Cel­e­brat­ing a cen­tury OF THE GOSPEL

Church of the Holy Ghost hon­ours its liv­ing leg­ends with a cen­te­nary torch

Move! - - YOUR FAITH - By Ndle­lanhle Khuzwayo

THE Church of the Holy Ghost is mark­ing its 100th year an­niver­sary by pre­sent­ing a cen­te­nary torch to the church's liv­ing leg­ends across the coun­try. This is also done in prepa­ra­tion of the church's cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tion to be held in June.

HON­OUR­ING LIV­ING LEG­ENDS

In the Bi­ble, John 8:12 says, “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Who­ever fol­lows me will never walk in dark­ness, but will have the light of life’.”

The cen­te­nary torch is the church's way of ex­press­ing grat­i­tude to the icons for their hard work for the gospel and en­sur­ing the church's her­itage is passed on.

The torch was re­cently pre­sented to one of the old­est mem­bers of the church, Dea­con Me­mezi Mthembu, who is 102 years old, at his home in Mo­folo, Soweto.

CEL­E­BRAT­ING A CEN­TE­NARY OF GRACE

Arch­bishop Phele­lani Nzuza, the church's spir­i­tual leader, says it is an hon­our to see the faces of the liv­ing leg­ends beam with pride at be­ing pre­sented with the torch.

“See­ing their faces beam with sat­is­fac­tion and pride, be­ing able to read the deep sto­ries of the church's his­tory through their eyes and to sim­ply hear their crack­ing voices ut­ter a soft amen, is the great­est hon­our of this year’s cel­e­bra­tion,” says Arch­bishop Phele­lani.

The cen­te­nary torch has been cir­cu­lat­ing around the coun­try in ar­eas where the church has a foot­print and will be in Gaut­eng for two weeks.

The church's Gaut­eng branch hosted a torch light­ing cer­e­mony on 8 and 15 April at South­dale Hall, Johannesburg.

The cer­e­mony forms part of a series of events planned by the church as a build-up to­wards the mag­nif­i­cent cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tion on 17 June at the Inkosi Al­bert Luthuli In­ter­na­tional Con­ven­tion Cen­tre in Dur­ban.

“The light­ing of the torch sym­bol­ises the light brought to Africa by the gift of the Holy Spirit. The church has seen the hand of grace, wit­nessed the mighty strength of pro­vi­sion and drank the deep well of cal­vary,” says Arch­bishop Phele­lani.

HIS­TORY OF THE CHURCH

The Church of the Holy Ghost was es­tab­lished on 17 June 1917 in Stanger, KwaZulu-Natal by the spir­i­tual leader, Arch­bishop Pau­los Mfunwa Nzuza (uMqal­isi).

Dur­ing uMqal­isi’s lead­er­ship, the church built a com­mu­nity school in Ham­mers­dale, KwaZulu-Natal called Peaceville Com­mu­nity School.

He also founded two mis­sions in his life­time named Jerusalem (in the 1930s) and Peaceville Mis­sion (in 1946).

The church has since had three spir­i­tual lead­ers, who are affectionately and re­spect­fully called uMqal­isi, iNceku, and uMalusi.

The Church of the Holy Ghost has mas­sively ex­panded with branches in Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, Gaut­eng, Lim­popo, North West, Swazi­land, Zim­babwe, Le­sotho and Mozam­bique, with its strong­hold in KwaZulu-Natal.

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