Mlalo Lutheran Parish | Mlalo, Tanga, Tanzania
North Eastern Diocese of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania
A companion parish relationship is an opportunity to grow in relationship with sisters and brothers in Christ throughout the church. This companion relationship provides opportunities for prayer, learning and sharing in our respective settings. Together we seek to grow in Christian love and gain a deeper understanding of each other as fellow members of the body of Christ.
The Mlalo Parish
The Mlalo Parish is the headquarters of the Northern Deanery in the North – Eastern Diocese (NED) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT). The Mlalo parish spans the government administrative Mlalo Ward in Lushoto District which is among the eight districts of Tanga Region in Tanzania. A parish is a cluster of congregations working together within a specific geographic region.
The history of Mlalo Parish goes back to the 6th of April 1891 when the Germany Missionaries Johannesn and Wohlrab came to Mlalo from Tanga and met the chief of Wasambaa (Thetribe which Lives here) Shekinyasi who showed them this area. On the 7th of April 1891 they slept under the big tree which is still existing known as “Muula,” where later on they built a Church and a Mission station in July 1891.
The Mlalo Parish has the main or central church called “Hohen” which actually means Peaceful Mountain and five sub parishes which are Lwandai, Sinai, Dule, Kungutana na Baghai.
The parish started with only five people who agreed to be baptized after having true faith that Christ is the Lord. But now the number of Christians in Mlalo parish had increased. Right now Mlalo Parish comprises of 1158 elder people including 516 men and 642 women while the number of children is 365 boys and 356 girls which gives the total number of children 721. So the total number of the people of Mlalo Parish is 1879.
There are several Church services.
- Monday to Saturday there are Morning devotions from 06:30 am to 07:00 am.
- Sunday church service for children from 08:00 am to 09:00 am.
- From 10:00 am to 11:45 am there is a Sunday church service for adults.
- The bible studies and fellowship at 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm on Sundays.
- Other Christian services according to our church calendar.
There is a Kindergarten class for those children with 4 – years old before they join Primary Schools.
We also teach the Christian education for the children who are in primary and secondary schools
There is a confirmation class as well.
The parish buildings include Chapels, Offices, Staff Quarters, Kitchens, Dining Halls, Assembly Halls , Hostels and Stores.
The Parish Staff
There are seven church servants whom are being paid by the church.
Pastor and Dean
The Revered Michael Kanju, pastor, is the head of the parish and also serves as the Dean of the Northern Deanery.
Pastor’s Secretary, Deacon, Evangelists and Elder Council
There is a pastor’s secretary, deacon, five evangelists and an elder’s council that assists the pastor in spiritual matters.
Mission and Evangelism | Finance Committee | Youth Department
Women and Children Department | Partnership Committee
The Elders Council
In the Mlalo Parish there are 48 church elders including 28 men and 20 women. The Elders Council is a position of honor but without salary. Among their duties is to help the pastor and the evangelists in fulfilling the spiritual matters.
The Hekalungu Dispensary
This dispensary provides services for the patients within and outside our parish regardless their faith. In former times it has been used as the centre for the leprosy.
The left building is intended as the clinic for women and children which is still under construction. The right building is operating as the common dispensary for the out side patients.
Means of Transport within the Parish
Most of our trips for mission and evangelism inside the parish we normally walk on foot. For our church servants normally walk on foot, sometimes they use the Parish Motor cycle. There is a Deanery car for the Deanery activities which is also too old. But the sometimes the Deanery Pickup car is used for the Parish purposes.
What is the difference between a “parish” and a “congregation”?
“Parish” in Tanzania is a group of preaching points which are being shepherded by a pastor (or pastors), much as what we might call milti-point ministries in the United States.
“Congregation” in Tanzania refers to a preaching point often served by an evangelist (layperson).
One “Parish” may have a number of “Congregations” (preaching points).
Many congregations are served by an evangelist, a lay Christian who is chosen from among the members of a congregation.
Most of the evangelists are normally paid by their congregations / parishes to attend a 2-3 year Theological Training Program at the Bible College. After that they are ordained and they serve full-time in the congregation. They are responsible to their parish pastor and can perform all church duties which a pastor does, except the sacraments.
What is a District?
A “District” is an organizational unit to conferences or clusters in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which works closely with the parishes and is a bridge between the parishes and the Diocese.
is a “District Pastor”?
The “District Pastor” is elected by the District Assembly. A “District Pastor” is a messenger and an advisor between the parishes and the Diocese. He/she is the Bishop’s representative. She/he deploys the evangelists to their respective congregations.