THE GOSPEL COALITION AFRICA
About 400 people gathered at Rosebank Union Church, Johannesburg on Saturday night to formally launch The Gospel Coalition Africa (TGC Africa). Our website was also launched on the same evening at africa.thegospelcoaltion.org. You can follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
“This is an answer to prayer. I’ve always longed to read and learn from other African Gospel leaders in navigating the challenges particular to Africa. This theological vacuum wasn’t because there are no African leaders, but there was no way to know and access their writings” said Antony Dandato, National Director of Focus (IFES) Zimbabwe.
“TGC Africa seeks to fill the gap caused by a lack of thorough Biblical Gospel teaching in Africa. It plans to use the most up-to-date technology in achieving this goal. In many ways this is the new Guttenberg Press, both in technology and theology” said Abel Sauti -Phiri from African Enterprise in Malawi.
Dr. Edwin Zulu from Lusaka, Zambia said, “This launch gives the continent a visible vehicle, a forum from which the Gospel of Jesus Christ can be enhanced”. One of the Council members, Dr Conrad Mbewe said that the Gospel is always the Gospel, but it needs to wear African shoes and African clothes.
Martin Morrison, the chairman of the Council, introduced TGCA, explaining that Africans are beginning to see the need for Reformed evangelicals to work together. This is just the beginning, he noted. “We’re working out how to serve the church best,” Morrison remarked. “We can see multiple ways in which we potentially might serve the church, but we don’t want to duplicate things. We’re aware that the needs of each country in Africa is very different.”
Morrison urged those gathered to visit the website and to use the growing body of resources there. Members of the Council led in prayer for Africa, asking God for revitalization and renewal across our continent, for peace, for growth of gospel ministries, and for many to know the saving work of Jesus.
Attendees joined together to sing praises to God in a variety of African languages and voices.
Don Carson, president of TGC in the United States, preached on Romans 3: 27 – 4: 25. He explained that the Christian life costs nothing and everything—it costs nothing to receive salvation, but it costs everything to follow Jesus.
This week the Council, comprising Christian leaders from all over Africa have gathered in Johannesburg for consultation on the direction and strategy TGC Africa needs to take to serve the church in Africa.
Morrison reminded those attending the launch that in the second and third centuries, North Africa was the centre of gravity of world Christendom. We pray and dream that God will once again raise an Augustine, Athanasius, Origen and Tertullian from Africa to provide theological leadership for all of Christendom.
Don Carson clarified that TGC Africa is not a subsidiary of TGC in the United States, but has its own governing council.
TGC Africa’s Council consists of Christian leaders from around Africa including:
Lameck Byonge – Tanzania – Pastor, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania, Eastern and Coastal Diocese; Biblical Theology teacher at the Kisarawe Lutheran Junior Seminary
Antony Dandato – Zimbabwe – Pastor, United Baptist Church, Dzivarasekwa Extension, National Director of FOCUS (Fellowship of Christian Unions), IFES Zimbabwe, Harare; Co-ordinator of the Gospel Confederation of Zimbabwe (TGCZ).
Nicolas Kyalangalilwa – DRC (Congo) – Pastor, Le Phare Church, Bukavu; Director of the Congo Leadership Institute; member of the City to City Africa advisory board
Innocent Manirafasha – Rwanda – Pastor, Gospel Community Church, Kigali
Ndaba Mazabane – South Africa – Past Chair of the International World Evangelical Alliance; Associate Pastor, Rosebank Union Church, Johannesburg
Conrad Mbewe – Zambia – Pastor, Kabwata Baptist Church, Lusaka; Chancellor of African Christian University, Lusaka
Kenneth Mbugua – Kenya – Pastor, Emmanuel Baptist Church, Nairobi; Managing Director of Ekklesia Afrika
Martin Morrison – South Africa – Gauteng Bishop of the Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church of South Africa (REACH SA); Rector, Christ Church Midrand, Johannesburg; TGC Africa Chairman
Abel Sauti-Phiri – Malawi – Missions Director, African Enterprise Malawi; Pastor at Deeper Life Bible Church, Lilongwe
Panganayi Sithole – Zimbabwe – is a Student Worker at Christ Church Midrand, Johannesburg, while he completes his PhD. He previously pastored at United Baptist Church, Chiredzi and was a lecturer at Rusitu Bible College, Harare
Inocencio Varine – Moçambique – Pastor, Fountain of Life Church, Maputo; provides oversight of the Explore theological correspondence course throughout Moçambique.
Edwin Zulu – Zambia – Pastor, Reformed Church in Zambia, Lusaka; Synod Moderator; Head of Post Graduate and Research at Justo Mwale Theological University, Lusaka