NEC is the second chapel planted by Kitwe chapel after Riverside chapel- almost 10 years apart
Efforts to plant a church in this area date back to the early 1990s- Mpelembe, Nkana Trust and Riverain Primary School in Nkana East.
In March 1994 two events happened at Kitwe Chapel:
Task force to formulate modalities of introducing two morning services tabled their recommendations to elders. Elders resolved that a new work in Nkana East be launched.
Permission to use Riverain was granted- late Mrs Makupe was head teacher.
June was set for the launch, but due to logistics 14 August 1994 was the date that was settled for.
The double classrooms were worked on, wooden floor, walls painted, windows and doors secured, toilets and lighting were done.
Chairs were brought in for pupils’ and church on Sundays.
On 14 August 1994, 47 members and their families formally left Kitwe chapel and met at Riverain for the morning service.
Joe and Jester Bwalya, William and Victoria Chirwa, Reibeck and Mercy Kamanga, Dr Davies Nkalamo, Kangwa and Clarina Katemba, Edwin and Royce Kalio, Hezekiah and Beatrice Kapanji, Peter and Tasiyana Manda, Esther Mbao (late), Tryson and Florence Mtonga, Mumba and Angela Mwelwa, Milambos, Henry and Rose Mugala, Mr and Mrs Arbeco Mulambya, Humphrey and Modestina Mulela (late), Charles and Roselyn Mwale, Harold and Mary Rea, Victor and Loveness Shaba, Vipya and Edith Simfukwe, Mwiche Sichula, Felix and Petronella Simuchimba, Wilson and Dorothy Tembo, Mrs Mary Tembo, Evaristo Mulenga (now elder at Trinity Baptist), Jerain Phiri, Theresa Chewe, Brenda Musonda, Mrs Dorothy Kadochi (late).
Four elders and two deacons were in the initial group- H Rea, H Mugala, T Mtonga, V Simfukwe, E. Kalio and C Mwale.
IMPORTANT DATES FOR NEC
1990 Three Monthly evangelistic evening services- Mpelembe, Nkana Trust and Riverain schools.
1993 weekly Sunday school classes at Riverain school (0830- 0930hrs)
1994 March a decision made to start church I Nkana East
1994 August 14 first morning service held at Riverain School with a membership of 45 (4 elders and 2 deacons).
1997 June church moves from Riverain to plot
1999 Deacons formally separate from Kitwe chapel while elders stay on for 1 more year
2000 January church becomes autonomous
2000 September 17 church is officially dedicated with John Symons as guest of honour
2001 May church primary school opens.
2002 April 28 first pastor is inducted or ordained (T Mtonga).
2014 September 28 Church celebrates 20th anniversary of existence.
2016 Ordination of Simon Banda as Pastor, taking over from Tryson Mtonga who retired in November 2016.
FROM RIVERAIN TO THE PLOT
In June 1997 a short-lived ban was issued for churches not to use schools for worship.
This decision helped the church to move to the plot within a week- a shelter using ZAFFICO was constructed and 2 pit latrines were dug (though the School Administration wanted NEC to stay on as it had added value). But the leadership felt it was time to leave even without a structure.
In May 1998 Sunday services shifted to the main sanctuary in readiness for Evangel 98 with B Haig (roof was done but with no walls- reed mats were used). 21st Street was not as busy – it would have been difficult.
HEART WARMING WORKS
Hard working building committee- H Rea, M Daka, R Titima, J Bwalya, V Shaba, W Chirwa, B Dioma, R Kamanga, T Mtonga. There were also three other committees formed in 1996- Land Scaping, Recreation and Fundraising. These too worked very hard.
Availability of human resources from all the chapels
Financial resources from within and outside the chapels
Donations of materials and diverse practical help- MMM, Musenga Mission, Techpro, ZCCM Nkana Mine (now Mopani Mine), Power Division (now Copperbelt Energy), etc.
Timely conversion of H Mwenechanya and his availability to the building project.
Purchase of Manse within three months of offer.
Regular conversions of souls and numerous joint baptism services with Ndeke Village chapel (some as couples)
Team work by all members. Everyday the majority of members passed through the plot. Saturdays believers came in large numbers to be part of the work. Ladies rose to the challenge and provided energy giving food for the Men at work.
OFFICIAL OPENING OF SANCTUARY
May 1998 Sunday services shifted from the temporary shelter to main sanctuary in readiness for Evangel 98 with Barry Haig- June; The steel roof structure had been lifted in January that year.
Roofing and rough floor was done, but no walls had been constructed yet. Reed mats were used (traffic was not as it is today).
September 2000 the building was officially dedicated- John Symons was special guest. Major works had been done except for the floor, ceiling, and painting of walls. It was a great day as many people from other churches joined NEC in giving thanks to God. Chairs were hired for the occasion as the benches had not yet been bought.
The Lord has dealt with NEC graciously in the last 21 years (as of 2016). We can look back with gratitude to God who has
Protected the church from heresies and schisms.
Supplied the church with every need over the years- benches, manse, 3 church vehicles in the last 12 years, ceiling (and the right man to fix- Paul Haney)
Given the church workers who have played their role in looking after the church- Timothy Lundu (worked closely with H Mwenechanya), Frank Mumba and currently the Chansas.