historic step in randburg

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

History was made when the Randburg Reformed Church ordained its first black minister in Johannesburg yesterday.

"Yes, truly, with all my heart," declared Reverend Kwena Semenya in front of a predominantly white, Afrikaans congregation at the induction service.

Semenya will also lead the church's Diepsloot ministry, north of Johannesburg, with almost 100 members. His responsibilities include preaching and conducting baptisms, funerals and other church services. He will also serve on the church council.

"You shall receive a crown of glory that does not easily fade away," said ordaining minister Lekgetho Moretsi, of the Reformed Church's Diepkloof, Soweto, branch.

Semenya pledged to submit to the calling of God and lead the Diepsloot Reformed Church faithfully.

"Today we have witnessed a fresh start. You have to look forward to the salvation brought to you by God through our Lord Jesus Christ," said Semenya in his first sermon.

He urged the congregation to look to the future and not dwell on the past.

He said his greatest challenge would be ensuring the growth of the Diepsloot ministry.

Moretsi said Semenya's ordination was a "joyous, memorable and historic occasion".

"We no longer speak of two different churches. Today marks the unification of the Randburg Reformed Church," said Moretsi.