History of the church in Namibia, 1805 - 1990. An introduction

Birth, growth, mature life and witness of the Christian Churches of Namibia since pre-Colonial times, up to the present
Buys, G. L.; Nambala, S. W.
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History of the church in Namibia, 1805 - 1990. An introduction

Authors: Gerhard L. Buys; Shekutaamba W. Nambala
Publisher: Gamsberg Macmillan
Windhoek, 2003
Soft cover, 17x24 cm, 449 pages, many bw-photos


The purpose of this research is to provide a standard Church History for Namibia. An introduction to the history of the Christian Church is necessary for Namibian and international students, visitors and Church leaders.

It offers a concise overview of the birth, growth, mature life and witness of the Christian Churches of Namibia since pre-Colonial times, up to the present.

The terminus ad quem is the celebration of independent Namibian nationhood in 1990! There is a general need for a proper understanding of the processes leading to Namibian nationhood:

The decisive role played by the Christian Churches throughout Namibia's history, establishing the present ethical and moral fibre of the Namibian nation.

This role of the Churches dare not be ignored in any secular, political, economic or cultural history of Namibia.

Without a historical record, the role of the Namibian Churches as the servants of Jesus Christ, might be overlooked by secular readers, and therefore need to be confirmed.

Presently there is no general introduction available in English, except for some topical publications and selective church literature.

Up to this point in time the historiographic data of the Churches were unavailable to the general reader. It confronted the researcher with a scattered mass of facts, dates, names and events, without an analytical and comprehensive framework.

This called for a scientific and well researched ecclesiological introduction, making Church history palatable and accessible to all interested.

Not only from within Namibia, but also from without, many seconded staff or visitors to Namibia - especially since 1990, requested the authors for a standardised, concise and readable book on the history of the Namibian Churches.





Purpose, motivation, point of departure, objectives, methods, sources, additional research,
ecclesiological critique, mission-church, terminology, authors, resources.

The country, the people, the economy, the religions, political history, peoples of Namibia,
evaluation: ethnic diversity (alphabetical list): Basters of Rehoboth and the "Coloured"
community, the Caprivians, the Damara, the Herero, the Kavango, the Nama, the Ovambo, the
San, the Tswana, White Namibians.


1. Pre-Christian religious experience of Namibian peoples
• Supreme being - God: Creation and origin of mankind, nature and attributes of God; pres-
ence and acts of God; comparison with Scripture.
• Supreme rule of God and ancestral hierarchy: God's supremacy; ancestors: mediators to
God; need for ancestor worship.
• Morality and behaviour: African view of man; morality and ethics; sin, evil, sickness and
• Ceremony and sacrifice: Effects of Christianisation and secularisation.
• Death and eternal life.

2. Arrival of the Gospel in Namibia - the first efforts of missionary societies
• London Missionary Society: Segmented advance; Warmbad - October 1806; Afrikaner
village at Khouchanas 1815; Bethanien 1814.
• Wesley an Methodist Missionary Society: Bush Fountain 1821; Fish River 1825 with murder
of missionaries: Links, Threlfall, Jager; Nisbett Bath circuit (Warmbad) 1834; Wesleyvale,
Nausanabis (Leonardville) 1842; Concordiaville (Windhoek) 1844.
• Rhenish Missionary Society: Starting point; Rhenish mission to the south; Rhenish mis-
sion to the north - unsuccessful beginnings 1844; second beginning 1854; third beginning
1863; Rhenish mission during ten years of peace.
• Finnish Missionary Society: Open door 1870; first efforts abandoned 1873; difficult mis-
sions in the Ondonga area 1875; spiritual breakthrough and first congregation 1883; first
indigenous workers 1888.

3. The cultural influence of the early pre-colonial missions
• Towards a comprehensive, integral or holistic mission approach: Holistic mission, early
missions and cultural change.
• The influence of individual conversion and education: Evaluation: Mission education,
ethno-centricity and apartheid
• Mission influence in the social sphere; in the economic sphere; in the political sphere


4. Prophetic leaders of the Church (I) - the era of tribal leadership, some important lay

• Early pioneers of the gospel: The story of the Kingdom, prophets of Namibia, children of
the times
• Heinrich Schmelen (1777 - 1848), Jonker Afrikaner (1798 - 1861): childhood, conversion,
first church building in Windhoek, peace followed by conflict and disintegration: Evaluation:
Christian unity, Secular motives for Christian mission, Evaluation: Motives and methods
of Jonker Afrikaner
• Lay preachers and church planters (I): Jan Magerman at Warmbad, LMS (1811-1818);
Jacob Links at Bush Fountain, WMMS (1821- 1825) and Peter Links at Warmbad, WMMS
(1834); Frederick Buys at Warmbad, Kliphoek and Schansvlakte in the Karas Mountains,
WMMS (1842 -1856); Jan Bam at Windhoek, Okahandja, Bethanie, Scheppmansdorf, RMS
(1842 - 1856); Daniel Cloete and Samuel Gertze at Windhoek, Rehoboth, Okahandja, RMS
(1844 - 1864); other lay preachers and catechists.
• The witness and leadership of Christian Women: Wive's of Chiefs.
• Carl Hugo Harm, RMS (1818 - 1895): interruptions of Herero mission; comprehensive
approach at Otjimbingue; Peace treaties of Vollmer, Kronlein and Hahn; Evaluations: Com-
prehensive approach; Hahn s cultural and mission initiatives.

5. The arrival of the colonial era in Namibia (I): Missionary societies and mission churches
under German protection and colonisation until World War I

• European intervention: Circumstances preceding European intervention - missionary
appeals, Christian mission and European 'protection'. Evaluation: Missionary appeals for
• Consequences of colonialism - Namibian resistance: Land hunger and land reserves, the
Orlam, Herero and Nama resistance wars ( 1893 - 1894, 1904 - 1907), German retaliation.
Evaluation: Herero genocide and suffering
• Position of the Mission Church and the Rhenish missionaries during and after the 1904
resistance wars: Response of indigenous Christian. Evaluation: Participation of Herero
Christians in the 1904 armed resistance, response of German and Afrikaner colonists,
response of the Rhenish Missionary Society and missionaries, restoration work of Rhenish
missions, new patterns of ministry after 1904. Evaluation: Mission and colonialism - the
role of the missionaries under German colonisation

6. The arrival of the colonial era in Namibia (II): New denominations under German colonial rule
• Arrival of Reformed Churches of Afrikaner settlers: DRC (1870, 1875, 1880): Southern
migration, from difficult settlement to good testimony, Thirstland Afrikaner treks
• Arrival of German settlers: Lutherans and Roman Catholics ( 1883): Origins of German Evan-
gelical Church in Namibia (1890, 1896)
• The origins of the Roman Catholic Church in Namibia ( 1896) : Unsuccessful early attempts,
Omaruru mission (1879), transfer of missionary oblates, Catholic Mission orders in Namibia,
renewed mission efforts OSFS, OMI
• Anglican mission in the northern regions: First attempts

7. Patterns of growth of mission churches in the early colonial era (1883 -1920)
• Growth of the Christian Church: - amongst the Nama peoples in the South; - amongst the
Baster community in Rehoboth; - amongst the Herero north of Windhoek; - amongst the
Damara people; in the northern regions (Ovambo), Rhenish Mission, Finnish Mission,
Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches..
• Beginnings and growth of the church in the Kavango region: Seven epic journeys of the
Roman Catholic mission.
• Origins and growth of the Church in the Caprivi region: LMS (1860,1917); PEMS (1885).
Caprivi missions after WW-1
• Growth of the church in other remote areas: Angolan mission of the Reformed Churches,
first missions to the San

8. Prophetic Leaders of the Church (II): During the German colonial era (1883 -1915)
Two pivotal figures of Namibian church history:
• Hendrik Witbooi (1840-1905): Childhood and education; calling of God, nature and authority
of governments, highlights of Witbooi's life
• Heinrich Vedder (1876-1972): Life and work, outline of ministry, research on Namibian
languages, relief work, principal of Augustineum, science, historiography and anthropology,
president of the Rhenish Mission Church

9. Effects of WW-I: South African denominations entered Namibia (1915 -1924)
• WW-I: Effect on existing Namibian missions
• The South African colonial system, military rule during WW -1, original leniency - anti-
German propaganda, introduction of South African labour system
• South African Churches planted after WW-I: Methodist Church (1915), Anglican Church
(1924), arrival of Reformed Churches - from the Cape and from Angola


10. Phenomenal growth of the older churches after WW-I (1922 -1957)
• Rhenish Mission Church: WW-I, WW-II, three secessions 1923, 1946, 1955, statistical
decline, subsequent growth
• Finnish Mission Church
• German Evangelical Settler Church
• Dutch Reformed Church
• Uniting Reformed Church
• Roman Catholic Church
• Anglican Church
• Methodist Church
• African Methodist Episcopal Church
• Oruuano Church
• Rhenish secessions in Rehoboth

11. New denominations planted in Namibia after WW-I
• Baptist Churches: Sporadic ministry from South Africa 1910-1959, organised ministry 1959-
1967, permanent ministry and church planting 1967-1983, Baptist Association 1983
• Seventh Day Adventists 1922: South African origins, main doctrines, intolerance from
governments and other denominations, missionary methods: medical, educational, printing,
SDA in Southern Africa, from Zimbabwe to Caprivi, mission to Windhoek, spreading
throughout Namibia, ecclesiological development, South African racial separation
• United Congregational Church of Southern Africa 1939: Pioneer missions of LMS, Rev.
Damon visits from Upington 1939, permanent ministry 1966, origin and organisation of the
UCCSA, international Congregation affiliation

12. New denominations planted in Namibia after WW-II: Pentecostal Churches
• Apostolic Faith Mission 1942: American and South African origins of the AFM, Zion City,
ZAC mission to South Africa, turn to Pentecostal theology, AFM and the Zionist Churches
born from the same ZAC root, Influences of the original Pentecostal movement, first AFM
ministries in Namibia, from racial division to a united AFM, other Pentecostal Churches
linked to AFM
• Full Gospel Church of God 1952: Pentecostal mission in Johannesburg, Full Gospel Mission
in Namibia.
• Pentecostal Protestant Church 1966: Secession from AFM, PPC established in Namibia,
racially constituted PPC formations, a united PPC in Namibia
• Smaller Holiness or Pentecostal Churches: Namibian Christian Churches 1966, Assemblies
of God 1979,1986. Evaluation: Pentecostal co-operation and unity. Church of the Nazarene
1973, American origins of holiness movement, South African beginnings 1907, Namibian
history, Church goverment & structure, the region, field and district of Namibia, Gospel
Outreach Centre 1985, Namibia Christian Centre 1987

13. Patterns of growing self-government and self-expression of the churches
• Outline of the period 1922-1957
• Five types of Church formation: Mission Churches, Episcopal Churches, Settler Churches,
Migrant congregations, Secessionist Churches.
• Growing towards independent church-government: Mission Churches: Finnish Mission
Church (ELOK/ELCIN) 1957, Rhenish Mission Church (ELKSWA/ELCRN) 1957, African
Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) 1946, Settler Churches: Dutch Reformed Church
(DRCN) 1957, German Evangelical Lutheran Church (GELC) 1960, Methodist Church,
Episcopal/hierarchical Church plantings: Roman Catholic Church (1972), Anglican Church
• Origins of Theological education and leadership development: Homes of missionaries,
Rhenish Mission - Augustineum, Paulinum, Finnish Mission - Oniipa, Elim, Engela,
Anglican Church - Odibo, GELC & DRCN - external training

14. The quest for self-dependency of the Church: Secessions from foreign control
History of African Independent Churches, secessions and schisms
• Independent Churches of tribal chiefs
• Ethiopian movement 1922: Marcus Garvey and the Monrovia movement, Herero secession
1923, border disputes: Manfume, Bondelswarts, Nama secession 1946 and AMEC.
Evaluation: Nama secession, Herero secession 1955 and Oruuano (PUC). Evaluation:
Dualism in the hearts of the Herero
• Typology of AICs in Namibia:
Prophetism: Prophet Mokaleng of Botswana (1949), Prophet Kanambunga of Ekoto (1956),
Prophet Hambuindja of Aminuis (1960)
Ethiopianism, secessions from Oruuano: Church of Africa (1964), Jorujano Church (1968),
Evangelical Religious Protestant Unity Church (1972), reorganising of the Oruuana Church
Zionism, African Pentecostalism: St Philip's Faith Healing Church (1957), St John's Apos-
tolic Faith Mission (1960), Spiritual Healing Church (1966), St Stephan's Apostolic Mission
(1972), St Jacob's Apostolic Church (1977), Salt prophets (flowchart of AICs in Namibia)

15. Prophetic leaders of the Church (III): During the South African colonial era
• Lay preachers and church planters (II): Indigenous elders and evangelists replacement for
missionaries: Simson Shituua, Wilhelm Kafita of Omafo (1916-1920). Elders of Migrating
settler churches: Elder Smeer of the DRC (1970-1910), Van der Merwes from Angola Reformed
Churches (1928), Congregational community from Upington (1937-1966). Contract workers
from the South: Lutheran witnesses of Nkurenkuru (1922-1929), Pentecostal Churches (1957-
1966), Baptist civil servants seconded to Namibia (1959-1967)
• Important church planters of the era: Dominee Leonard DRCN (1910), Archbishop Gotthardt
Kavango and Ovambo missions RCC (1910,1913,1923), Bishop Tobias AC (1928), Father
Theophilus Hamutumbangela AC (1946), Pastor van der Walt, planter of three Pentecostal
denominations (1943, 1952, 1966), Landespropst Ebers and Hoeflich of the GELC (1926,
1939), Pastors Zachaus Thomas, Petrus Jod and Marcus Witbooi AMEC (1946)

16. Independence for the Churches (1952-1957)
Years of renewal and formation of independent synods
• Leadership development
• Revival in the Finnish Mission Church, (ELCIN) in the north (1952): Scriptural basis and
history of revivalism: Europe, America, Africa and other third world countries, Namibian
revival: Sources, crusades, temperance movement and evangelism. Evaluation: Need for
self critique
• Year of the Churches 1957: First independent synods: ELCIN (1957), ELCRN (1957), DRCN
(1957), GELC (1960), DRCN (1962), Methodist Church (1983). Independent in Episcopal
churches: Anglican Church 1978
• Church Tree of Namibia by 1957: Final mosaic of Namibian Denominations, imagery: roots,
stem, branches and fruit, selection of periods {Chart of Church Tree): Roots Missionary
Societies and Mission Churches, Settler Churches, Episcopal Churches, Post WW1
Churches. Branches: Secessions and independence movement, Pentecostal and Baptist
Churches. Fruit


17. Leadership development: Struggle for good seminaries, pastoral institutes and

• Theological Institutes within Namibia: Paulinum: United Lutheran Seminary at Otjimbingwe
(ELCIN, ELCRN), Engela Pastoral Institute (ELCIN), St Joseph's Theological Seminary at
Odibo, Anglican Church (CPS A). Dobra Institute of the Roman Catholic Church (RCC);
The Orumana Theological Seminary of the Dutch Reformed Church (Kaokoland).
• External Theological Institutes: GELC - Pietermaritzburg (South Africa) and Germany; DRCN
- Stellenbosch, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Western Cpe, RCC - Roma University (Lesotho),
Methodist Church - South African colleges
• Honorary Doctorates
• Post graduate and specialised education
• Development of Indigenous leadership: Table: Timeline of Development of Indigenous
Spiritual Leadership - A summary of events throughout Namibian history

18. Prophetic leaders of the Church (IV): Indigenous leadership after 1957
• Bishops, Moderators and Presidents (Praesesses): Dr Leonard Auala (ELCIN), Dr Lukas de
Vries (ELCRN), Bishop James Kauluma (CPSA), Bishop Bonnie Hausiku (RCC)
• Other pioneer leaders of Namibian Churches: Rev. KW le Roux, JT Potgieter, JH Steenkamp,
SH vd Spuy (DRCN), DJ Joubert, evangelist Andries (URC), F Ponnighaus, HK Diehl,
Bishop R Koppmann (RCC)

19. Independent Christian ministries in Namibia (I): Worship, Diaconia and Mission
• Ministry of worship: Liturgical traditions, Namibianization of worship, What is Christian
worship and liturgy?, origins and history of different forms of Chrstian liturgy, worship and
mission, human nature prayer and worship. Namibian forms of Christian worship: Original
dependency on Western cultures, need for indigenous worship, liturgical renewal AFALMA,
worship in unity, confessional contributions, ministries in song, music and dance: choirs,
singing, rhythm, instruments, dance, Pentecostal genre
• Ministry of diaconal, medical and relief service: Comprehensive approach, medical ministries,
first hospitals, doctors, nurses, Catholic nurses and hospitals, Onandjokwe hospital, Odibo
hospital, RCC hospitals and health care, Orumana hospital and Mashari Clinic for Leprosy
and Tuberculosis (DRCN)
• Diaconal centres: Onandjokwe Training Institute for Nurses (ELCIN), Koichas Seminary
for Community Sisters, homes for the aged (DRCN, GELC)
• Ministry of Mission and Evangelism: Mission work in the northern belt ELCIN, Kaokoland
mission and later extensions DRCN, Botswana mission of ELCRN, mission farms of the
Roman Catholic Church

20. Independent Christian ministries in Namibia (II): Youth ministry, Christian education
and women ministry

• Youth ministries of the Churches: Religious education, Sunday schools and catechism,
Youth centres and institutes: Ojtimbingwe Bible School (ELCRN), Engela Pastoral Institute
(ELCIN), Georg Kronlein Centre Berseba (ELCRN), Heinz Stover Seminary Karibib (ELCRN),
Febe Seminary, Otjimbingwe (ELCRN), Windhoek Children's Home (DRCN)
• Youth programs of the Churches: Youth circles and brass bands (ELCRN), Youth Brigade,
Blue circle and Chiro Movement (RCC): Richard Allen Youth Council, Boy and Girl Scouts
(AMEC), Youth Societies of the DRC and URC, Youth ministry of GELC, ELCIN, AC and
other youth programs
• Secular education by the Churches: Traditional forms of education, educational institutes
founded by Christian Missions: First schools (1806-1870), Bush School movemet of the
Finnish Mission (1876), foundations of leadership training: advanced or higher education,
Martin Luther High School (MLHS) at Okombahe (ELCRN), education and ideology: mission
schools as non-aligned alternative (1922-1953), control of education by the apartheid system
(1955-19-82), Evaluation: Ideological nature of education
• Ministry by and to women: Women Circles of ELCRN, Women Missions League, Women
Society (DRCN), Women work of ELCIN, AC and other denominations. Year of the woman,
women leadership and ordination, ordination of women in the Lutheran Churches, -the
Anglican Church, - the Reformed Church of Africa, women and liberation

21. Independent Christian ministries in Namibia (III): The ministry of church information
and the ministry of Christian art

• Communication services : Media - radio, television, Church periodicals - Omukwetu (ELCIN),
die Kerkbode (DRCN), Heimat and Afrikanischer Heimatkalender (GELC), Immanuel and
EID (ELCRN), Angelus (RCC), Christian Recorder (AMEC), Seek mid Anglican Information
• Language medium of church periodicals
• Printing presses of the churches: Oniipa Printing, Karibib Printing, Angelus Printing (Dôbra)
• Journalists and editors, contents of church periodicals, politicizing of periodicals
• Ministry of Christian art in and by the Church: Poetry, creative Christian writing and drama,
novels - Diescho, Christian fine art, painting, sculpture, carving, arts and drama festival,
performing arts education, wood carvings and linocuts, John Muafangejo Arts Centre


22. Apartheid Theology (I): Its origins and history
• Introductory survey: Colonial history, church segregation and Apartheid Theology,
historical roots of Apartheid Theology: South African origins, first spiritual revivals and
local missions (18th century), development of racial prejudice and segregation in DRC
congregations (19th century)
• Mission policy of 1857 DRC Cape synod, Afrikaner migrations, DRC dispersion and
fragmentation; 19th century spiritual revival and mission fervour, founding of eleven DRC
Mission Churches before 1935; DRC foreign missions.
• Introduction of formal apartheid: Native legislation, DRC policies and conferences on race
relations: 1921, 1923, 1926, a new mission policy 1935, Apartheid Theology introduced
1947, main theses of Apartheid Theology

23. Apartheid Theology (II): The history of internal and international critique and dissent
and its final demise

• Destructive results of Apartheid Theology.
• Early critique against segregation practices within the DRC, internal DRC opposition against
Apartheid Theology: Prof Ben Marais, Prof Bennie Keet, Dr Beyers Naude, Dr Ben
• Ecumenical critique within South Africa: Cottesloe consultation of the WCC 1960, Pro
Veritate and the Christian Institute (Confessing Church movement) 1962-1963, Church &
society consultation and 'Message to the People', the prophetic voices from the DRC
family: Critical research, Black Consciousness and Black Theology
.• International critique: Ecumenical statements on 'Status Confessionis', critique from
Reformed confessional families, WARC, Belhar Confession
• Confession of guilt and South African Statements on' Status Confessionis': Kairos document
(1985), Evangelical Witness (1986), Relevant Pentecostal Witness (1988), Road to Damascus
• Confessing guilt and demise of Apartheid Theology: DRC 'Church and Society' statement
(1986), DRC public confession of guilt at the Rustenburg National Christian Consultation
(1990), confessions of other denominations, terminating apartheid in Namibia (DRCN synod

24. Birth and development of Namibian Contextual Theology
• The prophetic task of the Church: The early church, the Protestant Reformation, Barmen
declaration in Germany, the Namibian prophetic voice
• A rediscovery of the unity of the Church: Unsuccessful attempt to introduce regional
church structures, the problems of unity, Rhenish Church secessions, opposition to the
Odendaal Plan (Bantustan policies)
• Political parties: a new type of representation, traditional authorities to political parties
• Reinterpretation of the Lutheran Two Kingdoms doctrine: New generation of German mis-
sionaries, Lutheran declaration on race relations (1963), study committees of the AALC
(1965), Florin's survey on Lutheranism in South Africa (1965), Umpumulo Memorandum
(1967), doctoral thesis on Mission and Colonialism (1971)
• Open Letter: Prophetic voice of the churches (1971), two catalysts for Namibian Contextual
Theology: Luthern World Federation, Black Consciousness movement
• Themes of a Namibian Liberation Theology: Sentry office of the church, wall of partition
broken down, incarnation of Christ, Cosmology, Kingdom of God, salvation, liberation and
sin, Black Theology vs. 'Western Theology'

25. Liberation War and the Church: Reaction to the Open Letter and Church partition
• Open letter revealed Church Partition: Liberation Churches, Status Quo Churches,
subsequent development of church partition
• Political involvement of Liberation Churches: fruits of Contextual Theology (List of consul-
tations, declarations, statements), deportation of activist clerics 331
• Political involvement of Apartheid Churches: fruits of 'Apartheid Theology', Chaplain
services of SA armed forces, religious campaigns of the Chaplain services, language work
and ministry, church plantings, San missions linked to DRC synod, Evaluation: San missions
of the SADF, Bible distribution

26. Chaplain ministries of the Namibian Churches (1890-1990)
• Early chaplain ministries in Namibia: The Church at Commando, earlier examples of the "church
in the war zone", chief Hendrik Witbooi's Commando Church, German chaplaincy for the
Schutztruppe the church amongst Herero refugees in Botswana, final attempt by chief Hendrik
Witbooi, South African chaplain services of the SADF during two world wars
• Chaplain service during the liberation struggle: God and national independence, theological
basis for a National Chaplain Service, the need for chaplain services to Namibian refugees
• Ecumenical chaplain service of SWAPO: First two chaplains, Ailonga, Haikali, the mission
of the SWAPO chaplaincy, the ministries of the chaplaincy; the 1981 report, the 1987 report,
difficulties, challenges and threats
• International cooperation with the SWAPO chaplaincy, ecumenical cooperation within the
SWAPO chaplaincy


27. Early examples of ecumenical cooperation between denominations in Namibia
• Ecumenical cooperation amongst missionary societies: LMS cooperation with Wesley an
and Rhenish Missions, lack of unity and cooperation: Wesleyan and Rhenish missionaries,
principle of 'comity', early cooperation between DRC, Rhenish and Finnish Missions
• Triangular Agreement
• First attempts at Bible translation: Nama Bible, Herero Bible, Ndonga Bible, Kwangali New
Testament, Lozi Bible
• Bible Society of Namibia: British and Foreign Bible Society - S A Assistance Society 1820,
independent branch in Cape Town 1950, South African Bible Society 1965, independent
Regional Council for Namibia 1974, Bible Society of Namibia 1986

28. Ecumenical relationships: Local, regional and global ecumenical organisations
• Christian Centre and Council of Churches in Namibia: Pastoral Fraternals and local
Fellowships, Christian Centre of Namibia, Council of Churches in Namibia
• International Ecumenical Relations: World Council of Churches, Regional Councils of
Churches, All Africa Conference of Churches
• World Confessional Families and their regional forums: Anglican Communion, Baptist World
Alliance and SAABC, Lutheran Word Federation with the AALC and CIBL, Roman Catholic
Bishops Conferences (Southern Africa), World Alliance of Reformed Churches (Presbyterian
and Congregational) with the SAARC, Congregational 'Council for World Mission' (LMS/
UCCSA), Reformed Ecumenical Council with regional consultations, International Federation
of Christian Churches (Pentecostal), Methodist World Council
• Internationally constituted denominations

29.Support of the International community and the Universal Christian Church for

• Namibian theology on land and state
• Involvement of international political and Christian organisations: Origins of support,
assistance by the UN and its development agencies, support from the World Council of
Churches, Program to Combat Racism, support from the Lutheran World Federation, World
Service: Community Development Service (Projects: appendix 2.3)
• Support from regional Councils of Churches: The All Africa Council of Churches, National
Christian Councils or Councils of Churches, neighbouring countries: Tanzania, Zambia,
• Global support

30. Evangelistic para-church ministries and the development of a charismatic movement
• Para-church organisations: Christian unity or enigma for the church?
• Introduction to some of the para-church organisations: Dorothea Mission, Africa
Evangelistic Band: Christian Mobile Literature, Africa Evangelical Fellowship and Africa
Inland Mission, Media for Christ and Channel 7, Youth with a mission, Scripture Union,
Youth for Christ, Namibia Evangelical Fellowship, Prison Fellowship
• Development of a charismatic movement in Namibia?
• Development of inter-denominational public events: Women's World Day of Prayer, 'Corpus
Christi' March, Ichthus Crusade, global Jesus March


31. Towards a new agenda in Namibia: Present position and future task of the Church in

• Christian Perspectives of Reconciliation and Nation-building
• CCN and the UNHCR launching the RRR program, ' Churches Committee for Independence
Celebrations' 21 March 1990, national consultation of October 1990
• Towards a future agenda for the church
• International forums or institutes for theological research


1. Maps:
1.1 The tribal distribution in Namibia in the 19th century Intro: xxv
1.2 Spreading of early Nama missions before and during the German colonial era Chap.2:18
1.3 The early Herero and Damara missions in the central regions Chap.2:20
1.4 The tribal distribution and early missions in the Owambo regions Chap.7:92
1.5 The tribal distribution and early missions in the Kavango Region Chap.7:95
1.6 The tribal distribution and early missions in the Caprivi Region Chap.7:97

2. Charts:
2.1 Flowchart I: Baptist Distinctive Groups: general, particular or strict Baptists Chap. 11
2.2 SDA governing System Chap. 11
2.3 African Traditional Worldview: Hierargical view of spiritual forces Chap. 14
2.4 Flowchart II: Classification of 20th century religious groupings in Africa Chap. 14
2.5 Flowchart III: Secessions and plantings of African Independent Churches in Namibia Chap. 14
2.6 The Church Tree: Roots 1806, growth and independence 1957, with fruit, until 1990 Chap. 16

3. Appendices: Church historical documents, photos, index
3.1 The 1971 Open Letter of the Lutheran Churches to the South African Prime Minister; App: 414
3.2 Listing of Namibian programs supported by the Lutheran World Federation App: 416
3.3 Cooperation between Lutheran Church and SWAPO for liberation of Namibia: Talks between Mr Sam Nujoma and Bishop Leonard Auala in Geneve App: 41
3.4 List of photographs, per chapter App: 420
3.5 Alphabetical index of selected names, places and topics App: 423

4. Appendices: Sources
4.1 Bibliography: Publications App: 427
4.2 Bibiography: Periodicals, programs and reports App: 440
4.3 Bibliography: Interviews App: 442
4.4 Bibliography: Topical research App: 445


AACC All Africa Conference of Churches
AC Anglican Church (or CPSA)
ACC Angolan Council of Churches, or Anglican Consultative Council
AFM Apostolic Faith Mission
CA The Church of Africa
CC Christian Council
CCN Council of Churches in Namibia
CCN - EC Council of Churches in Namibia: Executive Committee
CI Christian Institute of South Africa
CML Christian Mobile Literature
COC Church of the Oath of Christ
CPSA Church of the Province of South Africa (or Anglican Church)
CSSP Congregation of the Holy Ghost, a Roman Catholic Mission Order
DRC Dutch Reformed Church (not to be confused with the country DRC, Democratic Republic of the Congo), which occurs only once in the introduction
DRC A Dutch Reformed Church of Africa {Nederduitse Hervormde Kerk van Afrikd)
DRCN Dutch Reformed Church in Namibia
DRMC Dutch Reformed Mission Church, which became the Uniting Reformed Church in 1997 (see URC)
ECG Evangelical Church of Germany, (the same as GEC)
ELCIN (ELOC) Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia, since 1990, previously called Evangelical Owambo-Kavango Church;
ELCRN (ELCSWA) Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia, since 1990, previously called Evangelical Lutheran Church in South West Africa;
ERPUC Evangelical Religious Protestant Unity Church
FC Federal Council of the DRC (DRC-FC)
FGC Full Gospel Church of God
GEC German Evangelical Church (General English translation of EKU - Evangelische Kirche
Unierty of Prussia - leading kingdom of German Federation of the 19th century. The earliest German congregations of Namibia belonged to this German Church. By 1926 it was reorganised into a South African synod (same as ECG)
GELC German Evangelical Lutheran Church, synod established in Namibia in 1960
ISWEN Instituut vir Sendingwetenskaplike Navorsting (Institute for Missiological Research) of the
DRC; Lutheran World Federation
NEG Namibia Ecumenical Group
NNC Namibia National Convention
OMI Oblates of the Immaculate Mary, a Roman Catholic misssion order
OPO Ovamboland Peoples Organisation
OSFS Oblates of St Francis of Salis, a Roman Catholic mission order
PCR Program to Combat Racism, of the World Council of Churches
PPC Pentecostal Protestant Church
PUC Protestant Unity Church
RCC Roman Catholic Church
REC Reformed Ecumenical Council (before 1988 called the RES)
RES (REC) Reformed Ecumenical Synod (1948 - 1988). In 1988 its name was changed to REC
SACC South African Council of Churches
SDA Seventh Day Adventist (Church)
SJAFM St John's Apostolic Faith Mission
SSK Missions Committee of the DRC synod: SSK - Sinodale Sendingkommissie
SWAPO 'South West Africa Peoples Organisation': Political party in Namibia which gained victory during the UN supervised general elections in November 1989, and formed the first democratically elected government of an independent Namibia
TEE Theological Education by Extension
UEM United Evangelical Mission
UNESCO United Nations Education and Cultural Organisation
UNIA Universal Negro Improvement Association, established in 1919 by Marcus Garvey
UNO United Nations Organisation
URC (URCSA) Uniting Reformed Church of Southern Africa (Before 1990 called DRMC: Dutch Reformed
Mission Church, or Dutch Reformed Church in Africa or the Evangelical Reformed Church in Africa (within Namibia)
UNISA University of South Africa
UNSCR 435 Unitrd Nations Security Council Resolution 435
UELCSWA United Evangelical Lutheran Churches of South West Africa
URC(SA) Uniting Reformed Church (of Southern Africa)
WACC World Association for Christian Communication
WARC World Alliance of Reformed Churches
WCC World Council of Churches
WW-I, WW-II World War I, World War II
ZAC Zion Apostolic Church, the shortened form of the name of the Christian Catholic Apostolic Church in Zion (CCAC) of John Alexander Dowie in Chicago, USA

Index of photos:

Tsodilo hills, rock formation
Mukorob rock formation
Traditional Herero gravesite
Missionary Heinrich Schmelen
Bethanien Mission, c. 1820
Schmelenhaus, Bathanie
Missionary Threlfall
Jonker Afrikaner
Missionary Hugo Hahn
Missionary Kleinschmidt
Missionary Kronlein
Johanna Gertze, Uerieta Kazahendike
Otjimbingwe Mission colony, 1854
Olukonda Church
Bush-schools of the Finnish Mission
Girls' dress in mission school
Traditional dress of Herero Women
Herero women in mission dress
Herero dresses at Cultural festivities
Eenhana Finnish Mission Church
Ongwediva mission buildings (at present)
Missionary Heidmann, Rehoboth, 1870
Chief Maharero
Chief Zeraua
Leutwein, Witbooi, Maharero
Witbooi, von Burgsdorf and commando
Gert Alberts, Dorslandtrek, 1876
Pieter Biewenga, 1894
Missionary Friedrich Meier, 1904
Peace Church, 1903
Catholic cathedral, Windhoek
RC Mission serves troops
RCC hospital in Swakopmund
Kaptein Hermanus van Wyk
Graves of Kavango missionaries
Andara Church building
Missionary Helmore Halloway
Chief Hendrik Witbooi
Early Rhenish missionaries: Kronlein e.g.
Dr Heinrich Vedder in 1937
1925 Mission Conference
Father George WR Tobias (later bishop)
Thatched roof church, Odibo
Executive of the Deutschen Kirchenbund
Combined Church Council, 1923
Windhoek DRC Church Council, 1935
Rev Danie Joubert
Oshikuku Roman Catholic Church, 1924
Father Gabriel Namweja
Father Lazarus Haihambo
Evangelical Mission Church, Rev Morkel
Rev Charles and Mrs Whitson
Missionary Gilbert Willmore
Field President Mubonenwa
Pastor Joel Mwilima
Rev Peter Lamoela
AFM church at Omshimana
Pastor CP Denyschen
Pastor Frederick Joseph
Pastor Routh
Pastor John Swarts
Group of elderly ELCIN pastors (1958)
Evangelists-Teachers Conf. RMC, 1930
Evangelists-Teachers Conf. RMC, 1936
Bishop Francis Gow of the AME Church
Usakos DRC Church Council, 1950
First DRC Circuit meeting 1940
ELCIN Pastors ordained 1925
ELCRN pastors 1954
Chief Hosea Kutako
Funeral of Samuel Maharero
Rehoboth uprising 1925
Hoachanas Conference 1942: Nama Evangelists and Teachers Association
Evangelist Petrus Jod
Dr Hendrik Witbooi: AMEC
Pastor Andreas Kukuri
Evangelist Gottlieb Murangi
Rev Reinhard Ruzo
Bishop Petrus Tjijombo, 1953
Prophet Motswaosele & Group
Prophet Alfeus Kanambunga, 1966
Prophet Thusnelda Hambuindja, 1962
Bishop Azaria Kamburona
Bishop Petrus Tjijombo, 1999
Bishop Kakero Mbaeva
Pastor Simson Shituwa
Elder Frans Smeer, C
Dominee Edward Leonard
Kalkfeld DRC Church hall - architecture
Bishop Joseph Gotthardt
Bishop George Tobias, at 84 years, 1966
Rev Theofilus Hamutumbangela
Pastor van der Walt
Pastor Wilfried Ebers
Pastor K.F. Hoeflich
Past. Zachaus Thomas
Pastor Markus Witbooi
Past. Ephraim Angula
ELCIN Synod 1958
First ELCRN Synod 1957
ELCRN head-office (1988)
First DRCN synod, 1957
DRCN head-office (1988)
GELC head-office (1988)
Paulinum Theological Seminary, Otjimbingwe
St Joseph Seminary remains, Odibo
Orumana Seminary 1975
Stellenbosch Seminary of DRC, 1859
Fathers Kangootui, Molelekwa
Dr Shekutaamba Nambala, ELCIN
Drs Ngeno Nakamhela, ELCRN
Dr Nic Christians, AMEC
Bishop Leonard Auala, ELCIN
Dr Lukas de Vries, ELCRN
Bishop James Kauluma, AC (CPSA)
Bishop Bonifatius Hausiku, RCC
Dominee J.T. Potgieter, DRC
Ds Jan Steenkamp, DRC
Evangelist Andries, URC
Missionary F Ponnighaus
Preses HK Diehl, RMC
Bishop Koppmann, RCC
Synod procession ELCIN
Giving tenths to the church
Nuns dancing
Joyous bridal procession
African piano
Nun, nursing a baby
Dr Selma Rainio
Onayale mission hospital
Onandjokwe mission hospital
Dr Maria Fisch, with staff at Andara
Rev Nairenge at Orumana hospital
Girl Guides, ELCIN
Boy Scouts, ELCIN
Brass band players of ELCRN
Blue Circle of the RCC
Youth Watch of the RCC
Herero Teachers & Evangelists, c. 1895
Ovambo baskets: artisan schools
Augustineum class 1941
Women leadership training
Ordination of Women, CPSA
Literature staff of ELCRN in Karibib:
Kandovazu, Eises, Baumann, c.1970
Oniipa printing press
Daniel Tjongarero
Dobra Passion Play
Dobra "Way of the Cross" mosaic panels
John Muafangejo
Dr J.D. (Koot) Vorster
Dr C.B.F. (Beyers) Naude
Signatories Open Letter: Gowaseb, Auala
Dr Zephania Kameeta
Bishop Colin Winter with Pres. Nujoma
Father Heinz Hunke
Schutztruppe on horseback
Schutztruppe on camelback
Rev PP Joubert, SA chaplain
Father NW Fogarty, SA chaplain
Catechism Class, Chaplain Service 1916
Father Erastus Haikali
Kwanza-Sul Congregation, Angola
Sacraments to refugees at Kwanza-Sul
Bishop Dumeni with Angola refugees
Worship service: Chingungo Angola
Nyango Church building, 1986, Zambia
Missionary Brincker, Herero Bible translation
Missionary Rautanen Ndonga Bible translation
Rev George Hugo: Bible Society
Keetmanshoop Fraternal
Pastor Kamho with Rolf Friede, 1975
Prof Josef with Rolf Friede, 1974
Tauno Hatuikulipi with Both & Dr Friede
Dr Abisai Shejavali, CCN Gen.Sec. 1983
Father Michael Scott
UN library, Lusaka
UN Language Centre, Lusaka
Mandela Poster: WCC
LWF talks in Namibia: FELKSWA leaders
LWF sponsored Vocational Training for girls
Dr Shejavali with Bishop Tutu
UN-Petitions 1960
United Nations Nam-Council
Mr Martti Ahtisaari with Judge Steyn
Evangelist Hiamuhona
Evangelistic Tent-meeting: Dorothea Mission
Evangelist Johan de Koning
Neal van den Berg
Chris Oberholzer with TV camera of MfC
NEF Executive Committee
PACWA launched in Kenya, 1989
Founding of PACWA Namibia, 1990
Sacraments Procession
Dr Adeyemo of the AEA
Ichthus Evangelistic Rally, 1987
Jesus March, 1992
UNHCR/CCN-RRR Returnees Card
Chaplains at Independence Festivities
Independence for Namibia 1990