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Malawi Provisional Annual Conference

Malawi’s transition from Mission Initiative to Provisional Annual Conference started with the 2012 General Conference in Tampa, Florida, and will be celebrated during the Global Ministries October 2013 meeting of the Board of Directors. The Malawi Provisional Annual Conference is fully within the United Methodist connection under the supervision of Bishop Nhiwatiwa of the Zimbabwe Annual Conference.

Malawi is a landlocked, predominantly rural country in southeastern Africa, a former British colony and one of the least developed areas in the world. It has a stable democratic government, and the second female president on the continent. The United Methodist Church in Malawi was begun in 1987 through mission outreach of the neighboring Zimbabwe Annual Conference. Six Malawian pastors, trained in Zimbabwean schools, returned to their home country and started 12 Methodist circuits in Malawi in 1998.

The Malawi United Methodist Church is a dynamic and fragile young church. The conference is intent on both numerical and spiritual growth seeking to be holistic in its ministries. The superintendent, Rev. Daniel Mhone, is a true visionary leader. The conference has excellent lay leaders, some of whom are Africa University graduates. Among the ordained clergy, there is one pastor just graduated from Zomba Theological College in Malawi. Two other pastors are in seminary—one at Africa University and the other at the United Theological School in Zimbabwe.

Growing at a rapid pace, the Malawian church is well connected to partners in Germany and the United States. The laity is fully involved in decision-making for the young provisional annual conference. The church has its own cabinet and has links to the Zimbabwe Conference through its superintendent. There are missionaries from Germany and from Global Ministries who work with the district superintendent and cabinet. United-Methodist-Volunteer-in-Mission (UMVIM) teams add to the capacity-building assets. A model of lay evangelists starting new preaching points continues to empower the work of the laity and reach new people in new areas.

Goals: The conference is building capacity around new church starts, clergy and lay training in theology and Methodism, health and nutrition, agriculture, and education for young people and adults. The conference is in the process of establishing a yearly membership fee of $1 per member, expanding a microcredit program to members, strengthening joint ministries between women of the United Methodist Church in Malawi and Zimbabwe, increasing work with UMVIM teams, and ensuring that a church farm in Mchinji provides a steady income to fund conference activities. The objective of the Malawi Provisional Annual Conference is to become a full Annual Conference in 2016.

Statistics: There are 150 churches; 16 other faith communities; and 25 pastors, of which two are ordained. There are 23 male and two female pastors.

In Mission Together Coordinator:
Cayce Stapp

Regional Executive:
Mande Muyombo

Assigned Bishop:
Bishop Eben K. Nhiwatiwa

Learn more

Malawi is a Mission Initiative country. Learn more about Mission Initiatives and how local churches in the US are partnering with these congregations through the In Mission Together program. Share your prayers and get real time updates by joining the Facebook group page for this Mission Initiative. Visit the page and click on “Join Group” to become a part of the conversation.

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Missionaries in Malawi

                   Malawi Mission Initiative, pdf