The archives collection is divided into 3 records series:

  1. The Establishment, Growth and Development of the United Methodist Church (UMC)
  2. Evangelism through Education- Africa University
  3. World And Africa Heritage

1.The Establishment, Growth and Development of the United Methodist Church (UMC)

These archives cover the historical heritage of the United Methodist Church beginning from its establishment in America through the evangelism of John Wesley, the evangelism of the Word to the World through UMC Missionaries (Africa and other parts of the World). The growth of the UMC through the establishment of Mission Centers, mainly in colonies and history of the activities of the UMC, constitutes this Records Series. Archives gathered on this Series stretch from the early teachings of John Wesley (The Methodist), up to present day UMC issues.

The Kent Weeks archives houses:

  • Journals from 1901 to present which documents the development of UMC in Africa;
  • Publications about the UMC such as the African Christian Advocate, Umbowo, South African Missionary conference Advocates ;
  • Materials which document the development of all Mission Centers in Zimbabwe;
  • Recorded materials of missionary activities ;
  • Documents of doctrine of the UMC such as the catechism and book of discipline;
  • Information on the establishment and development of the three organizations in the church which are RRW,MUMC and UMYF in Zimbabwe;
  • The impact and development of music in the UMC  from the first  edition hymn book to present
  • Articles and publications to do with beginning of the church in Liberia, Angola, DRC and other Episcopal areas.

2. Evangelism through Education- Africa University

Missionaries like Bishop Joseph Crane Hartzell, and E.H Greely believed that the evangelism of the word would have meaning if the recipients of the word were civilized and educated. The vision of these great men was finally fulfilled when the AFRICA UNIVERSITY, a United Methodist Related Institution was established and opened. The Kent M. Weeks Archives houses the archival heritage of the establishment and development of the Africa University (Parent Institution).

Information on the establishment, development and the administration of the University are part of this Records Series. All press releases by the university and about the universities are also kept there.

3. World And Africa Heritage

These archives cover historical issues of the World, Africa and particular emphasis to Zimbabwe. It mainly focuses on the political, social and economic systems of pre colonial, colonial and post colonial Africa and or Zimbabwe. The establishment, development and the growth of the United Methodist Church in the World and in Africa was and is affected by the social, economic and political landscape of the global village. Against this backdrop it is imperative to maintain archives on the World and Africa so as to put the UMC archives maintained by the Kent M. Weeks Archives in context to World events.

Information on slavery, materials that document information on the British empire, description of the civilization of Africa, apartheid, the colonization of Africa, federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland ,war of liberation of Zimbabwe and post independence Zimbabwe.


4.Artifacts

Weimer Bible

The Weimer bible is the first edition of the Weimer bible sometimes referred to as the ‘ERNESTIWISCHE’ bible named after the Duke ERNST THE PIOUS (1601-1675) or THE ‘KURFSTUREW’ (electors).The Duke commonly known as “praying ERNST” was a strict Lutheran. This edition was dedicated to the Queen of Sweden (1626-1689).

Other artifacts which are housed within the Kent M. Weeks History and Archives Hall include:

  • Keys to the 1st jail of Old Mutare in 1890.
  • A watch that was used by Dr Gurney when he carried out his operation on his 1st African patient Hamuchandiwoni.
  • The spoon which Dr Gurney used to administer medicine to Hamuchandiwoni after he carried out the medicine.
  • 1st Old Mutare school register and other various artifacts.