Kazadi Matthew was born to Baluba parents in the village of Katanda in the East Kasai of the Belgian Congo (now Democratic Republic of Congo) in the first decade of the 20th century. As a boy he joined other family members in a move to West Kasai to find work. There Kazadi enrolled in the school of the Djoko Punda station of the Congo Inland Mission (Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission). After finishing five years of elementary education he enrolled in the station Bible school and upon graduation began a teaching and preaching ministry as a lifelong vocation. He was one of the first Africans to be ordained in what later became the Eglise du Christ au Zaire, Communaute Mennonite (now Communauté Mennonite au Congo) and the first African to open a major regional church center away from the station without resident missionary help. He became the first president of the Zaire Mennonite Church and was the first African Mennonite church leader to make fraternal visits to North America.
During the turmoil following the political independence of Zaire in 1960, Kazadi accompanied the migration of his people to East Kasai. There, a refugee among refugees, he rallied and organized his fellow Mennonites into small congregations for mutual encouragement and support and gave leadership to founding a new church, which became known as Eglise du Christ au Zaire, Communaute Evangélique Mennonite (now CEM; Communauté Evangélique Mennonite). Kazadi was its first president.
Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 485. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.
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MLA style: Graber, Harold. "Kazadi Matthew." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 21 May 2013. http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/K398.html.
APA style: Graber, Harold. (1987). Kazadi Matthew. Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 21 May 2013, from http://www.gameo.org/encyclopedia/contents/K398.html.