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Moise Kabangy was born in the eastern part of Kwilu Province in the Belgian Congo (Zaire) near Kandala, a mission station pioneered in 1926 by an independent Canadian Baptist couple, Percy and Rosalind Near. In the early 1940s Kabangy enrolled in the mission school, where he responded to the story of Jesus and became a Christian. After further training at Mukedi, a station of the Congo Inland Mission 100 mi. (160 km.) to the north, he returned to Kandala, where he served for a number of years as a teacher and lay church leader.

In 1963 Kabangy was chosen to enter a new post-primary pastoral training program sponsored by the Congo Inland Mission (Africa Inter-Mennonite Mission) and the Mennonite Brethren Mission at Kajiji near the Angolan border. The student body incorporated people from a broad variety of tribes, leading at times to frictions and misunderstandings. More and more Kabangy was drawn into such situations because of his gift for counseling and achieving reconcilation.

Upon graduation he returned to Kandala and served as pastor for a time at the station church. In 1971 he was elected president of the Église du Christ au Zaire, Communaute Mennonite (now Communauté Mennonite au Congo). He was noted for his strong pastoral gifts, traveled much, and assured the broad mix of major clans within the church that they were all important to him, to the church, and to the Lord. Perhaps his crowning achievement was to help bring about a reconciliation between the Zaire Mennonite Church and the Église du Christ au Zaire, Communaute Evangélique Mennonite (CEM; Evangelical Mennonite Church) of East Kasai, which had begun in the troubled days of the early 1960s.

When, in 1979, bone cancer placed him on his deathbed, he convened a cluster of church leaders and made two statements: first, referring to the African worldview which typically attributes death to sorcery, he clearly stated that he held no one accountable for his impending death and he forbade anyone else to do so. He then turned to those assembled around his bed and charged them to guard and care for the Mennonite church as he had sought to do. He was buried at the Kandala churchyard, the place where he began his pilgrimage of faith and service.

Author(s) James E Bertsche
Date Published 1987

[edit] Cite This Article

MLA style

Bertsche, James E. "Kabangy Moise (d. 1979)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. 1987. Web. 25 May 2016.

APA style

Bertsche, James E. (1987). Kabangy Moise (d. 1979). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 25 May 2016, from

Adapted by permission of Herald Press, Harrisonburg, Virginia, and Waterloo, Ontario, from Mennonite Encyclopedia, Vol. 5, p. 474. All rights reserved. For information on ordering the encyclopedia visit the Herald Press website.

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