METHODIST CHURCH SOUTHERN AFRICA ENTERS NEW ERA WITH WOMEN LEADERS

Urban Faith | 12/6/2019 | Dion Forster, Stellenbosch University
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Purity Malinga, the new Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa.

There had been 99 men before her. For her to be chosen to lead us is wonderful.

Rev - Madika - Sibeko - Zajiki'izinto - Things

The Rev Madika Sibeko noted in isiXhosa: “zajiki’izinto” (things are changing). Indeed, things are changing in the Methodist church.

The Methodist church is South Africa’s largest “mainline” Christian denomination, with its roots in the 18th century Wesleyan revival. Methodism quickly spread throughout Europe, the Americas, Asia and to Africa. In part this was because of the zeal of missionary societies, but also because of the spread of the British empire.

Methodist - Church - Southern - Africa - Church

The Methodist Church of Southern Africa became an independent church in 1889. It is the largest Protestant Christian denomination in South Africa and has a predominantly black African membership.

Having a woman elected as the presiding bishop is of great significance to the denomination and the region. In this role, Bishop Malinga will be the church’s most senior leader, with responsibility to guide the regional bishops and the ministry and mission of the church in the six southern African countries. These are South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho, Mozambique, Eswatini and Botswana. Her personality and inclusive style of leadership are likely to bring some important changes to the culture and identity of southern African Methodism.

Woman - Bishop - Synod - Natal - Coastal

She previously served as the first (and only) woman bishop of a regional synod, the Natal Coastal District (until 2008). She is a widely respected minister who first qualified as a teacher before entering the ministry and completing her theological studies at Harvard University in the US.

The Methodist Church of Southern Africa has a history of challenging tradition, and being at the forefront of working for justice and the rights of oppressed people. Among the other notable southern Africans who were Methodists are Chief Albert Luthuli, Africa’s first Nobel laureate; Nelson Mandela, another...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Urban Faith
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