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Collection 172 Records of the Pan African Christian Leadership Assembly

Identifier: CN 172

Scope and Contents

Correspondence, reports, news releases, minutes of meetings, and other materials which describe the origins, planning, purpose, and results of the Pan African Christian Leadership Assembly (PACLA) meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya in December 1976, a gathering for evangelical African church leaders and missionaries in Nairobi, which grew out of of an informal meeting of African leaders at the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization held at Lausanne, Switzerland. The bulk of this collection is available on microfilm.

Also documented in the collection is the one day evangelistic rally held by Billy Graham at the conclusion of the Assembly. Persons featured include Assembly planners and speakers. Subjects reflect issues of education, missions, and the impact of political conditions in on evangelization on the continent.


  • Created: 1975-1978

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Historical Information

During the 1974 International Congress on World Evangelization in Lausanne, Switzerland, a group of forty-five Christian leaders from Africa met to discuss the possibility of a Pan African meeting of church leaders to investigate the needs and possibilities of the rapidly growing Christian community on that continent. The group asked Bishop Festo Kivengere of West Uganda and Michael Cassidy of Africa Enterprise to explore what could be done. Kenya leaders invited to an informal meeting in February 1975 were encouraging. Representatives from all over Africa were invited to a larger meeting in Nairobi by the ad hoc committee which was formed in February and chaired by Gottfried Osei-Mensah of the Lausanne Committee for World Evangelization. Osei-Mensah was elected chairman of the committee organized to organize a staff, arrange financing, and plan the assembly. The gathering defined eight goals for PACLA:

1. To gather Africa's rising Christian leadership from all walks of life in order to build within its political, racial, and cultural diversity a network of fellowship, understanding, and communication.

2. To discover what God would do at this time in Africa through its Christian leaders.

3. To renew, revive, and inspire the rising generation of Christian leaders to a deeper spiritual life and practical moral obedience in daily life.

4. To challenge, inspire, and motivate Africa's rising Christian leadership with the imperatives of the Church's mission in Africa at this time.

5. To face the factors and forces presently obstructing or complicating Christian witness and church growth in Africa (e.g. racialism, syncretism, poverty, urbanization, isolationism, the generation gap, etc.).

6. To stimulate endeavors to meet the ascertained needs of the continent's emerging leaders and to help them develop new skills and leadership qualities.

7. To clarify the contribution under God which the African Church, as part of the worldwide body of Christ, can make in the cause of Christian world mission.

8. To enable people to return to their regions and apply personally and corporately the practical plans discussed at PACLA.

After more than a year of planning and organizing, PACLA was held in Nairobi, Kenya, December 9-19, 1976. The Assembly was financed by offerings and gifts from individuals and from organizations such as African Enterprise, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, and World Literature Crusade. Initially, the idea of PACLA was criticized by both the Association of Evangelicals of Africa and Madagascar (too much planned participation by liberal Christians), and the ecumenical All Africa Conference of Churches (participant selection was not representative enough, setting up a competition to AACC, introducing non-African theological differences to the continent). The difference of opinion with the AEAM was eventually resolved and that association approved the Assembly. Seven hundred thirty-seven delegates attended from forty eight African countries. A copy of the program is included in this guide. In 1978, Cassidy and Osei-Mensah published Together in One Place: A History of PACLA. This volume included the PACLA pledge, which was a statement rededicating the participants to "God, to His Word, to His people, and to His world. And we call all the churches on this continent to join us in this commitment." The pledge was prepared by the executive committee but not submitted to the Assembly for approval due to lack of time.


Million Belete - Executive Committee

Cal Bombay - Publicity Committee Chairman

Graham Carr - Executive Committee, Finance Chairman, Treasurer, Selection Committee

Michael Cassidy - Executive Committee, Program Chairman

John Gatu - Executive Committee

John Gichinga - Executive Committee

David M. Gitari - Executive Committee

John Howell - Registrar

Keith Jesson - Arrangements for Evangelistic Rally

MacMillan Kiiru - Executive Committee

Amos K. Kiriro - Executive Committee

Mary A. Kusimba - Administrative Assistant

James J. Mageria - Executive Committee, Travel Chairman, General Services Chairman

Dorothy Mbui - Executive Committee

John Mpaayei - Executive Committee, Vice Chairman, Arrangements Chairman

Jacob N. Mwangi - Executive Committee

Matt Nyagwaswa - Executive Committee

Monica Obago - Receptionist

Elisha Omusula - Messenger

Gottfried Osei-Mensah - Chairman of Executive Committee

Kay Pither

Betty Rwamunahe - Secretary

Daniel Serwanga - Executive Committee, Associate Coordinator, Hospitalityand Transport Chairman

Chris Smith - Administrative Assistant

Don Smith - Executive Committee, Convening and Planning Chairman

Naomi Smoker

Ken Tracy - Executive Committee, Fund Raising Chairman

John Tsuma - Executive Committee

John E. H. Wilson - Executive Committee, Coordinator

Isaac Zokoue - Executive Committee


2 Boxes

1 Oversize File

2 Photograph Files

2 Reels of microfilm

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

The material in this collection was received in October 1980 from the office of the Lausanne Continuation Committee in Nairobi, Kenya.

April 9, 1981

Robert Shuster

A. Peterson

J. Nasgowitz

April 11, 2000

Robert Shuster

Collection 172 Records of the Pan African Christian Leadership Assembly
Bob Shuster
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Roman Script

Repository Details

Part of the Evangelism & Missions Archives Repository

501 College Avenue
Wheaton IL 60187 US