Story of pastor’s inspiring journey
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