New church head has rural EC roots
BISHOP Ziphozihle Siwa, who was born and raised in a dusty rural village in the Eastern Cape, has been appointed to head up the Methodist Church of Southern Africa.
Siwa was inducted as presiding officer for the Southern Africa region at the University of Fort Hare’s Alice campus .
The 56-year-old married father of four succeeds Bishop Ivan Abraham, who will be taking over the role of general secretary of the World Methodist Church. The Southern Africa region includes South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana and Namibia .
Siwa yesterday said although he had big shoes to fill, he was excited about setting a good example for those who grew up in villages. “In God’s trust anything is possible. I grew up in dusty villages but here I am today, leading the church in the region.
“This is a calling in ministry and God knows why I was given this position at this time. But it came at the right time for me and I am ready to lead the church,” he told the Daily Dispatch.
In addition to Abraham, his predecessors include Dr Stanley Makgoba and Dr Mvume Dandala.
Siwa is based in Gauteng and was previously presiding Bishop of the Highveld and Swaziland .
“Each of these leaders before me played a role not only for this country, but for the region and the world. My position will be determined by God and I will lead because I will be equipped. This is really an honour for me to lead such a congregation in Southern Africa.”
Growing up in Ngcabasa village, Siwa was ordained as a minister at the age of 36 . Currently, he is also a member of the World Methodist Council executive, a position he assumed in 2007. At one stage he was a member of the council and senate for Rhodes University, a position he held for six years until 2010.
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