Pas­tor’s pas­sion for do­ing good

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IT BE­GAN with 17 peo­ple sit­ting un­der a tree in Phoenix in 1975, and grew into a mam­moth un­der­tak­ing span­ning hun­dreds of churches in sev­eral coun­tries, in­clud­ing Rus­sia.

Such was the vi­sion of pas­tor Rev­erend Em­manuel J Moodley, who died on Satur­day morn­ing from a heart at­tack after a planned surgery.

Moodley, the founder of Beth­saida Min­istries In­ter­na­tional, was 70.

The many whose lives he touched re­mem­ber him for his in­tense pas­sion for do­ing good.

From its hum­ble be­gin­nings, Beth­saida found a new home in a 10 000-seater au­di­to­rium in Phoenix in 2012. Moodley had cashed in a R1 mil­lion re­tire­ment an­nu­ity at the age of 65, us­ing the funds, along with dona­tions, to build it.

“With 140 churches and sev­eral or­phan­ages in In­dia, more than 1 000 churches in Rus­sia, hun­dreds of church ini­tia­tives through­out Africa and too many preach­ing points to men­tion in KwaZulu-Na­tal, Rev­erend Moodley re­mained faith­ful to his call­ing, which earned him world­wide recog­ni­tion,” Beth­saida Min­istries said.

Some of the In­dian or­phan­ages were named after him. But Moodley also drew ac­claim in 1993 for be­com­ing the first South African to build 27 churches in Rus­sia, said Phoenix preacher Jonathan An­nipen.

“He has one church in Zim­babwe, one in Zam­bia and more re­cently in the Sey­chelles.”

The Phoenix church has more than 12 000 con­gre­gants.

Moodley, a min­is­ter of the gospel for over 44 years, was also a radio and tele­vi­sion min­is­ter, said An­nipen.

He said Moodley had had a pas­sion for trans­form­ing the lives “of those washed ashore by the storms of life, and be­gan set­ting fire to a com­mu­nity yearn­ing for recog­ni­tion and the mean­ing to life”.

In 2014, at the in­vi­ta­tion of renowned Evan­ge­list Benny Hinn, Moodley was present at the open­ing of Is­rael’s first prayer tower.

“The main­spring of his suc­cess had to be God and he will be re­mem­bered as a fierce ad­vo­cate for all that was good and whole­some.”

His son, Pas­tor Em­manuel J Moodley II, said his dad was the sec­ond deputy mod­er­a­tor of the Full Gospel Church of God in South Africa, chair of the Mis­sions Board and served on the Wel­fare and His­toric Com­mit­tees of the Full Gospel Church of God.

He also served as the re­gional overseer of the KZN North Coast re­gion’s Full Gospel Church and was the chair­man of the board at Ma­hatma Gandhi Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal.

Among other aca­demic ac­co­lades, Moodley re­cently re­ceived his doc­tor­ate from Team­work Bi­ble Col­lege.

“De­spite these port­fo­lios and many ac­com­plish­ments, he re­mained a hum­ble ser­vant of the Lord with a pas­sion to ex­tend the king­dom of God at all costs,” he said.

Em­manuel said his fa­ther’s re­silience, “in­tense pas­sion for do­ing good, fas­tid­i­ous at­ti­tude in keep­ing the tenets of the ‘word’ and his fierce loy­alty to his call­ing would be a legacy per­pet­u­ated by all those who form part of Beth­saida”.

Moodley is sur­vived by his wife of 48 years, Priscilla, and sons Lloyd, Bren­ton and Em­manuel. He will be buried on Sun­day. The fu­neral ser­vice will start at 1pm at Beth­saida Min­istries at Stone­bridge Drive, Phoenix, and will pro­ceed to Red­hill Ceme­tery. – Post Re­porter

Rev­erend Em­manuel J Moodley

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