The Growth of ABC Ministry
by Watson D. Pillow
The mission of the month for July is the African Bible College. The African Bible College, or ABC, was founded in Liberia in 1983 by Dr. John Chinchen and his wife Nell. The couple would go on to expand the ABC into Malawi and Uganda. Dr. Paul Chinchen, who is the son of John and Nell Chinchen, is the current president of ABC and is chancellor of the campuses in Uganda, Malawi, and Liberia. Paul is also the founder of the ABC community clinic, which is an important health clinic to the students of ABC and members of the surrounding areas that need access to good health care. In many areas of Africa, quality healthcare can be hard to find. The community clinic offers counseling, audiology, orthopedic, chiropractic, x- rays, pharmacy, lab services, and a pediatric ward among others. Another important preacher and educator to the ABC is Rev. Tim Kay who came and spoke here at Westminster about how the ABC is growing educationally and spiritually. In addition to his role at the Uganda campus, Kay also helps with maintaining and building relationships with churches in the United States, especially in the South, to see if they would like to help with the growth and development of ABC through church planting and helping to support the ABC in Africa.
One of the purposes of the ABC, as outlined on their website, “is to examine those things that are excellent and to encourage excellence in daily living.” Another goal of the ABC is to equip students with a biblical world view with life and through learning experiences. And an important purpose is to help students learn more about the ministry of the ABC and how they can get involved through education and helping with the ministry. Each campus of the ABC plays a different role in fulfilling these missions. The campus of Liberia is very important to the growth of the ABC. Liberians suffered for a little over thirteen years without education, freedom of speech, and the ability to worship together, and preach the gospel freely. So, the population is still growing in their knowledge and teaching of the gospel in Liberia. Students in their fifties that were not able to graduate from the college are going back to the ABC to complete their degree. The professors at the ABC have the opportunity to help the future leaders of this country develop and “bring about positive change to further Christ’s kingdom.”
The Malawi campus has programs designed for students working towards a bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies. Students at the Malawi campus may also pursue a second degree in Mass Communications or Christian Education. The campus is also home to the African Business Institute. There, ”Student teams start engaging with local companies and begin building their own business less than halfway through the program.” The four main goals of the ABI are to educate, train, invest and mentor.
One important outreach of the ABC is communications. The ABC has radio stations in Uganda, Malawi, and Liberia that reach out to half a million residents in the capital city as well as towns and villages within a twenty-mile radius. The station in Liberia, which is the original radio station, is able to broadcast Christian programming for up to nine hours a day. The college also has ABC TV, which currently produces nine local channels in Malawi and also has over 400 hours of foreign based content provided by various stations in the United States. The ABC TV 21 station is actually the first Christian television station to air in the entire country. The different communication outreaches allow students who study communications to obtain real world training in their intended fields.
In addition to the work that is done at the collegiate level, there is also an ABC Christian Academy in Malawi for students from ages four to fourteen. The bible verse that is important to the Christian Academy is Proverbs 22:6 which reminds us to “Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. “The purpose of the ABC Christian Academy is to shape a Christ- character in all of its students. Each year, a backpack drive is held which is an important opportunity for service and work in the community for volunteers, academy students, and adults who want to help students receive school supplies and be prepared for the school year.
These are just some of the things that the African Bible College is involved in as a means of spreading the Gospel and reaching people for Christ. It is evident from the list here that the ABC is involved in trying to improve many aspects of the lives of the people of Liberia, Malawi, and Uganda. Here at Westminster, we can spend the month of July in prayer for the many outreaches of the ABC and that they will continue to be successful in their missions.