Mthini retires, new minister takes over reins

2018-03-01 06:01
Reverend Xolile Ndlungwana and his wife Nontsapho. Behind them are children Yandile and ThandiPHOTOS: TARZAN MBITA

Reverend Xolile Ndlungwana and his wife Nontsapho. Behind them are children Yandile and ThandiPHOTOS: TARZAN MBITA

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On Sunday, Bishop V.V Mthini of the Sivuyile United National Baptist Church in Luyoloville officially announced his retirement as a presiding officer in that church.

He also handed over the reins to a chosen successor, “to guarantee continuity,” he said.

Citing ill-health and the need to pass the baton to a new and younger, but experienced member of the congregation, Mthini said the finger of G-d has guided him in choosing the successor.

“The finger of G-d pointed, guided my hand towards him … He has been chosen by G-d.”

The incumbent was revealed as Xolile Ndlungwana, a teacher by profession and a long standing member of the church, with 21 years behind him.

Mthini said his health has not been good over the past year, what with spending most of the time in and out of hospital and not being able to perform his duties.

He added that he wanted to allay fears of a succession race in case of his demise.

“Inability as a result of ill-health would send confusing statements to both friends and congregants.”

Mthini was addressing the congregation and visitors from various denominations during an ordination ceremony held on Sunday at the church.

It was an occasion used to ordain about seven new ministers, including the man he has chosen to lead the flock in his stead.

Reverend Xolile Ndlungwana was revealed as retiring Bishop Mthini’’s hand-picked successor. Mthini said Ndlungwana has proved his mettle over the decades, since he joined the church about 21 years ago.

Mthini, who was consecrated as a bishop in 2013, emphasised that “people should not compare Ndlungwana to me, but must see to it that he kept to the principles of the church, and does not lead it astray.”

According to church secretary, Banele Ntoyanto, it was a chance meeting between the bishop’s wife Nodudu Mthini – who was a principal at the Rainbow creche then- and Ndlungwana, that led to the latter joining the church 21 years ago.

He had been looking for a place to enrol his kid in a kindergarten, and was in turn, recruited to join the congregation.

“Over the years, he had been involved in various structures and held many positions within the church,” said Ntoyanto.

Ntoyanto said: “Ndlungwana has served as the first secretary of the church, has been in the finance committee, a deacon, a junior youth co-ordinator and chairperson of the men’s auxiliary union.”

A teacher at Mseki Primary School in Gugulethu, Ndlungwana is also studying towards a degree in theology at the Baptist Seminary in Athlone. Ndlungwana is also a husband to Nontsapho and father to Thandi and Yandile.

Mthini said Ndlungwana was principled, consistent and has braved life’s storms, including trampling on the proverbial thorns.

Retiring Bishop Mthini has also served the Baptist denomination for about 40 years, starting in Paarl, then the J.Z Ndaliso Memorial Church in Gugulethu, before establishing the Sivuyile Baptist Church at the college of the same name in Gugulethu, until he moved to the present premises in Luyoloville.

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