ACC Takes Center Stage
50th Anniversaries are sometimes called Golden Jubilees. The
celebration at African Christian College’s 50th was definitely golden!
In the center section of the current issue of The Christian Chronicle
several articles are devoted to the event, including one entitled “Fishers
of Men, Growers of Nuts.”
In 1997 I attended the Africans Claiming Africa for Christ conference
in Zimbabwe. There Kurt Platt, then Director of Studies, asked us to
purchase a macadamia seedling to add to the orchard at a school called
Manzini Bible College in Swaziland. I purchased one for the school I
represented in Nigeria. A few years later, a friend of mine purchased
one in memory of my mother after she passed away. Such was the beginning
of my acquaintance with the school now called African Christian College.
The next Africans Claiming Africa for Christ conference was in
Johannesburg, South Africa in 2000. One of my Nigerian co-workers and I
made the four-hour trip to Swaziland to visit ACC at the request of J.L.
Brazell. J.L. pursued several successful business ventures to make a
living but spent much of his time promoting ACC.
The school had fewer students than the ones I worked with in Nigeria,
but it had a few policies that made it stand apart in a good way. A
preacher in training there was required to bring his whole family to
live on campus while he studied. Also, classes were held four days per
week. Wednesday was designated as a work day during which students would
earn their keep – either by working on the farm, in the kitchen or on
campus maintenance. These policies greatly benefited the students’
personal lives and gave the faculty and administration a better sense of
each student’s family dynamics and work ethic.
Five Thousand Tree Macadamia
In 2007, the year before I began working at World Christian
Broadcasting, I taught a semester at ACC. It was then that I developed
even closer ties and realized the potential of the school. With an
orchard of 5,000 macadamia trees, a considerable slice of what it costs
to run a good school is covered. When the school changed its name, it
broadened its curriculum and raised its standards to offer college
degrees in Bible, Ministry, Counseling and Leadership.
When the Africa Service at World Christian Broadcasting looked for
partners in program production, we sought out ACC. As part of the
school’s work-study program, a counseling class encourages students to
research topics and send audio of their presentations to us. One former
student who now works at the college interviews Dr. Robert Whittaker for
our program “Ask the Doctor.” Whittaker’s clinic is attached to a local
church in the city nearest the college. In a recent email, the President
of ACC, Brad Carter, wrote that he wants students to do more and build
on what has been started.
Unfortunately I was unable to attend ACC’s Golden Jubilee, so I can’t
give you any firsthand details. (Please refer to the Christian Chronicle
article above.) But because I was in the U.S. during that time, I had
the honor of speaking at J.L. Brazell’s funeral in Lawrence, Kansas. His
outstanding service and dedication to African Christian College were
highlighted as important aspects of his legacy. On the other side of the
Atlantic, friends and colleagues at the celebration in Swaziland made
sure to pray for his family and to thank God for his notable
contributions to the school’s history. As a member of ACC’s Board of
Trustees, I can tell you that all who have followed Brazell as leaders
at ACC know it was his vision that reinvigorated ACC and became the
basis of all later success.
The church is spreading and growing in Sub-Saharan Africa. I like to
use two trees I planted on the ACC campus to illustrate that growth.
What started out as small decorative touches can now be seen on Google
Earth! As the Apostle Paul stated in a benediction, God “is able to do
immeasurably more than all we ask or think, according to His power that
is at work within us.” (Ephesians 3:20)
Schools such as African Christian College attract capable Christian
leaders and equip them for service. Brazell was blessed to have lived
long enough to enjoy the fruit of his labors. He was able to see the
small, dying school he first encountered flourish and begin reaching its
full potential. Not only did he see progress at the school, but he
visited graduates and saw them effectively use what they learned.
All of us at World Christian Broadcasting applaud this milestone in
the history of African Christian College. We know they have had, and
continue to have, an impact in the growth of the church in Southern and
Eastern Africa. We want to give their students’ skills that will enable
them to produce high quality audio. In turn, we believe their students’
work will be a source of relevant content for our programs to Africa. We
pray God’s continued blessings on ACC and on our partnership with them.