The Kimbanguist Church also known as The Church of Christ on Earth by His Special Envoy Simon Kimbangu, claims to be the largest independent African church in existence and was founded by Simon Kimbangu in 1921. He was a Baptist Minister and started the church in the Lower Congo region. It was inaugurated by Kimbangu’s faith healing and biblical teaching.
As a side note Simon Kimbangu was charged with insurrection in 1921 by the Belgian colomial authorities and jailed for life.
The movement continued clandestinely as Ngunzism (Prophetism), and mass deportations during government persecutions only helped to spread it.
After toleration in 1957 there emerged the main organized group that was legally recognized in 1959. This church spread widely in Central Africa, transcending class, tribal, and national boundaries, and developed a hierarchical organization under Kimbangu’s three sons.
Nkamba, the prophet’s birth and final burial place, is referred to the New Jerusalem.
The church eschews politics and embraces a puritan ethic, rejecting the use of violence, polygamy, magic and witchcraft, alcohol, tobacco, and dancing. Its worship is Baptist in form, though the institution of Communion was not introduced until 1971.
Extensive social services in agriculture, healing, education, youth work, and cooperatives make it a modernizing agency for a membership estimated at approximately 5 million.. Many other smaller, more loosely organized groups in Central Africa also regard Kimbangu as God’s special prophet.
The three key dates in the Kimbanguist are April 6 (marking the date of the start of the ministry of healing), October 12 (marking the day Kimbangu died) and May 25 (marking Christmas, falling on the birthday of Papa Dialungana).
The church is largely non-sacramental with large services only loosely organized.
The church is organized with:
The spiritual head (Diangienda)
Adjunct spiritual heads (Dialungana and Kisolokele – the other sons of Simon Kimbangu)
Legal representatives of churches in the various countries
Regional representatives and their staffs
Subregional representatives and their staffs
Main parish ministers, evangelists and helpers
Parish-section ministers, evangelists and helpers
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