The History of ACBC Africa

Dr Wayne Mack came to South Africa in 2005 to teach Biblical Counselling. At that time, he was the only light on the Biblical Counselling tree in the country. During these formative years, he trained over 250 men (mostly pastors) and women in Biblical Counselling. Some of his students pursued their master’s degrees in Biblical Counselling through The Master’s University, Lafayette Seminary and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. These nationals are currently teachers in the Strengthening Ministries Training Institute (SMTI).

In 2015, Dr Wayne Mack gained permission to establish the Association of Certified Biblical Counsellors Africa (ACBC Africa). The presence of nationals lecturing at SMTI and being involved on the steering committee of ACBC Africa indicates that Biblical Counselling has come home.

These nationals are the driving force behind establishing a working relationship between a training institute (SMTI) and a certification body (ACBC Africa). Further, these Africans are seeking accreditation from the Counsel for Higher Education (CHE) for a master’s degree in Biblical Counselling through the SMTI programme.

Exponential growth in the Biblical Counselling movement has been seen over the last few years. This has largely been due to the establishment of SMTI and the annual ACBC Africa Conferences.

2015 | Sex as God Intended

How to Maintain Sexual Purity in an Impure World

ACBC Africa had its first Biblical Counselling conference entitled “Sex as God Intended” in 2015. We had over 200 registrations and the teaching was well received. Many attending the conference indicated that they were informed, challenged and even convicted through both the breakout and plenary sessions.

The main speakers were Dr Wayne Mack, Dr Joshua Mack, Sybrand de Swardt, Tim Cantrell and Beth de Swardt. Issues covered at the conference included: The Doctrine of Sex as God Intended, How to Escape from the Prison of Pornography, Homosexuality, Helping Women Whose Husbands Struggle with Pornography and many more.

This conference laid a good foundation for future ACBC conferences. There were many requests to replicate this conference all over Southern Africa. Consequently, ACBC, in conjunction with SMTI, held this conference in various locations across Southern Africa in 2015 and 2016.

2016 | Living and Active

Counselling and the Sufficiency of Scripture
In August 2016 ACBC Africa conducted its second annual conference on the sufficiency of Scripture for all ministry, including the ministry of counselling. The teaching at the conference was well received and many attendees gave positive feedback.
Issues covered at the conference included: Are the Scriptures Enough?, The Inerrancy and Reliability of Scripture, The Sufficiency of Scripture for Developing Compassion, Medical Issues, Counselling People Who are Dying, Counselling Sexual Sin, Counselling Teenagers, Building Biblical Friendships, Counselling Women and Their Emotions, Training Men for Ministry and many more.
The main speakers were Dr Heath Lambert, Dr Ernie Baker and Dr Wayne Mack.

2017 | Racism

When Colour Divides
The main theme of ACBC Africa’s third annual conference served to present a biblical perspective on various aspects of racism that confront us as we pursue ministry in general, and in particular, the ministry of counselling.
Issues covered at the conference included: Race and the Local Church, Pursuing Multicultural Churches, Interracial Marriage and the Bible, A Biblical Perspective on Race, Personal Testimonies, The Gospel and Racism, Practical Skills for Developing Deep Cross-Cultural Relationships, Dismantling Unbiblical Arguments for Racist Attitudes, Wrong Approaches to Solving the Problem of Racism, Cross-Cultural Counselling, The Fear of Man and Racism, The Sovereignty of God and Ethnicity, How to Overcome a Heart of Prejudice and Racism: Our Union with Christ Overcoming Our Ethnicity.
Our plenary speakers were Dr Wayne Mack, Dr Charles Ware and Dr Nicolas Ellen, the latter two travelling from the United States.

2018 | Your Family God’s Way

Helping Christians solve their marriage and family problems

Helping Christians solve their marriage and family problems or prevent them from occurring are extremely important issues for our churches, church members and attenders. Consequently, we decided to focus the teaching of our fourth annual ACBC Africa conference on key issues that would assist individuals and churches, pastors and parishioners, to develop the kinds of marriages and families that bring great joy to people in order that they will have more biblical, joyful, personally satisfying and God glorifying marriages and families.

Issues covered at the conference included: The Good Husband, The Good Wife, Getting to the Heart of Behaviour, Getting from Behaviour to the Heart, The Problem of Favouritism, The Problem of the Spoiled Child, The Failure of Fatherly Leadership, The Glory of the Family, Resolving Conflict in Feuding Families, The Glory of the Family, How to Father When You Don’t Have a Biblical Fatherly Example, Family Devotions, Relationships and many more.

The main speakers were Dr Wayne Mack, Dr Tedd Tripp and Margy Tripp.

2019 | Cracking the Hard Cases

Dealing with the difficult questions

Pastors, counsellors and church members are faced with difficult questions on marriage and divorce, same-sex, transgenderism, sexual abuse, rebellious children and more. At the fifth annual ACBC Africa conference we unpacked some of these hard cases by equipping others in how to help people struggling with these issues and what answers Scripture has for them.

Issues covered at the conference included: Helping Churches Wisely Deal with Domestic Abuse, The Bible and Divorce, Overcoming Same-Sex Attraction, Counselling Interracially, Ministering to the Sexually Abused, Dealing with Transgender Issues, Grandparenting, When Children Rule the Home and many more.

We had national speakers Dr Wayne Mack and Sybrand de Swardt as well as International speakers Dr Jim Newheiser and Caroline Newheiser.

2020 | Passions of the Heart

5 – 8 August | 12 -15 August 2020

Due to Covid-19, our sixth annual conference entitled “Passions of the Heart.” With International speaker Dr John Street was cancelled.

2021 | Biblical Counselling & Mental Illness

A Biblical Approach to, and Understanding of various mental illnesses
Two thousand twenty-one marks the first year the ACBC Africa Conference will be held exclusively online. The topics that will be discussed are: Out of the Blues: A Biblical Approach to Depression, A Biblical Understanding of Bipolar Reactive Attachment Disorder, Anxiety & Worry, Crisis Pregnancy Counselling, Who Needs a Friend when You Have a Discipler?

This year’s speakers include Dr Dale Johnson, Dr Wayne Mack, Dr Andrew Rogers, Dr Daniel Berger, Pr Sybrand de Swardt, Pr Mike Brunk, Alan Lester, Lizelle Jonkers, Dr Baren Hefer, Andrew Isiaho, Barbara Enter and Gina Weinmann.