The idea to form AZANA was minted prior to the General Conference of 2005. The Harmoneers choir of Zambia requested Zambians living in the USA to assist them with fundraising so they could send the singing group to the General Conference which was to be held in St Louis, Missouri. Brother Chibalange sent a request through Ms. Fridah Mulenga, who in turn requested Dr. Mowa to organize the Zambian community of Seventh Day Adventists living in North America. Such an organized group could also solicit help from North America for the benefit of Adventist institutions in Zambia.
An idea to form a national group for Zambians in the United States and Canada was thus minted. The concept of organizing Zambians coincided with two critical fronts:
- Dr. Pardon Mwansa (then General Conference Vice President) had been making appeals for financial contributions for the construction of workers houses at Rusangu University in Monze, Zambia.
- The holding of the General Conference Quinquennial Session in St. Louis, Missouri.
These fronts formed a critical mass and provided an excellent opportunity for the formation of AZANA.
On Sabbath evening at the St Louis General Conference in 2005, elections were held. Brother Evans Chiyombwe presided over the elections and the new officers were elected into office. Dr. Mowa was elected as the first AZANA President, Dr. Munyengwe was elected as the Executive Secretary. A steering committee was formed and charged with the duty of formulating a constitution. Thus the first AZANA executive committee was formally voted and ushered into office by Zambians living in North America. The first general assembly was attended by prominent figures in the Zambian Adventist community; who included Pastor Pardon Mwansa, Pastor Matandiko, Pastor Lupambo, Pastor Kambaki, Pastor Chansa,Pastor Simatele, Pastor Chende, Pastor Kapambwe and many others. It was from this meeting that various people in the US were approached to begin the process of organizing chapters.
The constitution was eventually adopted at a General Meeting at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI in February 2006.
At the 2010 General Conference, a new executive committee led by Pastor Brian Mugandi and Pastor George Lupambo was chosen as president and executive secretary respectively. Organizing regional chapters proved to be problematic resulting in AZANA experiencing inertia in organizing any event.
During the run-up to the 2015 San Antonio General Conference, Zambian Adventists in the US were asked by the Executive Committee to host a Sabbath lunch for GC delegates from Zambia. This effort was led by Pastor Brian Mungandi. The luncheon was a huge success, thanks to the Texas chapter. After the San Antonio GC, a meeting was held to review the luncheon. It was overwhelmingly agreed that AZANA should be revived and officers elected to move the organization forward. A new executive committee was thus voted into office.
By God’s grace and mercy, AZANA managed to organize its first camp meeting in July of 2017, in Minneapolis. The theme was “Not Alone”. The keynote speakers were Pastor Chiwena Kabanje and the youth… Makesa. Other speakers tackled various subjects from mental health, finances to education.
The Second Camp meeting was held in Dallas, Texas in July 2018 themed “A Shelter in the time of Storm”. The keynote speakers were Pastor Ingo Sorke, Pastor Lubasi Ngonda and Pastor David Kabanje. Other speakers led the various sessions. A new executive committee was voted into office at this meeting.