American church joins hands with St Andrews Uniting Presbyterian
There was a strong sense of fellowship at St Andrews Uniting Presbyterian Church in King William’s Town last Sunday as a delegation of 13 members from Kirk in the Hills Church in Michigan, in the US, visited the congregation.
Kirk in the Hills pastor Nate Phillips was delighted to be part of the day’s proceedings.
“I was invited to preach for the first time in a Xhosa service and it was lovely to be welcomed.
“There was a song that Elethu [Gantsho] taught us when he was in the US in 2003 and I was pleasantly surprised when we sang it again,” Phillips said.
Kirk in the Hills’ Nicole Greenidge Joseph sang a resounding rendition of Great is Thy Faithfulness, which uplifted spirits.
St Andrews members Unathi Mlisa, Nangamso Ndzuzo and Elethu Gantsho met Phillips at a youth camp in 2003 when he worked as a camp councillor.
Mlisa said: “Nate [Phillips] said he wanted to bring 13 people to SA and he specifically wanted to bring them to Rev Sibakhulu Loni.
“At his previous Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church congregation, Nate assisted with the renovation of the Tiyo Soga Centre in Mgawali, where Rev Loni was previously stationed.
“A fire has been rekindled in me and to make a change in my community.”
After the church service, the visitors had the opportunity to see the Steve Biko Centre Museum in Ginsberg.
“This is a great way to learn about the struggle and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and get a sense of the space at the time,” Phillips said.
The diverse congregation at St Andrews is comprised of mostly Xhosa speaking members with the church running English and Xhosa services.