Helper of the community

Danny Magudulela

Danny Magudulela

Archbishop David Phore's death has robbed his community of an icon and a selfless human being.

His latest project was his choir the Bethseda Messengers' latest album, Ungaphakathi. His dream was for it to hit the shelves by December.

Phore's dedication to the church started in the early 1950s. Armed with a theological diploma he received in 1970, he worked hard for the community.

Born in 1937 at the Old Benoni location Etwatwa , he attended Methodist Primary and Etwatwa High.

He joined Dunswart Iron Steel as a general worker after school. He later joined the Benoni municipality as a bus driver and then became an inspector.

When the municipality outsourced busses he was seconded to the inspectorate. It is here that he became actively involved with the community, especially the youth, who organised cleaning campaigns in Wattville.

Phore also initiated garden competitions and encouraged the planting of trees to green the township.

Bethseda Messengers' first gospel album was launched under his guidance and followed by three more - Sweet Melody, Ungaphakathi and Morning Stars.

His persistent message was: "We should not be motivated by greed for money, but should sing to spread the gospel and attract people closer to the church and God."

A spiritual healer, he founded the Bethseda Healing Faith Mission Church and helped establish branches across the country. He spent more than 30 years on the pulpit.

He also featured in the local film Moruti wa nete.

Church deacon and choir master David Mantini said they were deeply saddened by Phore's death.

"We will miss his wisdom and motivation and will forever cherish his strategy and tactics, which helped glue the church together," Mantini said.

Phore is survived by his wife, four children and four siblings. He will be buried tomorrow at the Ekurhuleni East Cemetery. The service starts at 7.30am.