Mazemba Pierre (20th century)

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Mazemba Pierre was a teenager in Kipoko village on the banks of the Kasai River in the Belgian Congo (Democratic Republic of Congo) when he first heard about Jesus from Congo Inland Mission (Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission) missionaries from Djoko Punda. Later a mission station was established near Nyanga ca. 10 miles (16 km.) west of Mazemba's village. Mazemba was among the first boys to enroll in a school at the new station. There he confessed Christ as his Savior and was baptized, becoming one of the first three members of the Nyanga church. When he graduated from the school he married and began a lifelong commitment to Christian service.

Recognizing early that the young African church would be able to provide only modest support for its leaders, Mazemba became a farmer-pastor. All through his life he had large fields, fruit groves, and plots of coffee trees which provided an abundance of food for his growing family as well as a modest cash income. His most notable characteristic was a blend of wisdom and courage. He had a gift for listening to lengthy debates regarding local church life, then, when others had all spoken, would quietly summarize the issues and express his point of view.

He frequently incorporated both the wisdom of the tribal forefathers and the teaching of Scripture. When, on occasion, his position was not a popular one, he demonstrated the courage of his convictions and stood alone, if necessary, for what he believed was right. Mazemba Pierre typified a first generation of Congo Mennonite leaders who with minimal formal training shouldered major responsibility for evangelization of their own people.

Author(s) James E Bertsche
Date Published 1987

Cite This Article

MLA style

Bertsche, James E. "Mazemba Pierre (20th century)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 15 Aug 2018.

APA style

Bertsche, James E. (1987). Mazemba Pierre (20th century). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 15 August 2018, from


Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, pp. 548-549. All rights reserved.

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