- With financial support from Connexio hope, a partner of The United Methodist Church in Switzerland, the conference recently installed a recording studio.
- The studio is the first initiative of its kind developed by The United Methodist Church in the region.
- Bishop Owan Kasap, Southern Congo Episcopal Area, invited choir members to use the new resource.
A longtime dream became a reality in February for church choirs and directors in the South Congo Conference.
With financial support from Connexio hope, a partner of The United Methodist Church in Switzerland, the conference installed an audio recording studio at the conference offices in Lubumbashi.
Jean-Claude Chala, president of the church’s Worship and Music Department, expressed joy that choirs can now record songs to share the gospel. “This studio,” he said, “allows us to evangelize, to worship the Lord (and) to promote our own compositions.”
On March 8, the United Methodist-related United Heart Choir recorded a new composition.
Approaching the studio window, Aimasson Banza used headphones to hear the rhythm of the instrumental music recorded earlier by the sound engineer. Banza is the technical director of the Bethany Parish Choir.
“The presence of this studio is a (source of) pride for United Methodists and Protestants of the southern part of Congo” he said.
Mulombe Seza Gerome, development director, Southern Congo Episcopal Area, said that previously, more than 2,000 regional choirs often had difficulty composing, rehearsing and recording hymns due to lack of ideal space.
Chala and Gerome said that choirs of The United Methodist Church and the Church of Christ in Congo and other Christian musical artists will be invited to record their works in the studio.
In early February, during the studio dedication, United Methodist Bishop Owan Kasap, who leads the Southern Congo Episcopal Area, called on users to consider sustainability of the resources.
“Sustainability,” he said, “is to have the capacity to preserve these materials.” He encouraged choirs to use funds they generate to improve and add material so that future generations will benefit.
Gerome said local United Methodists should publicize the new studio. “It is a means par excellence of evangelization available to everyone,” he said.
Chala credited the bishop with the idea of developing a studio. “We thank … our leader, who pushes us to innovate, to grow, to develop and to take charge,” he said.
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Choir member Timothée Mambwe serves as assistant technical director of jazz for the United Methodist church choir in Jerusalem.
“This is a first in the history of our church in Southern Congo and Zambia,” he said. “We have choirs that have been in existence for more than 40 years, but they have never recorded songs in a studio.”
John Tambwe-a-Kot, technical director of the Voice of Thunder Choir, Nehema Parish, Galilee District, expressed joy at being among the first to access the studio. “I am impressed with the performance of the equipment found in the studio,” he said.
“I thank the authorities through this beautiful initiative,” he added. “It will allow many talents that we have in our church to come and perform (and) to convey the word of God through songs.”
Banza urged other choirs to record their songs and to promote the studio. “I glorify the Lord for this chance that is granted to us in Lubumbashi,” he said.
Kaumba is the director of communications in the Southern Congo Episcopal Area.
UM New contact: Julie Dwyer, news editor, [email protected] or 615-742-5469. To read more United Methodist news, subscribe to the free daily or weekly Digests.
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