ Congo Mission was dedicated to developing indigenous leaders. One of those early leaders was Mark Njoji who studied at Eureka College in the United States. The mission was boosted in 1909 when churches in the Pacific Northwest of the United States raised funds for a steamship, the S.S. Oregon, that would travel the Congo River as a “gospel boat.” This led to an additional six mission stations by 1925 with 689 Congolese workers in 350 outstations. In 1928 the Institut Chretien Conglais was established, offering a three year course in many subjects including training for ministry.

The church continued to grow throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s, supported by the United Christian Missionary Society of the North American Disciples.  By the time the Congo gained independence in 1960, the Congolese church had also begun to be self-supporting and self-governing. Under the leadership of Itofo Jean Bokeleale, the church continued its long-standing commitment to ecumenism by joining a union of 62 church bodies in 1970 to form the Eglise du Christ au Congo with the churches with roots from the Disciples of Christ Congo Mission known as the Community of Disciples of Christ.

International Churches of Christ have congregations in Kinshasa and Tshikapa.

Churches of Christ have worked in the Congo for several years. Congolese ministers Gabriel Ngwanza(below) and André Kabeya (left) launched the Hilton Terry Bible School of the Congo in Kinshasa, September 2004 with 10 students. More than thirty congregations have been planted in the last ten years.

Tim and Cheryl Doggett from Christian Churches/Churches of Christ worked from 1982 until 1996 as mission pilot/mechanic for ACM, and helped to meet transportation an support needs of missionaries and church workers in the country of the Congo (formerly Zaire). Cheryl operated the radio, was the flight coordinator and handled some purchasing and shipping of supplies (often along with several other tasks). In 1995 ACM made the decision to close down the missionaries work in the Congo and this included the aviation and support service. This process was completed by February 1996.

 

Created by Gary Holloway, October 3, 2013; revised July 7, 2016

Contact Information

A. National Office

 

B. Congregational Information

 

C. Educational Institutions

 

Hilton Terry Congolese Bible School, Kinshasha

 

D. Social Service Ministries

 

E. Magazines/Periodicals

 

F. International Ministries

 

G. Conventions/Lectureships/Assemblies/Forums/Conferences

 

H. Points of Interest