A MASS exodus occurred on Sunday at the African Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC) Mother Hughes Congregation in Kabushi in Ndola where members broke away to join the Redeemed Methodist Church.
The members left the Kabushi Congregation to join their former presiding pastor Paul Bupe, who resigned over a month ago, citing manipulation and lack of accountability from the AMEC leadership.
After a month of drama and suspense, the members finally made up their minds to leave AMEC after the top leadership refused to re-engage Reverend Bupe as per their demand.
The members marched on the streets of Kabushi chanting and carrying placards reading “Mass Exodus” and “Free from AMEC bondage”.
Before they left Mother Hughes, the members were prayed for by AMEC presiding elder for Ndola and Luanshya Wefala Walima, who was also caught up in the exodus as members marched out of the church to their new worship place, Chimwemwe Community Centre within Kabushi.
”These things happen in life. There is nothing I can do,” said Rev Walima, who had been conducting services at the congregation after the resignation of Dr Bupe over a month ago.
Mother Hughes was left with less than 10 people as most congregants joined the exiting members.
The members, who complained of oppression in AMEC, likened the breakaway to the Biblical story of the Israelites who left Egypt because of oppression.
After marching on the streets of Kabushi for about 20 minutes, the former AMEC members went straight to Chimwemwe Community School where they were addressed by Dr Bupe.
In his address, Dr Bupe asked the members to leave “Egypt” behind them and focus on helping the needy in society.
”We have come to a new place. God has brought you here,” he said.
He said there would be a “spiritual tsunami” in AMEC as many people had been calling from outside Ndola wanting to take the same route that the former Mother Hughes congregants had taken to leave the church