Moving on with team spirit

In the circle of the District Apostles he is considered an experienced person, whose aim was always to achieve conciliation and integration. You could always count on him. Tomorrow, Charles Ndandula will retire after 14 years as a District Apostle.

He likes to smile and is a wonderful story-teller. He is modest and unassuming, soft-spoken. Yet he knows exactly what counts and is important. District Apostle Charles Sakavumbi Ndandula has turned 65. His dark hair is greying, and his well-deserved retirement will bring to an end a successful and very intensive career in the Church. What will remain of him are many big and small experiences, recommendations, decisions made to benefit his many brothers and sisters and congregations in the heart of Africa. He is a level-headed, sensible person, who always bore in mind the everyday problems of the believers in his care.

A friend to his brothers and sisters in faith

He often took the front line when earthquakes and violent storms lashed the country and offered help where possible. Whether it was spontaneous emergency aid for people affected by a bush fire in Mongu in Western Zambia or the internationally coordinated emergency aid for victims of the floods in Southern Province in 2008. He is also known for his strategic and creative thinking in terms of planning and seeking out possibilities and opportunities for the Church in the country. The financial viability of the District Church he led was always a desirable objective for him. Finally, he was even a member of the Finance Committee of the International Church, working closely with the Chief Apostle. The committee was established in 2014.

Their own TV show

His comprehensive portfolio also includes the topic of communication. Thursdays between 6 and 8 p.m. ZNBC TV 3, a public television channel, broadcasts New Apostolic content. More than 680,000 households are reached this way—with the numbers rising. After all, the New Apostolic Church in Zambia does have a membership of one million, making it a real force to be reckoned with. Two hours of free airtime per week—nationwide. The programme airs music events, divine services, documentaries, and lectures on our doctrine of faith. The Communication Department of the District Church is responsible for the content.

From his biography

His biography makes exciting reading. Charles Ndandula was born on 26 December 1953 in the small village of Kapela near Lukulu in the western part of Zambia. He was the youngest of eight siblings. In spite of the family’s relative poverty he managed to get a very good education: from primary school right to the University of Zambia, where he did his bachelor in law and continued his studies until he was admitted to the bar as a lawyer. As head of the legal department of the Post and Telecommunication Cooperation PTC (today Zamtel) he moved to Ndola, Zambia’s third-largest city, with a population of about 400,000.

A life-changing year

Then came 1971, a life-changing year. Thanks to his brother, he came into contact with the New Apostolic Church. He felt attracted to it without being able to say exactly why. He wanted to know more, but was not prepared to change his denomination just like that. So he did what many believers do: he gave God an ultimatum. He opened the Bible, read the text from John 4: 41–42 and asked God that this be the basis of the sermon in the next divine service. And it was! The Priest based his sermon on exactly this Bible text, and young Charles was deeply impressed. He became New Apostolic.

His Church career began in the congregations of Kitwe and Ndola as choir leader. In 1984 then, things started in earnest. The then Apostle Duncan Mfune ordained him a Priest. A year later already he was a District Evangelist in the district of Chifubu with 14 congregations and three missions. Another year on, he was asked to lead the district as a District Elder. On 28 June 1987 Charles Ndandula was ordained an Apostle. Chief Apostle Hans Urwyler had come to Lusaka in order to carry out the ordination. Starting in 1995 Charles Ndandula assisted his District Apostle as a District Apostle Helper, before being appointed to lead the District Churches of Zambia and Malawi on 13 March 2005. In 2007 he was asked to also look after the Church and the members in Zimbabwe.

Things will continue

Now his retirement is coming up. Charles Ndandula will have been in the ministry for a total of 35 years: 32 as an Apostle and 14 as a District Apostle. Tomorrow will be the day of the handover. “Our new District Apostle will be Kububa Soko (50),” District Apostle Ndandula wrote in April this year in a circular addressed to the congregations. “Please accept and support the new District Apostle upon his appointment.” In looking back over his time in ministry, District Apostle Ndandula said: “Let me say that whatever has been achieved during my time as District Apostle was achieved by God through our teamwork. Through teamwork, our God will achieve many things through our next District Apostle.”

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