Church of Christ in Congo - Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa
(Eglise du Christ au Congo - Communauté presbytérienne de Kinshasa, CPK)
The Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa was formed by groups of Christians coming from the centre of the country, the Kasai region where the Presbyterian Community in Congo is concentrated, which grew out of the work of the American Presbyterian Congo Mission in that area since the 19th century. Because of the distances and the difficulties of communication it became necessary to have an autonomous church in Kinshasa, the capital of the country. But since at that time there were not yet autonomous churches in Congo and Kinshasa, and Léopoldville was the mission field of two Baptist missionary societies, an invitation from these missions was required. With the creation of new quarters in Léopoldville and the extension of the city towards the east the two missions called on the American Presbyterian Mission which, in 1954, accepted to establish the Presbyterian Mission of Léopoldville (PML). The work began officially in 1955. Christians from other denominations living in the capital were welcome to join the Presbyterian mission if they wished. In January 1960 the PML decided to found an autonomous church under the name Church of Christ in Congo - Presbyterian Section of Léopoldville. The church was officially registered in May 1960, i.e. before the independence of the country. Of all the churches in the DRC the PCK was the first to be recognized before independence. The PCK uses the symbol of the apostles as the confession of its faith. It recognizes two sacraments: baptism and holy communion.
The PCK maintains strong fraternal relations with the Presbyterian Community of Congo, especially in the area of leadership training. The two churches jointly own the Sheppard and Lapsley Presbyterian University of Congo which is based in Kananga in Western Kasai. The two are founding members of the Church of Christ in Congo. When the latter was created in 1970 the name of the denomination became Church of Christ in Congo - Presbyterian Community of Kinshasa. The PCK works in four provinces: Kinshasa, Bandundu, Lower Congo and Equator. It has started a mission among the Pygmies which covers about 200 villages. The PCK runs also 60 primary and 44 secondary schools. It has a pastoral institute and an institute of advanced theology, an institute of medical technology and a professional construction school. Since 1984 the PCK has joined the programme "Health for All by the Year 2000" and runs six health centres, two small maternity wards, two hospital centres and three clinics.
The ecclesiastical structure of the PCK is Presbyterian: consistories, presbyteries, synods and general assembly. In all the decision-making bodies clergy (men and women) and elders (men and women) are represented. The laity is organized in three federations: women, men and youth.