Lesotho has the largest membership of The Lord's New Church, with over 700 Church Members in seven locations (societies). The Lord's New Church also operates three schools in Lesotho.
Below: Youth singing at Church on Sunday. Luka Society
History of the New Church in Lesotho
The New Church has been in Lesotho for over 100 years!
In 1863 Catholics brought Christianity to Lesotho, which was then called the Basotho region of South Africa.
In 1911, a member of the New Church, Mr. Gibson, traveled to South Africa to acquire sure-footed Basotho ponies. He met Samuel Mofokeng, a deacon of the Catholic church.
An article from “New Church Life” recounts:
“Mr. Mofokeng traveled with Mr. Gibson over a large part of Basotholand, acting as a guide and interpreter for him. Seeing Mr. Mofokeng in clerical dress, Mr. Gibson* asked him what Church he belonged to and Mr. Mofokeng answered. "I am a deacon in the Church of England". Mr. Gibson then asked: "Have you heard about the New Church?'" And Mr. Mofokeng asked, "No, what kind of a Church is it?"
Mr. Gibson said, "The New Church was established by a man named Emanuel Swedenborg. He wrote many books, but I haven't any with me. If you write to the New Church Book Room, 18 Corporation St., Manchester, England, some New Church books will be sent to you."
This was all that Mr. Gibson told Mr. Mofokeng.
Mr. Mofokeng had often read the Book of Revelation, and wondered if the New Church was the Holy City New Jerusalem prophesied. He wrote to the New Church Book Room in Manchester and received the following books: 4 Liturgies, 4 "Why I am a Newchurchman," 4 "What the New Church Teaches." 1 "New Church Magazine," 1 "New Church Life," 1 General Conference Rules, and 5 General Conference Minutes.
Based on these materials Mr. Mofokeng and his wife sold all that they had and traveled the countryside on foot, evangelizing about the New Church.
After several letters were exchanged with the General Church, Rev. Frederick Gyllenhaal was sent to assess the start of the New Church in Basotholand. Mr. Mofokeng asked the Right Rev. W.F. Pendleton if the churches in Basotholand could come “under the wing” of the General Church of the New Jerusalem.
A few years later, Rev. Theodore Pitcairn, who worked for the General Church at the time, became the church's Superintendent in Basotholand.
In the 1930s Rev. Theodore Pitcairn formed The Lord’s New Church and continued to support the churches in Lesotho.
More churches were built over time, and in the 1980s two elementary schools were established. The Lord's New Church High School started operations in 2019.
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