Word Of God Come Again.
Apostolic Faith Church, Bournemouth




AUG 25th to 28th 2011

Report of the



Second Visit to Africa

As many of you are aware this was my second visit to the African continent the first being to Botswana at the same time last year.  This year it was Zimbabwe’s turn to receive me and I was not disappointed.  My plane touched down at Victoria Falls where I was warmly greeted by members of the local congregation and Church leaders before visiting one of the local branches.  Then it was off to the magnificent Victoria Falls one of the worlds seven natural wonders.  It was good to pause and think of David Livingstone the Scottish missionary and explorer, who is believed to have been the first European recorded to view the Victoria Falls — which he did from what is now known as 'Livingstone Island' in Zambia, the only land accessible in the middle of the falls.  David Livingstone gave the falls the name 'Victoria Falls' in honour of his Queen, but the indigenous name of 'Mosi-oa-Tunya' — literally meaning the 'Smoke that Thunders'.  A most appropriate start to what would be a very memorable centenary conference.


Hwange 2011

Hwange is a mining community and many of our Church members have or are still working for the Colliery including the Country Overseer Mr Noah Msimanga and our esteemed National Overseer for the Northern Limpopo area Rev Abraham Mabuta.  The local Church had done a magnificent job in preparing to receive some 1526 delegates from seven countries if you include the UK.  I had come to Zimbabwe full of anticipation for the Lord’s Blessing.  From day one I was not disappointed.  The meetings were charged with excitement and the wonderful exuberant worship for which our members are noted.


Therefore Go!

The theme for this year’s conference was taken from the Gospel of Matthew Chapter 28 echoing the words of Jesus.  “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.  And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  We couldn’t have had a better theme for our Centenary year.  William Oliver Hutchinson, full of zeal and passion founded the Church in 1908 and planted it in Africa in 1911.  The Church was born out of a passion for the things of the Holy Spirit and a desire to have freedom in worship.  Over the few days of the conference it was my joy to help us focus on our heritage as we move forward together toward whatever God has in store for us in the days ahead.


Meetings Galore

My conference schedule was very demanding and included two extended meetings, one with the young people and another with pastors and elders.  The question and answer sessions gave me an opportunity to address some of the many concerns expressed by our leaders over a period of some six hours.  There is a very clear need for us to really know what we believe and teach in the context of the world in which we live.  We are beginning to face a clash of culture where knowledge and learning are highly regarded.  No longer can a leader earn respect if he or she refuses to face up to the fact that information technology is opening up exciting opportunities for learning and personal growth.  The Gospel never changes but the context in which it is preached most certainly does.  Our Overseers are charged with making sure that every Church member is familiar with our Church Doctrine and Decrees so as to avoid confusion. Jesus made clear the importance of knowing the truth in John’s Gospel Chapter 8: v 31 “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples.  Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”



Conflict Resolution

Because we are flawed human beings there are always a number of conflict situations that arise in many Churches and ours is no exception.  For this reason I had to engage in a number of meetings where I had to listen well and use the wisdom that God has given to me.  Not everyone can, or ever will ,be happy all the time but this is where the grace to forgive and forget comes in.


A New Day for Angola

It was my great joy to ordain Rev Samuel Paquissi to the position of Overseer for Angola to work alongside Overseer Alberto Segunda.  Over the years there have been many challenges in trying to unite the 50,000 plus members of our Church in Angola.  The two leaders have pledged to work together to ensure that the love and peace of God is uppermost as they work towards building unity and community cohesion in the Church and outside of its walls.  Pray for them often as they set about this challenging task.







Looking Back – Leaping Forward

The conference welcomed the former Chief Overseer for Africa.  I had the privilege, if you can call it that, of officially announcing his retirement.  The Rev Ozias Kalundu has served the Church in many capacities over many years. He recalled those years of ministerial stories as he bade farewell.  He was however reminded that he was retiring from a post not from the Church.


Our National Overseer for the Northern Limpopo Region, Rev Abraham Mabuta, announced to the conference that he plans to retire in 12 months time clearing the way for a successor to be appointed.  Senior leaders have agreed to the establishment of a new Council for the Northern Limpopo region to be appointed.  This new group of Spirit filled leaders will take responsibility for the oversight of the Church in the Northern Region.  A selection process for Council membership has begun inviting any member of the Church to apply through their Country Overseers.


In Remembrance of Me

The conference concluded with a great communion service when we all gathered together around the Lord’s table.  As we eat the bread and drank the wine we were all reminded that we have each been forgiven a great deal.  The price He paid was high and we, as His beloved children are expected to follow in His footsteps as we seek to worship and serve Him through the Apostolic Faith Church.  The servant is not greater than the Master.  I invite you all to continue to help us build a strong Church that in every way honours the Saviour and builds the Kingdom. Remember always that it is His Church not ours.  “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’.  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22: V 37-40


Rev James Blair Crawford

Deputy International Chief Overseer

August 31st 2011