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Famous Churches in Malawi

Post was last updated: August 7, 2023

Mpingo BannerHello everyone, we have a compiled a list of famous Churches in Malawi. Before you go ahead and check out the list, just remember that these Churches are listed in NO particular order, we just listed them as we were doing the research. All of the Churches are some of the biggest in Malawi hence that is why they made it on the list. We will continue to add more Churches as type goes, if you would like us to add your Church on this list, please contact us and we will do so. Remember you can also check out a list of famous pastors in Malawi.

Like I said, there are a number of Churches in Malawi with a huge following. Below are the most famous churches that most of you are part of and will be able to recognize.

List of Malawi Churches

The Church of Central Africa Presbyterian-CCAP

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The Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) is the largest Protestant denomination in Malawi, where around 70% of the population claim membership of a Christian church. In Malawi, CCAP has some 500 congregations with around 600,000 members. CCAP has three Synods in Malawi (Blantyre, Livingstonia and Nkhoma). Each Synod runs its daily affairs independently of the others.
The three Malawian Synods have programmes of evangelism and Christian training, and train ministers at Zomba Theological College. The church also a focus on education and today thousands receive their primary and secondary education in schools run by the churches.

Around 40% of Malawi’s healthcare needs are also met by the churches, including the CCAP’s five hospitals located at Livingstonia, Ekwendeni, Embangweni, Nkhoma and Mulanje – each being responsible for a network of dispensaries and primary healthcare clinics.

The Roman Catholic Church

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The Catholic Church in Malawi is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope in Rome and the Malawi bishops. The first Catholic missionaries were White Fathers (Pères Blancs in French) who arrived in Malawi in 1889. By 1904, the White Fathers had three permanent mission stations at Kachebere, Likuni, and Mua, and the Montforts had two missions, at Nguludi and Nzama. Most of the White Fathers were French and, among the early leaders, were Bishops Louis Auneau, Joseph Dupont, and Mathurin Guillemé. It was not until 1937–38 that the first Malawi priests were ordained.
Today there are over 2 million Catholics in Malawi – around a third of Christians and a fifth of the total population. There are 2 archdioceses and 6 dioceses:

  • Archdiocese of Blantyre
  • Diocese of Chikwawa
  • Diocese of Mangochi
  • Diocese of Zomba
  • Archdiocese of Lilongwe
  • Diocese of Dedza
  • Diocese of Karonga
  • Diocese of Mzuzu

The Seventh-day Adventist Church

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The church began work in Sub Saharan Africa in South Africa in 1887. The Pieter Vessels family had learned about the seventh-day Sabbath through reading their Bibles. They sent requests for literature to the United States. Soon
Missionaries were sent to them.

In the year 1891 George Jeunes of London, England, who had attended Battle Creek College, arrived in Malawi as a self-supporting missionary. He visited missions of other churches and shared his Advent faith freely. When he heard that Adventist workers were coming to Sclusi in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), he set out to meet them, but he died of malaria on the way and was buried near the Zambezi River. The significant point here is that when the Seventh-day Adventist missionaries came to Malawi, there were other missionary bodies already working for the people of Malawi. There was a missionary context when the Adventists started missions in the country.

Living Waters Church

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It is one of the largest Pentecostal churches in Malawi, Living waters church international was found by apostle Dr Stanley Ndovie. The church began to flow out on 5 January 1985 with 5 families. Today the church has many members all over the world and has several branches in some parts of Africa, UK, USA and Ireland. Aside from spreading the gospel, the church also runs an international bible college, schools, and Chisomo children club for street children among others.

Calvary Family Church

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The Calvary Family Church started as a ministry in the late 1970s. This was a period when numerous charismatic movements appeared in Malawi. As is the case with most charismatic movements, the primary aim was not to start a church. It started as a fellowship where people from different denominations used to meet to share the gospel. The fellowship was known as the Young Believers Fellowship (YBF), led by Madalitso P. Mbewe. It was on 12 January 1992, when Apostle Madalitso Mbewe officially launched the Calvary Family Church and its first morning service was held in the offices of the Evangelical Fellowship of Malawi. In 1992, all Pentecostal Revival Crusade branches were converted to Calvary Family Churches. Currently, Calvary Family Church has branches in all the districts of Malawi. It also has branches abroad, including in the United Kingdom in Leicester.

Anglican Church

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With the opening of Leonard Kamungu Theological College (LKTC) the Anglican Church in Malawi’s desire to have its clergy formed at an Anglican college and within an Anglican ethos, following the tradition of the Universities Mission to Central Africa (UMCA), was realized.

Priestly formation in the Anglican Church in Malawi started in Zanzibar under the UMCA in the late 1800s through Likoma Island in Malawi and finally to LKTC in 2006. After the UMCA, the church did its training at St. John’s Seminary (Zambia), Kachebere Major Seminary (Catholic), Zomba Theological College (Presbyterian). The church had short intensive training courses at Chilema Lay Training Center and through Theological Education by Extension in Malawi (TEEM). It is thus clear that both the UMCA missionaries and the Presbyterians made a significant impact on the priestly formation in Malawi. Both the Malawian clergy and the laity expect the priests produced at LKTC to match the caliber of the High Church UMCA missionaries in terms of conduct, preaching, pastoral work, church management, and presiding over the Anglican religious ceremony.

Raised For a Purpose Ministries-RFP

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RFP Ministries is an Inter-denominational Ministry that was established in 2007 in Blantyre, Malawi, with a broad mission of ministering to the spirit, soul and body of man. Through the Word of God and the manifest power of the Holy Spirit, the Ministry equips people not to only end at receiving Christ but also going further to realise and execute their callings in Christ. The Pastor summarizes this in what has become the most popular phrase in RFP services “We are not only redeemed but we are redeemed and raised for a purpose”.

Agape Church

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The Agape Life Church International (ALCI) is duly registered in Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa, with its headquarters in Blantyre, Malawi. The ALCI started on 8 February 1982, with its first church service held in a house belonging to the late Mrs Alice Ngwira, one of the first elders of the church. Apostle Augustine D. Mgala was the first pastor and was assisted by his wife, Pastor Priscilla L. Mgala.

The church started with 15 members. Prior to its establishment, Apostle Mgala and his wife had a successful inter-denominational teaching ministry that used to meet every Saturday afternoon at Red Cross Hall in Blantyre. It was in 1986 that Apostle Mgala had a vision to start a church which would become a teaching centre of the uncompromised word of God.

The Lord showed him that from the teaching centre, he would have to go out to other places to spread the word of God. The vision of the Agape Life Church International is ‘to make every man a disciple of Christ’.

Enlightened Christian Gathering Church (ECG)

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Enlightened Christian Gathering Church (ECG) is a modern congregation of Christ – centered believers celebrating God through the Prophetic, Healing and Deliverance Ministries. It is a home to millions across the globe who seek to hear God speaking today and is led by founder and General Overseer Prophet Shepherd Bushiri (Major One).

ECG Church has its headquarters in Lilongwe the capital city of Malawi and branches across the African continent. Prophet Shepherd Bushiri is the founder of Enlightened Christian Gathering Church (ECG) and the Shepherd Bushiri Ministries International.

Assemblies of God

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On July 4, 1947, a contingent of four Missionary units of Assemblies of God arrived at Chimbewa Village in Ntcheu. They included one team from Tanganyika (now Tanzania) and another one from South Africa. They joined a host Pentecostal group known as the “Full Gospel Church,” led by Laiton Kalambule. The missionaries included Paul Derr, Ragnar Udds, Morris Williams and Magnus Udds from Tanganyika, while Fredrick Burke, Paul Wright, and Moody Wright came from South Africa.

The Assemblies of God Missionaries discussed with Laiton Kalambule that the “Full Gospel Church should become affiliated with the General Council of the Assemblies of God in United States of America. Kalambule’s group accepted and they formed the Assemblies of God in East Africa.
The church has since been in existence for 74 years.

Pentecost International Christian Centre

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Pentecost international Christian Centre (PICC) is a multicultural and caring international assembly of believers with a heavenly mandate of ‘bringing hope to the hopeless and life to the dying and help them become true disciples of Jesus Christ.’ The commission was officially launched on 7th March 2010 in Lilongwe, Malawi, Africa under the leadership of God’s servant Pastor Esau Banda.Pastor Esau Banda is presently overseer and Senior Pastor of Pentecost International Christian Centre, Lilongwe and other branches.

Fountain of Victory

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Fountain of Victory Outreach Ministries, founded & led by Pastor Joseph Ziba, is a Non-denominational ministry whose membership is drawn from believers of different denominations of the Christian faith.

The birth of the ministry was that God called Pastor Joseph Ziba in 1996 and he accepted the call of God into ministry and he started the journey of obedience to the Lord by forming a Christian fellowship movement which was known as “Young Believers” and meetings were being conducted in a house in Nkolokosa, Blantyre, Malawi.

Later on as the ministry was growing, the leadership discerned that God was taking the movement into a different dimension of spiritual growth that would be the foundation of hope to believers of all age-groups not only youths and hence the fellowship was renamed as Fountain of Victory Outreach Ministry. To date, the ministry has tremendously grown and it has now established over 100 networks in Malawi, it has also branches in South Africa, UK, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Zambia.

Bertha Chirwa
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