Build with Us—Messiah Temple, Downtown Chingola, AME Church
- By Rev. Royd Mwandu, 17th District Field Representative
Messiah Temple Downtown Chingola AME Church is located in the central business area of the town of Chingola Country, Zambia, in Africa. The church falls under the Copper Belt West District of the South West Zambia Conference. The Rev Dr. Royd Mwandu is the servant pastor who pioneered the planting of the church in the once “No Go Area” for the Indigenous African Zambians.
It all started in 2000 when the Rev. Mwandu was privileged to host the historic first ever “Zambia 2000 Mission” Crusades. The Rev. Alice E. Gibson and her husband, John, then members of Historic Allen Chapel AME Church, Fort Worth, Texas, were honorable guests. After running a series of crusades in Kasompe Area for one week, a discussion ensued about an urgent need to plant an AME Church in Chingola Town Center, where the pastor resided. In 2001, he traveled to Fort Worth, Texas, to help his American friend and played a pivotal role in launching the New Generation International Outreach Ministries – Christ Holy Sanctified Church. Having put the vision on paper, in 2005, he finally shared it with the faithful members of his pastoral charge, St. Thomas AME Church, Kasompe, Chingola. As all Godly assignments turn out to be, there were pockets of manageable resistance from various quarters but they all gave way to God’s agenda.
Having taken flyers door to door on a bright Saturday morning, December 10. 2005, the new branch of St. Thomas AME Church was launched. With an official downtown location, St. Thomas became “One Church in Two Locations.” The 500 seating capacity Main Hall of Chingola Basic School was filled to capacity. In attendance were guests from within and outside the AME Church. The “Spiritual Commando” and preacher for the day was the Rev. Jacob A. Lukwesa, senior pastor of Bethel AME Church. The Presiding Elder of Copper Belt West District, the Rev. Mfula Peter Pious Mwenya, was on hand to ensure all was done according to the original plan.
The Mayor of Chingola, Councillor Walton Sinkala, was the guest of honor. To everyone’s surprise, the Mayor said he had associated with the AME Church before Zambia’s independence in 1964, having been a friend to a pastor’s kid, the Rev. Frank Membe. He thanked God that at long last the AME Church had made their divine presence in downtown Chingola. He said that since 1964, he had been wondering why the oldest church in the Republic of Zambia had only been in existence in places far away from the town centers. He advised the Rev. Mwandu to remain focused and interact with pastors and laity of other denominations in town as he had much to learn and earn from their experiences.
The Chingola Municiple Council went ahead and allocated prime land on which an exciting opportunity of building an all-in-one community church facility has been in progress, the first of its kind in Chingola. It will comprise the following:
- 1 X 1,000 Seating Capacity Sanctuary
- 4 X 250 Seating Capacity Parish Halls (1 – Basement, 2 – Ground, 3 – First Floors, and 4 – Stand Alone)
- 2 X 150 Seating Capacity Cafeteria / Kitchen and Mother’s Resource Centre, For Under Five Clinic, Malnourished Kids, Community Feeding Program
- 1 X 5 Rooms Business Center – To Support (3) and (6)
- 1 X 25 Seating Capacity – District Correctional Services Empowerment Centre (At Risk Girl Children, Boy Children)
- 10 X 25 Seating Capacity Classroom Blocks (50% Vulnerable Kids Rehabilitation)
The total project completion cost is estimated at US$366,000. In Phase One, using internal church resources, individual pledges, and sacrifices, the following have been completed:
- Land and Bush Clearing
- Paid Municipality charges, the draughtsman for the drawings, as well as all the workers
- Marking and Land Excavation as per drawing
- Cast Concrete Footing
- Mounted 22 concrete pillars from below footing to height of slab level coupled with stainless steel anchors
- Built the wall all around the footing up to the level of the 22 concrete pillars
- Built waterborne toilet facility up to lintel level
- Cast in concrete a 1 X 250 Seating Capacity Stand Alone Parish Hall
Luke 14:28-30 says, “For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’” The completion cost of the all-in-one sanctuary is US$366,000 or ZMK3,660,000. The dedication of the entire facility is set for December 10, 2017. For information on how you can partner with us, please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.