The Role of African Christians in Establishing a Self Consciously Zimbabwean Lutheran Church in the Western Region of Zimbabwe


Michael Dube

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Sacred Theology (STM)


Historical Theology

First Advisor

John P. Karanja


This study focuses on the remarkable role played by African Christians in establishing the Zimbabwean Lutheran Church in Matabeleland. The African Christians, particularly the evangelists, were indispensible in mission work even though missionary writers down played their role. It is argued in this study that while Swedish missionaries pioneered this establishment, their efforts in the initial stages of mission work proved to be very ineffective because they did not involve African co-workers. It was not until they solicited the services of the African evangelists that they eventually break through the Ndebele culture. African evangelists effectively taught and preached the gospel making it possible to be deeply rooted into the minds of their fellow indigenous people, especially the young.

The study further demonstrates how the Zimbabwean Lutheran Church developed from a mission field to an Africanized church that has successfully inculturated some of the indigenous worship styles to give the church an authentic African flavor. Blending together the indigenous worship practices with European worship practices has been one of the integral phenomena that have contributed a lot in the growth of the church.


If you are not a patron of the Concordia Seminary Library this dissertation is available from the "Theological Research Exchange Network" at