Presbyterian Church in Uganda

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Presbyterian Church in Uganda
Classification Protestant
Theology Reformed Calvinist
Polity Presbyterian
Leader James Yiga and Kefa Sempangi
Associations World Reformed Fellowship
Region Uganda
Founder Kefa Sempangi
Origin 1979
Kampala, Uganda
Separations Reformed Presbyterian Church in Uganda
Congregations 100-200[1]
Members Unknown
Hospitals 1
Primary schools 3

Presbyterian Church in Uganda is a conservative Reformed Calvinistic denomination in Uganda with almost 100 churches in 5 presbyteries in the late 2000s.[2]

Origin[edit]

The Presbyterian Church in Uganda was founded in the 1970s by the Ugandan pastor Keefa Sempangi,[3] who had pastored that time a large Pentecostal church in Kampala, the Redeemed Church, he was a member of the Parliament in that time. In 1973 Kefa Sempangi had to emigrate, because of the persecution of Idi Amin, he ended in the Netherlands, where he had been introduced the Reformed faith.[4] Keefa had to emigrate from Uganda because persecution and fled to the Netherlands where he was introduced the Reformed faith and later he was invited to study in the United States, become a student of the Westminster Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.[5][6] On his return to Uganda, Kefa gathered together Redeemed Church leaders and began to teach them the Reformed faith in a weekly Bible study. Soon Sunday afternoon Reformed services began under an open roof behind the public library building. Some Redeemed Church leaders rejected the Reformed faith, especially the doctrines of grace or so called TULIP and so did many of the people. The Redeemed Church congregation at Kabowa informed Peterson Sozi and others that, if they wanted to teach this, they should leave and start a new church. Soon a Presbyterian Church was meeting on Sunday mornings behind the public library. Kefa Sempangi was its founder, but its pastor was Peterson Sozi. The associate pastor was Edward Kasaija, who had been associate pastor of the Redeemed Church at Makerere, another congregation that would not accept the Reformed faith. Joseph Musiitwa, an attorney who had been Kefa’s colleague in leading the indigenous church movement and who had most recently been an elder in Kabowa, was one of the elders of the new Presbyterian Church. Although the Presbyterian Church was worshiping together by November, 1979, they were not officially organized and recognized by the government until January, 1981.[7]

He returned home in 1979 with help of American missionaries began to start the Presbyterian church. The first church was organised in that year in Kampala, Uganda, this was the First Presbyterian Church in Kampala, Uganda. The church organised Westminster Theological Seminary in Uganda to train and equip national pastors. A split occurred in the church in 1989 when the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Uganda was formed.[8][9]

The PCU founding congregations across Uganda, the number of churches and members are growing rapidly.[10] The church is a member of the World Reformed Fellowship.[11][12] there are mission projects in Central Uganda, and all over the country.[13]

The Orthodox Presbyterian Church(USA) begun work in Mbale, Uganda since 1995, and later the mission moved to Karamoja. The Orthodox Presbyterian Churches in Mbele holds provisional membership in the PCU, but they are full incorporated as Mbale Presbytery.[14][15][16]

Structure[edit]

The church has Presbyterian government. In the local level there is the congregation with teaching elders, ruling elders and deacons, the presbytery is the middle governing body, currently there are Semuliki Presbytery, Kapchorwa presbytery, Gulu, Kampala, Central, Mbale presbyteries and Rwenzori and Eastern presbyteries are in dialogue to integrate into the Presbyterian Church in Uganda.[17]

The General Assembly is the highest level of government. The church maintains its headquarters in Kampala, Uganda.

Theology[edit]

The Presbyterian Church in Uganda is theologically Reformed church, that subscribes the historic creeds:

Reformed theology is

  • Universal
  • Evangelical
  • God is Sovereign

God is initiates the Covenant of Grace

Five Points of Calvinism[edit]

Solas of the Reformation[edit]

Education and seminary[edit]

Westminster Theological seminary and Collage begun in 1996 in the worship center of First Presbyterian Church in Kampala. First students were Ugandan. Classes begun in Zana in 1998.[21] Student number grew rapidly. Students from Sudan begun to come in 1999. New facilities were built A seminary was founded in 2007.[22] The Seminary is the official theological institution of the Presbyterian Church in Uganda. It is located now in Kampala, Uganda.[23]

Relationship with other Reformed churches[edit]

The Presbyterian Church in Uganda has fraternal relations with the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands (Liberated) through the Reformed Mission Utrecht.[24][25] and the Presbyterian Church in America through the Mission to the World.[26]

References[edit]

External links[edit]