Conrad Mbewe: The African Spurgeon?

Conrad Mbewe: The African Spurgeon?

When he was in South Africa in October, alongside giving his message at Lausanne, John Piper spoke at two smaller conferences: Piper 2 Leaders, and Rezolution 2010. We posted the audio of these Piper messages at that time.

What we didn't post (until now) was the audio of the other man who spoke at these events: Conrad Mbewe, pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church in Lusaka, Zambia—a.k.a. the African Spurgeon.

Why is he called the African Spurgeon? The comparison isn't so new. A 2003 article in World Magazine (full text here) popularized the connection and gave some explanation:

Mr. Mbewe isn't sure why listeners compare him to the British "Prince of Preachers." Perhaps it is because Mr. Spurgeon too toiled to the point of collapse, ministering to a congregation of 4,000, delivering sermons 10 times a week, managing an orphanage, and running a preachers' college—all of which culminated in exhaustion and gout.

Or perhaps it is because Mr. Mbewe shares Spurgeon's love for writing. Spurgeon edited and wrote for his monthly magazine, The Sword and Trowel; Mr. Mbewe has been writing two columns a week for the last 10 years in the country's Daily Chronicle newspaper. One is a sermon, while the other examines popular social questions and is tailored for the ordinary man, similar to Spurgeon's selection of parables, John Ploughman's Talk.

But where the Zambian pastor most resembles Spurgeon is in his challenge to the "mile wide and inch deep" church in Zambia.

There is already a lot of free Mbewe material online. In addition to the talks we've just added to our website, you can find scores of sermon and conference messages by him at

You can also follow his blog, A Letter from Kabwata, or listen to a recent interview with him on Tim Challies' Connected Kingdom Podcast.

Tyler Kenney (@tylerkenney) is a former content strategist at Desiring God. He and his wife, Kristen, live in the Twin Cities.