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AHH 24-Hr. News

Lecture: Battery Lewis What’s Old is New Again
Tuesday, 02 September 2014
ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - Atlantic Highlands Historical Society presents Gail L. Hunton’s Lecture on Hartshorne Woods Park: Battery... Read More...
IMAGE Filmmaker Brings Documentary about the Rights of Immigrant Workers to Monmouth University
Tuesday, 02 September 2014
WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ - Filmmaker Rachel Lears brings her documentary The Hand That Feeds; a documentary about a group of New York City immigrant... Read More...
IMAGE RBR Buc Backer Foundation Presents “A Day at the Races” on Sept 21
Tuesday, 02 September 2014
PHOTO: Pictured in the winner’s circle at Monmouth Park are members of the RBR Buc Bucker Foundation with the winner of last year’s 50/50... Read More...
IMAGE Pushcart Players Announces Artistic Director
Tuesday, 02 September 2014
PHOTO: Paul Whelihan is named artistic director of Pushcart Players Pushcart Players, New Jersey’s award-winning theatre for young... Read More...
AH Mayor's Ball September 26
Tuesday, 02 September 2014
ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - Mayor Frederick Rast and the Atlantic Highlands Community Events Committee are excitedly preparing for the Seventh Annual... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE Butterflies Take Wing Around NY Harbor
by Joe Reynolds
Wednesday, 03 September 2014
Good news coming out of Canada recently. After a devastating drop in monarch butterfly population numbers over the past two years, including an... Read More...
IMAGE Review - Frank
by David Prown
Monday, 01 September 2014
So as I nestled into my seat in The Showroom movie theatre, I was thinking about how lucky I am to live in an area with both the Red Bank independent... Read More...
IMAGE Slapping Myself Silly!
by Anne Mikolay
Sunday, 31 August 2014
Summer is winding down. I can't say I'm sorry to see it go. It hasn't been a very good season for me. I didn't visit half the places I intended to,... Read More...
IMAGE Skewed View - August 30, 2014
by Tom Brennan
Saturday, 30 August 2014
Want to watch your friends eye roll with useless facts you know?  "Like" Fact Jack on Facebook: http://bit.ly/FactJackFb I want a bathroom made... Read More...
IMAGE People with Autism Especially Vulnerable
by Daniel J. Vance
Friday, 29 August 2014
Perhaps like you, recently I read of an incident in Okeechobee, Florida, in which an 18-year-old man was recorded on video beating, choking, kicking,... Read More...

Upcoming Events

Thu Sep 04 @ 4:00PM -
Special Preschool Storytime - AH Library
Mon Sep 08 @10:00AM -
Monday Mix - AH
Mon Sep 08 @ 7:00PM - 09:00PM
PFLAG Meets
Thu Sep 11 @ 3:15PM -
iBuild LEGO® Storytime League - AH Library
Thu Sep 11 @ 4:00PM -
It’s DUPLO® Storytime - AH Library

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.