Independent church leader.
He was educated at an American Baptist Mission station in the western Belgian Congo (Zaïre) and served as a Baptist catechist (1925-1934). In 1934 he joined a new Salvation Army mission and became one of its evangelists. He attended a Salvation Army Bible school, but soon broke away to found his own church (1939). His Church of the Blacks revived many of the millenarian teachings of Simon KIMBANGU, whose movement was then at a low ebb among the Kongo people. For the next few years Mpadi was harassed by the colonial authorities because his movement was thought to be dangerously revolutionary. He repeatedly escaped imprisonment and finally fled to the French Congo, where he was arrested in 1944. He spent most of 1940s and the 1950s in prison, until Zaïre became independent in 1960. Nevertheless, his church remained intact; by 1970 he still had about 15 000 followers.
Mark R. Lipschutz and R. Kent Rasmussen
Balandier, Georges. The Sociology of Black Africa. Translated by D. Garman. New York: Praeger, 1970.
Barrett, David B. Schism and renewal in Africa. Nairobi: Oxford University Press, 1968.
——–. “Who’s Who of African Independent Church Leaders.” Risk (Geneva, W.C.C.) 7(3) (1971): 23-34.
This article is reproduced, with permission, from Dictionary of African Historical Biography, 2nd edition, copyright © 1986, by Mark R. Lipschutz and R. Kent Rasmussen, University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California. All rights reserved.