Reformed Church in Zimbabwe
Concern for the evangelization of Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) was first felt by a pioneer missionary in Northern Transvaal (South Africa). Through his endeavours and intercessions, a number of Basuto evangelists were from time to time sent across the Limpopo river to evangelize. The first mission station was established in 1891 at Morgenster. From this point the missionary work of the Dutch Reformed Mission Church in South Africa grew and spread over the whole country. As a result the African Reformed Church in Rhodesia came into being, as an indigenous and independent church, under the control of church councils, four presbyteries and a synod. In 1977 it became the fully autonomous African Reformed Church. Soon after the country's independence in 1980, the name was changed to Reformed Church in Zimbabwe.
The RCZ has given high priority to Bible translation, production of literature in the vernacular, and to the training of pastors, evangelists and lay workers. An extensive educational programme, as well as medical services, have grown from the initial small beginnings. In addition to its various church activities, the church has a special concern for its school for the deaf and dumb at Morgenster, and the Margaretha Hugo School for the blind. The RCZ also has a number of secondary schools, a teacher-training college and a theological college, as well as two hospitals and several clinics.
Rapid changes in the political and social situation in Zimbabwe have meant that the church has had to find ways of adjusting itself so as to remain an effective spiritual force in the country.