Swaziland prime minister praises Church of the Nazarene

Swaziland Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini says the Church of the Nazarene has played a big role in the development of the country’s education.

Dlamini spoke recenlty at the opening celebration of the new addition to Mbabane Church of the Nazarene, where he is a member. The Swazi Observer reports that Dlamini came to this conclusion after considering the many institutions the denomination has created in the country. The church has 43 primary schools, four high schools, 17 clinics, and a university in the country. Southern Africa Nazarene University was founded in 2010 and is a combination of three previous Nazarene colleges: the College of Nursing, the College of Education, and the College of Theology.

This recent praise sharply contrasts the Church of the Nazarene’s first years in Swaziland. Harmon Schmelzenbach, the first missionary to Swaziland, entered the country in 1910. When he and his family arrived, they were not given permission to stay because the queen of Swaziland did not like caucasians. The indigenous people were also suspicious of the family, but through hard work and determination, the first Nazarene church was dedicated by General Superintendent Reynolds in 1914.

The church has continued to grow in the country. There are now 139 officially organized churches in Swaziland with more than 13,000 members on four districts. Work in the country is supported by numerous Nazarene organizations through The Swaziland Partnership, including Bethany, Oklahoma, First Church of the Nazarene and Southern Nazarene University.

Source:  Nazarene Communications Network

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