East Zimbabwe Conference

By Paminus Machamire

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Paminus Machamire, D.Min. (Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan) is currently the vice president of the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division. He began his ministry as a district pastor in Zimbabwe where he also served as a departmental director at field and union levels. Later, he served as president of East Zimbabwe Field before becoming the Zambezi Union executive secretary, and later union president in Zimbabwe and Botswana. He published a book, The Power of Forgiveness, with the Africa Publishing House.

First Published: January 29, 2020

East Zimbabwe Conference is a subsidiary church administrative unit of the Zimbabwe East Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.

East Zimbabwe Conference territory covers the eastern region of Zimbabwe bordered by Mozambique on the eastern side, Central Zimbabwe Conference on the western side, and North Zimbabwe Conference on the northern and northwestern sides. The territory comprises two heavily populated provinces of Manicaland and Mashonaland East and shares Harare Province with North Zimbabwe Conference. A large percentage of the population lives in the cities of Harare (the capital city of Zimbabwe), Chitungwiza, Mutare, Marondera, Rusape, Nyanga, Chipinge, and Chimanimani. Shona, English, Chimanyika, Ndau, and Chichewa are some of the languages spoken in the region. Crop farming is the main agricultural activity of the territory, with maize, potatoes, tobacco, and peanuts being the leading cash crops. Mining of diamonds, gold and platinum, fruit farming, and the timber industry are also important economic activities of the area.1

The territory of East Zimbabwe Conference was divided into two conferences in January 2015, with 167,393 baptized members, 419 organized churches, and 28 ordained ministers. The population of the territory was 2,221,312, placing the Adventist to non-Adventist ratio at 1:13. By December 2018 membership had grown to 187,355 congregating in 479 organized churches and 564 companies under 28 ordained pastors. This reduced the ratio of Adventists to non-Adventists to 1:12.

Origin of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Mashonaland

The work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Zimbabwe (then known as Southern Rhodesia) was introduced through evangelism and educational institutions. In 1894, Pieter Wessels and A. T. Robinson were given a 12,000-acre piece of land 50 kilometers west of Bulawayo by Cecil John Rhodes chairman of the British South Africa Company. This is where Solusi, the first mission station in Zimbabwe was established.2 From Solusi the work spread to all parts of the country.

Nyazura Mission Established

The Seventh-day Adventist Church was planted in Mashonaland, the eastern part of Zimbabwe when in 1910, M. C. Sturdevant, who had come to Africa in 1902,3 established Inyazura Mission (then known as Tsungwesi Mission)4 about 200 kilometers east of Harare. This mission station became the hub of missionary work in Mashonaland. For this reason, this article gives considerable coverage to the development of the work at and around Nyazura Mission. Some of the early converts later became pastors, teachers, and evangelists. These include Noel Zembe, D. Dumba, Jonah Chimuka, Edward Janda, Joseph Chimuka, Christopher Masonzoro, Enoch Waungana, Silas Mangwende, David Gurure, Onias Muza, E. Zvademoyo, Crispen Mandikate, Caleb Chinyowa, and Austen Matewa.5 They joined hands with missionaries from Nyazura and made inroads into surrounding districts where they planted churches and opened day primary schools. Ruya Mission, which started as a boarding primary school in Mount Darwin approximately 197 kilometers north of Harare, was opened in 1948. It was the first mission station in the northern part of Mashonaland.

At the end of October 1910, Sturdevant, his wife, six trained African men and their families, a company of 18 in all, left Solusi Mission and headed for Nyazura Mission (Tsungwesi Mission) on a wagon drawn by 12 donkeys. One week later on Sunday, November 6, the team reached their destination. On arrival Sturdevant reported, “O my! All our company are pleased. We find the place so much better than I remembered it on my prospecting trip. Lovely rivers one fourth of a mile from the house, and a beautiful valley of rich, black, loamy soil. There is an abundance of wood, and the land is much better than at Solusi.”6 R. C. Porter adds, “For fertility of soil and scenery, combined with freedom from fever, the Tsungwesi Mission is unsurpassed by any of our mission farms in Rhodesia. The 3,666 acres of land is all very good soil.”7 The Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook of 1912 recorded that the original size of the farm was 4,000 acres.8

During the 1911 planting season Sturdevant and his team planted 15 acres of mealies, two of monkey nuts from which they harvested bags of mealies, and 15 of monkey nuts, pumpkins, and potatoes which helped their supply of food. In 1912 they planted 60 acres of maize from which they harvested 300 bags; six acres of monkey nuts from which they harvested 103 bags together with beans, sweet potatoes, and pumpkins. In addition to farming activities they added buildings, including grass thatched classroom blocks, a church, and staff houses.9

Two months after their arrival, on January 1, 1911 a school was opened at Nyazura. The first enrollment was 12 including four boarders. By October 1912 enrollment had increased to 73, including 37 boarding students. The students were part of the 150 precious persons who attended Sabbath services regularly. In 1912, 11 students were baptized at the mission, the first fruits of mission work in Mashonaland.10 Some of them became teachers and evangelists when they left Nyazura.11 In March 1914, Hubert Sparrow reported that the school had 100 students. Two African teachers, who must have come from the first crop of students who were baptized,12 assisted him in teaching.

One African teacher whom Elnora Jewel mentioned by name was Joel, who was joined in holy matrimony to ‘Makandipenyi’ by Sturdevant. Mrs. Jewel remarked, “Joel is our best native teacher, and he and his wife are fine people.”13 Further, she wrote, “Joel was one of our teachers and we felt we could hardly spare him. But he is proving that he can be faithful away from the mission. He has a few oxen and a plough and is farming on quite a modern scale. He attends church regularly and preaches for us occasionally.”14 He was likely one of the first local Adventists in Mashonaland to own a plough and to use modern methods of farming. Joel Musvosvi, the retired Vice Chancellor of Solusi University believes that Joel, who is referred to above, was his uncle. Musvosvi was named after him.15 It seems therefore that teaching was in the genes of the Musvosvi brothers, of whom five were teachers by profession.

An interesting story about Joel is still being circulated, as told by the author’s mother-in-law. Joel, a pioneer teacher and evangelist at Nyazura Mission invited his mother to attend the Nyazura camp meeting so that she might listen to the gospel of salvation. The mother was very impressed when she saw her son managing the camp meeting proceedings. When he rang the bell people came, he commanded them to stand and sing, kneel and pray, and to sit down and they obeyed. During divine service, Joel translated for the guest speaker. While translating, he imitated the gestures of the guest preacher. The mother had no idea what was going on. She thought that her son was engaged in a hot argument with the white man, something that was unusual during the colonial era. At the end of the sermon the preacher said his last words and sat down. Joel remained on his feet completing his translation work. The mother concluded that in their argument Joel outwitted the white man. She stood up proudly and to the amazement of the worshippers shouted many Shona words of praise for his son. These included, “That is my son, my son Joel, what on earth can you do to him? Even the white man ran out of words when he tried to argue with him. He commands you all to leave your tents and come sit here quietly, to stand up, sing or kneel and you obey. That is my son!”16

In those days, Nyazura Mission farm was infested with dangerous wild animals such as cheetahs, leopards, and lions which often attacked and killed cattle on neighboring farms. One day Sturdevant and 40 local men encountered a big lion that had just killed a calf. After three gun shots the lion ran into the bush, but they pursued him. When they caught up with the lion, he was lying behind a tree a few meters away. He arose and roared till the ground shook. Without fear Sturdevant fired two more gun shots at the lion that later killed him. This was their first adventure in lion hunting.17

According to R. C. Porter, in 1912 student enrollment increased from 12 to 55.18 That same year Sturdevant decided to take a break from the mission, and left C. L. Bowen in charge. Unfortunately, Bowen died of small-pox a year later.19 He was succeeded by C. Robinson who worked with F. B. Jewel (and his wife Elnora), E. Tarr, Jonah Munzara, the first local African to be mentioned by name and to be employed as a licensed missionary from 1920 to 1927. Other employees included three African evangelists and 18 African (native) teachers.20

The author interviewed David Chimuka whose father, Joseph Chimuka, was the son of Jonah Munzara a business man who joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church and ended up joining the gospel ministry. Using his ox-drawn Scotch cart, Munzara transported goods from Beira, a seaport in Mozambique, to the eastern cities of Zimbabwe. Because he operated many different business ventures, people nick-named him “Chimuka Nerimwe,” which is translated “someone who wakes up with a new business venture every day.” Eventually he changed his surname from Munzara to Chimuka. After his death, his wife ferried church members from her village to Nyazura camp meeting, 20 kilometers away using the ox-drawn Scotch cart.21

By 1914, Nyazura mission was still very small, and Elnora V. Jewell and her husband were teachers at the school. They reported an enrollment of 110 students. As the first mission post in the east of the country, Nyazura continued to evangelize all neighboring districts and beyond. When Sturdevant returned to Nyazura from his vacation, he conducted the second recorded baptism at Nyazura in 1914. Twenty people were baptized in the nearby river. That Sabbath afternoon the newly baptized members participated in their first holy communion.22 After four years of hard work Sturdevant and his wife left Nyazura Mission for South Africa on account of ill health.

Outside of school hours some students worked on the farm while others made bricks for the desperately needed buildings, a new classroom block, a girl’s dormitory, a church, and a dining room. Construction work was stepped up when in 1915 Nyazura Mission became one of the institutions to receive the 13th Sabbath Offering from the General Conference.23 In the same year church membership rose to 64 and school enrollment to 77 pupils.24

In 1916, Jewell was accompanied by three boys from the school on a trip in search of places to open new schools. Four unnamed places were identified.25 Besides looking for school sites some of the local workers at the mission were enthusiastically engaged in preaching the gospel to surrounding villages. Jewell and C. Robinson worked together in opening schools in Chiduku and Marange Reserves.

Around 1916, Sturdevant was also instrumental in introducing the Adventist message in Mutare (then known as Umtali). After eight months of giving Bible studies and selling literature, seven hundred people attended Sabbath worship services. He developed friendships with the superintendent of the Old Umtali Mission of the Methodist Episcopalian Church Society who often invited Sturdevant to preach, conduct “a good Old Bible study,” and to whom he also sold books.26 As a result of the work of Sturdevant and Hodgson four Europeans from Mutare (Umtali) were baptized at the Nyazura camp meeting in June 1919. Brother and sister Hodgson of Old Umtali Mission had recently accepted the truth through Surdevant’s labors. Soon after his baptism he was engaged in the building of a new church at Nyazura. On September 8, 1921, he was ordained as a gospel minister.27 In 1929, Sturdevant proceeded to the United States where he died on August 18, 1933 at the age of 68.28

Camp Meetings Introduced at Nyazura Mission

The first camp meeting at Nyazura was held on September 3-10, 1921. The guest speakers, W. E. Straw, F. R. Stockil, and B. E. Beddoe arrived at the mission a few days after the meetings had started. Two hundred believers from the camp site met them about one and a half kilometers away from the mission, marching and singing hymns until they arrived at the mission. This was regarded as the warmest reception that they had ever had. Thirty-eight people were baptized at that camp meeting. The total number of baptisms from all the camp meetings in the country was 149.29

The Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook of 1928 records 14 schools that were opened during the time of C. Robinson through the influence of Nyazura Mission.30 The yearbook of 1940 indicates that by that year there were ten village schools, ten local teachers, and two local evangelists working in the villages around Nyazura.31 In total they had 17 teachers. Evangelists increased from three to five. Handina School, approximately 20 kilometers south of Nyazura Station, was one of the well-established out schools.

In the same year (1940), three evangelists were ordained to the gospel ministry in Harare: J. Vundhla, C. Masonzoro, and Peter Dube, who was said to be a committed and hardworking pastor in Tanda District north-east of the headlands, which led to the opening of the Tsikada School in the 1950s. The Church prioritized the establishment of schools because they were vehicles of evangelism. Every year teachers from church schools set aside a preaching holiday when they ran three-week campaigns in unentered areas. For example, S. W. Palmer teamed up with teachers like Noel Zembe to spread the gospel in Marange. In addition to preaching he extracted teeth and administered medicines to the sick. Despite these efforts, the villagers resisted attending the evangelistic meetings because they did not want to be persuaded to stop eating swine and drinking beer. However, in one village the evangelists met a woman who warmly welcomed them. She took a keen interest in Bible studies and gladly supported the preachers by providing them free food. The woman had a reputation of being a hard worker in her fields, giving food to the poor and always showing kindness to strangers. This woman served God the best way she knew although she was not a Christian.32

Opening of Out-Schools

By 1924, T. J. Gibson reported that seven out schools had been established. About 300 believers from these schools attended Nyazura camp meeting that year. Fifty-four new members were added to the church through baptism, bringing the total membership to 195.33 In 1927, Daure, Mukwada, and Chikwariro out schools were opened at Marange Reserve. Because of lack of teachers these missionaries failed to cope with the demand from many villages for Seventh-day Adventist schools.34

Sometime between 1920 and 1930 through the preaching of teachers like Noel Zembe and S. W. Palmer, many churches were planted at Marange Reserve. In May 1922, Hermann Ficker made an evangelistic tour in Chipinga and Melsetter (Chimanimani), where he conducted Bible studies and planted the seed of the gospel on surrounding farms.35 Later, in 1928 Palmer reported that as a result of the rapid growth of the work in Mashonaland there was a hunger for Shona books and Shona hymnals. The hymn book they used was half the size of an English Sabbath School Lesson Quarterly with a few selected songs in the Shona language.36

One of the largest camp meetings witnessed at Nyazura Mission was in August 1931. Campers from different schools arrived carrying their food supplies, clothes, and blankets. “Each group came singing a hymn as they marched into the mission grounds.” The first night the campers were packed into the church. On Sabbath they met in the natural amphitheater outdoors. Eight hundred people were in attendance. Among them were twenty-two Europeans, including the Mutare group. By 1935 the European group had grown to 37. Every year they continued to attend the Nyazura Camp Meeting. The last Sabbath of the camp meeting 85 people gave their lives to Christ. The next day Sunday afternoon, 145 were baptized.37

On Friday, February 5, 1937 Nyazura Mission was hit by a cyclone which uprooted a total of 30 huge trees just before the Sabbath hours began. The school office, the dairy, garage, and shop were either demolished or left without roofs, but no one was hurt. To the amazement of everyone the thatched buildings and local staff huts were spared. This did not deter the 200 Nyazura residents from going to church an hour later under a clear beautiful sky.38

Adventism Enters Salisbury (Harare)

Around 1930 our message reached Salisbury the capital city of Rhodesia. A. N. Ingle wrote in the 1931 Outlook Magazine that they had started work on the first African church building in Salisbury (Harare). The building was completed and dedicated on February 16, 1946. On the same day, Salisbury Church was organized as the first African Church in the city with a membership of ten, plus two other members from a company.

On the following day, W. R. Vail, W. D. Eva, P. W. Willmore, E. A. Trumper, and J. Janda traveled to northern Mashonaland to look for land for a new mission. They located a site 8 kilometers north of Mt. Darwin and 197 kilometers north of Harare on a perennial river close to a main road. Promptly they submitted applications to the local authorities to obtain this land.39

A third trip to Mt. Darwin was made on Sunday, July 6, 1947, by W. R. Vail, the current Zambesi Union Mission president, W. Duncan Eva, president of the Southern Rhodesia Mission Field, and W. Bastiaans, acting Director of Lower Gwelo Mission who became the first head of Ruya Mission. In consultation with the Native Commissioner the team identified a new and better site not far from what they had seen before and settled for it. This piece of land was level and large enough for a big mission, located next to villages that were not yet reached by the Adventist message. There they left evangelist Philemon Ncube to build a temporary shelter for himself and to oversee the making of bricks for the mission. Chief Kandeya received him well and even asked the Adventists to build a school in his village about 20 kilometers from Ruya Mission.40 Construction work began and classroom blocks were completed at Ruya Mission. O. D. Muza, with the help of evangelists Hogo, B. N. Gwasira, and three teachers conducted a successful evangelistic campaign at Chiutsa School near Ruya Mission in 1956.41

Tersha Robinson helped start an African women’s camp-meeting at Nyazura Mission in October 1944. It was so successful that the women asked that it become an annual event. The following year a second one was held at Marange Reserve about 100 kilometers from Nyazura. Besides listening to gospel messages the women were taught sewing, knitting, and crocheting lessons during the early hours of the morning. Morning and afternoon periods included subjects such as The Mother, The Christian Home, Child Rearing, etc.42 In September 1958, the Women’s Camp Meeting, which had changed its name to “Parent’s Meeting” had a record attendance of 2,000 at Marange Reserve. Chief Marange was also in attendance.43

Dedication of Mrewa and Maanhu Church Buildings

Pioneer Adventist workers such as Jeremiah E. Janda, son of Edward Janda, E. B. Jewel, and Pastor Mzilikazi planted the Adventist seed in Mrewa as early as 1918. The Janda family donated $15,264 toward the building of a modern church at Mrewa Township. The mission field and church members also gave generous offerings toward this project. Many years later, on Sabbath, November 25, 1972, over 500 people, including Chief Mangwende, a former Nyazura Mission student and sub-chief Zihute packed the 350-seat church to witness the dedication of the church. Pastor Merle Mills, the Trans-Africa Division president officiated. With him were E. T. Fusire, President of Mashonaland Field, V. Vinglas, Secretary-Treasurer, Dr. Dunbar Smith, Division Health Department Director, L. N. Moyo, Field Stewardship Director, and A. Shumba, district pastor. Nyazura Secondary School Choir, Highfield Church Choir, and Peace Makers rendered uplifting music.44

As the work continued to grow in 1960 Maanhu Company in Marange was organized into a church. At the dedication service of their new church building 23 people accepted Jesus as their personal Savior. Maanhu School was operating with two teachers that were paid by the local community because they needed Christian education for their children. The school’s dedicated teacher-evangelist was Abel Gwizo, also the church elder.45

Another positive development at Nyazura was the introduction of standard six in 1946. This helped meet the educational needs of Mashonaland as a constituency. Not until January 1969 was Nyazura Mission officially voted as a union mission institution.46 The 1946 camp-meeting had a record attendance of 1,500 and a baptism of 138. Sister Robinson and her local African helper led the school choir composed of students from Standards IV to VI. They sung a beautiful song entitled “Prince of Peace.” L. A. Vixie wrote that it “was one of the most beautiful pieces of music we have ever heard from any student body, white or black.”47 Enrollment at Nyazura had reached 300 in 1957.

The first Sabbath School Officers’ Training Course in Mashonaland was conducted in Harare (Salisbury) at Highfields Church in 1968 by G. F. Clifford, the Sabbath School director of the Trans-Africa Division. Seventy delegates from four black churches, Mufakose, Harare, Mabvuku and Highfields, were in attendance. E. Murapah, the church pastor was the convener of this seminar.48

The Birth of Mashonaland Field

The Southern Rhodesia Mission Field, which covered the entire territory of Zimbabwe, was organized in 1921 to minister to black people. Its headquarters was in Gweru, a city situated in the central part of the country. In 1964 the mission field was divided into two fields, Matabeleland-Midlands Field, with a membership of 19,126 and Mashonaland Field, with a membership of 6,403. The division was necessitated by growth in membership and the vastness of the territory. Nyazura Mission, which had land open for development and was central to the established work, was chosen to host the headquarters of the Mashonaland Field. This initiative helped the new field to reach many un-entered areas.

Its territory covered the northern and eastern half of Zimbabwe whose population was 990,000. This placed the Adventist to non-Adventist ratio at 1:155. The 6,403 church members were congregated into 31 organized churches under 16 ordained and three licensed pastors. Twelve credentialed literature evangelists served the whole field. Its first president was Onias D. Muza and S. T. Palvie was the secretary-treasurer, while the personal ministries director was G. Marisa and the publishing director was E. Chinowaita.49 Pastor Muza was a powerful evangelist who joined the Adventist church after attending the Nyazura camp meeting. Due to his being poor, he did not attend school until the age of 22. Before becoming a Christian, he was a boxing champion who worshipped ancestral spirits. After conversion, the champion boxer became a champion preacher.50

Nyazura Mission remained the Mashonaland Field headquarters until 1979. The war for Zimbabwe’s liberation from colonial rule led to the moving of the field office to Harare where it was accommodated in the Trans-African Division Offices. Although the war resulted in the independence of Zimbabwe, it negatively impacted the growth of the Adventist church. Schools and churches that were in areas affected by the war closed. Many Adventist church members either lost their lives or migrated to cities where there was better security. On the other hand, moving the field offices from Nyazura to Harare strengthened the mission of the church in general. The close location of the field offices to the government offices, to its members in the capital city. and to the general public yielded positive results. The central location of the field offices later helped to spread the church presence in all directions, resulting in the establishment of new Adventist primary and secondary schools, a work championed by L. N. Moyo during his tenure as field president from 1982-1989.

Mission work in southwestern Zimbabwe continued to grow and membership multiplied. In 1982, the Matabeleland-Midlands Field was divided into two fields to create the Central and Western Zimbabwe Fields. Mashonaland Field was renamed Eastern Zimbabwe Field. By that time, church membership in the Eastern Zimbabwe Field had grown to 14,345 congregating in 94 organized churches. The field officers were L. N. Moyo, President and F. C. Lang, Secretary-Treasurer.51

In 1983, the Eastern Zimbabwe Field bought a 12,308-hectare property (Meyers Plot of Upper Waterfalls) at number 4 Thorn Road, Waterfalls, Harare. Douglas Robert Adie sold the property to the church for $28,000.52 This became and remains the new field headquarters to this day. From 1981 to 1983, Elijah Maunga, A. J. R. Lopes, and Bob Butler succeeded each other as secretary-treasurers of the field while L. N. Moyo continued as president.

East Zimbabwe Conference Organized

In November 1992, the Eastern Africa Division voted to grant conference status to the three mission fields in Zimbabwe.53 It further voted to discontinue the existence of the Zambesi Conference that catered to White and Colored church members, and to absorb its members into the three new conference territories. Before the merger, Zambesi Conference operated as a regional conference that covered the whole country of Zimbabwe.54 The new conferences were renamed as East, Central, and West Zimbabwe Conferences.

When conference status was granted to Eastern Zimbabwe Field in 1992 its membership had reached 64,926 against the territory’s population of 4,644,515. The Adventist membership to population ratio was 1:79. Ordained pastors were now 28, licensed pastors were 13, and credentialed literature evangelists were 18. T. Matemavi was the first conference president, with C. Machamire as executive secretary, and G. Dzimiri as chief financial officer. In 2001, a new office building was constructed during the leadership of the three officers listed above.55 Its present insurance value is $900,000.

Fourteen years later, in 2014, membership had grown to 301,853 congregating in 1,589 churches and companies.56 This unprecedented growth in membership, organized churches, and schools led to the division of the conference territory into two, to create the North Zimbabwe Conference and East Zimbabwe Conference in December 2014. Both conferences have their headquarters offices in Harare and constitute the territory of a new union – the Zimbabwe East Union Conference.

After the territorial realignment, the East Zimbabwe Conference remained with 167,393 members, 419 organized churches, and 28 ordained ministers.57 By June 2019 the conference membership had grown to 195,500 congregating in 499 organized churches and 603 companies under ordained pastors. The population of the territory was about 2,221,312, with a ratio of Adventists to Non-Adventists of 1:11.58 

Whereas in 1921 there was only one camp meeting to minister to the 200 members in Mashonaland Field, in 2019 the East Zimbabwe Conference conducted 40 camp meetings to serve the 195,500 members in its constituency. Each camp site has an average of 1,500 people in attendance. Four thousand new members were baptized at these camp meeting sites in 2019.

Educational Institutions

The positive influence of Nyazura Mission beginning in its early years of existence led to the opening of 24-day primary schools within its radius of about 100 kilometers listed below:

     Marrange Reserve: Chikwariro, Karirwi, Daure, Maanhu, and Mukwada (1927 and 1928);
     Makoni District: Gwasira, Majakwara, Handina, and Dumba (1928 to 1940);
     Chiduku District: Chinembiri and Katsenga;
     Tandi Reserve: Cheneka and Mukosera (Domboreshato);
     Wedza District: Anderson-Mutiweshiri; in Buhera District.

Mukwasi and Kwarire. Domboreshato, Chiduku, and Dumba were later taken over by the government. Six of the above were granted permission to operate secondary schools alongside the primary schools. Ruya Mission was established in 1947 as a boarding school in the northern part of the country near the town of Mt. Darwin, which is 197 kilometers from Harare, as well as Tsikada in Tanda district in the northeast around 1950. 

After the independence of Zimbabwe in 1980, between 1983 and 1990 eight more schools were added to the East Zimbabwe Conference, namely: Nyahuni Primary and Boarding Secondary School (built on a 2,500-acre farm about 80 kilometers northeast of Harare), Mauya Secondary School, Manyenyedzi, Chegore, Marewo, Bemhiwa, Mutoranhanga, and Simbaredenga. The church also repossessed Ruya Mission, which had been taken over by the government and later by the Catholics. From 2016-2019 East Zimbabwe Conference opened its additional two schools in Nyanga area: Nyakuima Primary School and Munga River Secondary School, and in Makoni East: Nyahukwe Secondary School and Zimuto Primary School near Rusape. By 2014, when East Zimbabwe Conference was realigned into two conferences, the schools had multiplied to 33 primary and 22 secondary schools. These were distributed between the two new conferences according to their locations, leaving 25 primary schools and 15 secondary schools in the East Zimbabwe Conference.

Twice each year the conference assigns pastors to conduct weeks of prayer at every school. The program exerts a positive impact on the spiritual wellbeing of teachers and students in all Adventist schools. Many of the students accept Christ and are baptized by the time they graduate from the schools. In 2019 alone the conference baptized 3,000 students and a few teachers in the schools, since only 40 percent of the teachers are Adventists. This challenge may be alleviated when an Adventist Teachers’ Training College is opened in 2020 to serve all the three Zimbabwean Union Conferences.59

Health Institutions

East Zimbabwe Conference owns and operates three clinics at Chikwariro, Nyazura, and Mwerahari, which were established with the help of ADRA between 1979-1988. L. N. Moyo’s focused leadership, vision, and determination led to the establishment of most of the above schools and clinics during his term of office as president of the then Eastern Zimbabwe Field.

Future Outlook of the East Zimbabwe Conference

East Zimbabwe Conference wants to open more primary and boarding secondary schools in its territory as vehicles of evangelism. It will prioritize cities and places such as Chipinge and Chimanimani that do not have Adventist schools. Nyanga, which has just been entered, will continue to receive attention. There are plans to reach all the un-entered pockets and people groups in its territory. In line with this, there are plans to increase permanent camp meeting sites in order to reduce the long distances that members travel to attend camp meetings.

Furthermore, the conference plans to establish new Adventist clinics in its constituency. Already it has started building a clinic facility at Checheche Growth Point near Chipinge and another about 70 kilometers from Mutare along the Mutare-Chipinge Road. Once these goals are achieved and as membership continues to grow, the conference plans to conduct further territorial realignment.60

List of Presidents

O. D. Muza (1964-1968); C. W. Mandikate (1969-1971); E. T. Fusire (1972-1976); C. B. Chinyowa (1977-1981); L. N. Moyo (1982-1989); P. Machamire (1990-1991); T. Matemavi (1992-1996); H. Dumba (1997-1999); E. Muvuti (2000-2002); J. Nzuma (2003-2009); E. Chifamba (2010-2012); J. Musvosvi (2013); G. Musara (2014-2017); A. D. Marunze (2018-present.

Office Address

Street: 4 Thorn Road; Waterfalls, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Mailing: P.O. Box W19, Waterfalls, Harare, Zimbabwe.

Sources

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Sparrow, C. R “Tsungwesi Mission.” The South African Missionary, August 18, 1913.

Robinson, T. “Inyazura Cyclone.” The Southern African Division Outlook, March 15, 1937.

Robinson, Tersha “African Women’s Camp-meeting at Inyazura Mission.” Southern African Division Outlook, January 15, 1945.

Smith, Dunbar W. “Dedication of Mrewa Church.” Trans-Africa Division Outlook, February 15, 1973, 4.

Straw, W. E. “Tsungwesi Mission.” The South African Missionary, June 17, 1918.

Sturdevant, M. C. “A Lion Chase at the Tsungwesi Mission.” The South African Missionary, December 18, 1911.

Sturdevant, M. C. (Mrs). “Obituary.” The Southern African Division Outlook, October 15, 1933.

Sturdevant, M. C. “Tsungwesi Mission.” The South African Missionary, November 28, 1910.

Sturdevant, Melvin. C. “Umtali.The Southern African Missionary, April 23, 1917.

Tarr, Frances. “The Helping Hand: Inyazura Mission Station.” Southern African Division Outlook, December 15, 1958.

Trumper, E. A. “North Mashonaland.” Southern African Division Outlook, May 1, 1946.

Vail, W. R. “Inyazura Mission.” Southern African Division Outlook, March 1, 1946.

Vixie, L. A. “Inyazura Mission Camp-meeting,” Southern African Division Outlook, September 15,1946.

Notes

  1. “Rhodesia,” Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Washington DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996, 1216.

  2. Ibid, 1216.

  3. Editors, The African Division Outlook, May 1, 1928, 2.

  4. “Rhodesia,” Seventh-day Adventist Encyclopedia. Washington DC: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996, 1217.
    M. C. Sturdevant, “Tsungwesi Mission,” The South African Missionary, November 28, 1910, 2.

  5. “Southern Rhodesia Mission Field: Ordained & Licensed Ministers,” Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook, 196-197 & 1955, 162. http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Yearbooks/YB1951, Accessed May 5, 2019.

  6. M. C. Sturdevant, “Tsungwesi Mission,” The South African Missionary, November 28, 1910, 2.

  7. R. C. Porter, “A Visit to Tsungwesi Mission,” The South African Missionary, July 1, 1912, 1-2.

  8. “Tsungwesi Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook, 134. http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Yearbooks/YB1912, Accessed on May 5, 2019.

  9. R. C. Porter, “A Visit to Tsungwesi Mission,” The South African Missionary, July 1, 1912, 1-2.

  10. M. C. Sturdevant, “Tsungwesi Mission,” The South African Missionary, October 21, 1912, 4.

  11. Tsingwesi Mission,” Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook, 4 (1920 & 1921). http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Yearbooks/YB1912, Accessed on May 05, 2019.

  12. Hubert Sparrow, “Letter to Professor Crager,” The South African Missionary, March 10, 1914, 4.

  13. Elnora V. Jewell, “Tsungwesi Mission,”The South African Missionary, August 3, 1914, 3.

  14. Ibid, January 31, 1916, 3-4.

  15. Joel N. Musvosvi, interview by the author, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, March 5, 2019.

  16. E. Musvosvi,Story told to author and Family Members by the Mother,” December 1988.

  17. M. C. Sturdevant, “A Lion Chase at the Tsungwesi Mission.” The South African Missionary, December 18, 1911, 2.

  18. W. Duncan Eva, “Locating a New Mission Station,” Southern African Division Outlook, August 15, 1947, 2-3.

  19. C. R. Sparrow, “Tsungwesi Mission,” The South African Missionary, August 18, 1913, 30. 3-4

  20. “Tsungwesi Mission and Nyazura Mission Station: Missionary Licentiate,” Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook, 208 and 1927, 210. http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Yearbooks/YB1920, Accessed May 5, 2019.

  21. David Chimuka, interview by the author, Harare, Zimbabwe, May 17, 2019.

  22. Elnora V. Jewel, “Quarterly Meeting at Tsungwesi,” The South African Missionary, November 23, 1914, 3.

  23. Editors, “Constitution of the South African Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, Article VI, Sessions, Section 2,” The South African Missionary, May 24, 1915, 3.

  24. Editors, “Tsungwesi,” The South African Missionary, May 10, 1915, 6-7.

  25. Elnora V. Jewell, “Tsungwesi,” The South African Missionary, January 3, 1916, 4.

  26. Melvin. C. Sturdevant, “Umtali,” The Southern African Missionary, April 23, 1917, 2-3.

  27. W. E. Straw, “Tsungwesi Mission” The South African Missionary, June 17, 1918, 1-2.

  28. Mrs. M. C. Sturdevant, “Obituary,” The Southern African Division Outlook, October 15, 1933, 7.

  29. B. E. Beddoe, “Inyazura Camp-Meeting,” The African Division Outlook, October 15, 1921, 6-7.

  30. “Inyazura Mission Station,” Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook, 228. Accessed May 06, 2019. http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Yearbooks/YB1928.

  31. “Inyazura Village Schools,” Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook, 212. Accessed May 06, 2019. http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Yearbooks/YB1940,

  32. S. W. Palmer, “Preaching in Rhodesia,” The African Division Outlook, October 13, 1930, 5.

  33. T. J. Gibson, “Inyazura Mission,The African Division Outlook, October 1, 1924, 4.

  34. C. Robinson, “Nyazura Mission,” The African Division Outlook, July 15, 1926, 8.

  35. Hermann Ficker, “Victories in the Umtali District,” The Southern African Division Outlook, July 1, 1933, 4.

  36. S.W. Palmer, “Inyazura Teachers’ Institute,” The Southern African Division Outlook, July 15, 1928, 12.

  37. Mrs. Robert Buckley, “Inyazura Camp-Meeting,” The Southern African Division Outlook, November 1, 1931, 10-11.

  38. T. Robinson, “Inyazura Cyclone,” The Southern African Division Outlook, March 15, 1937, 3.

  39. E. A. Trumper, “North Mashonaland,” Southern African Division Outlook, May 1, 1946, 3-4.

  40. W. Duncan Eva, “Locating a New Mission Station,” Southern African Division Outlook, August 15, 1947, 2-3.

  41. Editors, “From Hither and Yon: Zambesi Union Mission,” Southern African Division Outlook, July 15, 1956, 12.

  42. Frances Tarr, “The Helping Hand: Inyazura Mission Station,” Southern African Division Outlook, December 15, 1958, 8.

  43. Dunbar W. Smith, “Dedication of Mrewa Church,” Trans-Africa Division Outlook, February 15, 1973, 4.

  44. Tersha Robinson, “African Women’s Camp-meeting at Inyazura Mission,” Southern African Division Outlook, January 15, 1945, 1-2.

  45. Oliver W. Holmes, “From Hither & Yon,” Southern African Division Outlook, April 15, 1960, 12.

  46. W. R. Vail, “Inyazura Mission,” Southern African Division Outlook, March 1, 1946, 3.

  47. L. A. Vixie, “Inyazura Mission Camp-meeting,” Southern African Division Outlook, September 15,1946, 2.

  48. G. F. Clifford, “Sabbath School Department,” Trans-Africa Division Outlook, April 15, 1968, 4.

  49. “Mashonaland Field,” Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook, 266. http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Yearbooks/YB1965-1966. Accessed May 06, 2019.

  50. Editors, “Profile,” Trans-Africa Division Outlook, May 15, 1968, 5.

  51. “Mashonaland Field and Eastern Zimbabwe Field,” Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook. 315-316 and 1982, 324. http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Yearbooks/YB1981. Accessed on May 06, 2019.

  52. Siphiwe Chisewe, “Email message to author, March 8, 2019.

  53. Eastern Africa Division of Seventh-day Adventists (Harare, Zimbabwe), Minutes of the Eastern Africa Division Executive Committee, Meeting of November 8-13, 1992, 267, Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division Archives, accessed May 13, 2019.

  54. Eastern Africa Division of Seventh-day Adventists (Harare, Zimbabwe), Minutes of the Eastern Africa Division Executive Committee, Meeting of May 15, 1992, 196, Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division Archives, accessed May 13, 2019.

  55. “East Zimbabwe Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook. 70. http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Yearbooks/YB1994. Accessed May 6, 2019.

  56. “East Zimbabwe Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook. 70. Accessed May 06, 2019. http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Yearbooks/YB1994,

  57. “East Zimbabwe Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook. 375 http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Yearbooks/YB2016. Accessed May 06, 2019.

  58. “East Zimbabwe Conference,” Seventh-day Adventist Online Yearbook. 388-389. http://documents.adventistarchives.org/Yearbooks/YB2017, accessed May 06, 2019.

  59. S. Musiiwa, telephone interview with the author, October 23, 2019.

  60. Ibid.

×

Machamire, Paminus. "East Zimbabwe Conference." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Accessed May 21, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=8CCX.

Machamire, Paminus. "East Zimbabwe Conference." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 29, 2020. Date of access May 21, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=8CCX.

Machamire, Paminus (2020, January 29). East Zimbabwe Conference. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved May 21, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=8CCX.