A2Z Missions - Reaching Africa
In July of 2001, Bishop Gregory Riggen was invited to teach a group of pastors in the African country of Zimbabwe. He held a two-day seminar in the capital city of Harare and was well received by many in attendance.
Although circumstances prohibited him from being able to follow up immediately, the principles he shared were not soon forgotten.
More than a decade later, he received a phone call from one of the pastors who had attended that meeting asking him to return to Zimbabwe and share these Biblical truths with the members of his church.
Feeling that God wanted to do something on a larger scale, Bishop Riggen requested that, rather than speaking to one local assembly, the pastor making the invitation would open the meeting to other pastors and churches. This arrangement was agreed upon.
What does it mean?
Reaching All of Africa!
The name A2Z Missions is based partly upon the idea that, in America, the term “from A to Z” means “all-inclusive,” or “everything in between.” Therefore, A2Z Missions is not solely focused on the nation of Zimbabwe (which was the original base of operations in Africa), but any and every African nation to which God opens a door — from Algeria to Zimbabwe!
In June of 2013, Bishop Riggen took a team of Americans with him on his second trip to Zimbabwe. The result of that effort was that more than 50 pastors, bishops, and church leaders were greatly blessed by the knowledge and insight they had gained. Because of this tremendous response, word began to spread quickly about the amazing transformation taking place in the lives, ministries, and churches of those who had attended. As they told others, requests began pouring in — not only to return to Zimbabwe, but to come to the surrounding countries as well. A team returned in October of that year, and taught a crowd of more than 300, coming from eight different nations! As a result, A2Z Missions was born.
A New Vision for Africa
Jessie L. Stewart was raised in the Tulsa area of North Eastern Oklahoma. In 1996, as a 19-year-old, God graciously led him to Tulsa Lighthouse Church (TLC). He and his wife, Billy Jo, were married in 1998 and Jessie began a 20+ year leadership career in the IT field.
In 2018, the Stewart’s felt the call to the continent of Africa. After making multiple trips to minister there, they have a deep burden to see the work of God expanded in this mission field. With their two children, Ashlynn and Hayden, they are excited to relocate to Zimbabwe to do the will of God as full-time missionaries.
The concept behind Bishop Riggen’s seminars is to help the preachers of Africa discern between Biblical truth and unscriptural traditions. The theme of the seminar is “Thy Word is Truth,” taken from John 17:17, in which Jesus identified God’s Word as the only source of absolute truth. The first session is a special message from Bishop Riggen entitled, “The Power of the Word.” This is followed by “The Importance of the Word,” “Principles of Biblical Interpretation,” and many other lessons that help to turn the preacher’s focus back to the Bible.
Since the initial visit, seminars have been held in Harare and Bulawayo (Zimbabwe), Gaborone, Francistown, and Palapye (Botswana), Mzuzu, Lilongwe, and Blantyre (Malawi), Monrovia (Liberia), Ndola (Zambia), and Manzini, Eswatini (formerly known as Swaziland). Furthermore, there are current invitations to hold meetings in Mozambique, Namibia, Uganda, and more.
In May of 2019, A2Z Missions appointed their first full-time missionary. Reverend Jessie Stewart and his family moved to the country of South Africa, where they oversee the further training of the pastors impacted by Bishop Riggen’s seminars. Missionary Stewart is not only an anointed preacher of the gospel, but he is also highly skilled in internet technology. Part of his effort has been setting up networks whereby pastors all across Southern Africa can receive Biblical teaching using internet tools such as Zoom. This proved to be a tremendous blessing during the COVID-19 lockdown. It allowed Bishop Riggen and Missionary Stewart, while both at home in the United States, to continue conducting training sessions for the African ministers.
A2Z Missions is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization based in the United States of America established for the purpose of providing leadership skills and sound Biblical doctrine to ministers in Africa.