Blackpool minister to preach at former African leader's birthday

Rev Barrie Morris who is to preach at Kenneth Kaunda's 94th birhtday celebrations in Zambia
Rev Barrie Morris who is to preach at Kenneth Kaunda's 94th birhtday celebrations in Zambia
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A Blackpool Methodist minister is set to speak at the birthday celebrations for one of the towering figures in modern African history.

Rev Barrie Morris is set to fly out to Zambia as one of the lead preachers at a church service for the 94th birthday for Kenneth Kaunda.

KK as he is known, led the southern central African country (formerly Northern Rhodesia) to independence from Britain in 1964 and was president until 1991. The youngest of eight children born to a Church of Scotland missionary and teacher, he became a teacher himself and stayed close to the church.

Barrie, 81, from South Shore, served as a missionary in Zambia with the Methodist Missionary Society from 1976 until 1986.

And thanks to his strong connections, now has been invited to preach at the church service at St Paul’s in the capital Lusaka.

He said: “I went back to Zambia in 2006 and was invited in January 2015 by the United Church of Zambia for the 50th anniversary of the church but this invitation came out of the blue in December.

“KK is a full member of the United Church and they are planning a celebration of his life.”

He said although he never met Mr Kaunda while he lived in Zambia, he heard him speak many times and has read many books about him.

“It is a great honour and I am looking forward to it. I will be flying via Ethiopia which will be a new experience for me and staying in Lusaka in The House of Catholic Bishops, which I am looking forward to as well.”

He said his talk will be based on the Book of Psalms.