History of Christianity in Namibia

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the History of Christianity in Namibia
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Title: "History of the Church in Namibia, 1805-1990, an Introduction"

Title Page


Dr Buys Dr Nambala
Dr Gerhard L. Buys

Dr Shekutaamba V.V. Nambala

The CV of each of the authors is in the introduction of the book, pages xviii - xix.
Click on the "photos" link above to see some of the 200 historic photos used in the book.
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Order by e-mail to Gamsberg Macmillan


Gamsberg Macmillan Publishers (Pty) Ltd

ADDRESS: P.O. Box 22830, Windhoek, Namibia.
Telephone (09)264 + 61 + 232165, Fax: (09)264 + 61 + 233538, E-mails: < gmpubl@iafrica.com.na >

Book orders:
The book is sold in Namibia for N$ 250.00 (± US$ 40.00 + delivery costs)

Book(s) must be ordered from the Publishers: Gamsberg Macmillan
By fax: Use the fax number of Gamsberg Macmillan Publishers above (check international code)
By e-mail: click on the Gamsberg Macmillan Publishers' logo above, on the right, or use the e-mail address provided above
By surface or airmail: Write to the above address or fax your order.

The Publication Fund for Namibian Research
The Research Institute maintains a special bank account for publishing research results. Details of this account will be provided soon. Contact the director for any grants or donations meant for theological research in Namibia.
All non-cost related income raised from sales of this book (e.g. royalties) go into the Publication Fund, for future publications.
Any support of our fund is very welcome, especially if some commissioned research is undertaken in namibia

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List of Contents
This is a summarised list of contents: Click on the horisontal menu below to jump to the different sections of the book, reading about the contents. However, full details will only be found in the List of Contents of the book itself (pages i - x).

Section A | Section B | Section C | Section C-2 | Section D | Section D-2 | Section E | Section E-2 | Section F | Section G

1. List of maps, charts, photographs and appendixes
2. Acronyms
3. Purpose, point of departure, objectives, methods and scope, terminology, authors, resources.
4. The Country and its Peoples: the country, regions, political history, economy, ethnic composition, traditional religions, peoples: Basters/coloureds, Caprivians, Damaras, Hereros, Kavangos, Namas, Ovambos, San, Tswana, Afrikaners, Germans, English.

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Section A: Planting of the church in the pre-colonial era (1805-1884)

Chapter 1: Pre-Christian religious experience of Namibian peoples
Supreme being - God, creation, origin of mankind. God's rule and ancestral hierarchy, mediators to God. Man, morality and ethics: sin, evil, sickness, death. Ceremony and sacrifice, death and eternal life.

Chapter 2: Arrival of the Gospel in Namibia - the first efforts of missionary societies
London Missionary Society, Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, Rhenish Missionary Society, Finnish Missionary Society. The first missions, expansion and first indigenous workers.

Chapter 3: The cultural influence of the early pre-colonial missions
Development of a comprehensive and holistic mission approach, early missions and cultural change: individual conversion and education, mission influence in the social, economic, political spheres of life.

Chapter 4: Prophetic leaders of the Church (1): The era of tribal leadership, some important lay preachers
Prophets of Namibia, children of their times (messianism), Heinrich Schmelen, Jonker Afrikaner, Lay preachers: Jan Magerman (1811), Jacob Links (1821), Peter Links (1834), Frederick Buys (1842), Jan Bam (1842), Daniel Cloete & Samuel Gertze (1844), Women leadership (wive's of chiefs), Carl Hugo Hahn.
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Section B: The church under colonial authorities (1884-1915, 1915-1924)

Chapter 5: The arrival of the colonial era in Namibia (1): Missionary societies and mission churches under German protection and colonisation: The origins of Namibian Resistance until World War I
Missionary appeals for protection, European intervention and colonisation, consequences of colonialism: land hunger & land reserves, Namibian resistance wars: 1893, 1904. German retaliation and genocide. The position of the Rhenish mission during resistance wars, response of indigenous church members, response of German and Afrikaner colonists. Restoration work, new patterns of ministry.

Chapter 6: The arrival of the colonial era in Namibia (2): New denominations under German colonial rule
Afrikaner settlers: Reformed Churches DRC (1870), Thirstland Afrikaner treks to Angola (1880). German settlers (1883): Lutheran Church planting (1890), Roman Catholic planting (1896), RCC missionary oblates: OSFS, OMI.

Chapter 7: Patterns of growth of mission churches in the early colonial era (1883-1920)
Growth in the South (Nama and Baster peoples), in the north-central (Herero and Damara peoples) and far-northern regions (Ovambo peoples). Beginnings and growth of the church in the Kavango Region (1903-1910): Seven epic journeys of RCC missionaries. First missions in the Caprivi Region: LMS (1860), PEMS (1885), later SDA (1921) .

Chapter 8: Prophetic leaders of the Church (2): During the German colonial era (1883-1915)
Chief Hendrik Witbooi - his life and work, biblical views on governments. Dr Heinrich Vedder - his life and work, research and relief work, education, history.
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Chapter 9: Effects of World War 1: South African denominations entered Namibia (1915-1924)
Effects of WW-I on missions, South African colonial system, military rule, political system. South African Churches planted after WW-I: Methodist (1915), Anglican (1924), Reformed Churches (resettled 1928).

Section C: Growing selfhood of the Namibian church (1922 - 1957)

Chapter 10: Phenomenal growth of the mainline Churches after WW-1
Rhenish Mission Church - three secessions 1923, 1946, 1955, Finnish Mission Church, German Evangelical Settler Church, Dutch Reformed Church, Uniting Reformed Church, Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church, Methodist Church, African Methodist Episcopal Church, Oruuano Church, 'Secession' of the Rhenish Mission Church, Rehoboth.

Chapter 11: New denominations planted in Namibia after WW-1: Baptist Churches, Seventh Day Adventist Church, United Congregational Church
Baptist Churches 1910, 1959, 1967, Seventh Day Adventists 1922, United Congregational Church 1939 (From LMS to CWM and WARC: 1875-1975).

Chapter 12: New denominations planted in Namibia after WW-2: Pentecostal Churches
Three dominant Pentecostal Churches arrive in Namibia: Apostolic Faith Mission (1942), Full Gospel Church of God (1952), Pentecostal Protestant Church (1966), followed by others from the 'Holiness Movement': Namibia Christian Churches (1966), Church of the Nazarene (1973), Assemblies of God (1979, 1988), Gospel Outreach Centre (1982), Namibia Christian Centre (1987).

Chapter 13: Patterns of growing self-government and self-expression of the churches
Outline of the period 1922-1957, Five types of Church formation: Mission, Episcopal, Settler, Migrant and Secessionist Churches. Growth towards independent church government. Origins of theological education and leadership development: Theological Colleges of the churches - Augustineum, Paulinum, Oniipa, Elim, Engela, Odibo - with additional training internationally (GELC, DRCN)
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Chapter 14: The quest for self-dependency of the Church: Secessions from foreign control: Garveyism, AMEC, Oruuano, and African Independent Churches
The quest for African independence: Commando Church of Chief Hendrik Witbooi, Marcus Garvey and the Monrovia Movement, the Nama secession 1946 (AMEC), the Herero secessions 1923, 1955 (Oruuano). Typology of AICs: Prophetism, Mokaleng (1949), Kanambunga (1952), Hambuindja (1960). Ethiopianism, Church of Africa (1964), Jorujano Church (1968), Evangelical Religious Protestant Unity Church (1972). Zionism (African Pentecostalism): St Philip's Faith Healing Church (1957), St John's Apostolic Faith Mission (1960), Spiritual Healing Church (1966), St Stephan's Apostolic Mission (1972), St Jacob's Apostolic Church (1977), Salt prophets (2 charts of AICs in Namibia).

Chapter 15: Prophetic Leaders of the Church (III): During the South African colonial era
Indigenous elders replacing missionaries: Shituua & Kafita of Omafo (1916-1920). Elders of Settler Churches, Smeer (1870-1910), Van der Merwes (1928), Congregational community (1937-1966). Contract workers from the South: Lutherans of Nkurenkuru (1922-1929), Pentecostals of Owambo and Walvis Bay (1957, 1966), Baptist civil servants (1959-1967). Church planters: Leonard - DRCN (1910), Gotthardt - RCC Kavango & Owambo (1910), Ebers & Hoeflich - GELC (1926, 1939), Tobias - Anglican (1928), Hamutumbangela (1946), Thomas, Jod, Witbooi - AMEC (1946), Van der Walt - three Pentecostal denominations (1943, 1952, 1966).

Chapter 16: Independence for the Churches, 1952 - 1957
Revival in the Finnish Mission Church (1952): Scriptural basis & history of revivals, sources, crusades, temperance movement, evangelism, evaluation. Independent synods: ELCIN (1957), ELCRN (1957), DRCN (1957), GELC (1960), DRCfN (1962) Methodist Church. Church Tree by 1957: (Flowchart of Church Tree): Roots - Mission Societies, Settler Churches, Episcopal Churches, Post worldwar Churches. Branches: Mainline Churches, Secessions, Pentecostal and Baptist Churches. Fruit: listing of independent ministries (chapters 17-21).
Contents Heading

Section D: Independent Ministries of the Namibian Church (1957-1978)

Chapter 17: Leadership development: Struggle for good Seminaries, Pastoral Institutes and Colleges Theological Institutes in Namibia: Paulinum United Lutheran Seminary (ELCIN, ELCRN); Odibo Theological Institute (Anglican); Döbra Institute (Roman Catholic Church); Orumana Theological College (Dutch Reformed Church).
International Theological Institutes training Namibians: Pietermaritzburg, South Africa and in Germany (GELC), University Faculties of Stellenbosch, Pretoria and Bloemfontein (DRC); Roma University in Lesotho (RCC ).
Post graduate studies, development of indigenous leadership: Timeline (table).

Chapter 18: Prophetic Leaders of the Church: Indigenous leadership after 1957
The 'highest office' of the churches: Bishops, Moderators, Presidents (Praesesses): Dr Leonard Auala (ELCIN); Dr Lukas de Vries (ELCRN); Bishop James Kauluma (CPSA), Bishop Bonnie Hausiku (RCC).
Other pioneer leaders: KW le Roux, JT Potgieter, JH Steenkamp, SH vd Spuy (DRCN), DJ Joubert, evangelist Andries (URC); F. Pönnighaus, HK Diehl (Rhenish Mission); Bishop R Koppmann (RCC).

Chapter 19: Independent Christian ministries in Namibia I: Worship, Diaconia and Mission
Worship: Liturgical traditions & Namibianization of worship: song, music and dance.
Diaconal, medical and relief work: ELCIN - Engela Pastoral Institute, Onandjokwe Training Institute for Nurses; ELCRN - Otjimbingwe Bible School, Georg Krönlein Centre (Berseba), Martin Luther High School (Okombahe), Heinz Stöver Seminary (Karibib), Febe Seminary (Otjimbingwe); DRCN: Orumana hospital, Mashari Leprosy and Tuberculosis Clinic, Windhoek Children's Home, homes for the aged: Windhoek, Keetmanshoop, Gobabis. Mission and evangelism: ELCIN - mission in the northern belt, DRCN mission in Kaokoland and later extensions, ELCRN mission in Botswana, Roman Catholic farm missions.
Contents Heading

Chapter 20: Independent Christian ministries in Namibia II: Youth, Christian education and Women ministry
Youth ministry of the Churches: Sunday schools and catechism. Youth groups: Youth brigade, Blue circle and Chiro Movement (RCC), Richard Allen Youth Council & Girl Scouts (AMEC), Youth societies (DRC, URC), Youth ministry (GELC). Secular education by the Churches: First schools mission institutions (1806-1870), Bush School movement (Finnish Mission-1876), Leadership training higher education, education and ideology, mission schools as alternative education during colonial periods. The role of women: Women circles (ELCRN), Women Missions League (DRCN), Year of the Women (1975), Ordination of Women (ELCRN, Anglicans, DRCA), Women and liberation.

Chapter 21: Independent Christian ministries in Namibia III: Church information and Christian art
Christian communications: Media - radio, television, periodicals: Omukwetu (ELCIN), Kerkbode (DRCN), Heimat & Afrikanischer Heimatkalender (GELC), Immanuel, EID (ELCRN), Angelus (RCC), Christian Recorder (AMEC), Seek, Anglican Information (CPSA). Language medium of church periodicals: English, Afrikaans, German, Nama, Herero, Owambo, Kavango, Caprivi languages. Printing presses of the churches: Oniipa Printing, Karibib Printing, Angelus Printing (Döbra). Journalism: Journalists & editors, contents of periodicals, politicizing of periodicals during liberation war. Christian art: Poetry, Creative Christian writing & drama, novels (Diescho), Christian fine art (painting, sculpture, carving, art education, John Muafangejo Art Centre.
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Section E: Growth of a United Prophetic Voice: the Namibian Churches and the Liberation Struggle (1963 - 1990)

Chapter 22: Apartheid Theology I: Its origins, history and consequences
Colonial history, church segregation and Apartheid Theology; Historical roots in South African, local missions (18th century), racial prejudice, segregation (19th century). DRC mission policy 1857 Cape Synod, Afrikaner migrations, dispersion & fragmentation. Mission fervour, eleven DRC Mission Churches, DRC foreign missions. Introduction of Apartheid Theology, S.A. native legislation, conferences on race relations, 1935 mission policies, 1947 introduction of apartheid, main theses of Apartheid Theology.

Chapter 23: Apartheid Theology II: Critique, dissent and demise
Destructive results, early critique against segregation, internal DRC opposition: Proff. Marais, Keet, Naude, Engelbrecht. Ecumenical critique, Cottesloe consultation 1960, the Christian Institute 1962-1963, Church & Society consultation, 'Message to the People', prophetic voices from DRC family: Critical Research, Black Consciousness, Black Theology. International 'Status Confessionis' statements, Reformed confessional critique, WARC. South African Statements on 'Status Confessionis': Kairos document (1985), Evangelical Witness (1986), Relevant Pentecostal Witness (1988), Road to Damascus (1989). Confession of guilt, termination of Apartheid Theology: 'Church and Society' (1986); Rustenburg National Christian Consultation (1990); Confessions of SA denominations; Namibia (DRCN synod 1991).

Chapter 24: Birth and development of Namibian Contextual Theology
The prophetic task: Church & State in history; the Namibian prophetic voice, the unity of the Church: Multi-tribal church structures, Rhenish secessions, problem of unity, opposition to Odendaal Plan. New type of political representation: from tribal authorities to political parties. Lutheran doctrine of the Two Kingdoms, new generation missionaries, Lutheran declaration (1963), study committees of the AALC (1965), Florin's survey (1965), Umpumulo Memorandum (1967), thesis on Mission and Colonialism (1971). Open Letter (1971); two catalysts for Contextual Theology: LWF, Black Consciousness movement. Themes of Namibian Liberation Theology: Sentry office, wall of partition broken down, Incarnation theology, Creation theology, Kingdom of God, new view on: salvation, liberation, sin, Black Theology vs. Western Theology.
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Chapter 25: Liberation War and the Church: Reaction to the Open Letter and Church partition
The first partition between Namibian Churches, the original split: Liberation Churches vs. Status Quo Churches. Subsequent development of church partition. Church action, based on Contextual Theology of Liberation: List of consultations, declarations, statements. Church action, based on the Apartheid Theology of the Status Quo: South African army's chaplain campaigns.

Chapter 26: Special chaplain ministries of the Namibian Churches, 1890 - 1990
Early chaplain ministries in Namibia: Witbooi's Commando Church, German "Schutztruppe", Herero Refugees in Botswana, South African Chaplain services during two world wars, chaplain services during the Liberation Struggle. God and independence, theological basis for a National Chaplain Services, the need for chaplaincy. Chaplaincy service of SWAPO (Angola, Zambia), first two chaplains, Ailonga, Haikali. The mission of the SWAPO chaplaincy, the ministries of the SWAPO chaplaincy. 1981 report, 1987 report, difficulties, international cooperation with and ecumenical co-operation within SWAPO chaplaincy.
Contents Heading

Section F: Cooperation, Ecumenism and other developments in the Witness of the Church in Namibia

Chapter 27: Early examples of ecumenical cooperation between denominations in Namibia (I)
The early cooperation and conflict between missions, Cooperation during World War I, Triangular Agreement first formal agreement for co-operation. Cooperation for Bible translations and the formation of the Namibian Bible Society.

Chapter 28: Ecumenical relationships: Local, regional and global ecumenical organisations
Ecumenism in Namibia: Pastoral Fraternals, local Fellowships, Christian Centre, Council of Churches in Namibia. International Ecumenism: WCC, Regional CCs. World Confessional Families and regional forums: Anglican Communion, Baptist World Alliance and SAABC, Lutheran Word Federation with the AALC and CIBL, Roman Catholic Bishops Conferences, World Alliance of Reformed Churches (Presbyterian and Congregational) with the SAARC, Reformed Ecumenical Council with regional consultations, International Fellowship of Christian Churches (Pentecostal), Methodist World Council. Internationally constituted denominations: African Methodist Episcopal Church, Nazarene Church, Roman Catholic Church, Seventh Day Adventists.

Chapter 29: Support of the International community and the Universal Christian Church for Liberation
Namibian theology on land and state. Involvement of international political and Christian organisations: Origins of support, physical help by the UN and development agencies, support from the World Council of Churches, Program to Combat Racism. Support from regional Councils of Churches: The All Africa Council of Churches, National Christian Councils or Councils of Churches. Neighbouring countries: Tanzania, Zambia, Angola and Global support.

Chapter 30: Evangelistic para-church ministries and origins of the charismatic movement in Namibia
Para-church organizations: Christian unity or enigma for the church? Introduction to prominent organizations in Namibia: Dorothea Mission, Africa Evangelistic Band: Christian Mobile Literature, Africa Evangelical Fellowship and Africa Inland Mission, Media for Christ and Channel 7, Youth with a mission, Scripture Union, Youth for Christ, Namibia Evangelical Fellowship, Prison Fellowship, Development of a charismatic movement in Namibia? Periodical public Christian events.
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Section G: Reconciliation and the Future Agenda of the Church

Chapters 31: Towards a new agenda in Namibia: Present position and future task of the Church in Africa
Christian perspectives of reconciliation and nationbuilding: CCN and the UNHCR in the RRR program, Churches' Committee for the Independence Celebrations 21 March 1990, National Consultation of Churches October 1990: Recommendations, future agenda. International Forums for theological research: e.g. ISCNWW (Edinburgh, U.K.), the CRNRM (Selly Oak Colleges, Birmingham, U.K.) and EATWOT (Africa), Glory to God.

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