West-Congo Union Mission history
The arrival of the first missionaries in the Eastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1921 was the starting point.
Since colonial times, the seventh-day Adventists had to settle through the Congo except at the equator. The first missionaries came to the Congo in two ways: the East and South.
-From the East, Pastor DELHOVE, a Belgian come as military in Rwanda when this small country was under German mandate. Converted to the adventist message when he returned to his country, he answered to the call of the General Conference, which was looking for someone who knew the middle. So, DELHOVE returned to Africa, specifically in the Congo - Belgian as a missionary. He began his work in Goma, Nyamtaba, Ruhengeri etc... before heading down to the Luluabourg.
-While from the South, Pastor ROBINSON KONINGMACHER and other entered by the province of Katanga in 1921 and they builded missions:
-Songa 92 km from Kamina in 1921;
-Bigobo 82 km from Kongolo in 1930;
-Kirundu 350 km from Stanleyville in 1930;
-Rwese 42 km from Butembo in 1941;
-Nebasa near Buta in 1948;
-Talla near Nioka in Bunia in 1949;
-Lulengele 82 km of Luluabourg in 1949;
-Nkwanza 12 km from Nsala Wambo in 1952 and 105 Km from Kimpese.
-The Adventist Church established in Ecuador in 1975. From 1921 until 1994, the Adventists had only a single headquarters called "The Congo Union Mission" which had successively as presidents:
1. S.C. Böge 1921-1928 American
2. C.W. Curtis 1928-1933 American
3. C.W. Bozarth 1933-1936 American
4. O.U Gidding 1936-1937 American
5. B. Elling Worth 1937-1940 American
6. J.R Campbell 1940-1948 American
7. K.F Ambs 1948 - 1954 American
8. HR Wenthland 1954-1962 American
9. Stevenson 1962-1966 American
10. G.M Ellstrom 1966-1970 American
11. P.F Lemon 1970-1972 Canadian
12. Mokotsi Mbyirukira 1972-1980 Rwandans Mukono
13. Nyembo Mwema 1980-1994 Zairians.
From 1972 the Church started awareness of workers in the above-mentioned Missions. Evangelism resumed with enough efficiency, some young lay people were recruited to strengthen the pastoral framework at Lukanga in the Northen Kivu and Lulengele in the Western Kasai. Members increased more in the reign of Mokotsi and especially in the reign of Paul Nyembo Mwema where the Union had more than 250,000 members. However, given the size of the country, the control became more and more difficult for a single administrator; missionary visits which multiplied, became also difficults because of multiple occupations. Thus, the need was felt to split the Union of Zaire in two administrative headquarters:
East Congo Union Mission based in Lubumbashi on l'avenue de la Révolution Nº765 for :
- Territories of Katanga, Maniema, North Kivu, South Kivu and Province orientale
while West Congo Union Mission based in Kinshasa Ngaliema road Matadi Nº10102. It controls the provinces of: Kasai Oriental, Kasai Occidental, Bas-Congo, Bandundu, Equateur and the city of Kinshasa.
The wcum was born in an apartment in the Baptist building at Kintambo, where the 1994 year-end meeting was organized with the delegates from all part of the country and it was in the Africa Ocean Indian Division whose headquarters is in Abidjan. And Pastor Paul Ratsara Saotra was appointed as the first President of this new Union, Pastor Napita Nshimba as Secretary-General and Ninfa Gonzaga as Treasurer.
A year after, in 1996, the Union Office was transferred from the apartment at Binza Pigeon in the former House of Pastor Leitão, Drève de Selembao Office processed where the Union has worked for three years from 1996 to 1998. It pleased God to grant to this Union offices on road of Matadi Nº 10102, building once called American building. It’s there that works all the administration of the Union of the West-Congo Union Mission up to our days. Territorial composition- The Union of Congo-West consists of the provinces of: Bandundu, Bas - Congo, Ecuador, Kasai - Occidental, Kasai - Oriental. These provinces contain missionary territories (fields) that are: * Kasai Centre Association * Association of Ecuador * Association of Eastern Kasai * Association of Western Kasai * Association of Congo-West...