Story of pas­tor’s in­spir­ing jour­ney

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he im­pact and power of pas­tor Buy­isile Geel­booi’s tes­ti­mony at the Chris­tian Men’s As­so­ci­a­tion breakfast held at Tash’s Craft Bar on Satur­day was demon­strated by the au­di­ence’s ap­pre­ci­a­tion at the end of his talk.

Born and raised in Gra­ham­stown, Geel­booi said he was con­verted in 1983 and be­gan preach­ing on a lo­cal level in Bathurst, Gra­ham­stown and Alicedale.

He ob­tained a the­ol­ogy de­gree at Rhodes Univer­sity.

“I was born in a poor fam­ily and my mother and fa­ther were

Tdo­mes­tic work­ers work­ing for dif­fer­ent fam­i­lies in Gra­ham­stown,” he said. In those days, he and his sib­lings would wait for their mother to bring home left­overs as their sup­per.

Talk­ing about his aca­demic in­ter­ests, he said he had wanted to be a med­i­cal doc­tor but could not ful­fil that dream be­cause of fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties.

Geel­booi said he then ended up do­ing a cer­tifi­cate in First Aid, which paved the way to his do­ing a de­gree in the­ol­ogy.

A turn­around life event hap­pened when a Rhodes lec­turer, whom he did not name, re­cruited him to work for the English De­part­ment at Rhodes, where he earned dou­ble what he was get­ting at St John’s Am­bu­lance.

Geel­booi said he be­gan work­ing morn­ings for St John’s Am­bu­lance and then from 1pm un­til evening at Rhodes.

Be­ing in an aca­demic sphere, he then de­cided to pur­sue a part-time the­ol­ogy de­gree, while con­tin­u­ing to work.

His gift of preach­ing started to man­i­fest in 1987, when he be­gan preach­ing in Bathurst, Gra­ham­stown and Alicedale, and in the open with loud speak­ers.

Us­ing ev­ery op­por­tu­nity as a plat­form to min­is­ter the Gospel of Christ, which he de­fined as the “power unto sal­va­tion”, Geel­booi said he also used to preach when trav­el­ling by train.

Geel­booi leads 13 churches in the East­ern Cape, and is also an in­ter­na­tional speaker.

Some of the coun­tries he has preached in in­clude Zim­babwe and Kenya.

Geel­booi went on to com­ment on the state of the cur­rent church.

“My jour­ney gave me a very huge con­cern about the in­sti­tu­tion we call church.

“Why things are hap­pen­ing the way they are hap­pen­ing to­day, while the church is still alive,” he said.

He posed this chal­lenge to the au­di­ence by say­ing: “There are things that one day God will blame the church for.”

He said th­ese things should not be hap­pen­ing in the place where God de­ployed the church.

Ac­cord­ing to Geel­booi’s ob­ser­va­tion, the church was di­vided into two as­pects – spir­i­tual and phys­i­cal.

He said the church as an or­gan­i­sa­tion was an assem­bly of the called ones, whereas the church’s spir­i­tual as­pect was where it was re­ferred to as the Body of Christ.

“You can­not be a mem­ber of a lo­cal church if you are not a mem­ber of the uni­ver­sal church.

“You should be a mem­ber of the Body of Christ.”

Geel­booi is of the view that some of the prob­lems ex­pe­ri­enced by the church to­day emerge in the dis­or­der of spir­i­tual life.

“The prob­lem is in the or­der.

“We have spirit, soul and the body.

“We twist th­ese things, think­ing that we are a phys­i­cal body while we are not.

“I am a spirit, hav­ing a soul and liv­ing in a body,” he said.

Ex­plain­ing the role of each, he said: “The spirit is God­con­scious­ness, the soul is self-con­scious­ness and the body is phys­i­cal-con­scious­ness so that I can con­nect to this phys­i­cal world.”

He ap­pealed to other min­is­ters to make their pres­ence felt.

“You are the min­is­ters of rec­on­cil­i­a­tion and God is call­ing us to be his sweet aroma.

“God is in heaven but sent Je­sus Christ to rep­re­sent him and Je­sus called his dis­ci­ples and equipped them,” Geel­booi said.

In­spired by Je­sus’ method, he said he had de­vel­oped a say­ing, “When I win him in Christ, I have to equip him in Christ and send him to do the same work.”

He added that min­is­ters should help build the saints up but also re­lease them should they fully dis­cover them­selves in Christ.

A LIV­ING TES­TI­MONY: Pas­tor Buy­isile Geel­booi, from Gra­ham­stown, who

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