We are looking at this change with emphasis on Africa. The body of the church began at Pentecost when the apostles received the gift of the Holy Spirit as Jesus Christ had promised before his ascension. This marked the beginning of a long history of the church beginning with the Acts of the Apostles up to date involving numerous changes.

Acts of the Apostles that caused changes

The ascension of Jesus Christ left the apostles with a lot of tasks to perform in order to change the world into a better one. Jesus instructed the apostles to change all people into believers before his second coming (Mathew 28:16-19, Mark 16: 14-18). Therefore they fulfilled this in the following ways.

1.         The apostles preached the gospel orally. (Acts 8:12 & 19:8). This enabled people to have access to the good news of salvation.

2.         The apostles wrote epistles to various Christian communities. For example, St. Paul 'wrote to Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus and others.

3.         The apostles baptized people in various places. This changed people from being non believers to believers. (Acts 19:5-6).

4.         The apostles carried out missionary journeys. They travelled to different communities where they preached the good news. For example, S1. Paul travelled to Rome Syria among others.

5.         The apostles helped the needy such as the poor, orphans and widows by giving them food and shelter. This assistance reduced the level of suffering among Christians.

6.         The apostles conducted catechism by setting up various centers. In such places, Christians were constantly guided on the basic principles of their faith. (Acts 14:23). This eased the spread of the good news.

7.         The apostles conducted fellowship. They shared ideas and meals with other believers. This promoted unity among the believers (Acts 2:42 - 47).

8.         The apostles founded churches in trying to change the communities in which they were living and travelling. This encouraged the spirit of prayers among believers.

9.         The apostles performed miracles. This made many people to believe in the gospel being preached.

10.    The apostles prayed and encouraged other believers to do the same. This strengthened believer's faith.

11.    The apostles shared Holy Communion among themselves and with other believers. In doing so, they reminded the believers about the blood of Jesus Christ that saved them from the power of sin and death.

12.    The apostles trained leaders to act as agents in the spread of the good news. For example, Saint Paul trained Timothy and Titus.

Changes Brought about by Missionaries in Africa

The Christian missionaries came to Africa in the 19th Century. They came with a lot of changes including the following.

1.         The missionaries introduced monotheism. This was opposed to the worshipping of many gods widely practiced in Africa.

2.         The missionaries built churches in different places. They replaced shrines as worshipping places. In Uganda, churches such as Namirembe Cathedral and Rubaga Cathedral among others were built.

3.         The Christian missionaries introduced formal education by building schools. In Uganda, schools such as Namilyango College, Gayaza High School, Mengo Senior School and others were built. This marked the beginning of the fight against ignorance and illiteracy among the Africans.

4.         The Christian missionaries built hospitals. This improved on the health of status of Africans. In Uganda; Dr. Albert Cook founded Mengo hospital in 1897.

5.         The Christian missionaries campaigned for the abolition of slavery and slave trade. They sensitized the masses about the need for treating one another with respect and human dignity. This later resulted into the abolition of slave trade, which relieved the Africans from the suffering they had been going through.

6.         The Christian missionaries introduced modern methods of farming such as crop rotation and using machines among others. This was accompanied by the introduction of new crops such as cotton, coffee, pineapple, yarns and others.

7.         The Christian missionaries opened up Africa to the outside world. Africa, which was regarded, as a "dark continent" became known all over the world. This resulted into more foreign people coming to Africa.

8.         The Christian missionaries introduced foreign languages such as English, French, Italian and Germans among others. This eased communication among different African tribes and even with the outside world.

9.         The Christian missionaries raised the status of women. Women started being treated in the same way as men. This was opposed to the situation in traditional Africa where women were considered inferior and men superior.

10.    The missionaries introduced new skills in life such as carpentry and laying bricks.

11.    The Christian missionaries introduced modern transport and communication. Roads and railway lines were constructed.

12.    The missionaries translated the scriptures in various African languages. This gave the chance to some Africans who did not know other languages to have access to the good news.

13.    The Christian missionaries introduced monogamy in marriage relationships.

14.    The missionaries introduced the value of single life (celibacy). This was opposed to the traditional African view where marriage was compulsory.

15. The missionaries introduced new methods and ideas of administration. The colonial government replaced the traditional leaders. This reduced the power of the leaders such" as the kings; chiefs and clan leaders.


Challenges the missionaries faced in bringing changes to Africa

1.         The Language barrier made it difficult for the missionaries to communicate with the Africans.

2.         Hostile tribes such as the Nandi and the Masai constantly attacked the missionaries.

3.         Tropical diseases such as malaria and small pox killed a great number of the missionaries.

4.         There was religious conflict among them. Christians themselves and with the Muslims who had already established themselves firmly.

5.         The missionaries were faced with rigid cultures in Africa. Some Africans failed to abandon their cultural practices such as twin dancing and human sacrifices, which the Christians were against.

6.         Wild animals such as lions frequently attacked the missionaries. This caused fear and panic among the Christians thus delaying their activities.

7.         The missionaries were few in number compared to the vast areas of Africa and the work they had to do.   

8.         The missionaries were challenged by the climate of Africa. This was in the form of either heavy rainfall or too much sunshine.

9.         The illiteracy and the ignorance of the Africans was a big blow to the missionaries. Even when the changes being brought were good to the Africans, some Africans failed to accept them.

10.    The missionaries lacked proper means of transport. They could not penetrate the thick forests and bushes of Africa.

11.    The slave traders opposed the missionaries. Both the African leaders and the Arabs looked at      the abolition of slave trade as being a threat to their survival.     

12.    There was no proper means of communication to their home countries. Because of this, even when the missionaries wanted more resources, they found themselves cut off.


The contributions of African christians in causing changes

Adrian Atman

·      He was born in about 1870 in West Africa. He came from the Songhai people.

·      He was taken as a slave at his tender age in North Africa but was freed by the White Fathers in 1877.

·      After being educated by the missionaries, he helped to train doctors and catechists in an institute at Malta.

·      In 1888, he began his work as a doctor in Tanzania where he treated so many people.

·      He lived an exemplary life. He showed others how to be faithful and devoted in work and in marriage.

·      He portrayed a good image of Africans abroad, especially among the French, Belgians and the British through his devotion to work. Because of this, he received an award of Welcome Medal from the Welcome Foundation, which had a role of promoting tropical medicines.

·      Atman established a Christian family by marrying a Banda princess named Agnes. His son Joseph was also ordained as a Catholic priest in 1925.

·      He died in 1958.


Apollo Kivebulaya

Apollo Kivebulaya was a Ugandan born in 1864.

The Anglican missionaries baptized him in 1895 after being a soldier for a number of years.

He worked as a catechist where he guided people on Christian principles.

He made missionary journeys. In 1895, he travelled to Toro in Western Uganda. In the following year, he went to Mboga (the current Democratic Republic of Congo) where people wanted to learn about Christianity.

Apollo led an exemplary life. He associated with all kinds of people. For example, he showed love and care to the people of Mboga even when he was being opposed.

Apollo converted and baptized many people in Mboga land. He made them drop their traditional practices for the sake of the gospel.

Apollo preached the good news for fifteen years in Toro after leaving Mboga. He could travel hundreds of miles on foot preaching the gospel to scattered groups of Christians.

Apollo taught his followers how to build churches. He encouraged the planting of trees so that they could get timber that would be used in the building programme.

Apollo created unity among Christians. For example, his return to Mboga made the isolated church came back to life again and began spreading.

Apollo translated St. Mark's gospel into the local language of the pygmies beginning from 1921 onwards.

Apollo died in 1933 and left his only possession, one cow, to the church at Mboga.



1.   In Genesis 1 and 2 change is a gradual process involving stages. God created the world in six days. Each day came with a particular task being performed and completed.

2.   God through his creational activities transformed the formless and empty world.

3.   God gave equal responsibility to the human beings both male and female to act as procreators. They were commanded to multiply and fill the world (Genesis 1 :26)

4.   Besides, God gave man the power to bring about change in his environment as a co-creator. He is commanded to bring the world under his control (Genesis 1:27-28).

5.   God instructed human beings to use the worldly resources for the good of their community. This meant that man had to work to bring about change in his living (Genesis 1:29-30).

6.   However, in changing his environment, man is limited and dependent on God. God gave man the responsibility of naming other creatures but only for him to realize that there was no suitable companion (Genesis 2: 18-21).

7.   In Genesis 3: 1 ff, man fell gravely before God as they tried to change the world. Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit and experienced negative changes. The woman was made submissive to the man for whom the soil being cursed for his survival.

8.   However, by punishing man, God showed his readiness and willingness to help change for the better.

9.   To begin his salvation process, God called Abraham. This was essentially a call to change. He intended to help man out his fallen and change the course of their lives. Abraham had his name changed and he began worshipping only God among others Genesis 12:1ff,

10. God’s call to Moses was also call to change. In a personal relationship, God instructed Moses to leave the median land and go back to Egypt to deliver the Israelites from slavery. This meant that Moses was to change from rearing the sheep of his father-in-law (Jethro) to becoming the leader of His chosen people the Israelites (Exodus 3: 1 ff).

11. Through the Passover event, the Israelites experienced great changes in their lives. The disasters that befell the Egyptians finally marked the beginning of freedom of the Israelites from slavery and their movement to the Promised Land. (Exodus 7: 12).

12. The Israelites received the Decalogue from God through Moses at the foot of Mt. Sinai. This was a unique code of laws meant to change the conducts of the Israelites towards God and amongst themselves.

13. In Exodus 24: 1 ff the Israelites made a covenant with God. This later came to be called the Sinai covenant. It was an agreement where God promised to be the father of the Israelites if only they could remain loyal to him. This covenant marked the beginning of a new relationship between God and His people.

14. Israel as a nation experienced a change in her leadership. It changed from being a theocratic to a monarchical nation. This had followed their demand for a physical king. This demand came in at a time when God, their ruler had just brought them to the Canaan land from Egypt where they had been slaves (1 Samuel 8: 1-10). God fulfilled this by appointing Saul as their first physical King.

15. The Israelites practiced religious hypocrisy. They worshipped Yahweh (God) together with other gods. This was a change which was contrary to the covenant agreement.

16. The Israelites experienced social injustices among themselves. They practiced prostitution and adultery. The two sons of Eli used to have sex with the women serving in the tent of the Lord's entrance. King David also committed adultery with Bathsheba who was married to Uriah.

17. In Ezekiel 37: 1ff God is presented as being in full control of changing everything. He is seen to change the lifeless into life.

18. The prophetic movement was a significant step in God's plan to change the behaviour of the Israelites. They condemned the misbehavior of Israelites towards God and among themselves, and made a call for them to return to the basic covenant values of serving God and neighbours. (Amos 5:7-15, 21-27 and 6:1-7).


The changes Abraham experienced after his call (Genesis 12)

In Genesis 12: 1 ff, Abraham is introduced as the ancestor of the Israelites who was called by God. His call was essentially a call to change. He experienced the following changes after his call.

1.   Abraham experienced the change of homeland. He moved from Haran to unknown land that later came to be known as the Canaan land. This was in response to God's command. (Genesis 12:1-4).

2.   Abraham experienced a change in name. He was originally known as Abram but after his call he came to be known as Abraham (Genesis 17:5).

3.   Abraham also changed his religion. He was a pagan worshipping many gods, but changed to the worship of the one true God. In other words, Abraham changed from polytheism to monotheism.

4.   Through his call, Abraham became a source of blessing to all mankind. God is quoted as saying, "through you, I will bless all the nations". (Genesis 13:3). This was a change in status considering that Abraham was simply an ordinary man.

5.   Abraham made a covenant with God. This was an agreement that renewed the relationship between man and God following the disobedience of Adam and Eve in Genesis 3. (Genesis 15:1ff).

6.   Abraham changed from offering human sacrifices to the sacrifice of animals like the lambs, bulls, goats and birds.

7.   Abraham experienced a change of all male descendants being circumcised. This was to act as an outward sign of the covenant Abraham had made with God. (Genesis 17: 1ff).

8.   Abraham was told that he would be given a son. This meant a change in his heir. Abraham had a belief that his heir would be Believer of Damascus. This was fulfilled when Isaac was born. (Genesis 15:1ff).

9.   Abraham got assured of divine protection. God promised to bless those who bless him and curse those who curse him. (Genesis 12:3).

10. Abraham left his father's house and relatives and started a new family with his wife (Sarah), nephew (Lot) and the servant (Genesis 12:4-5).

11. Abraham built alters to the lord who had appeared to him. These alter became places for worshipping God through offering sacrifices. (Genesis 12:7-8).

12. Abraham experienced a test of his faith by God. God commanded him to offer his only son Isaac as a sacrifice and he responded positively. God however stopped him from doing so and gave him a ram to offer. This was after realization that Abraham had respect to His commands. (Genesis 22: 1ff).


Prophets as agents of change in the Old Testament

These were God's spokespersons. God called them, anointed commissioned them to go to the people of Israel who had become disobedience, rebellious and unrepentant. In their involvement, the prophets did the following.

1.   The prophets encouraged and helped to restore monotheism (the worshiping of only Yahweh).

2.   They called for repentance among the people of Israel. For example, Prophet Elijah asked King Ahab to repent and turn back God.

3.   The prophets performed miracles. Elijah raised a widow's son while he was in the wilderness during the reign of King Ahab.

4.   The prophets purified the land of Israel that had been defiled by foreign religious practices like worshipping idols.

5.   The prophets predicted the future of Israel. For example, Prophet Amos talked about a period when Israel would be taken into exile and indeed they were taken to Babylon (Amos 7:17)

6.   The prophets portrayed God's love for Israel. Prophet Hosea dramatized God's love for Israel by marrying a prostitute named Gomer (Hosea 1: 1 ff).

7.   The prophets encouraged Israel to place their confidence and trust in Yahweh protection. Prophet Isaiah urged King Ahaz to withdraw from his alliance with the emperor of Assyria and trust in God for his protection.

8.   The prophets called for fairness among the people of Israel by condemning social injustices like corruption in the courts of law.

9.   The prophets appointed and anointed political and a religious leaders in Israel. For example, Elijah anointed Jehu as a King of Israel and Elisha to replace him as a prophet.

10. Some of the prophets acted as advisors to the Kings of Israel. For example, advised King David about his plan of building a temple for God (2Samuel 7: 1 ff)

11. The prophets reminded the Israelites of the covenant relationship with God (Amos 5:7-15. 21-27 and 6: 1-7). This helped the Israelites to remain firm in their faith.

12. The prophets explained the nature of sins and their consequences. This gave the Israelites the chance to repent their sins.

13. The prophets helped the Israelites to have hope in life. This could come at a time when the Israelites could have lost contact with God. For example, Hosea helped to restore hope among the Israelites when he announced that they would once more be called the children of God. (Hosea 1: 10-11).

14. The prophets liberated the Israelites from suffering. For example, Elijah changed the course of suffering when he prayed to God and rain after a three-year's drought (1 king 18: Iff).

15. The prophets pronounced judgments in Israel. For example, prophet Amos pronounced God's judgment in the form of fire destroying the palace built by King Hazael, (Amos 1: 3ff).

In the parable of the three servants where two were rewarded for using their talents well, one condemned for failure of doing so. (Mathew 25: 14-30).

12. In Mark 2: 18-22, Jesus challenged the Pharisees to change their understanding of fasting. Jesus points out that the Pharisees did not know why they were fasting as were the case in Isaiah 58: 1 ff He expected his listeners to change their attitude and look at him as the ideal link to God.

13. Through the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus, man is given the power to acquire a new life and live more humanly as sons and daughters of God. (Ephesians 2: 11-12).

14. 1 Corinthians 12: 12-26 looks at a sinner experiencing a spiritual change after accepting Jesus in his or her life. S1. Paul points out that a sinner becomes united with Christ and the entire community.

15. Man is called upon to break the barriers to fellowship through his or her loving service. This is a call tor man to act as an agent of change within the wider community in waiting for the day of fellowship with God and each other (James 2: 8-13).

16. Jesus asked his followers to change if they were to inherit the father's kingdom.

Revision Question

What kind of change did Jesus expect from his followers?



1.   Christians should have love for God and each other. Jesus loved God and man to the point of giving his own life and this helped to reconcile man with God and fellow man.

2.   Christians should preach the good news of salvation just as Jesus did. This can help to give hope, especially to those suffering.

3.   Christians should offer counselling and guidance services. This can give direction to those in stressful situations.

4.   Christians should organize and participate in fellowships. This is important in bringing them together and promoting unity.

5.   By leading exemplary lives. Christians can help to influence the lives of others in a positive way,

6.   By organizing seminars or conferences, Christians can help to sensitize others and discuss about important issues disturbing the people in the community.

7.   Christians should pray and even encourage others to do the same. Through prayers people achieve their goals in life and realize that nothing is impossible with God.

8.   Christians should obey the rules and regulations governing the society. Jesus also obeyed the rules of the Roman government by encouraging the payment of tax.

9.   By helping the needy such as the orphans, widows, disabled and others, Christians can change the status of such people, This may be by giving them toad, medical care, shelter and education,

10. Christians can also translate the scriptures in the languages easily understood by people. This may give the opportunity to people to read and understand the gospel message which may eventually inspire the lives of many people.

11. Christians can change their environment by giving support to useful clubs or associations such as Young Christian Society (Y.C.S), Scripture Union (S.U), and Mother's Unions (M.U). Through these associations, unity can be promoted.

12. By carrying out baptism. Christians can help to win the souls of people. Therefore, nonbelievers are changed into believers.

13. Christians can bring about change by organizing bible studies. This can influence people to lead pure and holy lives.

14. Christians can act as bridge builders by reconciling conflicts among people. This can promote peace and harmony.

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A complete talking Book for Uganda certificate of Education