Friday, January 6, 2012

Rev Elias Mabena

Elias Mabena was born in 1890, the first-born of the royal family of the Mandebele. Although his father was a man of tribal tradition, his mother was a Christian who taught the family about Christ.

As Elias refused to take part in the heathen initiation ceremonies, he was beaten and ostracized by the tribe. Later, on his return home after a period away, he was invited to assume the Chieftainship, but as this meant a return to heathenism he declined the position, having already determined to give himself to the ministry.

In 1920 he became an evangelist, and in 1935 he was ordained to the Christian ministry. His first and only pastorate was the Germiston circuit, and his influence radiated far beyond his home church. Work was established in Winterveld, Cullinan, Kaalfontein, Boksburg, Benoni, and Alberton and many other areas. Later churches were erected at several of these places. Elias was privileged to witness the membership of the circuit grow to over 1,200. Today five ministers serve the area.

Elias was a brother beloved, full of cheerful good humor, wisdom from the Lord and Christian grace. He was a man of Gad whose counsel was sought by all. For many years he was chairman of the Bantu Northern Council.

On Monday, 10th May 1965, God called home a stalwart of the faith, Rev Elias Basobonke Mabena. To him it was happy release after two years of great suffering patiently borne with triumphant faith.

Written by: Syd Hudson-Reed

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