Translated by Christie FossilSoul
Edited by Fikile Mazambani
On Saturday, 1 February 2014, the congregation of Victory Ministries Church International (VMCI) in Durban witnessed the ordaining of new pastors – a ceremony they had waited for with bated breath. This was no ordinary ceremony you see, it was a change of guard as openly gay ministers were being ordained and it was just an incredibly powerful and inclusive moment.
Pastor Zungu, who is highly respected, spoke to the congregation of VMCI about being active and supportive during the ordination of gay pastors Bonisile Magwaza and Skhumbuzo Sbisi. Zungu emphasized the importance of coming together and recognizing this incredible moment and the growth it speaks to. A lot of clergy attended this ceremony and amongst them was Pastor Nokuthula Dhladhla who came from the Free State province, who is also in a same sex marriage.
“When my husband was ordained, the church had not yet expanded so much, therefore I wish for this service to be a well-spoken of so that the nation can see that a congregation of this nature is able to do good things” urged Pastor Zungu. This was in reference to the fact that a lot of churches speak against same sex relationships and that the onus was now on church members to demonstrate to the rest of the world that God is all loving and all inclusive. A pastor from another church requested to pray for Pastor Zungu and her family, that they may have guidance and go from strength to strength in delivering God’s Word.
Pastor Dhladhla, conducted Sunday services after the ordination ceremony and made people aware of the strides that had been made in the church. She spoke of how she had managed to overcome not only the church’s long standing tradition of ordaining men only but of her same sex relationship as well. She introduced her partner, Nokuthula, and spoke affectionately of her. She also spoke to the congregation about the importance of knowing who one is and standing firm in that truth.
If you would also like to be a part of VMCI, please visit the church at the Diakonia Centre in Durban.