History of the Church of the Nazarene in Eswatini

The first missionary for the Church of the Nazarene in Eswatini was Rev. Harmon Schmelzenbach who arrived with his family in Piggs Peak in the northern mountainous area of Swaziland in December 1910. Schmelzenbach’s scriptural mandate was to “teach, preach and heal.” That mandate still stands today with a Nazarene university called Southern Africa Nazarene University, 5 high schools, and 43 primary schools; 150 churches in 4 districts of Eswatini, Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital (RFM) and 20 rural clinics. In many communities you will see a clinic, a school and a church. All of this network throughout Eswatini are our official partners.

The Eswatini Partnership (formerly the Swaziland Partnership)

In 2008, Dr. David Busic, senior pastor of Bethany First Church of the Nazarene (BFC), and Dr. Loren Gresham, president of Southern Nazarene University, had a vision to reach out to Eswatini, the country with the highest rate of HIV and TB in the world. They were welcomed by Swazi health, education and church leaders. BFC recruited Barbi Moore to work with this partnership, formed a Eswatini Leadership Council and set about enlisting local medical professionals, business leaders and other willing and talented people to join the effort in Eswatini. Since that time, 10 couples and 1 individual have given a year or two of their lives to live in Eswatini and represent the partnership. Our On-site Coordinators have built trust and friendship with our Swazi leaders to allow this partnership to exist.

On-Site Coordinators from 2008 to today

The experience and passion of our On-Site Coordinators have been a great gift to this partnership. Each individual has brought their gifts and talents to this ministry.

  • Rev. Will and Karis Stemen – 2008-2009
  • Brent and Rev. Michaele LaVigne – 2009-2010
  • Andy and Amy Curry – 2010-2011
  • Evan and Rev. Andrea Mosshart – 2011-2012
  • Dustin and Amanda Hogan – 2012-2013
  • Seth and Kaylee Carley – 2013-2014
  • Rev. C. Dale and Emmalyn German – 2014-2015
  • Rev. Ron and Sara Willard – 2015-2017
  • Jess Jenkinson – 2017-2018
  • Doug and Margaret Eaton – 2018-20?

Short-term Teams and Partners in Eswatini

Over 750 people have volunteered on short-term teams that build, paint, clean and serve in clinics, schools, churches and at RFM. Three nurses’ housing units have been built and Bhalenkani received a new clinic. Churches have received new roofs. A new school was built at Mhlaba. The first public dental clinic was established at RFM. Training has been provided on the prevention of AIDS and booklets provided through the Ministry of Health on pediatric standardized care. We also have established two Child Development Centers that minister to children who are at-risk. The partnership has been a key catalyst with the Southern Africa Coca Cola Foundation in providing 52 water wells to needy communities. We also support the HIV Task Force as they visit hundreds of homebound patients giving palliative care with over 130 imbedded community care supporters. Eswatini has received support from organizations like Heart to Heart International, Dean McGee Eye Institute, and churches in Kansas, Canada, California and Texas who have also joined this partnership.

Swazi 5K

We are now in our 11th year of hosting a Swazi 5K to help raise funds for ministries in Eswatini and at the Bethany After-School Program. A USA Track and Field Sanctioned event, our next Swazi 5K is on Saturday, September 21, at Southern Nazarene University. Karen and Scott Dedmon lead a dedicated team of volunteers for this event and invite you to get involved for another great year!

Our Next Mission Team to Eswatini

Our July Eswatini team will spend time with a local congregation, building relationships and helping to complete their sanctuary. The team will work with children and minister with the HIV/AIDS Task Force. Our medical team will serve in clinics, our Child Development Centres, and in homes. Doug and Margaret Eaton, our On-site Coordinators, will give leadership and inspiration to our team. The capacity of this team is 25. The estimated cost is $3,575 per person. Applications are available online and in the church office. The registration deadline for this team is Wednesday, February 13, 2019.

For more information on the Eswatini Partnership please contact Barbi Moore, Director of Global Outreach at bmoore@bethanynaz.org.

Paper Mission Team Application

Online Mission Team Application