Tanzania: Meatu parish celebrates the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation

Meatu District celebrated the 500 the anniversary of the church reformation last Sunday.

Dr. Chilongane was the guest speaker. He has been very supportive as the District Commissioner in getting land for expansion of the Church.

The Guest of Honor Dr. Chilongane giving the speech during the Commemoration of 500 of the church reformation.

The Assistant to the Bishop Pastor Trafaina Nkya, preached in the service and his message was on building Faith on the Rock alone…. Math 16:18.

Nowadays Christians have been cheated and tempted to give money to the Pastors outside the church to receive wealth, to be healed instead of following what God has instructed us to do”.

Assistant to the Bishop Dean Trafaina A. Nkya preaching during the commemoration of 500 years of church reformation in Meatu District.



During the week of the anniversary, different topics were, including Church history and Church Reformation, Liturgy, Church Music, Diaconia Services,  hymns especially the ones which were composed by Dr. Martin Luther, and the history of Dr. Martin Luther.  Another interesting lesson was how and where the Lutheran faith was started in Tanzania. People were eager to learn all these subjects.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in East Africa and in Tanzania started in the 19th century. Different Mission Associations from Europe and America entered Tanganyika and started their service to God. Later this service brought blessings and resulted into formation of seven Evangelical Lutheran Churches within Tanzania. These churches included Ubena – Konde, Uzaramo – Uluguru, Usambara – Digo, The Nothern Church, Buhaya, Iramba – Turu and Mbulu. These churches were named after the places which the service started. The Associations which brought these churches entered Tanganyika in 1890 and they were known as Berlin I, Berlin II, Bethel, Leipzig etc. On  June 21, 1963,  the leaders from these seven churches met and agreed to have one church. This agreement was reached on June 19, 1963, and that is how the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania started.

Since then the church in Tanzania has been growing rapidly as a result. Now the church has twenty-five dioceses. The Diocese South East of Lake Victoria Diocese was formed after the splitting of East of Lake Victoria Diocese in 2012 because of the rapid number of the church membership. This became official in May 2013.

When South East of Lake Victoria Diocese started there were only six districts ( Meatu, Maswa, Bariadi, Shinyanga, South (Maganzo), South West (Kahama) and the Cathedral.  Due to rapid evangelism and growth, the districts have now added Ushetu, North West (Msalala), South East (Kishapu) making ten dioceses.

The services which have been provided by the church include spiritual and social services such as education, health, and environmental conservation. Meatu was one of the districts affected by drought so the church has decided to create social awareness on environmental conservation to the congregational social services.

One of the highlights of this event was the Meatu congregation deciding to buy a fifty hectares (50 hectares = 123.55 acres) of land for planting trees. The purchase of land is estimated to cost about fifteen million (15,000,000 TZS or 6,677.8475 US$) for the planting of trees. This will mark the memory of 500 years of church reformation.