THE West Zimbabwe Conference (WZC) of the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) Church that oversaw churches in Bulawayo, the two Matabeleland provinces and parts of the Midlands and Masvingo provinces has been divided into two administrative conferences following a huge growth in membership.
The realignment, which was approved by the church’s administrative body in the country, the Zimbabwe Union Conference and regional territory, the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division after being voted for by delegates at the seventh constituency meeting in Bulawayo on Tuesday and Wednesday, saw the birth of the South Zimbabwe Conference (SZC).
The church’s East Zimbabwe Conference and Central Zimbabwe Conference were also realigned with two new conferences being created bringing to six the total of SDA conferences in the country.
Former president of WZC pastor Jefrety Sibanda was elected to head the newly constituted SZC whose territory consists of the province of Matabeleland South and parts of Bulawayo, Matabeleland North, the Midlands and Masvingo provinces.
Sibanda will be assisted by pastor Thabiso Sibanda as executive secretary and Khanyisani Malufu as chief financial officer (CFO). Malufu is the former CFO of the old WZC.
Departmental directors are pastor Njabulo Sibanda (Sabbath school, personal ministries and ministerial); pastor Thamsanqa Ndlovu (education, public affairs and religious liberty, communication and pastors’ kids); pastor Gaisano Ngulube (stewardship, youth and chaplaincy); pastor Obadiah Ngwenya (publishing, spirit of prophecy, health and the Zimbabwe Adventist Aids Ministry) and Nomsa Sibanda (woman and children’s ministry, and voice of prophecy).
The newly constituted WZC will administer churches in parts of Matabeleland North, Bulawayo, the Midlands and Matabeleland South and is headed by pastor Qedumusa Mathonsi as president with pastor Sikhumbuzo Ndlovu as executive secretary and Ndabezinhle Masuku as treasurer.
Thandazile Bafana will head the women and children’s ministry department; pastor Sikhumbuzo Dube (stewardship and youth); pastor Simanga Ngwenya (publishing, health, and Zimbabwe Adventist Aids Ministry); pastor Lulama Tshuma (personal ministries, ministerial and Sabbath school) and pastor Gilbert Dube (education, communication, pastor’s kids, public affairs and religious liberty).
At the end of October 2014, audited membership had outgrown a one-conference status at 238 797 making it difficult to adequately reach the grassroots.