History of UPC Zambia

The UPCI emerged out of the Pentecostal movement that began with a Bible school in Topeka, Kansas, in 1901 and with the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, California, in 1906. It traces its organizational roots to 1916, when a large group of Pentecostal ministers began to unite around the teaching of the oneness of God and water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.

The UPCI has been among the fastest-growing church organizations since it was formed in 1945 by the merger of the Pentecostal Church Incorporated and the Pentecostal Assemblies of Jesus Christ. From 521 churches in 1945, the UPCI in the United States and Canada grew to 4,459 churches (including daughter works and preaching points) and 9,413 ministers in 2014. In the same year it reported works in 201 nations outside the U.S. and Canada with 34,491 churches and preaching points, 21,485 licensed ministers, 886 missionaries, and a constituency of 2.4 million. The international fellowship consists of national organizations that are united as the Global Council of the UPCI, which is chaired by the general superintendent of the UPCI. Total constituency is estimated at 3 million.

The UPCI emerged out of the Pentecostal movement that began with a Bible school in Topeka, Kansas, in 1901 and with the Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, California, in 1906. It traces its organizational roots to 1916, when a large group of Pentecostal ministers began to unite around the teaching of the oneness of God and water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ.

The birth of UPCZ can be traced to the first contact that was made in Zambia by Rev. E. L. Freeman through a Bishop of the Church of God in Christ Bishop John Masanka in 1979. After their meeting Rev. E. L. Freeman in Kitwe Bishop Masanka with his group agreed to work with the United Pentecostal Church and the first General Conference was held in Mufulira in 1980. In attendance was and sister Donald Ikerd the first missionaries appointed to Zambia. At that time the headquarters of the church was in Ndola.

In process of time bishop Masanka died. A wave of confusion came in and some Pastors started fighting against the missionary and it was at that time that Rev. Peter Sonkani who was the presbyter of the Copperbelt came into picture to with stand with the missionary. Rev. Ikerd and Rev. Sonkani with other ministers decided to move the Headquarters of the church to Lusaka 1981. The first local church was started in Lusaka at Chinika primary school (Now Chinika High School) under the leadership of Rev. Peter Sonkani.