Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae
On-line version ISSN 2412-4265
MADISE, Mokhele. The leadership of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa during the 1980s and 90s: The transition from apartheid to the democratic era in South Africa. Studia Hist. Ecc. [online]. 2014, vol.40, suppl.1, pp. 117-127. ISSN 2412-4265.
This article will focus mainly on the history of black leadership of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa ('the Methodist Church') during the 1980s and 90s, a time when South Africa was experiencing a deep political crisis. The Methodist Church had become independent of its British parent institution in 1882, and the 100th anniversary of this event was due to be celebrated during the early 1980s. Opposition to the system of apartheid was growing during that period in the country's history, and the leadership of the Methodist Church found itself challenged to oppose apartheid. As a result, the church participated in an ecumenical movement that challenged the policies and, to some extent, the legitimacy of government of the time. Participation in the ecumenical movement forced many leaders of other institutions to take a stand either against or in favour of apartheid. As part of this discussion, this article reviews the involvement of five figures in the Methodist Church: Simon Gqubule, Khoza Mgojo, Ernest Baartman (known as "The Black Moses"), Stanley Mogoba and Mvume Dandala. It also reviews developments within the organisation that saw the election of its first presiding bishop.