Clerics from around the Western Cape gathered at the United Church, Westridge, to attend their annual graduation service of the Evangelical Fellowship of Christian Churches in South Africa (EFCCSA) Bible Institute.
The graduation, on Sunday December 10, was the culmination of a long period of studies, vetting scrutiny of pastors and reverends, with interviews and background checks having taken place.
EFCCSA is Affiliated to the Emmanuel Christian University, Bloemfontein, headed by a South African Qualifications Authority Accredited (SAQA) religious professional, Professor Emmanuel Ketsikele.
Several bishops and senior clerics attended and witnessed this auspicious occasion which was overseen by the EFCCSA presiding prelate, Bishop Isaac Harley and professor and advocate, Mafu Masina.
Bishop Harley encouraged the graduates and spoke of the importance of integrity in ministry, roles churches and the religious community play in society and how it could still have a positive impact in South African society despite the current negative feeling of dread by many citizens, said Pastor Clint Dixon.
Two of the local graduates are former Westridge residents, Pastor Clint Dixon and Reverend Tanelle Welff-Dixon now residing in Kraaifontein from In Christ United (ICU) Church.
Ms Welff-Dixon also got a special citation award from Bishop Harley in recognition of her work against gender-based violence and resilience she has shown over the years despite many challenges.
The EFCCSA general secretary, Reverend Ivor Erasmus spoke of the importance of formal training of ministers as part of organisations. EFCCSA is both privileged and blessed to be associated with clergy who believe in equipping oneself for God’s kingdom, he said.