Pastor Khumalo Shaped to Serve

By Miriam Rossow, Communications Coordinator
On Sunday, July 26 Christ Our Savior will have the honor of Pastor Mandla Khumalo and his family join us for worship and share God's word with us. Pastor Khumalo will be our guest preacher Sunday, July 26, 2020.

Much of this information was taken from a document given to me by Pastor Khumalo. The 'Report on the Mission Trip to Middelburg' is from April/May 2013 when Seth Hinz, Rev. William Wangelin, and Rev. Micah Greiner visited Pastor Khumalo. Pastor Khumalo also responded to questions from me.

Pastor Mandla Khumalo is the founding pastor of St. Peter Confessional Lutheran Church in Middleburg, South Africa. He has been in ministry over 40 years. Pastor Khumalo is the presiding Bishop of the Confessional Lutheran Church of South Africa and is now serving as missionary to the Michigan District, LCMS, operating in Lansing, Michigan.

Pastor Khumalo was born in Belfast, South Africa in 1960. He is married to Lindiwe. They have two children, a boy and a girl, and two grandsons. As a young man he joined the student uprising against the Apartheid government using force and violence to make his points. While hiding from the police in a church he was invited to attend a service. During this service he was transformed by the Spirit. He turned himself in to the police and renounced his ties to the resistance. He began to share the Gospel of Jesus anywhere he could: in homes, on street corners, & under trees.

In 1986 he met Pastor Rick Leinberger from St. Peter Lutheran Church, Arlington Heights, Illinois and a long and lasting friendship and partnership began. In 1988 Pastor Khumalo began his studies at Concordia Theological Seminary in Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He graduated in 1989. He had previously graduated from the Southern African School of Theology in 1981.

In 1989 Pastor Khumalo gathered his partner pastors and formed the Confessional Lutheran Church in South Africa. His congregation, St. Peter Confessional Lutheran Church, Middelburg, became part of the Lutheran Church in South Africa (previously affiliated with Assemblies of God).

The partnership with St. Peter Lutheran Church, Arlington Heights and St. Peter Confessional Lutheran Church, Middelburg flourished. Through this partnership and other support systems the ministry has grown and spread the Gospel of Jesus to many. The church in South Africa started with five families and has grown to more than 2,000 members.

At the time of this report, in 2013, there were 4 church buildings, 20 congregations, 10 preaching stations/house churches. Today there are 12 full- fledged churches and 16 preaching stations with the latest 2 churches being founded within the last 4 years.

St. Peter Confessional Lutheran Church, Middelburg has a pre-primary school, Bethel Preschool with 300 children ages 2-6. The grade school, St. Peter Christian College hosts 489 students in Kindergarten-6th. These schools are the first of their kind in a black township and are both highly sought after and have waiting lists for enrollment.

The Center for Missionary Formation was established in 1991. Here men and women are trained for specific ministries in the church such as prison, hospital, rural, Bible knowledge, and pastoral foundation.

Caring Friends for Life Organization is part of the churches social outreach to the community. It is a choir that addresses supportive and preventative issues of HIV through songs that educate, and share information and hope to the community. They were established in 1990.

At the time of this visit and report, in 2013, Pastor Khumalo had many other visions and hopes for the ministry of St. Peter's. He had plans for the St. Peter foundation, for a job training center, and for an agricultural center, and he hoped to open a home for orphans and the elderly to give hope and community to those two generations together. Many of these have started or are in place now.

The orphanage has been established and attends to children, some who are orphaned as a result of the AIDS pandemic. St. Peters Confessional Lutheran church has also teamed up with MOST ministry and their eyeglass clinics to help serve the needy in the community and country. "Through these ministries we have seen the Lord shape our ministry to be a service to the people and bring them the knowledge of Christ as their Savior."

Pastor Khumalo finds great joy in working alongside his family, especially his son, to reach the needy and the lost. He enjoys seeing the young people develop into accountable adults who can identify their talents and use them in service to Jesus. "I experience joy when I see people come to the knowledge of Christ as their Savior and see how people can be assisted to stand on their own and accept each other in spite of their backgrounds."

As Pastor Khumalo looks back on his life he can see how "Christ halted my way to go into an armed struggle to topple the Apartheid regime back to preaching peace to my people. I now understand that the problem of my country was not racism, hatred, tribalism, bigotry, apartheid but sin itself, and that people do not commit these things because of their birth, origin, color, but because of sin and that only Christ can solve that problem."

As we look toward Pastor Khumalo and his family joining us, they ask that we keep them in prayer. We give thanks for all the Jesus has done in and through Pastor Khumalo. We give thanks for those who have been called to ministry and pray that God would supply energy, strength, perseverance, resilience, courage, and provision to those who serve. We pray that God would sustain the ministries and the people of Caring Friends, the orphanage, and the schools, especially now, as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. We pray for good health and for the Khumalo family to be strong in God's grace.

Join us on Sunday, July 26 either in person or online as we learn and listen to more from Pastor Khumalo as he shares how Jesus has worked in and through him, shaping and molding him into the man of God he is today.
To learn more about Pastor Khumalo we encourage you to read these two blogs posted on the Michigan Districts website. You can also watch a video of Pastor Khumalo sharing with the delegates at the Michigan District Convention in 2012. (The links to all three videos of Pastor Khumalo are found on the bottom of the second blog linked here. I have shared only the first video in this series.)

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