I wish to give my response to the news headline that appeared in The Zambia Daily Mail of 8 April, 2017 titled, “John Mambo defrocked – Church of God revokes title of Bishop”. I was quite all this while because I was waiting for the National Overseer’s response to the matter. Members of the press, you may wish to take note of the following:
1. Church Administrative protocols
It is only the National Overseer of the Church of God in Zambia that is the sole spokesperson of the denomination. Any statement from any person within and without does not hold water and should never be taken seriously. I would expect the media to be well versed on these matters. For example, The Zambia Daily Mail reporter had to call America to verify if my credentials were indeed revoked. If I may ask, where is the logic in that? Am I a minister in America or in Zambia? I thought the natural starting point would be to confirm from the Administrative Bishop of the Church of God here in Zambia? What the reporter did was either an act of partisan journalism or sheer lack of professionalism. The Church of God is not a new denomination to anyone in Zambia. It has been here for ages. There is no excuse for anyone to contact the international headquarters without first contacting administrative offices here in Zambia.
2. The headline in The Zambia Daily Mail is misleading
The title displayed in the paper is very misleading but this is forgivable. I take it as inadvertent ignorance either on the reporter or the source of the story. I wish to most emphatically deny that my credentials were revoked. I have a signed letter with me here that reads that the leaders in America are merely granting me my request to have my credentials cancelled. It is not a revocation. It is a cancellation.
I do not need American credentials to be a minister of the Gospel in Zambia. Zambia is not a protectorate of the United States of America.
I requested that my credentials should be cancelled. I told the American leadership why I do not need their American credentials. If the leadership believes in integrity as men of God, they should have told you why I asked them to cancel the credentials. By failing to tell you the reasons for the cancellation of the credentials, it shows they are uncomfortable with the truth because it will backfire in their face. I do not need American credentials to be a minister of the Gospel in Zambia. Zambia is not a protectorate of the United States of America. It is an independent nation and the Church of God in Zambia has that autonomy in the sense that it elected its own National Overseer in August, 2015.
Much as the denomination is the same but we exercise some level of autonomy. It is ridiculous and outrageous to expect a Zambian minister to be licensed by an American. You may wish to know that it is only the Zambian Church through the National Overseer that has the prerogative to endorse credentials. Does the American Church have any means to know the conduct of any individual in Zambia? It is common sense that only the Zambian leadership has the capacity to know who should have credentials and who should not have in Zambia.
The American Church only prints the licenses. What does that mean? It means that for my credentials to be revoked, it is the National Overseer of the Church of God in Zambia to do so. If I did not hear from the National Overseer, why should I hear from a Regional Superintendent in Uganda or from a Field Director in Germany? I am not an appointee of the Church of God World Missions; therefore, I cannot have my credentials revoked by those outside Zambia.
3. The reasons for my voluntary request to have my credentials cancelled
If the whole world must know, I requested to have my credentials cancelled because I wanted to show solidarity to my fellow Malawian minister, Bishop Duncan Mboma who has been ill-treated by the American church through their representatives who are hell-bent to destroy a vibrant young man in his prime of ministry due to petty ministerial and professional jealousy. Bishop Duncan Mboma, who came here from Malawi on Zambian Employment permit in 2008 to be Bible School Director has helped to raise the standard of Bethel Bible College.
How can I be proud of credentials when I do not care about the plight of a fellow soldier in the army of the Lord? When one soldier falls it should affect all of us.
The young man has seen to it that the college offers authentic certificates, diplomas, and degrees through his initiatives to connect the college to other seminaries and universities.
However, as the college was progressing, Bishop Mboma was under the watchful eye of jealous and envious people who connived to bring him down. The trouble began in November, 2014 when he invited me to their graduation during which many senior bishops of our Church graduated. The current National Overseer is one of his graduates. The so called concerned inner sources in the Church got angry and made a big deal out of it. The young man was threatened by these leaders. They asked him to apologize for inviting me. All along the young man was considered a great industrious son of Africa but after November, 2014 he became a demon. They have followed him through including discrediting all the work he has done all these years. Since July last year, Bishop Mboma is jobless and does not earn a dime. He cannot go back to Malawi because he has not been paid his dues. The Church of God World Missions has refused to pay him citing that as a denomination they do not pay gratuity or severance.
How can you call yourself a Christian when you treat a fellow minister like that? I singlehandedly took the matter to the Minister of Home Affairs and the Labor Commissioner as President of Chikondi Foundation. This is where the dust has risen. How can I be proud of credentials when I do not care about the plight of a fellow soldier in the army of the Lord? When one soldier falls it should affect all of us. But my brothers in America don’t care at all. To them, it is business as usual. Their representatives, namely Peter Thomas, Charles Karangwa and Jurgen Rudolph, fly almost every month in and out of Zambia. They have the Zambian employment permit but do not live in Zambia. What is the permit for if they are not resident in Zambia?
The Church began as a relationship with Jesus Christ in Jerusalem; when it went to Athens it became a philosophy; when it went to Rome it became an organization; when it went to Europe it became a culture; when it went to America it became a business
I agree with Bishop Duncan Mboma when he says, “The Church began as a relationship with Jesus Christ in Jerusalem; when it went to Athens it became a philosophy; when it went to Rome it became an organization; when it went to Europe it became a culture; when it went to America it became a business. This is what we see today. The American Church looks at the Church as business. Of course there are a few exceptions. I cannot tolerate such an attitude of white supremacy. If Bishop Mboma was a white man, they would have never treated him like the way they are treating him now. Can you imagine these three leaders Peter Thomas, Charles Karangwa and Jurgen Rudolph asked Bishop Mboma to enquire for bus fares to Malawi? How on earth can one even think like that? What should have been natural would be to give him severance pay according to the labor laws of Zambia and give him air tickets to Malawi.
He has done a tremendous job of training over three hundred ministers throughout Zambia across denominations. Ask many ministers in Zambia, they will tell you how fruitful the young man is. If you would attend any of his classes or his sermons, you would agree with me that the young man is called of God and that the Spirit of the Lord is in his life. Most of those that are persecuting him have nothing to offer. Some have even gone to the extent of issuing threats to have him jailed if he does not leave Zambia as soon as possible. They even write in their pathetic emails and memos that they can’t function as long as Duncan is here. Without realizing, they are admitting to the fact that the young man is a power to reckon with. Try to feature the young man on any of your media shows; you will agree with me and a majority of us that no wonder these losers can be jealousy.
If Bishop Mboma was a white man, they would have never treated him like the way they are treating him now.
As John Mambo, I do not believe in hypocrisy. The way the young man has been treated is so bad that one cannot hold their peace. He deserves better. In other denominations, the young man would have been a precious jewel, but with the German brothers together with their American paymasters, they look at the young man as a stumbling block to their business ventures. They hate me because I am not a rubber stamper. I have always maintained my objectivity. I have been the longest serving overseer in Zambia and I was the first Regional Superintendent for eleven countries in Central Africa. When I exited as a leader, I was given an international leadership award which I have up to today. The so called concerned sources in the Church have no accolades to their account. They come in silently and they leave silently.
4. The Church of God in America vs the Church of God in Africa
The Church of God in America operates very differently from the Church of God in Africa. The Church of God in Africa is the only unfortunate Church to have a German as Field Director and to have a Regional Superintendent for Central Africa who comes from East Africa. In my time, I spoke strongly against such maladministration. It should be Africans who should be responsible for Africans and not a German who does not even live in Africa. People in Central Africa should have a leader from Central Africa and not from East Africa. But the American Church and Peter Thomas for their own ulterior motives have decided to put things upside down.
It should be Africans who should be responsible for Africans and not a German who does not even live in Africa.
As I speak to you now, there are divisions in the Church of God in America. I have a memo with me that was written by the General Overseer to all overseers in USA and Canada to inform them about such a matter. Africa is not included in that memo; which means they do not recognize Africa at all. In spite of that, the General Director of World Missions writes Peter Thomas to inform overseers in Africa about such matters. My question is: for what? If the General Overseer considered Africa to be at par with the American and Canadian Church he would have included it in his memo. Someone is forcing Africa to be part of the American and Canadian Church for their own reasons.
It is extremely sad that one of the so called concerned sources in the Church of God wrote to the National Overseer that they have nowhere to God except to be part of the American Church. How can a fully grown man who claims to be an ordained Bishop utter such a statement? This is a sign of brainwash. You mean Zambians can’t do ministry except by leaning on the Americans? This is an epitome of disgrace. It is such sources that gave to the press a very confidential letter from the General Overseer. Imagine the whole world has to be phoning the General Overseer in America in order to verify an administrative matter like credentials. To make matters worse, the personal assistant in the General Overseer’s office could not even have the wisdom to refer the reporter to the National Overseer in Zambia; she went ahead confirming such a confidential matter from another country yet the Church has an official representative in that country. This is outrageous.
The Americans and the Germans wanted bootlickers to be overseers so that they can continue exploiting the natives as they have always done. God forbid, I will not tolerate that.
The Church of God in Zambia is one and strong except for the so called concerned inside sources. The so called inside sources are on record to have plundered the national offices and it is just sheer kindness of the current national overseer that they were never brought to book and account for the financial and property mismanagement. They have been sabotaging the current Church administration throughout. For your own information the Church in Zambia was supposed to host a Regional Conference but it has been cancelled twice. The three leaders, Peter Thomas, Jurgen Rudolph, and Charles Karangwa have created a parallel administration. It seems we have two national overseers in this country. There is enough evidence that Peter Thomas, Charles Karangwa, and Jurgen Rudolph undermine the current National Overseer Bishop Booker T.W. Munampelu.
Bishop Booker Munampelu was duly elected by the Church of God in Zambia with overwhelming majority vote. However he is not the American favorite. The Americans and the Germans wanted bootlickers to be overseers so that they can continue exploiting the natives as they have always done. God forbid, I will not tolerate that. A majority of Zambians cannot tolerate that. Those that do not want Bishop Munampelu should go to America and start their own ministry there. We are Church of God in Zambia as we have always been and we shall always be.
Members of the press, ladies and gentlemen, I wish to thank you for coming and you can use my statement as my personal voice. I have no regrets over anything. I am proud of what I have done to show solidarity to my brother and fellow soldier in the Lord. Let the Americans keep their credentials, I don’t need them. Their credentials did not make me a bishop. I am a bishop because of what I have done not because of a piece of paper from people who are not straight and who cannot handle even their own affairs properly.
Bishop John H. Mambo
Chikondi Foundation/Nyamphande Orphanage