African Pastors’ Conferences exists to glorify God through Jesus Christ in equipping pastors to lead Christ-exalting biblical churches as Christ-like servant leaders through the faithful ministry of God’s word in preaching and leading Bible studies.
APC provides training for pastors in the form of one to two day conferences. Most of these pastors have not been able to attend seminary, or receive any formal training, due to being engaged in full-time employment in order to support themselves and their families, in addition to their pastoral duties. The pastors who attend need only to affirm that the Bible is their sole authority for determining right doctrine and practice, which means that we are able to reach out to many who may not have any Reformed understanding.
Many of the speakers at APC are themselves pastors of churches across Africa, most notably Zambia, Kenya and South Africa – countries where the Reformed faith has become more established by God’s grace. This enables delegates to grasp a historic Christian understanding of the Bible, rooted in the African context and worked out in the experience of African churches that have been reformed. African pastors are ably assisted by visitors from overseas, especially the United States and the United Kingdom, providing rich variety and depth to the teaching given.
Each pastor receives a packet of up to five free books to help with further study. In addition, the pastors and Bible teachers are eligible to purchase books from many faithful authors and publishers at significant discounts.
Thousands of pastors have been reached through the ministry of APC. Conferences now take place each year across the continent in nations as diverse as Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, Botswana, Malawi, Senegal, Ghana and of course South Africa. Leaders across these nations sponsor the conferences and assist in the work, gathering congregations of pastors and bringing them under the word of God, soundly preached and applied. Thousands of books are distributed, helping these men to access solid and sound Reformed theology not just at the conference, but in their own homes and studies throughout the year. One of the features of each conference is the question time, where literally thousands of questions have been answered over the years from the scriptures. Such questions have included: Can women be pastors according to scripture? Do those who have the Holy Spirit still speak in tongues? How can we know which translation of the Bible is best to use?
Though often heralded around the world as a great centre of Christianity, sub-Saharan Africa is overrun with churches preaching a mix of prosperity gospel and traditional African religion. Such false teaching prompted Pastors Errol Hulse and Irving Steggles to meet about the possibility of training conferences for African pastors in 2005. Earlier Dennis Hustedt had initiated a series of training conferences in KZN in South Africa.
African Pastors’ Conferences was borne out of a great desire to see churches in Africa undergo reformation to become more biblical in their teaching and practice. The initial run of APCs occurred in January of 2006. For the first two years, APC was a January-only phenomenon.
In subsequent years, APC continued to add conferences, eventually producing conferences throughout the year. Conferences are now held as far north as Uganda and Kenya and as far west as Nigeria. Both Errol Hulse and Irving Steggles have now gone to be with the Lord of their faith, but their legacy lives on and the work of APC continues to thrive, by the grace of our sovereign Lord.
Although the pastors who attend need only to affirm that the Bible is their sole authority for determining right doctrine and practice, that is not true of the preachers! Every man who ministers at the conferences is required to subscribe to the Second London Baptist Confession of Faith (the 1689), and to teach in accordance with the Confession. This gives the conferences a solid foundation, rooted in the whole counsel of God, and secure in its theological moorings.