RFF Group 2023

Back row fltr: Rev. TK Ilesanmi (LDI, South Africa)), Dr Ryan Faber (Resonate Global Mission, Zambia), Rev. Pule Sejake (DRCA, South Africa), Rev. Vasco Kachipapa (CCAP Nkhoma, Malawi), Dr Christopher Munikwa (RCZ Zimbabwe & SA), Dr Luka Ariko (RCEA Kenya), Rev. Alberto Daniel (IERA, Angola), Rev. Victor Moleluque (IRM Novo, Mozambique). Middle row fltr: Dr Nico Mostert (Partners in Witness DRC Free State, SA), Dr Elias Mohnla (URCSA, South Africa), Rev. Ivan Akash Sirpal (RCA, South Africa), Rev. Samuel Besitala (IRM Mphatso, Mozambique), Mariëtte Odendaal (Communication, Witness Minisytry, South Africa), Rev. Jaco Botha (represented Witness Ministry, Western Cape, South Africa), Dr Daniël de Wet (Witness Ministry, Western Cape, South Africa). Front row fltr: Rev. Joao Herbarth (IRM Tumbine, Mozambique), Rev. Kingstar Chipata (CCAP Harare, Zimbabwe), Dr William Zulu (RCZ, Zambia), Me Letjani Moatshe (DRCB, Botswana), Rev. Martin Phate (LECSA, Lesotho), Dr Mias van Jaarsveld (Christian Literature Fund, Wellington, South Africa).

*Dr Gustav Claassen from the DRC South Africa was also present at the meeting, but not when the photo was taken.


This year the Reformed Family Forum once again had a very informative and inspiring meeting. It took place from Monday 23 to Thursday 26 October at the Andrew Murray Centre for Spirituality.

General secretaries from our sister churches in Africa that originated from missionary work in Africa initiated by the DRC since the 19th century were present.

Relevant topics were discussed such as “Good governance as key to a more sustainable church and church institutions” presented by Rev. TK Ilesanmi, the executive director of Leadership Development Initiave (LDI) based in South Africa.

Other topics that were discussed were the future of Reformed theological education in Africa, the effect of climate change and natural disasters on our churches, and theological and ethical reflections on church governance.

The meeting was also privileged to be visited by the Dr Hennie van Deventer, former principal of the JMTI, theological training college at Nkhoma, Malawi, Dr Frederick Marais, (DRC Western Cape Synod, South Africa), Dr Nadia Marais (University of Stellenbosch, South Africa), Rev. Marinus Theron, moderator of the DRC Western Cape, Rev. Stephen Pedro, manager of Witness Ministry Western Cape and Dr Kobus Odendaal, former manager of Witness Ministry.

May God bless this vibrant and inspiring church leaders of our Reformed churches in Africa.

Reaf more about these sister churches at HERE.

If you have not seen your family for a long time and you are used to seeing them at least once a year, it is bad if it has been two years since you could hang out. But luckily there is something like WhatsApp and Zoom!

And so it was on Monday afternoon when members of the Reformed Family Forum could see each other on their computer screens for the first time this year during a zoom meeting. It was arranged by Nico Mostert, manager of Partners in Witness of the Dutch Reformed Church Free State Synod and of NetACT

It was great to be able to ‘see’ all the general secretaries, who represented their different churches. Our sister churches from Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Lesotho, Swaziland and also the RCA, our Indian sister church in South Africa, have joined.

After Nico Mostert welcomed everyone, Akash Sirpal (RCA) opened with Isaiah 30 and a prayer. After that, everyone had the opportunity to briefly share how he or she was doing. After that, the group discussion began, led by Kobus Odendaal manager of Witness Ministry.

There was a particular focus on the most negative effects the current pandemic has on our church experience, like fake news, conspiracy theories and how to deal with it as church leaders. There was also a discussion of ways to revitalize our congregations.

One of the biggest challenges we face as a church is maintaining the need to be together as a family in Christ, especially through zoom church services. However, it appears that it is only possible for middle or higher income groups, due to the high data costs. However, some churches gather in very small groups and then keep their distance, wear masks and wash their hands. Other churches’ church leaders are again planning presbytery visits to encourage their people.

The absence or restriction of church services has, of course, caused a huge financial crisis, as many people do not have a culture of internet banking donations, but only contribute through their offerings on a Sunday. Something that has decreased a lot in the current situation.

With regard to the fake news and conspiracy theories, it has been emphasized that it depends on the trust in who and what the people believe. It is therefore very important that church leaders, for example, share photos of their vaccinations on social media – in this way it creates trust with people who are still skeptical.

To help with this, Berlise Louwrens of CLF provided the group with a lot of useful information:

She also shared the following with us to facilitate ministries:

Amidst the confusing messages that fly around, the church has a task to convey a message of hope in the way we reach out to one another and in the way we provide support to the marginalized people in our communities. May God’s presence be experienced through our acts of hope.

Something like the vaccine is a form of hope, to help others in need is a form of hope. We are all in the same storm, only in different boats; help each other where needed. Turn away from yourself and see where you can bring relief.

The meeting ended with a prayer by Tebatso Menyatso of the DRCB, our sister church in Botswana.

The first 30 bags of rice are transported to the boat from Pemba to Namau in Northeastern Mozambique.


The Barnabas Fund ( in the United Kingdom is a relief organization with a passion for the church in need and tribulation worldwide. On their website it says, “Barnabas stands alongside our Christian brothers and sisters where they suffer discrimination and persecution by providing aid through our partners on the ground encouraging prayer, telling their untold story and speaking out on their behalf.” Continue reading

The five new theology graduates and their wifes

We want to congratulate our sister church in Malawi, the CCAP Nkhoma on the five new theological students who graduated on Saturday 23 May at the Josophat Mwale Theological Institute (JMTI). They are Gerald Chinkoka, Yohane Kamwendo, Peter Mawonde, Ackim Mgundadzuwa and Tarrent Mwanza and will be placed in congregations on Friday 29 May. “We believe they will be good pastors,” says the General Secretary, Rev. Vasco Kachipapa. Continue reading

The RCA (Reformed Church in Africa) had their Ministers Retreat from 11 to 13 August this year at Camperdown in KwaZulu-Natal. It was facilitated by our CTAM (Committee for Training and Admission into the Ministry), their curatorium.

It was a privilege that our Modertor, Rev. Kovilan Moodley and the Secretary of our CTAM, Dr Gideon van der Watt, were also present. Dr Van der Watt facilitated our discussions on the future training of our ministers, new models for ministry and the future growth of the RCA.

“There was a lot of story sharing in the different contexts we work in,” says Rev. Sirpal, General Secretary of the RCA.

We congratulate Dr Nobre, lecturer at HEFSIBA in Northwest-Mozambique with his PhD that he received from the Faculty of Theology, North West University, Potchefstroom Campus on 18 July 2019.

His thesis was about “The calling of the Reformed Church in Mozambique towards gender equality in church and society.”

Miguel Nobre was born in Central Mozambique in a rural area called Fingoe, and as almost all the children of his time and environment, at an early age he joyfully tendered the cattle of his grandfather in the fields, during school holidays.

In January 2003 he was consecrated as pastor at Kawenga Congregation of the Reformed Church in Mozambique; presently, he is a lecturer at Christian Superior Institute of the Reformed Church in Mozambique, where he has also served as the Dean of Studies for the last six years.

In 2017, he has been elected the General Secretary for Mphatso Synod of the Reformed Church in Mozambique, for a four year tenure office.

He is married to Aurora Jaime Phiri Nobre and they have three children, namely: Alsides Nobre, Tessalónika Nobre and Ilundy Nobre.

In his thesis, The calling of the Reformed Church in Mozambique towards gender equality in church and society, he has explored the Mozambican society and the impact brought in by the Portuguese colonialism up to the 1960’s, the struggle of independence of the country from the mid 1960’s to the mid 1970’s and the 16 year civil war from 1976 to 1992.

Throughout the above-mentioned timeline, he has explored gender relationships and has showed how women have been discriminated against, in the church and in the society.

He has demonstrated that in the Reformed Church in Mozambique in particular, men erroneously use(d) Scripture to keep women out of office, thus compromising the full participation of women in the Missio Dei.

This thesis clearly calls the attention of the Reformed Church in Mozambique to make use of the recommendations herein towards gender equality, given that the ultimate purpose of this thesis was to assess how the Reformed Church in Mozambique can partake in the Missio Dei by promoting gender equality: firstly in the church; secondly in the society through her vocational calling.


                   Fltr Rev Dinah j Tuwei, Rev Lydia Jebet Tanui and Rev Philisters Tuwei Keter


Our sister church in Kenya, the RCEA (Reformed Church of East Africa) made an historical decision during their 54th synod meeting, namely to include women in the ministry of the Word and sacraments.

The following first women to be ordained were Rev. Philisters Tuwei Keter who was ordained on 29 July at RCEA Cheptiret Parish, Eldoret, Rev. Lydia Jebet Tanui who was ordained on 12 August at RCEA Kipsinende Parish, Eldoret and Rev Dinah J Tuwei who was ordained on last Sunday, also at RCEA Kipsinende Parish, Eldoret.

The RCEA was established in 1944 when the DRC of South Africa started to do missionary work in Eldoret, Kenya.

The RCEA became independent in 1963 and currently has more than 200 congregations and 30,000 members. It also has more than 110,000 followers.

We still maintain good relations with the church there, and through NetACT ( we also have close contact with their theological school in Eldoret.

The RCEA is also a member of the World Community of Reformed Churches.

Contact their General Secretary, Rev. Jonah Lagat at for more information.

BACK, flrtr: Danny Fourie (CLF), Brian Kamwendo (CCAP Nkhoma Synod, Malawi), Kovilan Moodley (RCA, SA), Alberto Daniels (IERA, Angola), Jonah Lagat ((RCEA, Kenya), Kobus Odendaal (Witness Ministry, DRC Western Cape Synod and URCSA Cape Region Synod), Charles Juro (RCZ, Zimbabwe), Gustav Claassen (DRC, SA), Charmaine Stofberg (CLF). CENTRE, fltr: Arnau van Wyngaard (SRC, Swaziland), Nico Mostert (NetACT), Gabriel Marata (IRM: Novo Synod, Mozambique), Andries Hoffman (DRCA, SA), Nelson Posholi (LECSA, Lesotho), Mariëtte Odendaal (Communications Consultant), Berlise Louwrens (CLF), FRONT, fltr: Gideon van der Watt (Partners in Witness, DRC Free State Synod), Johanna van Wyngaard, William Zulu (RCZ, Zambia), Masilo Pooyane (DRCB, Botswana), Miguel Nobre (IRM, Mphatso Synod, Mozambique), Desireé Brown (URCSA, SA) and Kingstar Chipata (CCAP, Harare Synod, Zimbabwe)


“It was indeed a blessed moment to have a conference of that magnitude. I was blessed in particular, to understand prosperity gospel and public theology among other pressing societal needs.” Rev. Jonah Lagat, General Secretary of the (RCEA) Reformed Church of East Africa in Kenya.

“This might appear small in your eyes, but be assured that you are investing treasures in us which no one will take away from us. What we gathered in the last meeting is just super as it empowered us as scribes in our respective denominations across its region … May the good God richly bless you and keep you safe all the time as you continue investing in leadership in the church in Africa.”  Dr. William Zulu (RCZ, Zambia)


If you sit around a table with representatives of all our Reformed sister churches in Africa and reflect about being church in Africa, you can not help to be amazed: at the head of the table sit two newly-found friends – the general secretary of the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa, Rev. Nelson Posholi and Dr. William Zulu, the general secretary of the Reformed Church in Zambia – respectively descendants of Moshoeshoe and Shaka, who were still archenemies in the 19th century during the infamous Difaqane (time or troubles); now developing a close friendship. Right across me sits the general secretary of Angola’s Igreja Evangélica Reformada de Angola, Alberto Daniels – someone who was as recently as thirty years ago still from a hostile country.

So what has happened in the meantime?

The Reformed Family Forum (RFF) was established in 2015 as a result of the need for liaison between our sister churches in Africa and to celebrate and strengthen our shared family history, confession tradition and identity on our continent. This forum should not only serve as a network but, above all, provide a platform where this church family can brainstorm and reflect on what the current role and challenges of the church of Christ in Africa are.

This year we met at the beautiful Lumko Institute’s Retreat and Conference Center in Benoni from 3 to 5 August.

The RFF ( currently consists of the general secretaries of a family of Reformed churches in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Kenya, Angola and Nigeria. Partnership representatives of Witness Ministry (URCSA Cape Region Synod and DRC Western Cape Synod), Partners in Witness (DRC Free State Synod), NetACT ( and CLF (Christian Literature Fund: are also part of this forum.

During the first session the members were introduced to each other and briefly shared what work, projects and challenges they have to deal with in their respective ministries. Countries such as Angola and Mozambique still struggle to eradicate post-war consequences of the destruction of infrastructure, poor schooling, and so forth. Most of them struggle with corruption and poverty, like us here in South Africa, while others are struggling with the impoverishment of the gospel as prosperity theology.

This year there were a lot of firsts: It was the very first time that URCSA appointed a general secretary, and what is more, she is a woman! Me. Desiree Brown, formerly employed in banking, was welcomed with great enthusiasm. Her expertise and valuable contributions were received with great appreciation during the meeting. “It made me realize that the Gospel of Christ still has the penetrating power to speak to our people as it did 2 000 years ago,” her Facebook entry reads afterwards.

It was also the first time our sister church in Angola could attend the meeting, as well as their general secretary, Alberto Daniels – it was also his first visit to South Africa. He was deeply touched to see that there was already a chapter of their church published in the book, A Family of Reformed Churches in Africa. The fact that there are other Reformed sister churches in neighbouring countries is comforting and encouraging, especially for the churches who are suffering in their own countries.

It was also the first time that the Lesotho Evangelical Church in Southern Africa was invited to be a new member in the circle. Rev. Nelson Posholi was immediately requested to assist Dr. William Zulu and me. Desireé Brown to set up a guideline document for the general secretaries’ job description. This diligent team took up their task very seriously and helped (with the input of the rest of the group) to compile a meaningful document that will be of great help to general secretaries in future.

The value of the Christian Literature Fund Partnership was explained by their marketer Berlise Louwrens and editor Danny Fourie during the launch of a wealth of pamphlets, books and sermon guides; all valuable tools that discuss relevant themes in various languages ​​in an attractive way. Their manager, Charmaine Stofberg, was also present.

It was also of great importance that Rev. Nico Mostert from Bloemfontein, who represented NetACT, was present. NetACT is a partner that forms a network of theological schools, of which all these RFF churches are members. They do not only contribute to the promotion of pastoral education, but NetACT also offers these members the opportunity to help develop a church theology from and for Africa. Books like “Men in the pulpit. Women in the Pew?” and the award-winning “Living with Dignity” has been developed and published by NetACT.

The rest of the weekend was devoted to reflect on topics such as how to be a missional church, how to understand public theology and public witness, what role the church should play in this and how to understand and handle prosperity theology – concepts that were for most of our group still vague and unclear, but which were well discussed with the input of experts and researchers and tested and highlighted by the Word of the Lord.

The kaleidoscope of the quality of input from the diverse backgrounds of these members has just made us realize how rich our Reformed Church is with its more than 8 million members in Africa and how important it is to discuss our challenges from our different contexts with each other. May the RFF always helps to guide in such a way, that the world can see we belong to Christ.

Mariëtte Odendaal

The outgoing General Secretary (photo), Rev Libias, Boloma, sends us the names of the new office bearers that were elected at their recent Synod Meeting:

Synod Moderator – Rev Aston Galanti

Vice Synod Moderator – Rev Alexander Malemelo

General Secretary – Rev Kingstar Chipata

Deputy General Secretary – Rev Jaredi Mwale

Synod Actuary – Rev Mizeki Mndola

Committee Member – Mr Emmanuel Mavata

Committee Member – Mrs Loice Mbewe

Rev Boloma continues, “In this regard, we shall have an Induction Ceremony for the General Secretary on the 1st of July 2018 at CCAP City Church, at 10:00am.

“As before, we remind you that all official communication with CCAP Synod of Harare should be through the General Secretary using this same email address or his personal email address (

“We continue to cherish the relationship between CCAP Synod of Harare and your organisation/institution.

“May the LORD bless us All.”

We thank God for your good leadership, Rev Libias Boloma. May God bless you.

Please take serious notice of the suffering of our brothers and sisters in the Benue State, Central Nigeria. “All Nigerian lives matter. There is no reason to kill in the name of cattle rearing or farming. We therefore call on all men and women of goodwill to stand with Benue State as we pave the way for peace and brotherliness with all Nigerians that wish to live and do business of any kind inside Benue State of Nigeria.” (Press Conference of MAFO, 15 January 2018) Continue reading

ZIMBABWE: Although we all know about the recent political leadership change in Zimbabwe, the circumstances at grassroot level are still very challenging. Rev Charles Juro, the General Secretary of our sister church, the RCZ (Reformed Church in Zimbabwe) sent as the following e-mail:

Continue reading

You are one of our Reformed Family in Africa’s seven million members and, like all the others, you are represented by your church’s General Secretary.

The General Secretaries of our Dutch Reformed Church family in Africa held their first RFF (Reformed Family Forum) meeting in 2015 and, since then, have come together once a year in one of the member-countries. Continue reading

Last year the general secretaries of 14 sister Reformed Churches in Southern Africa met for the first time to establish the DRC Reformed Family Forum. It was held in Lusaka, Zambia and it was indeed a historical meeting!

It was with great gratitude and joy that we rediscovered our family ties as sister churches and celebrated our shared history and Reformed identity. Continue reading