TANZANIANS can finally access in Kiswahili the history of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT) and how the country produced to the first ever black bishop.
That has been made possible, thanks to the family of the Paramount Chief of the Chagga, Thomas Marealle II, OBE that yesterday volunteered 1,500 copies of the book that the late book here, ELCT Head, Bishop Frederick Shoo commended Paramount Chief Marealle’s children for their huge contribution in following their father’s footsteps.
Dr Shoo said the book ‘The History of the Evangelical Church in East Africa,’ was a huge contribution by Chief Marealle II to believers and other people who will now understand how the church started in East Africa.
“This book is an example of how cooperation and unity between religious leaders and government can contribute to the development of people and the nation as a whole,” he said.
Dr Shoo said the book explained how the past traditional leaders collaborated with Europeans who came to spread the Word of God, leading to establishment of the Lutheran Church in the country and East Africa.
He said the church’s leadership will distribute the books through its Parishes and libraries in all the church’s institutions to enable people to read the history of the church.
One of the children of Chief Marealle II, Mr Temi Marealle, said the book was translated by the Paramount Chief from English to Swahili in 1997.
He said the book was first published in German by Rev H. Adolf and translated into English by Anthony Payne from London, England.
“It was then translated by Chief Marealle II into Swahili but there was only one copy, so we had to work to get enough copes,” he said, adding that the family decided to provide the book’s copies as their contribution to the church.
Another son to Chief Marealle II, Aggrey Marealle said apart from the church history, the book also has a briefing on Chief Marealle II’s contribution that led to the church getting its first African Bishop—Stephano Moshi from Tanzania who was the first Head of ELCT.
“In October, 1993, the Lutheran Diocese of Arusha, Pare, Northern, Central and Meru celebrated the centenary of establishment of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Northern Zone of Tanzania; this book provides an explanation of how the seed of Evangelism was planted in 1902, developed and produced many branches on the Church’s Holy Tree,” he said.
Dr Shoo advised Tanzanians to be innovative and creative in historical events and resources to treasure them as records to the future generations.
“There are many historical events that happened in Kilimanjaro and many other places in the country, which if their records are preserved and those happening today, they will serve the future generations in seeing and learning from the past.
Dr Shoo who doubles as the Head of the Northern Diocese of the ELCT, appealed to the relevant authorities to embark on strategies, which will identify historical events and things of the past concerning Tanzanian diverse communities and open special national museum, which will house and display traditional historical events and goods.