Triangle SDA Church

By Ngili Muloko Mutombe

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Ngili Muloko Mutombe, D.Min. (Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan), is the Mampala district leader and a professor of theology at Philip Lemon University in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo. He previously served as the first president of Philip Lemon University and president of West Katanga Field, North Katanga Mission, and Maniema Mission. He has authored L’Adventiste du Septième Jour: Histoire et Bataille d’Expansion de l’Evangélisation en RD Congo.

First Published: January 20, 2022

Triangle SDA Church is located in the center of Elisabethville (Lubumbashi), the site that concerned the natives who left their villages for the mines and escaped their ancestral practices. Today Lubumbashi is the second largest city in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This church is significant for the Adventist history in this country because it was the first Adventist Church in Lubumbashi, the city that received the first missionaries from Rhodesia in search of the unentered territories. With 65 churches and companies, today Lubumbashi has 20,000 Adventist members against a population of 11, 000, 000 inhabitants.1

Background

Adventist missionaries settled on the outskirts of the Ruashi in 1923 to reach the elite of the population, as well as the natives. They even killed a large leopard in the mission concession.2 In 1942 they decided to sell the mission and buy another site in Elisabethville. The natives misinterpreted the thing and circulated an oral tradition that has not yet been stifled until today.3 After the sale two missionaries died and the natives believed in the curse because of the sale of the concession. The South African Division Committee voted for the ground to be sold, in order to buy another piece of land. This is where the Triangle school and church were erected, after World War II. The leadership of the union at the time was in the hands of R. J. Campbell, Ambs Karl, and Reinahrd from Gitwe in Ruanda.4

History

After the disorder due to the sale of the aforementioned concession, the members scattered. Some cults were observed from 1943 to 1945, around Kilobe-lobe and Kikwanda. During this period several churches were opened in Katanga. Pioneers suggested the purchase of the current Triangle site after World War II. A small church was built there. Pastor César studied at this school in 1948.5

Karl F. Ambs states that four houses were already built to house the native monitors. He said plans for the big church were awaiting approval at the planning office.6 On March 21, 1953, nine people were baptized into the Triangle SDA Church, and the believers of this church participated in the manufacture of bricks for this new building. The expected capacity is 450 to 500 people.7 In the evening of April 19, 1959, all the work was finished, and the doors of the church opened for a great campaign of evangelization. Kalaba Simon, one of the teacher evangelists, led a choir of 30 young people. The attendance in the campaign was 900 to 1,200 people.8

Triangle served as the headquarters of the Katanga Mission Station until the establishment of the South Katanga Association in 1974.9 Great events and great campaigns supported this church until it had all the churches in the city. The different divisions have sent their speakers to Triangle conferences, even the General Conference did so. We can affirm that even if other larger churches are acquired and built in Lubumbashi, Triangle is considered to be the Lubumbashi Number One.10

After the Katanga Mission School was sold in 1941, the school replaced it was that of Triangle. Since that time the church has trained students, and some of them became the elite of the country. The small dispensary no longer exists, but other clinics were erected in Lubumbashi that treat all races and religions without distinction. Within a 30 km radius of the city, the organization has 65 churches, 20 schools, and a university.11

Katanga Mission Station Leaders

Valentine Davies (1948–1951); A. A. Matter Junior (1952); B. R Bickley (1956–1967); T. W. Staples (1954); C. E. Felton (1955); Jonas F. E. Wilson (1958); Silas Monga (1959–1961); Ruzirakuvuga (1962–1968). Katanga Mission Station was discontinued after 1968.

Sources

Ambs, Karl F. “News Notes.” The Southern African Division Outlook, May 1, 1953.

Ambs, Karl F. “Report of the president of the Congo Union Mission rendered at the year-end session of the division committee.” The Southern African Division Outlook, May 1, 1951.

East-Central Africa Division Statistical Report, 4th Quarter, 2020, East-Central Africa Division archives, Nairobi, Kenya.

Evert, J. G. “Congo Union: Karibuni.” The Southern African Division Outlook, June 15, 1959.

Muloko, Mutombe Ngili. L’adventisme du 7è Jour : Histoire et batailles d’expansion de l’évangélisation en RD Congo (Seveth-day Adventism: History and fight for evangelism expansion in the Democratic Republic of Congo). Unpublished manuscript, 2019. In the author’s private collection.

Webster, D. A. “Congo Mission Field: Exciting experiences at the Katanga Mission,” The African Division Outlook, June 1, 1926.

Notes

  1. East-Central Africa Division Statistical Report, 4th Quarter, 2020, East-Central Africa Division archives, Nairobi, Kenya.

  2. D. A. Webster, “Congo Mission Field: Exciting experiences at the Katanga Mission,” The African Division Outlook, June 1, 1926, 5.

  3. Mutombe Ngili Muloko, L’adventisme du 7è Jour : Histoire et batailles d’expansion de l’évangélisation en RD Congo (Seveth-day Adventism: History and fight for evangelism expansion in the Democratic Republic of Congo) 2019, 42, 43, in the author’s private collection.

  4. Ibid.

  5. Kibwe César, interview by the author, March 26, 2016.

  6. Karl F. Ambs, “Report of the president of the Congo Union Mission rendered at the year-end session of the division committee,” The Southern African Division Outlook, May 1, 1951, 3, 4.

  7. Karl F. Ambs, “News Notes,” The Southern African Division Outlook, May 1, 1953, 7.

  8. J. G. Evert, “Congo Union: Karibuni,” The Southern African Division Outlook, June 15, 1959, 3, 4.

  9. Muloko, 68, 69.

  10. The author’s personal knowledge as an employee of the Adventist Church in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  11. Ibid.

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Mutombe, Ngili Muloko. "Triangle SDA Church." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 20, 2022. Accessed June 18, 2024. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BJAC.

Mutombe, Ngili Muloko. "Triangle SDA Church." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 20, 2022. Date of access June 18, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BJAC.

Mutombe, Ngili Muloko (2022, January 20). Triangle SDA Church. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved June 18, 2024, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=BJAC.