Monday, May 7, 2012

First Graduation

James wrote a report on the graduation


On April 28, 2012, the first graduation of Copperbelt Ministerial College was held. Fourteen students of the college received their Bachelors of Theology Degree. These students began their studies at the college almost five years ago, in July 2007. They received teaching from Reformed Baptist pastors hailing from as close as the host church in Ndola, to as far away as California in the USA. For four years, instructors came in pairs, teaching one week every three months until the cycle of classes was concluded in April 2011. Over the past year, the students have been completing class assignments, taking comprehensive final exams, and working on a thesis paper. The college has been hosted by Grace Reformed Baptist Church of Ndola since its inception, and the leadership and members have worked tirelessly through the years to make the modules run better and better. Our Gracious Heavenly Father has been pleased to bless the efforts of the host church and our lecturers so that the college continues to attract new students, and currently has about 25 men advancing toward completion of their own degrees in due course.

The fact that the graduation was held in Ndola Baptist Church, the oldest Baptist church in Zambia, gave an appropriate sense of pathos to the celebrations on Saturday. The service was begun by the reading of Scripture. Katongo Kafuko, the College Administrator, was given this task. He works very hard during each module to see that the students are housed, fed, and supplied with books and notes for the courses, and in general well cared for. Pastor Kabwe Kabwe, Academic Dean of CMC, gave opening remarks and also led the awarding of papers to each graduate. Pastor Choolwe Mweetwa, Principle of CMC, gave an address to the graduates as well. Pastors Kabwe and Mweetwa have been the driving forces behind the college in the Copperbelt since its inception, and it was a blessed sight to see the fruit of their work in Christ’s name.

The guest of honor for the graduation was Pastor Austin Walker, a graduate of Westminster Seminary in the US, and a man of over 40 years’ experience in the ministry. He had the lion’s share of the service, exhorting the men in the words of the Apostle Paul to “continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of” (2Tim 3:14). This theme fell in line with the Scripture reading in the beginning, as well as Pastor Mweetwa’s remarks afterward. Cephas Phiri, one of the top students of the college, gave a fine vote of thanks as a response from the graduates. In addition, a special note of thanks was made to the various lecturers who have come to the college from Zambia, the US, the UK, and elsewhere. Also, a word of thanks was spoken on behalf of Dr. and Mrs. Lazarus Phiri, who have hosted the majority of our visiting lecturers through the years.

Though there was regretfully an oversight in getting the word out regarding the graduation, a number of friends and family of the graduates were still on hand for the occasion, for which we are thankful. Hugs and tears and wide smiles filled the fellowship hall where newly graduated men and their families gathered afterward. As well, there was picture taking rivaling the “paparazzi” of the most exciting wedding, as each graduate wanted a combination of different pictures with other graduates, with his family, with his principle and dean, with the guest of honor, etc.

We could not rightly conclude such a report without at least listing the names of the graduates themselves: Ndonji Kayombo, Kasango Kayombo, Marshal Kasongo, Dennis Phiri, Peter Mukulula, Grave Singogo (in absentia), Cephas Phiri, Alfred Ngoma, Jacob Mwila, Mondesters Hakanyanga, Francis Nyati, Emmanuel Sakala, Cosmas Simaunda, Nixon Chipozo. Please commit these men to prayer as they go forth in the service of the kingdom of our Lord Jesus. All but one are currently laboring in the ministry (and we hope he also will join the ranks soon!). We thank Almighty God who has so richly blessed the work of the college through the years far beyond what we have asked or thought. And we pray He will continue to produce through its labor humble, faithful men who will be able to teach others also...

James, Pastor Kabwe Kabwe- Academic Dean, Pastor Choolwe Mwetwa- Principal, Pastor Austin Walker

James shaking Mondesters Hakanyaga's hand.
He was the first church planter that was supported.

Kasango Kayombo shaking hands with James and getting his diploma

Pastor Kabwe with Francis Nyati

Katongo Kafuko, the college administrator, reading the scriptures

Pastor Kabwe presenting the degrees

Cephas Phiri speaking on behalf of the graduates

Pastor Choolwe giving the Principal's address

Pastor Austin Walker giving the graduation address

The graduates listening as Pastor Austin Walker preaches to them

The Papparazi ( I was among them, but... that's why I can post all these pictures!)

Singing the final hymn, "He leadeth me"

The final prayer as the ceremony ended

The congratulatory line after the ceremony

The church planters that are supported are now graduates of CMC.
Francis Nyati (Lubuto Central Baptist)
Marshall Kasongo (Mapalo Baptist Church)
Mondesters Hakanyaga (Luanshya Central Baptist)

Kasango and James
Kasango and his family are good friends of ours.
He is the pastor of the church plant that we attend in Ibex Hill.
(Ibex Hill Reformed Baptist)

Albert Ngoma
(Calvary Baptist Church)

Cephas Phiri
(Lubuto Apostolic Church)

Cosmos Simaunda
(Fairview Reformed Baptist)

Peter Mukalula
(Kalulushi Baptist Church)

Nickson Chipozo
(Mine ECZ Congregation)

Emmanuel Sakala
(Fairview Reformed Baptist)

Dennis Phiri
(Anglican Church - Ndola)

Jacob Mwila with his sister Ketty
(Solwezi Reformed Baptist Church)

Ndonji Kayombo with his wife
(Trinity Baptist Church)

James and Megan

The Faculty
(It is amazing to think of all the men that have been a part of the training. It is a great lineup!)

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful pictures and what a blessing to all who have been involved in this endeavor.
    Continued prayers for the ongoing work.