An insight into the life of Mrs. Mercy Msokera Phiri A wife of the late Rev. Hannock Msokera Phiri Born on 1 January1923, Mrs. Mercy Msokera Phiri was the last-born child in a family of five siblings of Penda Mtonga and Khuyeya Nkhoma. He was a farmer from Mzimba District in Malawi in a place called Manyamura, in Chiswa Village. She and the rest of her family were members of the Free Church of Scotland before joining Rev. Hannock Phiri’s African Methodist Episcopal Church after the two were married, 16 years after the death of the first wife.
Rev. Hannock Msokera Phiri joined the AME church and was ordained as a Pastor after his theological training courtesy of Bishop W.T. Vernon whom he met in the Republic of South Africa in 1922. In 1924, Rev. Hannock Msokera Phiri came back to Malawi and opened the first African Methodist Episcopal Church in his father’s village at Kaning’a in Kasungu District, in Malawi. In 1926, He opened his first school named Mdabwi. More schools and congregations were opened in Kasungu, his home district and in the neighboring country, Zambia. Mrs. Mercy Msokera Phiri has been a silent force behind the exploits of this extraordinary Pastor. She was supportive in holding the family together in the many years of her husband’s evangelistic tours. Even after his death in 1972, she remained a diligent servant of the AME church. She served as a Conference Treasurer from 1973 to 1983 under Bishops Hamel Hartford Brookins and Cornelius Egbert Thomas. She has remained a living reminder to us all of what it means to be dedicated. In 1972 the first school that was opened by her late husband, had its name changed by the first President of Malawi, Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda, from Mdabwi to Hannock Msokera Phiri Full Primary School, in honor of her late husband, Rev. Hannock Msokera Phiri. While some schools that were opened by the late Rev. Phiri remain a part of the AME Church, others were taken over by other denominations due to a lack of funds, for example, Kabampha School was taken by the Roman Catholic Church. To this day, Mrs. Mercy Msokera Phiri has kept her husband’s legacy alive. At the Hannock Msokera Phiri Full Primary School, she remains a beacon of light and strength. She continues to protect the school and the land where it is to remain the property of the AMEC denomination. In 2011, under the leadership of Bishop Julius H. McAllister, Mrs. Mercy Msokera Phiri was awarded a Life Membership Certificate for her dedicated service to the African Methodist Episcopal Church.