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Early Twentieth-Century Unity among Stone-Campbell Movement Congregations in Southern Africa: Emphasizing the Gospel over Ecclesiastical Traditions

Author: Paul S. Chimhungwe
Published: Summer–Fall 2017

MD 8.2

Article Type: Conference Article

This article argues that when the Churches of Christ and the Christian Churches, part of the Stone-Campbell Movement, were established in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Northern Rhodesia, and Nyasaland, during the early nineteenth century, they worked harmoniously through the uniting efforts of John Sherriff, a stonemason-cum-missionary. His demise in 1935 and the influx of young Western missionaries, particularly North Americans from the a cappella branch of the Churches of Christ gradually brought the peripheral, supposedly doctrinal issues that since then have divided the movement in southern Africa.

Unity was the fulcrum of the Stone-Campbell Movement (SCM) from its genesis,1 as Hiram J. Lester notes:

For the several indigenous American reform movements that coalesced into this unique American reformation, especially for Thomas and Alexander Campbell (and Barton W. Stone), Christian union was the ‘polar star’ from the first . . . and TC’s [Thomas Campbell’s] Declaration and Address of the Christian Association of Washington (1809) and Stone’s Last Will and Testament of the Springfield Presbytery (1804)—are recognised as seminal documents in American ecumenism; each places heavy emphasis on Christian Unity.2

Unfortunately, the movement started showing seeds of division, which, according to David Edwin Harrell Jr., were realized around 1865 when “two distinct emphases emerged. One group conceived of Christianity in the denominational framework of practical religion, social and political activism, and, often, a nationalistic postmillennialism. A second group emphasized the sectarian tradition of Biblical legalism, a fanatical disposition, and uncompromising separation from the world.”3

This paper argues that, historically, when John Sherriff, who identified with the first group, brought the SCM from New Zealand to the Rhodesias and Nyasaland in 1897, he worked harmoniously with missionaries from the two groups.4 Sherriff’s evangelistic methodology included cooperating physically and spiritually with missionaries from all the branches of the SCM and even other Christian fellowships. He was pragmatic, convinced that the ecclesiastical traditions in the SCM which were gradually elevated to doctrines were an obstruction and not fundamental to the autochthones’ quest for salvation. This was cultural baggage that impeded spiritual growth in indigenous Christians; hence, he worked with Western missionaries from the SCM irrespective of their country of origin or ecclesiastical differences.

The Genesis of Work in Southern Rhodesia

From 1897 to 1935, all churches in Southern Rhodesia that identified with the Stone-Campbell Movement—Church of Christ–Non-Instrumental and Church of Christ–Instrumental (at times called the Christian Church)—originated from Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia, where John Sherriff, a stonemason-cum-self-trained missionary, had established Forest Vale Mission (FVM) in 1907, which eventually became his base of operation. Sherriff was a native of New Zealand and a member of the Churches of Christ that came to South Africa in 1896 searching for new opportunities. These churches identified themselves as the Associated Churches of Christ of New Zealand (ACCNZ).5 His evangelistic work grew after establishing a night school for the indigenous workers whom he also taught the Bible.

Mission centres were in vogue as a nucleus for Christianity. Simon Gqubule argues, “Education and missionaries have always travelled together.”6 For Sherriff, the establishment of Christian schools was not his major mission to southern Africa, but serendipitously, it became his enduring legacy in the SCM. His life-changing experience came, as he explained it, when he was

strolling one dark night to the native Location where all natives had to live, about a mile out of town. ‘Methinks it was the Holy Spirit that led me to a dim light in a rough boarded school-house. Looking through the openings in the planks I saw a group of some twenty natives standing with slates and books in hand, writing and reading, while another boy stood in the middle holding up a small lantern which was their only light. As I watched them from the outer darkness my soul was stirred within me; I determined right there, that by God’s help and blessing I would try and help those natives. I bought some canvas and closed off a small corner of my Bachelor’s kaya, (room) and started school with one native and a candle, 7:30 P.M., and again my first scholar became my first convert, interpreter, teacher and preacher—now ‘Asleep in Jesus.’7

This was the defining moment in Sherriff’s life. His entire life was given to the fruition of this goal: educating indigenous Africans for the cause of Christ in southern Africa. He argued, modestly, “I am neither a writer nor preacher, but only a converted stone mason with a sincere desire to work at Christianity, that by all means I may bring some a knowledge of the truth, and to the dear Saviour I found.”8 Through educating the indigenous people, Sherriff was the catalytic agent in the SCM in southern Africa.

After analysing the indigene’s insatiable quest for education, Sherriff, who was not a qualified educator, wrote, “On Feb. 2, 1898, [barely six months after his arrival in Southern Rhodesia], I started my native school with one scholar, George McKenna, and on Feb. 9 got another scholar, Agrippa Mzozoiyana.”9

When the SCM started in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Sherriff was concerned with bringing people to Christ without paying close attention to the issues that divided the two groups. Writing to D. C. Jones in 1910, he observed: “Debating and quarrelling about the questionable methods some are using in doing the work, methinks, will not satisfy the Master when he comes and expects to find that work done.”10 This became Sherriff’s guiding principle in executing the SCM mission in southern Africa. He embraced the two groups for the sake of the gospel.

Sherriff’s Work Supported by All Branches of the SCM

When Sherriff settled in Bulawayo, Southern Rhodesia, that city became the de facto “head-office” for the emerging SCM. He received financial support from SCM churches based in the USA, New Zealand, and on a limited scale from Britain and Australia.11 These churches had diverse theologies of mission, but Sherriff was not concerned with polemics and peripheral issues. He believed in accomplishing the Lord’s work; therefore, he accepted anyone who identified with the SCM.

For example, in 1906 he welcomed Francis Leslie Hadfield, the first missionary commissioned to Zimbabwe by the Churches of Christ in New Zealand. Sherriff described Hadfield as a young man who “was born in London [England] and brought up in New Zealand, before giving himself up wholly to the Lord’s work. [He was] a mechanic in the cycle [repairing] business.”12 Hadfield mainly worked with churches and institutions that received financial support from missionary societies, autonomous congregations, and individuals who identified with the ACCNZ.13 W. N. Short and his family were the first missionaries commissioned by the non-instrumental branch of the SCM to Africa—Zambia to be precise. Short’s family was followed by the Dow Merritt family; these were the “dew breakers”14 for the non-instrumental branch, yet they were all acclimatized into the mission field by Sherriff, a man who had roots in the ACCNZ.

Sherriff also worked comfortably with missionaries from other Christian churches that did not share the same theological views with some branches of the SCM, especially the non-instrumental branch, which was known for disparaging, if not demonizing, other Christian fellowships.15 On paper, Sherriff slightly agreed with this practice, but on the ground, he was practically accommodative. Bulawayo, the location of FVM, if not the whole of Matabeleland, receives little rains when compared to other parts of Zimbabwe. Consequently, Sherriff constructed an underground water tank with the assistance of missionaries from the Brethren In Christ Church (BICC). In 1908 they also assisted him in ploughing FVM fields resulting in having an abundant harvest, which Sherriff acknowledged when he wrote Brother Brown: “The good Matopo missionaries (known as ‘Brethren in Christ’) came in thirty miles each way, brought a big plow, and plowed up several acres for me . . . and helped me fix up the guttering and spouting round the house connecting it with the tank. ‘God bless them for the labour of love.’ ”16

Getting assistance from or cooperating with other Christian fellowships is the hallmark of ecumenism that Sherriff exemplified by commending the BICC and asking God’s rich blessings upon their labours. Such statements came from a visionary leader, who, after analyzing his situation, concluded that the SCM could not work on its own without cooperating with other Christian churches. This irenic spirit evidenced in his own life and work was shared with his pioneer students, whom he called “mustard seeds.”17

The Deployment of “Mustard Seeds”

After the establishment of FVM, Sherriff’s indefatigable efforts saw the fellowship spreading into three other southern African countries: Northern Rhodesia (Zambia), Nyasaland (Malawi), and the northern parts of the Union of South Africa, in particular the Roodeport area. Sherriff did plant the seed in southern Africa, but it was his “scholars,” or “boys,” who opened schools and churches. Unfortunately, they did not have financial resources to make those institutions flourish. When Western missionaries arrived on the scene with money, they became the “founders,” yet the indigene had started the work. This argument concurs with Terence Ranger’s point: “From the very beginning, African catechists and teachers bore the main burden of conversion. European missionaries were few. . . . In many places the first news of Christianity was brought by the African catechist; in nearly all places the continuing presence of Christian influence depended upon the resident catechist or teacher.”18 This is true of the SCM work in southern Africa, starting with the Zambian work that was pioneered by Peter Masiya.19

Peter Masiya the Founder of Zambian Work

Masiya, according to Sam Shewmaker, was originally from Mozambique and came to Southern Rhodesia as a cook after the Ndebele and Shona uprising (1896–97). He joined Sherriff and “then went down to Lovedale School in South Africa for three years.”20 Sherriff disclosed that Masiya was the first native missionary from FVM, who in 1913 “opened up a mission with the consent of the native commissioner and the Chief Makuni at Chief Makuni’s Kraal, seven miles out of Livingstone. [By 1913 he had] . . . fourteen converts.”21 Similarly, Sherriff wrote that Makuni was a “very promising mission started some seven miles out of Livingstone. . . . One of my best boys is in charge of it.”22 New Zealand was supporting Masiya with two pounds a month, and in 1916 he had twenty-eight church members.23 Peter Masiya, with the assistance of the local community, built Mujala School and had a good congregation meeting when Sherriff visited him along with a new missionary, W. N. Short, in 1922. Short returned with his family and others in 1923, “building Sinde Mission one mile from Mujala village where Peter was working.”24 Sinde Mission was “built” on Masiya’s influence and nurtured by Sherriff. Masiya was trained and deployed by Sherriff, a missionary from the instrumental branch, receiving financial support from this church, yet he worked harmoniously with Short, who was coming from the non-instrumental. This was the same situation in Malawi.

Elaton Kundago in Malawi

Mission historiography acknowledges that the work in Nyasaland (Malawi) was founded by Elaton Kundago, who was the “first preacher of the Churches of Christ in Malawi . . . [after he] became a Christian in Cape Town in 1906. Kundago returned to preach near Blantyre, Nyasaland.”25 After pointing out this fact, mission historiography pays attention to the Western missionaries’ achievements and not much is mentioned about Kundago. At any rate, Kundago, after working a few months, met Joseph Booth, an Australian pastor who was working with various denominations. Booth wrote on Kundago’s behalf to the British Churches of Christ to send a missionary to support the SCM work.26 George Hills and George Hubert Hollis came to Nyasaland in response to Booth’s letter. The Western missionaries came in to reinforce and build on the foundation that had been erected by the indigenous evangelist.27 Kundago worked with these missionaries and got moral and financial support from the British Churches of Christ.

Kundago, as Sherriff’s student and disciple, demonstrated his teacher’s all-inclusive spirit. Godi Karimanzira, who was baptized on February 8, 1925, at Wuyu Wuyu by Jack Mzirwa, confirmed that the divisions that existed overseas were not recognized in the mission field. He said, “When [John] Sherriff brought the Church of Christ into this country, he preached the gospel and many people were baptised, there were no divisions. . . between Dadaya [Mission] and Nhowe [Mission] we were one.”28 Therefore, according to Karimanzira, Sherriff was concerned with the cardinals of the gospel. Other issues were excess baggage.29

Jack Mzirwa in Mashonaland, Zimbabwe

Our last example is Jack Mzirwa of Macheke, Mashonaland, in Zimbabwe. The work in Mashonaland was championed by Mzirwa who was, just like Masiya and Kundago, a product of FVM, from where he was deployed initially to Northern Rhodesia in 1913. He worked for two years, opening Siyankobe Mission, which eventually closed its doors in 1915 due to inadequate funding. He went back home and started a school at Guyu, Macheke. In 1919, the British colonial government forcefully moved Guyu residents from their land to make way for the white commercial farmers. They were settled in tribal trust lands or reserves, which did not have fertile soils, as confirmed by Michael Bourdillon: “Many tribal areas are situated in rocky and hilly country with shallow sandy soils covering sparsely arable land. In some places, people were originally moved off better land to make way for white farmers and resettled in the less arable country of neighbouring chiefdoms.”30 This is exactly what happened to Mzirwa’s people, the VaNhowe, under Chief Mangwende, who settled in the Masunzwe and Wuyu Wuyu areas.31

Mzirwa opened a school in Wuyu Wuyu in 1919, although officially it was started in 1926 when Sherriff, in the company of Dow Merritt, met with the indigenous leadership and concluded that the patriarch missionary must seek permission from the Native Commissioner to formalize the nascent institution. Merritt had arrived in Bulawayo in 1926 on his way to Northern Rhodesia as a missionary under the non-instrumental branch, following in W. N. Short’s footsteps. Immediately after Merritt’s arrival, Sherriff told him that he wanted to visit Mzirwa, who was “teaching school and preaching in his community, in Mashonaland [Wuyu Wuyu], in a native reservation east of Salisbury, over 400 miles from Bulawayo.”32 On arrival, the spiritual and social ambience overwhelmed the two missionaries. Dow Merritt wrote, “There were about 300 in the congregation. Mr. Sherriff was both surprised and pleased. He reacted by saying, “It is time that we were taking care of these people!” He made up his mind then and there to establish a mission at Wuyu Wuyu.”33 At the missionaries’ arrival the Wuyu Wuyu congregation had constructed a pole and mud church building-cum-classroom.

In 1927, Sherriff moved from FVM to Wuyu Wuyu, erecting durable buildings including a church building that is still standing today. The mission closed its doors when Sherriff was on his deathbed. He wrote:

W. N. Short, who has been in charge of the Huyuyu Mission since I was compelled to leave it on account of my health breaking down, has now informed me that he has the mind of the brethren so far as he was able to get it, and their advice or instructions were to let the mission go and remove what he was able to do. So far as I know, he will now be pulling to pieces the buildings I and my family struggled to erect and over which I ruined my health. What I thought was the crowning and closing work of my life would now appear to be the biggest blunder and mistake I have made during my thirty-seven years’ experience in Rhodesia.34

Wuyu Wuyu Mission closed its doors in 1935 because W. N. Short insisted that students should use cash to pay school fees while parents wanted to use agricultural products. This led to a heated debate leading to the closure of the mission.

Separation Predicated on Different Missiologies

John Sherriff passed on in 1935, robbing the SCM in southern Africa of a forcefully uniting missionary. His death brought gradually the furtive division between the instrumental and non-instrumental branches to the surface. This was compounded by the arrival of young enthusiastic North American missionaries after the Second World War, particularly from the non-instrumental branch in the 1950s. It should be noted that Garfield Todd, the iconic missionary from the New Zealand Churches of Christ, had arrived in Southern Rhodesia in 1934. Throughout his life, Todd worked harmoniously with the two streams as a unifying force compared to his colleagues from North America.35 Gradually, the overt divisions seen overseas in the SCM became a common feature in southern Africa, because missionaries from the USA utilized different missiological strategies from those used by their New Zealand counterparts. The instrumental branch used a loosely hierarchical organizational structure that accepted missionary societies in supervising and funding its work. This branch was open to ecumenism denoting “the Mission of God that transcends denominations and cultures and that urges all the whole People of God to get involved in Mission.”36

Interestingly, as these young missionaries from the non-instrumental branch were zealously fomenting divisions, their theological landscape in North America was going through a metamorphosis. Douglas Foster contends: “Beginning in the late 1950s Carl Ketcherside . . . and Leroy Garret . . . of Churches of Christ called for a rejection of the exclusivism that had come to characterize the more conservative streams of the [Stone-Campbell] Movement. This call included acceptance of believers in all streams of the Movement as well as in other Christian bodies.”37

Although Sherriff and his students worked with other Christians from the denominational world, they openly recognized members of the SCM as their brothers and sisters. For example, Karimanzira said, “One of my sons was educated at Dadaya Mission, in Belingwe; this is one of our missions. We have the same roots and teaching. Of course, we differ on one area, the use of instruments, but otherwise we are one.”38 The indigene acknowledged this thriving fellowship, which was reciprocated by both missionaries and indigenous Christians from the instrumental branch. Although the spirit of inclusiveness was beginning to permeate in the non-instrumental branch in the USA, missionaries from this branch in southern Africa were still sectarian.

The Letter by Missionaries Who Saw Divisive Seeds

A typical example was the case of a controversial preacher from the non-instrumental branch who tried to join the instrumental branch. The board responsible for ministers at Dadaya Mission (instrumental branch) wrote a letter to the minister-in-charge at Nhowe Mission, part of which reads:

We wish to be informed about Mr . . . the man who was once minister in your Church but is now living in Salisbury. The above gentleman has applied for vacancy to minister in our Church. Thus we cannot assess his application fairly without the relevant information on him. We therefore ask you to bring us into light regarding Mr . . .’s qualification as minister; his character; his ability and any other aspect of his life which is relevant to ministering the Gospel.39

Whether Nhowe replied or not, two years after the controversial preacher’s application to join the instrumental branch, in response to a letter from a Church of Christ congregation in the USA where the preacher had gone to raise funds, a group of missionaries wrote: “BROTHER . . . IS NOT SOUND IN THE FAITH. About nine months before brother . . . left for the States, he applied to the Christian Church [instrumental branch] to work ‘as Minister’ for them. He was willing for money to promote false doctrine.”40

This correspondence shows the attitude of non-instrumental branch members concerning the theological views of those in the instrumental branch. Missionaries from the non-instrumental branch viewed those in the Christian Church (instrumental branch) as teaching false doctrine because they believed, among other issues, in having mission work funded and supervised by a missionary society. Ironically, the same North American missionaries (from the non-instrumental branch) who denounced a preacher from their branch who was applying for a job with the instrumental branch had, in 1969, approached Dadaya Mission, which is affiliated with the instrumental branch, for a qualified secondary school headmaster, since there was no qualified candidate in the non-instrumental branch. Graham Whaley was seconded to Nhowe Mission, as the first headmaster for the secondary school, where he groomed Jeremiah Masaraure (1939–2009) who had just graduated from the University College of Rhodesia with a BA in English.41


In conclusion, this paper humbly calls upon all southern African members of the SCM, the Restoration Movement, particularly the indigenous leaders, to reconsider their ahistorical and exclusivist deportment and appropriate “ecumenical” lessons exemplified by their movement’s founders/mustard seeds: John Sherriff, Elaton Kundago, Peter Masiya and Jack Mzirwa. These leaders’ period, 1897–1935, if we can borrow from Mark Husbands’s analysis of the early church, constitutes “an incomparable source for the contemporary renewal”42 of unity in and between the Churches of Christ/Christian Church, Christian Church/Disciples of Christ, and Churches of Christ.43 These men led a movement that acknowledged “doctrinal” and methodological differences while uniting and participating in what God was accomplishing in southern Africa. It was the halcyon era of the SCM in southern Africa that led to the founding of iconic mission centers such as Sinde, Kabanga, Namwianga, Forest Vale Mission, Dadaya, Wuyu Wuyu, and Nhowe.44 This paper suggests that our founders pleaded for unity in the SCM while acknowledging diversity, yet that unity gradually eluded the SCM in southern Africa after the death of Sherriff in 1935. While after the end of World War II, the influx of young zealous North American missionaries sowed seeds of division, my hope is that today’s African church leaders can bear better fruit by choosing to follow an early generation’s lead by planting “mustard seeds” of unity in Christ.

Paul S. Chimhungwe received his PhD in Christian Theology (Church History) from McMaster Divinity College. He teaches at African Christian College in Manzini, Swaziland.

Adapted from a presentation at the Thomas H. Olbricht Christian Scholars’ Conference, Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN, June 7–9, 2017.

1 The Stone-Campbell Movement is made up of four major branches: the Disciples of Christ (the Christian Church), the Churches of Christ, the Churches of Christ/Christian Church—the four Cs—and finally the Boston Movement, now called the International Churches of Christ. Michael W. Casey and Douglas A. Foster argue that the Boston Movement is a “child of the Stone-Campbell tradition.” Michael W. Casey and Douglas A. Foster, “The Renaissance of Stone-Campbell Studies: An Assessment and New Directions,” in The Stone-Campbell Movement: An International Religious Tradition, ed. Michael W. Casey and Douglas A. Foster, 35, (Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 2002). On unity see Douglas A. Foster, “Unity, Christian,” in The Encyclopaedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement, ed. Douglas A. Foster et al. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004), 754–58.

2 Hiram J. Lester, “The Form and Function of the Declaration and Address,” in The Quest for Christian Unity, Peace, and Purity in Thomas Campbell’s Declaration and Address: Text and Studies, ed. Thomas H. Olbricht and Hans Rollmann (Lanham: Scarecrow, 2000), 173–92. Along the same lines, Lester argues that “the pervasive concern of the Address [Declaration and Address] is Christian unity, and most of its content is devoted to that goal or, more precisely, to the perniciousness of the sin of sectarian division.”

3 David Edwin Harrell Jr., A Social History of the Disciples of Christ, vol. 1, Quest for a Christian America, 1800–1865 (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2003), 60.

4 Sherriff came from the Associated Churches of Christ in New Zealand, which used instruments in public worship services and supported missionary efforts through missionary societies. These were the major issues that gradually divided the SCM in the USA beginning in 1849. The division was formalised in 1906. In Southern Rhodesia, the SCM was represented initially by the Church of Christ–Non-Instrumental and the Church of Christ–Instrumental, also known as the Christian Church, both of which sent missionaries to that country during the twentieth century. The Disciples were not represented in the Rhodesias or Nyasaland during the period under review.

5 The SCM came to New Zealand from Britain. See Lyndsay Jacobs, “New Zealand,” in The Encyclopaedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement, ed. Douglas A. Foster, et al. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004), 563–66.

6 Simon Gqubule, “Theological Education in the Church of the Province of South Africa (CPSA),” in Archbishop Tutu: Prophetic Witness in South Africa, ed. Leonard Dugmore Hulley and Louise Kretzschmar (Johannesburg: Weaver, 1997), 211–21.

7 George Pepperdine, Information about Missionary Work of the Loyal Churches of Christ in Africa: The Dark Continent (Los Angeles: H. D. Armstrong, n.d.), 12–13.

8 John Sherriff, “Forest Vale Mission: South Africa,” Christian Leader and the Way (9 August 1910): 2–3.

9 Sherriff, “Forest Vale Mission: South Africa,” 2–3.

10 Ibid., 2–3.

11 See his audited financial statements: Sherriff, “Forest Vale Mission: Eighth Annual Report,” Christian Leader (27 February 1917): 6.

12 Sherriff, “Forest Vale Mission: South Africa,” 2–3. Hadfield became a successful businessperson and politician. In 1921 he became a member of the Southern Rhodesian Ruling Council representing the Bulawayo area. See L. H. Gann, A History of Southern Rhodesia: Early Days to 1934 (London: Longmans, 1958), 242, 255.

13 Murray J. Savage, Achievement: Fifty Years of Missionary Witness in Southern Rhodesia (Wellington, NZ: A. H. & A. W. Reed, 1949), 10.

14 This expression refers to pioneer missionaries and was borrowed from Dow Merritt, The Dew Breakers (Nashville, TN: World Vision, 1971).

15 For example, Leroy Brownlow, after quoting Matthew 16:18 where Christ says, “And upon this rock I will build my church,” writes, “It is certain that no church can be the scriptural church unless it was founded by Christ. If a church was founded by Henry VIII, John Calvin, John Wesley, Joseph Smith, Jr., or any other human being, that church is unquestionably human.” Leroy Brownlow, Why I Am a Member of the Church of Christ (Fort Worth: Brownlow, 1973), 7.

16 John Sherriff, “South Africa: Forest Vale Mission, Bulawayo, Rhodesia, April 6, 1908,” Christian Leader and The Way (July 1908): 13.

17 Sam Shewmaker, ed., Great Light Dawning: Profiles of Christian Faith in Africa (Searcy, AR: Drumbeat), 114.

18 Terence O. Ranger, The African Churches of Tanzania, Historical Association of Tanzania Paper No. 5 (Nairobi: East African Publishing House: 1969): 1–29.

19 The SCM work in Zambia was championed by Peter Masiya and Jack Mzirwa from Zimbabwe. Mzirwa gave two years, 1914–15, to mission work before going back to Zimbabwe, where he finally founded Wuyu Wuyu Mission in Mrewa.

20 Shewmaker, Great Light Dawning, 15.

21 Sherriff, “Forest Vale Mission, Bulawayo, Rhodesia/Fifth Annual Report,” Christian Leader and The Way (7 January 1913): 13.

22 Sherriff, “Forest Vale Mission, Bulawayo, Rhodesia, Nov. 29, 1915,” Christian Leader (18 January 1916): 13.

23 Ibid.

24 Shewmaker, Great Light Dawning, 16.

25 Paul A. Williams, Stanley E. Granberg, Paul M. Blowers, and Edgar J. Elliston, “Africa, Missions in,” in The Encyclopaedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement, ed. Douglas A. Foster, et al. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004), 7–9.

26 Ibid.

27 Although Kundago later on left the SCM family, it is interesting to note that he was converted in Cape Town, though John Sherriff gave a different location. Sherriff wrote in 1909 that “Bro. Ellerton Kondago [sic] (who is a Bulawayo convert)” was shouldering the work in Nyasaland. John Sherriff, “South Africa: Forest Vale Mission,” The Christian Leader and Way (27 February 1909): 2.

28 Godi Karimanzira, interview by Paul S. Chimhungwe, 1 October 1991.

29 Nonetheless, Short gradually became divisive after the death of Sherriff. Merritt, who was based in Zambia, worked mainly within the confines of the non-instrumental branch, because the instrumental branch did not plant many churches during this period.

30 Michael F. C. Bourdillon, The Shona Peoples: An Ethnography of the Contemporary Shona, with Special Reference to their Religion (Gweru: Mambo, 1976), 76.

31 This was not unique to Southern Rhodesia; it was occurring in South Africa as well. That is why Nelson Mandela once argued in court that “I am without land because the White minority has taken a lion’s share of my country and forced me to occupy poverty-stricken Reserves, over-populated and over-stocked. We are ravaged by starvation and disease.” Nelson Mandela, No Easy Walk to Freedom (Oxford: Heinemann Educational, 1973), 174.

32 Merritt, 15.

33 Ibid., 17.

34 John Sherriff, “A Foreign Mission Closed,” Gospel Advocate (6 December 1934): 117.

35 See Murray, Achievement.

36 Solomon Andriatsimialomanarivo, “The Missiological Dimensions of African Ecclesiology” (ThD diss., University of South Africa, 2001), 25.

37 Dougals A. Foster, “Unity, Christian,” in The Encyclopaedia of the Stone-Campbell Movement, ed. Douglas A. Foster et al. (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004), 756.

38 Karimanzira, 1 October 1991.This was also confirmed by Samson Mhlanga, who was baptised on 27 March 1932 by Jack Mzirwa. Mhlanga, interview by Paul S. Chimhungwe, 1 October 1991. All interviews for this paper can be found at African Christian College Library, Manzini, Swaziland.

39 Rugara et al., to the Minister in Charge, Nhowe Mission, 16 May 1974. Out of respect, the name of the individual who was applying for the minister’s position has been left out. This letter is in the researcher’s possession.

40 Judd et al., to the Elders, Church of Christ, Irving. The minister’s name and dates have been left out, out of respect for this man and his family.

41 Nesta Molly Masaraure, wife of Jeremiah Masaraure, interview by Paul S. Chimhungwe, 15 October 2011.

42 Mark Husbands, “Introduction,” in Ancient Faith for the Church’s Future, ed. Mark Husbands and Jeffrey P. Greenman (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 2008), 11.

43 We should not forget the International Churches of Christ (formerly Boston Movement); it is part of the SCM.

44 The first three mission centres are in Zambia, while the rest are in Zimbabwe.

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