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Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church

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Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church

Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church
Abbreviation AEPC
Classification Protestant
Orientation conservative Calvinist
Theology Reformed, Evangelical
Polity Presbyterian
Associations World Reformed Fellowship
Region Kenya, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Zimbabwe
Origin 1962
Kenya
Branched from Presbyterian Church in America, at the founding date the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (1961)
Separations Independent Presbyterian Church in Kenya
Congregations 105
Members Unknown
Hospitals 1
Primary schools 1

The Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church (shortly AEPC) is a growing conservative Presbyterian and Reformed Church which adheres to the Westminster Confession of Faith started in Kenya,[1] later spread to the surrounding countries like Burundi, Tanzania, Congo and as far as Zimbabwe. The headquaerters of the church is located in Nairobi, Kenya.

History

Formation

Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church was founded by the World Presbyterian Mission (now the Mission to the World) of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church (1961). In 1946 Mr. Mrs. Sanders Campbell and other missionaries sent by the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions (IBPFM) came to Kenya settled in Mulango, Kitui District. The missionaries was invited to the country by the Africa Inland Mission. The missionaries established a mission station here. In 1948 Rev. Campbell begun preaching at the market place in Mwingi. In 1951 other missionaries came, a couple Rev. and Mrs John G. Ames. Through converts several churches were planted in Tyaa-Kamuthale and Kakuyu, Thaana. Later the Mwingi station built church building, Bible school, water catchment system. A presbytery was formed, that included 12 congregations in Mwingi, Kakuya, Ngui, Ngomeni, Itundua, Gai and Tyaa-Kamuthale.[2]

Separation and consolidation

In 1956 the Bible Presbyterian Church had split and this also affected the missionaries in Kenya. This section was the minority group, the majority become the Independent Presbyterian Church in Kenya. Missionaries Jack Armes and Sandy and Grace Campbell joined World Presbyterian Mission. Their Kenyan pastors moved with them willingly. This was the formation of the AEPC in 1962.[3] For long time the church concentrated in one area in Mwingi presbytery, and remained in one ethnic community. The denomination begun to plant churches in Nairobi and in Urban Kenyan towns. In 1973 the Community Presbyterian Church was founded and later church planting continued. Rev. Campbell went to plant a church in Nairobi.[2] In 1986 Growth and Expansion Committee was formed and in the 1980s the church expanded rapidly. The Beyond Mwingi Mission started dozens of mission churches in Nairobi, Kiambu, Meru, Embu and Nakuru. The church become self-autonomous and self-governing and self-propagating in 1998, the US missionaries left.[4] This was a difficult time in the history of the denomination. While being cut loose from the Mission, was a major blow for the denomination. The local pastors become responsibility for the church, without any assists from outside.[5] Rev James s Parks came to the country and work on the outreach evangelism. The Grace Bible Collage was founded with his assistance.

In 1990 AEPC sent Rev. Daniel Mathuva, Rev. Richard Kimanzi and Rev. David Kimathi to evangelise in Meru, Mombasa and Embu. In 1996 the denomination was able to create 2 Presbyteries, Mwingi and Central Presbytery. This led to the formation of the General Assembly.[2] The Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church has also close relations with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church(USA). The denomination had 56 congregations and 10,000 members in the early 2000s.[6] The Grace Bible Collage in Nakuru exist to train pastors and the other training location is Trinity Bible Institute in Meru.[7]

Development

The church grew to 5 Presbyteries in 2010.[8] Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church got connected to Zimbabwe which became another Presbytery in 2011. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, four churches requested to form a Presbytery and register the denomination in the Republic of Congo, and buy a plot for the mother denomination. The General Assembly visited these congregations in October 2011.[9]

The church also sent missionaries to Meru, Mombasa, and Embu in Kenya.[10]

Recent history

In April 2012 the Church celebrated its 50th anniversary. A national headquarters was started to built in Kenya in a land donated by the Community Presbyterian Church in Madaraka.[11]

Today AEPC has grown to 105 churches and six Presbyteries. No longer restricted to Mwingi District, Africa Evangelical Presbyterian congregations can be found from Mombasa on the Indian Ocean to Nakuru in the Rift Valley. Thirteen churches in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi associated themselves with the Evangelical Presbyterian Church and several churches was started in Tanzania and the Bulawayo Presbytery with three churches were created in Zimbabwe.[3] The English Bible was translated into two of the major languages in Kenya, Swahili and Kikamba.[12]

Several church starts were established for example in Ruaka, Kenya and Kibera, Kenya.[13][14]

Theology and Doctrine

Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church is a conservative Reformed church, which subscribes to the historic Presbyterian government and confessions like:

Creeds

Confessions

Seminary and education

There are 2 affiliated educational institutes, these are :

  • Grace Bible Collage in Nakuru, Kenya - institution for student came from West Kenya
  • Trinity Bible Institute - the institution is for student came from Nairobi and South Kenya
  • Uzima Reformed Collage - the institution is for students come from East Kenya[2]

The church has a medical center, the Tel Wa Yesu Hospital, and runs several primary schools.[18]

Church government

The Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church has a Presbyterian church government, with the Session, Presbyteries and the highest court is the General Assembly.[19]

Interchurch relations

The Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church is a denominational member of the [20]

The WRF subscribes the Westminster Confession, the Gallican Confession, the 39 articles, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, Savoy Declaration, Second London Baptist Confession of Faith and the Second Helvetic Confession of Faith.[21]

The church has relationship with the Orthodox Presbyterian Church[22] and the Presbyterian Church in Korea (HapDong) as well as the Presbyterian Church in America, through Mission to the World. Two AEPC representatives were present in the PCA 40th General Assembly in Louisville, Kentucky one of them is the current moderator of the Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church.[3]

The Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Liberated) financially supports the Trinity Bible Institute.[23][24]

See also

  • Joy Reformed Presbyterian Church
  • Imami Church of the AEPC [1]

References

  1. ^ http://celticanglican.wordpress.com/2013/07/06/saturday-prayer-requests-commemoration-of-jan-hus/
  2. ^ a b c d https://www.facebook.com/AEPCKenya/info
  3. ^ a b c http://invision.mtw.org/?p=73
  4. ^ http://www.bbk.gkv.nl/kenia/715/ Africa Evangelical Presbyterian Church nairobi Kenya
  5. ^ www.reformiert-online.net
  6. ^ www.reformiert-online.net/adressen/detail.php?id=1393&lg=eng
  7. ^ http://www.wrfnet.org/c/portal/layout?p_l_id=PUB.1.24&p_p_id=62_INSTANCE_119G&p_p_action=0&p_p_state=maximized&p_p_mode=view&p_p_col_id=&p_p_col_pos=0&p_p_col_count=0&_62_INSTANCE_119G_struts_action=%2Fjournal_articles%2Fview&_62_INSTANCE_119G_groupId=1&_62_INSTANCE_119G_articleId=449&_62_INSTANCE_119G_version=1.0
  8. ^ http://www.cpconline.net/Nairobi-Kenya
  9. ^ http://www.wrfnet.org/articles/2011/11/africa-evangelical-presbyterian-church-update#.UaMFMNKU1_c
  10. ^ www.carrafrica.com/?page_id=20
  11. ^ http://www.wrfnet.org/articles/2011/11/africa-evangelical-presbyterian-church-update#.UaMFMNKU1_c/Prayer Request for the Church as it expands its wings the reach the African soil. come to uganda
  12. ^ http://www.carrafrica.com/?p=1842
  13. ^ http://www.cpconline.net/5145
  14. ^ http://www.cpconline.net/Nairobi-Kenya/
  15. ^ http://www.reformiert-online.net/adressen/detail.php?id=1393&lg=de
  16. ^ http://www.joypresbyterianchurch.org/our-services/doctrine.html
  17. ^ https://www.facebook.com/AEPCKenya/info
  18. ^ www.bbk.gkv.nl/kenia/715/
  19. ^ http://www.reformiert-online.net/adressen/detail.php?id=1393&lg=eng
  20. ^ http://wrfnet.org/about/membership/denominational#.UYZfsaKU1_c Denominational members of the World Reformed Fellowship
  21. ^ http://wrfnet.org/about/statement-of-faith#.UrasUNLuKNA
  22. ^ http://www.opc.org/whatis.html/Foreign Missions
  23. ^ www.deverrenaasten.nl/nl/projects/view/10/kenia-rcea-opleiding-voorgangers-studiebeurzen
  24. ^ www.deverrenaasten.nl/nl/projects/country/8/kenia
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