Philadelphia in Zimbabwe

Philadelphia launched its first full-time leadership-training program in northwestern Zimbabwe in the early 1990’s. In spite of the political and economical turmoil that hit Zimbabwe in the late 1990’s, this program has gone from strength to strength and is still growing today.

Keeping in line with our mission, this program includes training leaders (existing and future) for the Church and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with people who has not heard it before.


1) Background
2) Mobile Training
3) Licentiate in Theology
4) Practical Training
5) Philadelphia’s Team in Zimbabwe.
6) The Road Ahead
7) More about Zimbabwe


Although nearly 62% of Zimbabwe’s population professes to be Christian, many good people in that wonderful country are being misled by false and unbiblical teachings, which prevents them from living in a close and personal relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. Some believe that as much as 50% if Zimbabwe’s population adhere to syncretic Christianity (a mixture of Christianity and traditional beliefs) This would bring the percentage of biblical Christians down to only 25% (see General facts on Zimbabwe and Shona Traditional Religion).

This situation was brought about by the fact that in the past, people were often exposed to the gospel and encouraged to revert to Christ, while not enough time and energy was spent on training and disciplining leaders for the growing Church.

The Philadelphia Project (along with many others), are therefore dedicated to assist the Christian Church in Zimbabwe in developing and reaching its full potential. We do this by sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who have not heard it before, while at the same time mobilizing, encouraging and training Christian leaders (from all denominational backgrounds) who would be able to lead and disciple the Church according to biblical standards and truths.

Mobile Training

Based in the town of Karoi (Hurungwe District, northwestern Zimbabwe), Philadelphia is reaching out to people over a large area, much of which is in the remote Zambezi Valley, renowned for its wild ruggedness.

Making use of a system of mobile training, our lecturers travel to different areas to present classes to small groups of students. This method is not only cost-effective, but it also enables students to stay economically active to provide for their families. At the same time, it is also possible for them to constantly share that which they have learnt with their congregations, communities and families.

LEFT: Norman Kalilombe (right), Project Manager in Zimbabwe lecturing in Zimbabwe.





Training both existing and future Christian leaders from numerous denominations, this program has been an instrument through which the Lord strengthened and equipped existing churches while also planting new churches in areas where there had been none.

Licentiate in Theology

The full course is a 3-year Licentiate in Theology developed and administrated by the Timothy Training Institute. As students from different denominational backgrounds are trained, several denominations recognize the diploma issued at the end of the course as sufficient for ordination as pastors or reverends in their churches.

As the course is divided into six modules of five months (one phase per month) each, some students who take the course for their own spiritual benefit only complete one or two modules. A Certificate is issued upon completion of each module.

Practical Training

At Philadelphia we believe in a combination of theoretical knowledge, exposure to practical work and personal attention to equip our students for their work as future pastors, ministers, evangelists or missionaries. Therefore, students are constantly involved in the practical side of evangelism during outreaches (crusades) in Zimbabwe or neighboring countries.

LEFT: People watching the Jesus-film during a student-crusade in Zimbabwe.





Not only does this teach the student to apply the knowledge that he or she has gained in class, but it also helps them to work together with Christians from other denominations or backgrounds. At the same time, people are reached with the gospel and lives are changed when they choose to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour!

Philadelphia’s Team in Zimbabwe

Norman and Euridice Kalilombe
Heading the team in Zimbabwe is local Project Manager, Pastor Norman Kalilombe. Although a Malawian by birth, Norman has a passion for the spiritual salvation of the people of Zimbabwe and has been living among them for most of his life.

LEFT: Norman and Euridice with three of their five children.







Before joining Philadelphia’s team in 1995, Norman was involved in pastoring, leadership training and church planting in Marondera, situated east of the capital Harare. Feeling that the Lord called him to become more involved in evangelism and leadership training, Norman joined Philadelphia and pioneered the project in Karoi.

Apart from lecturing and practical training, Norman’s work involves various other activities amongst which is involvement with prison-ministry, a centre for destitutes, outreaches to local schools, a local orphanage, a minister’s fraternal, regularly addressing seminars and conferences (specially on issues related to leadership, gift-related ministry, small groups and HIV/AIDS) and liasoning with local churches and organizations.

His wife, Euridice, has a passion for child evangelism and supports him in the ministry. Recently the Kalilombe’s eldest daughter, Evernice, completed her training with Ywam (Youth With A Mission) and is currently involved in outreaches all over Southern Africa.

Kuda Mavhurere
Kuda Mavhurere is the latest edition to our team in Zimbabwe and often refers to himself as Normans “Timothy”. Kuda laid the foundation for his future ministry by completing his Licentiate in Theology under Norman’s mentorship.

LEFT: Kuda Mavhurere (November 2004)





Like his mentor, Kuda has a passion for teaching and training Christian leaders to develop and reach their full potential in the Body of Christ.
Kuda joined Philadelphia’s team in 2004 as assistant-lecturer and his work includes lecturing, facilitating and organizing crusades as part of practical training and generally assisting Norman in his work.
Kuda is still unmarried.

Christopher Chidzvondo
When meeting Christopher, it doesn’t take anyone long to realize that this young man has a burning passion for the salvation of those who does not know Christ. Although Christopher only formally joined Philadelphia’s Zimbabwe-team in 2004, he has been working with Norman for several years and has been the backbone of numerous evangelical outreaches.

LEFT: Christopher and Norman. (Karoi, November '04)




Christopher is a gifted evangelist who completed his theological training as a member of one of the first classes in the Leadership Training Program to do so under Norman in Zimbabwe. As the team’s evangelist, his work includes practical and theoretical training of students in the field of evangelism, as well as heading and conducting crusades and other evangelism-projects.
Christopher is a widower with one child who has remarried in January 2005.

Zimbabwe Management Board
One of the reasons that the work in Zimbabwe progressed so well and relatively fast, is the close involvement of several individuals and ministries. When first sharing our vision to train much-needed leaders for the Church on an inter-denominational base, several people were skeptical about the practical viability of such a venture.

LEFT: Manie (left) with Philadelphia Management Board in Zimbabwe, 2002. FLTR: Veneto Keyter, Mr Banda, Norman Kalilombe, Noel Pickard, Ron Dick and Claude Ainsley. (Karoi, 2002)



However, men such as Rev Veneto Keyter (Dutch Reformed Church, Karoi), Noël Pickard (farmer and CHRISTIAN), Ron Dick (Pastor: Karoi Assemblies), Dave Richardson (farmer and evangelist), Past Claude Ainsley (Living Waters, Karoi), Willie Nel (farmer), Piet Oosthuizen (farmer and businessman) and others bought into the vision and eventually helped made it happen in a big way.

They formed a local Philadelphia Management Board which not only helped furthering the ministry in many ways, but also took responsibility for Norman and his own needs. They often went far beyond of what was expected of them to help with outreaches and to ensure that leaders, who needed to be trained, could do so. Some of these men had since been forced to leave Zimbabwe for other countries, but the work they have started still continues and their legacy lives on!

The Road Ahead

In spite of sometimes-difficult circumstances, we give all glory to God for the way the work in Zimbabwe is expanding and the way new possibilities are opening up. If you browse through Norman’s newsletters, you will see that, apart from leadership training and evangelism, we are involved in various other local ministries and projects.

However, the work has reached a point where we really need to acquire our own facilities. Up to now everything was rented, but to really reach our goals from here on, we need to take the next step.
Plans are well under way to build a facility in Karoi that would serve as Bible College (with various courses, including training for child evangelists, being presented), worship center and administrative headquarters. Provision would also be made here for staff housing, conferences, a library and a small printing press.
As the need for training Christian leaders is so immense, having these facilities would also enable us to train and equip more mobile lecturers to assist Norman and his team. This would mean that we would be able to reach people in areas where we currently do not dare to venture due to our inability to handle the long-term training of leaders and disciples in a responsible way.

To reach these goals, we need people like you. People who believe that Jesus Christ paid the price so that all who believe in Him, could be saved. People who believe that Africa’s salvation on all levels of existence lie’s in people having a personal and lasting relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. People who not only believe these things, but are willing to do something about it right now!

More about Zimbabwe:

Latest Newsletter from Zimbabwe
Shona Traditional Religion
General facts on Zimbabwe


P.O. Box 1524 Tele / Fax 263-64-6489
Karoi Cell 263-11-407668
Zimbabwe e-mail:

  Getting as exited as we are? See, Philadelphia has full-time teams in several African countries, but we also rely strongly on volunteers to become involved by contributing their prayers, time, energy and finances. So why don’t you do something about it right now? Alternatively, you can first read about our projects in Zimbabwe, Malawi and Madagascar, get some more facts on Africa, read about the history of the Cross in Africa or just share your thoughts with us?
“Mission Impossible” – that would be the much talked-about secular African Renaissance
without Jesus Christ!
  TEL: + 27 (12) 567-6512
CELL: + 27 82 925 4125
  P.O. Box 14137, Sinoville (South Africa) 0129