Bishop’s new right hand gets sage advice

2016-11-09 06:00
Archbishop Piet Swartz (left), with the help of interpreter Jacob Ngqeza next to him, convey strong words of wisdom to Dennis Thole and his wife, Segametsi (right), on Saturday, 29 October, when Thole was ordained as the right-hand man of Bishop John Matlabe. Photo: Boipelo Mere

Archbishop Piet Swartz (left), with the help of interpreter Jacob Ngqeza next to him, convey strong words of wisdom to Dennis Thole and his wife, Segametsi (right), on Saturday, 29 October, when Thole was ordained as the right-hand man of Bishop John Matlabe. Photo: Boipelo Mere

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Great expectations rest on the shoulders of Rev. Dennis Thole of the Evangelising United Church after he was officially ordained as second in charge on Saturday, 29 October.

The ordination came after the recommendation of Bishop John Matlabe that Thole must help steer the ship in the right direction with his capabilities and exper­tise.

According to the church, Thole has been promoted from the seat of a reverend after undergoing internal training on his future responsibilities and tasks that he has to fulfil.

His first assignment, according to Thole, is to fill the church by recruiting more members.

“I want to grow the church more and run it as a Christian church.

“I would also like to look at encouraging the involvement of more youth within the church operations,” highlighted Thole.

He pointed out that at the top of his to-do list was the completion of the incomplete church structure.

Donations for a roof came after an intervention of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development as part of its Mandela Day initiative.

“My wish is for the church structure to be complete by October 2017.”

Thole was ordained by Bishop Andries Matlabe (father of John), who has also been his mentor since he started his journey as a servant of the Lord.

Matlabe is reported to have been in the church leadership field for the past 30 years, during which he has cloaked and ordained many reverends.

Sharing his wise words with Thole, Matlabe highlighted the huge responsibility that lied ahead for him.

“In your journey, you will identify the sick, lost souls, those who cannot speak. It is your responsibility to adopt them and guide them in the right direction.

“I know leaders tend to develop pride and become untouchable once they start wearing these black gowns, so I advise you to tread carefully to prevent tripping over it,” he advised in front of the congregation.

Archbishop Piet Swartz also shared his wisdom on how higher positions can lead one to fall victim to backstabbers or one turning around and betraying those behind you.

He warned Thole against destroying or breaking up the church to set up his own church after being promoted to being the bishop’s right-hand man.

“Stay on this ship, no matter how difficult or tough things get. Sit down with your partner, the bishop, when there are problems and stop playing the blame game,” he said.

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