Dissertation Projects DMin

Date of Award


Document Type

Project Report

Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry


Seventh-day Adventist Theological Seminary


Doctor of Ministry DMin

First Advisor

Russell L. Staples

Second Advisor

George R. Knight

Third Advisor

Nancy Vyhmeister


Problem. The Seventh-day Adventist Church was established in malawi at the turn of the century (1902). Since then, stalwart Malawian workers have made immeasurable contributions to the development, growth, and expansion of the church in Malawi and the neighboring countries of Zambia, Zaire, Kenya, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Rwanda, and South Africa. James Malinki was probably the most outstanding early cross-cultural worker in the Adventist Church in Central Africa. As yet there has been no significant written account of his life and ministry.

Topic. This study examined the life and work of James Malinki of Malawi (1893-1982), whose ministry of nearly half a century in Nyasaland (Malawi), Congo (Zaire), and Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) significantly contributed to the early development of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Central Africa. His ministry provided not only an example of skillful cross-cultural service, but in itself is an inspiration to workers.

Sources. The study followed an analytical, biographical documentary research approach, examining written sources such as books, journal articles, and denominational minutes. Substantial information was gathered through personal interviews with Malinki's family in Zambia and Malawi and with other friends and colleagues of Malinki.

Conclusions. The sources consulted confirmed that Malinki's measure of success as a cross-cultural worker was the result of his personal dedication to God. His success in the mastery of languages helped him bridge cultural differences in varied contexts of his work. Above all, he was sensitive to the needs of the people. Malinki's leadership exhibited an attitude that was devoid of animosity and bigotry in the working relationships between nationals and overseas missionaries. His father, Kalinde Morrison Malinki, had tasted of the savagery of slavery and both father and son experienced the 1915 uprising of John Chilembwe; yet Malinki's attitude towards people of other tribes and races was unmarred by prejudice.

The church and its workers will benefit from Malinki's example and life. Malinki is one of the many unsung heroes of Africa who, with African nobility of character, worked side by side as an equal with overseas missionaries. Such a trust and partnership will ever be needed in the mission of the church of God.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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