The Methodist Church in Zimbabwe is the fruit of British Methodist mission activity in former Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) which began in 1891, while the United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe is of American origin. The church gained its autonomy from the Methodist Church in Britain in 1977.
Methodist work began at Nungubo (now Nenguwo), Zimbabwe in 1892 when the local Chief and people asked for a teacher to come to their area. Two years later it was reported that Evangelist Modumedi Moleli who was stationed there had a full church every Sunday and about 100 children regularly in school. Sadly Moleli was killed trying to rescue a European farmer during the Mashona rebellion of 1896.
In 1899, the Rev John White was stationed there and he founded and developed the Nengubo Training Institution which by the 1930's had 400 students including 80 training to be teachers, 40 to be evangelists, a few training for the ministry and the rest having a general education. The development had been made possible by grants from the Centenary Fund and from Sir Joshua Kelley Waddilove. In 1916 the name of the institution was changed to Waddilove Training Institution.
From the beginning, agricultural subjects had been taught to all classes but in the early 1940's a special post-Std 6 Agricultural Training Programme was established to train teachers of agriculture and to work as demonstrators in the Reserves. A farm had been added to the institution on which the students could work.
In 1961 a course was introduced to train teachers to teach blind children alongside sighted children, and a small group of blind children joined the primary school. One of these eventually went on to the University of Zimbabwe and then Cambridge University with excellent results.
In 1954 theological training was transferred to a newly built college on Epworth Mission; eventually it became the United Theological College. In the latter part of the twentieth century, improvements in the general standard of education in the whole country led to the courses for training agriculturalists, nurses, and teachers being transferred to government institutions. They were replaced by secondary academic courses and the name was changed to Waddilove High School.