Five decades of service to Gugs celebrated

2018-06-28 06:02
Mam’ Fundiswa Nodlela, Mrs Moreosele, Deacon Matthew Fuzani, Reverend Tsepiso Moreosele and church secretary Wandisile Mdepha, prepare to cut the cakePHOTOS: MAKHAYA MANIE

Mam’ Fundiswa Nodlela, Mrs Moreosele, Deacon Matthew Fuzani, Reverend Tsepiso Moreosele and church secretary Wandisile Mdepha, prepare to cut the cakePHOTOS: MAKHAYA MANIE

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The past Sunday was not your normal service at the Langa United Congregational Church in Gugulethu.

It was one of song and celebratory hymns, as the church was celebrating five decades since its establishment in the area.

Set in the heartland of Gugulethu, the sod was officially turned on 24 June 1968, 50 years to the day on Sunday.

It started out as a branch of the original Langa Congregational Church, which was first established there in 1936.

According to Boysi Jarha, one of the longest surviving members of the church and who had witnessed the gradual relocation of the church from Langa to Gugulethu in the late ’60s, the irony of a church that adopted the name of another township while based in another, was not lost on them, although it created confusion in some, especially migrants from other provinces.

“The story of Langa Congregational Church carrying the name while based in Gugulethu, was done out of the pride of the church’s roots.

“Langa Congregational was based in Langa but when some of our members started relocating to Gugulethu – which had just been built – they carried the name over, and the church decided to open a branch in Gugulethu, which was referred to as an extension of the Langa church.

“The name has stayed since.”

Jarha added that Langa Congregational had been around since the early 1900s.

“The church operated from a shack in Ndabeni until in 1933, we were given a site to build a church in Langa, which was later opened in 1936.

“Information that has been collected and tested, suggests that Langa Congregational Church was officially established in Ndabeni in 1930.”

Speaking at the celebration service, current Langa Church Secretary, Wandisile Mdepa, said: “We will soon commence a process to write the full history of our church.

“No one else can tell the story of this church (better) than us.

“So we will continue the 50th Anniversary celebrations until the end of this year ... With various other activities in the line-up.”

Delivering a moving tribute to the church, the UCCSA (United Congregational Church of Southern Africa) to which the Langa Congregational is a constituent member, Peninsula Region Moderator Reverend Wlfried Abrahamse said the church has come a long way.

“Forty years ago I came to preach at this church and I was impressed with the spirit of togetherness of the church members.

“This church has survived so many tumultuous storms, yet is still standing.

The Gugulethu Development Forum which is spearheading the 60th annivesary celebrations of the township, also attended the service and delivered a message of support­.

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