This article analyzes the historical, contextual and identity changes that took place in the RCZ between 1996 and 2001 in order to find an answer to the question why it happened. The hypothesis is as follows: The leadership style of church leaders was influenced by the one-party state with its autocratic presidential powers that continued the missionary legacy of autocratic rule. The autocratic leadership style met head on with a new globalizing culture and with the Pentecostal tendencies in society. This created the conflict that caused the schisms. Pentecostal/charismatic tendencies challenged the long-inherited tradition with its autocratic church leadership style of mainline churches in general and the RCZ in particular. Subsequently, Pentecostal/charismatic movements caused intense conflict in the church between the pro-conservatives and pro-Pentecostals. In the RCZ, this led to the formation of the Christian Reformed Church (CRC) in 1999 and the Bible Gospel Church in Africa (BIGOCA) in 2001.