In our Pentecost countdown, I would like to feature the four Copperbelt churches strung along the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo in northwest Zambia. Pastor Derrick Pringle and his wife Cherry along with deacon Rodrick Epomba provide these fine reports about the United Church of God.
God is calling people to salvation who live in some of the harshest and most remote places on the earth. Yet, they are a shining example of the Christian faith and have shown determination to also preach the Gospel to the world as well. Some of them have waited decades to be baptized by a minister of the Church.
The United Church of God office for Zambia is located on the property of the Pringles who for many years have mailed the Beyond Today magazine, UCG literature, and have responded to reader’s inquiries. Beverly and I have visited here many times and have become fond of them and admire them for all they do.
Pastor Derrick Pringle and deacon Rodrick Epomba provide these reports about developments in their area.
First, from Derrick Pringle:
In 2011 a subversive element in the United Church of God disturbed us here in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia. One of their leaders boldly proclaimed that UCG would collapse within two years.
Did this happen? No! Instead, here is what has happened. In 2011 there was only a handful of members meeting for Sabbath services in a dingy classroom in the town of Mufulira in the Copperbelt region. To our knowledge, no other members were meeting in the Copperbelt or any adjoining provinces. Project now to 2021 and see the results of God building His house in additional congregations.
The property where the Mufulira congregation meets is also the site for the Feast of Tabernacles for 150 to 200 people, youth camp, ladies retreat, and various other functions.
Once a week we produce a radio broadcast.
A hall was constructed with dimensions of 20 meters x 9 meters and complete with lights, ceiling fans, and a tiled floor. Seating is on comfortable wooden benches. Because this became a Feast site the following were added:
• Male and female ablution block of 8 toilets, showers, and basins
• A three-roomed cottage for the caretaker.
• Dining area complete with tables and benches
• A kitchen with washing bays.
• Four water tanks each holding 5,000 liters
• Two rainwater tanks of 5,000lts each for drinking water.
Various fruit trees planted – banana, avocado pear, Paw-paw, Indian guava, grafted mango, lemon, and navel orange. Palm trees and lawn enhance the beauty of the grounds.
Solwezi is a mining town roughly 270 kilometers northwest of Mufulira. A small church group was established using a little hall which was patched and renovated for services. In time this hall became too small so with our very capable deacon, Rodrick Epomba, a large well-built hall was erected. Electric fittings installed, modern ceiling, and tiled floor.
Once a week we produce a radio broadcast.
On the first day of Unleavened Bread in 2021, we had 71 people in attendance.
Mufumbwe is a small town 200 kilometers northwest of Solwezi. A church hall was constructed with an adjoining room for us to stay in when visiting this area. The following was also built:
• A two-room storeroom.
• A four-room cottage almost completed for the deacon and his wife.
• A strongly built 4-meter high storeroom on which has been placed a 5,000-liter water tank. There is provision for another tank should the need arise.
• A borehole complete with electric pump, water lines, and fittings.
• A drip line irrigation system was installed for market gardening to supply vegetables to the town. The Mufumbwe people are good farmers and this is a successful venture paying for most of the church’s running costs as well as cash to uplift the members living conditions.
• Avocado and grafted mango trees planted.
The complete area is enclosed with a 1.8-meter diamond mesh fence topped with barbed wire.
A weekly radio broadcast is produced by our deacon Christopher Ndunguyongo.
An orphanage subsidized by LifeNets and ably managed by our member Joseph Kaputula.
The weekly Sabbath attendance tops 40 people.
Manyinga is another small town 100 kilometers from Mufumbwe.
A church hall was constructed. At present, a 4 roomed cottage going up for a caretaker. A borehole with an Indian hand pump installed. Our average Sabbath attendance is about 35 people.
From the beginning of “small things” (Zechariah 4:10) over a ten-year period, God has grown the United Church of God over a distance of 700 kilometers with churches, members, and community improvements.
All this has been accomplished through the generous assistance of LifeNets USA, LifeNets Australia, the Good Works program, and others for whom we are extremely thankful.
- Derrick Pringle
The following report is from deacon Rodrick Epomba of the Solwezi congregation:
In the past months, the Solwezi church has seen massive developmental projects that have changed the face of our congregation. We've seen the construction of a church/community hall which is about 12 ×17 meters. This includes a veranda, a kitchen, and an office. The hall which is well furnished as you can see on pics below sits on a 40 × 45 meter land which is surrounded by a diamond mesh fence.
An ablution block has been built as well and all equipment and materials. The only thing lacking is running water still this will be a thing of the past should a 5000-liter tank and a pump be provided. The members have dug the well which is about 14 meters deep and provides plenty of water to be pumped into the tank.
This year we celebrate our one-year plus radio show in Solwezi bringing Beyond Today to our local (Kaonde, Lunda, Luvale, and Bemba language). This program has been so helpful in spreading the word of God. The radio station that reaches out for 120 kilometers, caters to all age groups is known as a Christian radio station and soul radio. It is streamed on:
From the time we started our radio program we've been receiving great response from our listeners as we have had five members come into the church in the past year. People have called and asked for the truth they hear us on the radio. More keep contacting us despite the distance from the church. This is one of the great challenges for those who are very far from Solwezi. They want to meet with us and we hope to visit them
I want to thank pastor Filius Jere of Chipata for the mentorship that he gave us for our radio show that is yielding fruit that we can see. We pray for God's direction as we press forward in these hard times.
It was of great joy seeing six people joined to the body of Christ. This is something that I personally prayed for on several occasions. We are really grateful to God Almighty for His power and mercy He has kept on showing to His people for opening their spiritual eyes and ears so that they can hear and understand his truth not only that but also abide in it.
We are grateful for the support we receive as a local church physically and spiritually this gives us hope and reminds us that indeed we are one in Christ. It is our prayer that you keep praying for us so that his truth be known in all parts of the world.
- Rodrick Epomba