Kimbangu, Simon
(1889-1951)
   founder of the Kinbanguist Church
   Simon Kimbangu, an African Christian prophet and founder of the Church of Jesus Christ on Earth through the Prophet Simon Kimbangu (or Kinbanguist Church), was born in Nkamba in what was then the Congo Free State of Central Africa (later Belgian Congo and now the Democratic Republic of the Congo). He converted to the Baptist Church and was baptized in 1915. He had only a rudimentary education and could not read much of the Bible, which kept him from becoming a Baptist preacher.
   In 1918, he began to have visions that announced a calling as a healer and a prophet. He tried to escape them, but in 1921 he began a public ministry of faith healing that garnered an immediate response. Large crowds attended him in his village, and people came from as far away as Leopoldville. The Belgian authorities became alarmed and feared that this movement could turn political and even revolutionary, and he was arrested.
   By all accounts, Kimbangu preached a traditional orthodox form of Protestant Christian faith. He attacked polygamy and traditional Congolese religion and told followers not to participate in African ceremonies. He told them to refrain from palm wine, a popular alcoholic drink. He did make a place for the ancestors, important figures in African society.
   Though he had preached obedience to authority, the court found him guilty and sentenced him to be executed. A protest by missionaries saved his life, but he spent the next 30 years in jail and died there on October 12, 1951. This date is observed annually as a memorial to the church's founder.
   The church that developed from his brief three-month ministry became one of the largest of the African Initiated Churches. When the Belgian authorities tried to suppress the movement, members took the persecution as part of their life in identification with Christ. The disruption of their main gathering point in Kimbangu's hometown had the effect of spreading the teachings into new areas. The church was finally recognized in 1959. In 1970, it was admitted to the World Council of Churches.
   See also Africa, sub-Saharan.
   Further reading:
   ■ Allen H. Anderson, "Kimbanguist Church (Congo)/Église de Jésus Christ sur la terre par le prophète Simon Kimbangu" in J. Gordon Melton and Martin Baumann, eds., Religions of the World: A Comprehensive Encyclopedia of Beliefs and Practices (Santa Barbara, Calif.: ABC-CLIO, 2002)
   ■ Adrian Hastings, The Church in Africa: 1450-1950 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994)
   ■ Wyatt MacGaffey, Modern Kongo Prophets: Religion in a Plural Society (Bloomington: Indiana university Press, 1983)
   ■ Marie-Louise Martin, Kimbangu: An African Prophet and his Church (Grand Rapids, Mich.: William B. Eerdmans, 1975)
   ■ K. Gordon Molyneux, African Christian Theology: The Quest for Selfhood (Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 1993).

Encyclopedia of Protestantism. . 2005.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kimbangu, Simon — ▪ African religious leader born Sept. 24, 1889?, Nkamba, near Thysville, Congo Free State [now Mbanza Ngungu, Democratic Republic of the Congo] died Oct. 10, 1951, Élisabethville, Belgian Congo [now Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo]… …   Universalium

  • KIMBANGU, Simon — (19 ? 1951)    AFRICAN Prophet and CHURCH founder who claimed to have received a VISION of JESUS. After preaching for a few months in 1921, he was arrested by the Belgian authorities and spent the rest of his life in prison. However, people began …   Concise dictionary of Religion

  • Simon Kimbangu — Simon Kimbangu, né le 12 septembre 1887 à Nkamba près de Mbanza Ngungu et décédé le 12 octobre 1951 à Élisabethville (actuelle Lubumbashi), est un religieux congolais. Né dans l État indépendant du Congo (futur Congo belge), il devient… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kimbangu — Simon Kimbangu (* 24. September 1889 (nach anderen Angaben: 12. September 1887) in Nkamba bei Thysville, Kongo Freistaat, heute Mbanza Ngungu, Demokratische Republik Kongo; † 10. Oktober 1951 in Elisabethville, Belgisch Kongo, heute Lubumbashi)… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • KIMBANGU (S.) — KIMBANGU SIMON (1889 env. 1951) Né au Congo belge dans la province de Léopoldville, Simon Kimbangu essaie sans succès de devenir catéchiste dans une mission baptiste. Ouvrier dans les huileries de Kinshasa vers 1920, il est en contact avec des… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Kimbangu — (Simon) (1899 1951) prédicateur congolais né dans la prov. de Léopoldville. Il fonda en avr. mai 1921 une église chrÉtienne, l église de Jésus Christ sur terre, dite ensuite kimbanguiste (V. kimbanguisme). Incarcéré par le colonisateur en sept.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Simon Kimbangu — (* 24. September 1889 (nach anderen Angaben: 12. September 1887) in Nkamba bei Sona Qongo, Kongo Freistaat, heute Mbanza Ngungu, Demokratische Republik Kongo; † 10. Oktober 1951 in Elisabethville, Belgisch Kongo, heute Lubumbashi) war ein… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Simon Kimbangu — (September 12, ca. 1887, Nkamba, near Thysville, Congo Free State [now Mbanza Ngungu, Congo (Kinshasa)] October 12, 1951, Élisabethville, Belgian Congo [now Lubumbashi, Congo] ) was a Congolese religious leader noted as the founder of Kimbanguism …   Wikipedia

  • Simon Pierre M´padi — Simon Pierre M padi Simon Pierre M padi, de l’ethnie kwango, né vers 1900 en République démocratique du Congo (Congo belge à l époque), fut convertit au protestantisme par des missionaires américains ayant entendu parler de Simon Kimbangu. Il… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Simon Pierre M'padi — Simon Pierre M padi, de l’ethnie kwango, né vers 1900 en République démocratique du Congo (Congo belge à l époque), fut converti au protestantisme par des missionnaires américains ayant entendu parler de Simon Kimbangu. Il s’inspira du… …   Wikipédia en Français

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