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AHH 24-Hr. News

IMAGE Twin Lights Museum Establishes Millicent Mercer Johnsen Internship Program
Wednesday, 23 April 2014
Photo: Niels and Millicent Johnsen visit the Twin Lights in 2012 for the Historical Society’s Pledge of Allegiance rededication ceremony. The... Read More...
Sens. Menendez, Booker Announce $4.6M in FEMA Sandy Relief
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
NEWARK, NJ  – U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)... Read More...
IMAGE Middletown Police Report - April 22, 2014
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
Teresa Burger, age 34, from Buckingham Circle in Middletown, NJ, arrested on April 9, 2014 by Patrolman Lawrence Seymour on Contempt of Court... Read More...
IMAGE Over 70 Handbags Will Be Auctioned
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
“Power of the Purse” Fundraiser to Benefit Programs and Services for Children Red Bank, NJ -  Over 70 handbags have been donated to benefit... Read More...
IMAGE Become a Bird Monitor Volunteer - Training May 18
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
  PICTURED – Monitor and protect endangered birds with the Monmouth County Park System. LONG BRANCH, NJ —  Help the Monmouth County... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE Earth Day: Big Deal!
by Anne Mikolay
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
Happy Earth Day, 2014! Earth Day, also known as International Mother Earth Day, is an annual event commemorated across the globe. First observed in... Read More...
IMAGE Racial Amnesia
by Woody Zimmerman
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
It’s becoming apparent that Democrats have run out of material to help them win policy-arguments with Republicans. Desperation has driven them to... Read More...
IMAGE Skewed View - April 20, 2014
by Tom Brennan
Sunday, 20 April 2014
If this won't get you a date to the prom I don't know what will, "KFC debuts chicken drumstick corsage"  :http://cnb.cx/Q6OvGh Your best friend,... Read More...
IMAGE Belief by Seeing and Not Seeing
by George Hancock-Stefan
Sunday, 20 April 2014
In the Day of Resurrection, there is a wide range in how people encounter Jesus. Mary Magdalene encounters the Risen Lord when He pronounces her... Read More...
IMAGE Luongo Has Miracle Surgery
by Daniel J. Vance
Sunday, 20 April 2014
On Good Friday 2013, then 39-year-old Nicole Luongo of Plantation, Florida, took a step of faith. She'd had cerebral palsy since birth, had... Read More...

Upcoming Events

Wed Apr 23 @ 9:30AM - 10:50AM
Story Time
Thu Apr 24 @ 9:00AM - 11:00AM
Middletown Mayor Open Office Hours
Thu Apr 24 @ 3:15PM - 04:30PM
Children's Programs
Sat Apr 26 @10:00AM - 03:00PM
Vendor Fair
Sat Apr 26 @ 2:00PM - 04:00PM
Voices of Spring - A Cappella Concert

ImageMost of the church people that read this column are familiar with the 20th century Western Christian movements and Western Christian leaders.  Others may have a denominational knowledge of the missionaries that have gone in the 19th century from the Western World to the continents of Africa, Asia, Central and Latin America.  Thus, Baptists are familiar with Baptists missionaries, Presbyterians with Presbyterian missionaries and Catholics with Catholic missionaries.

However, as most of the Christian analysts tell us, 21st century Christianity will no longer be a Western Christianity, but a Christianity of the Southern Hemisphere. Historians have started to study and write more extensively on what happened on other continents during the 20th century.  Many people are familiar with Martin Luther, the great reformer of the 16th century who started the Reformation and the Lutheran denomination which bears his name, but fewer people known the Kimbanguist Church and its founder, Simon Kimbangu. Many people are familiar with the Wesleyan movement of which the Methodist Church is one denomination, but very few people know of William Harris who is the founder of the Harrist Church in Africa.

While in this article we will briefly expand on Kimbangu, it is important to observe that both men came to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ in missionary churches.  They were considered local or national leaders by the missionaries, but after a while, they felt that continuing to work with missionaries was restrictive on what God was calling them to do. Instead of looking West, they started to look at the Scriptures in light of their own cultures.

Simon Kimbangu (1887-1951) was born in what was known as the Belgian Congo and baptized in a Baptist Church in 1915.  He was a church teacher until 1921 when he felt the call to preach.  In fact, it is better to say that in 1921, he accepted the call of God which he had refused for six years.  Once he stared his preaching ministry, God accompanied his preaching with miraculous signs and healings.

As he started his preaching, he modeled it on the New Testament.  He chose 12 apostles that he trained and sent to preach the Gospel.  He had three moral rules for his followers: the abolition of all African traditional religious symbols, the eradication of erotic dancing and the destruction of dance drums and the end of polygamy.  He also opposed witchcraft and sorcery. What was fascinating about Kimbangu is that his followers were willing to forsake all these things.

For many years Kimbangu was simply preaching the gospel.  However, one cannot preach the gospel without also attacking the injustices that have been placed on the people by those who are in the government.  To his surprise many of the missionaries were not willing to side with him and as a result, the Belgian government charged him with sedition and sentenced him to death.  The Belgian king commuted his sentence to 30 years in jail where he died in 1951.

Despite Kimbangu's imprisonment, the movement continued to grow and today the number of members in the Kimbanguist Church is over 17,000,000 on the continent of Africa.  The name of the church has been changed to The Church of Christ on Earth and continues to be one of the fastest growing independent churches on the continent of Africa combining a fresh reading of the Scriptures in the African context. 

Christianity is a global movement, as Christ concluded in Matthew 28:16-20 - "Go and make disciples of all nations..." While in some parts of the world the church is struggling, even decreasing in numbers; in other parts, with names and congregations less known to us, it triumphs.