Evergreen Christian Bookstore relaunched!
A Brief History
- Soon after Kabwata Baptist Church was inaugurated in 1986, the church used to receive free books from publishers such as Evangelical Press in the UK, Mt Zion Bible Church in the USA, etc, which used to be given for free as well.
Some where kept in the Church library
- Later, the Eldership of KBC decided to start charging a small fee so that people could develop a culture of buying books for reading
- At this stage the sale and distribution of books through a Book Table used to be managed by the Literature Ministry under the Chairmanship of the late Mr Diemor Daka who used to be assisted by Mr Barnabas Chiboboka. Mr Diemor Daka used to keep the books at his house.
- This arrangement went on until 1997 when the literature Ministry was split into various ministries of which one of them was the Book Ministry
- The Book Ministry then chaired by Mr Moses Silweya and assisted by Mr Alfred Sinyangwe (marketing) , Mr Chris Moonga, Mrs Bertha Silweya, Mr Gamaliel Lupunga and others decided to start trading on a larger scale because of the increased demand for books.
- The increase in demand was noted when a number of Zambians attended a conference in South Africa where it was noted that most of the books that were being sold by Barnabas Bookroom were bought by Zambians
- Barnabas Bookroom asked the church Eldership at KBC to consider having a bookshop in Zambia and they facilitated the ordering of the first consignment from Banner of Truth which included a series on Romans by Dr Martin Lloyd-Jones
- By the second consignment the executive of the Book Ministry dealt directly with Banner of Truth Trust.
- At this stage a need arose to have the Bookstore operate “independently” from the name of Kabwata Baptist Church so that it could have appeal to people outside KBC and ideas for space along Cairo road and a name were considered by the executive committee.
- The Name Evergreen Christian Bookstore was agreed upon with inspiration from Psalm 1, but space along Cairo road proved too expensive (and still is). The library Ministry was approached to allow us squat with them since they already had space next to Pastor’s office.
- Hence in 1997, as soon as KBC moved to its present site, Evergreen Christian Bookstore was officially registered and has been operating in the space provided by the Library Ministry until now.
- The selling of books at KBC and to other churches in Lusaka including Northmead Assemblies of God and the Chapels used to be done on a volunteer basis by the Book Ministry members until in late 1999/ early 2000 when Pastor Victor Kanyense became the first full time Bookshop Manager.
- Since then EvergreenCh ristian Bookstore has seen Joseph Kakoma, Stanley Nkwilimba and Gomezyani Nyirongo serve as Bookstore Managers over the years
- In June 2006 Mrs Kakonde Simbeye was appointed as Bookshop Manager and she is currently serving the Ministry in this capacity
- When Mr Silweya’s executive left office Mr Ian Filakati took over as Chairman in 1999 and served until January 2006 when he handed over the Chairmanship of the Ministry to Mr. Bobbline Cheembela.
- Under Mr Ian Filakati’s leadership the first Board of Directors for Evergreen was constituted with Mr Filakati as Board Chairman.
- The other members of the Board comprised Mr Charles Bota, Mrs Peggy Mulewa, and Mrs Agness Chakonta.
- In 2006 Mr Filakati stepped down and was replaced by Mr Bobbline Chembela while Mrs Peggy Mulewa was replaced by Mrs Jennifer Sakwiya.
- Pastor Conrad Mbewe is the elder in charge of the Book Ministry and is an Exco member of the Board of Directors
- The Book Ministry currently has a membership of 17. This expansion therefore means that we could do with more hands.
1.2 Growing partnerships
- Christian Book Discounters of Cape Town has become our largest supplier of books and in 2007 our Bookshop Manager spent a week in Cape Town getting ideas of how to run a bookstore
- We are the sole Agents in Zambia for the Free Grace Broadcaster publication by Mount Zion
- A couple at KBC has made a significant investment in the Bookshop to the encouragement of the Board
1.4 Challenges faced along the way
- Poor record keeping. This has now been addressed and monthly accounts are compiled by the Bookshop manager with the help of Mr Chiboboka, the Board Member in charge of Finance
- Debtors not paying resulting in huge write offs. Lay by arrangements and vigorous following up of debtors is now in place.
- Struggling to pay suppliers resulting in embarrassing follow –ups. This is now in the past and we are strictly adhering to agreements with suppliers. In most cases we even pay upfront.
- God has brought us this far by His Grace
- Our prayer is that we shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not whither …
- And we trust we shall remain Evergreen throughout the years to come.