Be visible and make a difference, Bishop tells “Mighty Men”

Algoa Bells Extra Special Caledonian piper Derek Soutter provides a warm and stirring welcome to these Christian Motorcyclist Association members and other men who attended the Coastal Mighty Men breakfast at the Hobie Beach Yacht Club this morning.

The Mighty Men Conference (MMC) movement must continue to grow and make a positive impact on South Africa, the Anglican Bishop of Port Elizabeth, Bethlehem Nopece said at a Coastal MMC breakfast in Port Elizabeth today.

He urged the Port Elizabeth-based Coastal MMC to make a special effort to target men in the coloured and Xhosa communities of the city so that the mass Christian men’s movement initiated by farmer-evangelist Angus Buchan in 2004 would continue to grow in the region.

The Coastal MMC aims to provide opportunities for men in the PE area who have attended Mighty Men conferences to meet from time to time to motivate each other to continue to live lives transformed by Jesus and to encourage other men to do likewise. Today’s breakfast, organised by Coastal MMC founder Lance Walton was the first event since the inaugural Karoo MMC at Rusoord farm, Middelburg from April 29 to May 1. At the breakfast Bishop Nopece announced that the next Karoo MMC would be held at the same venue from April 27 to April 29 next year.

Nopece said that many of the problems in South African society today were a consequence of instability in families as a result of misery inflicted on women and children by men. He recalled an incident some five or six years ago when men in the rural Transkei village of Khalinyanga got together to pray about problems such as drug abuse and rape that were afflicting the community. “After they prayed they took sjamboks (whips) and cleaned up the community to everybody’s delight,” he said.

He said men’s participation in public events like prayer walks and breakfasts was significant as Godly men needed to be visible in order to make a difference.

Coastal MMC organiser Lance Walton (left) presents a Mighty Men tartan scarf to Port Elizabeth Anglican Bishop, Bethlehem Nopece at the Coastal MMC breakfast today.

Pastor Mark Upman of Summerstrand Community Church said that in 2010 50 per cent of South Africa’s population was under the age of 25 and that by 2020 it was expected that 60 per cent of the population would be under the age of 18. He said these statistics indicated that there was a growing need in South Africa for spiritual fathers and that it was time for real men to stand up.

Referring to the Bible passage in John 2 in which Jesus chased merchants out of the temple with a whip, he said that Jesus was a man’s man and not the “softy with blow-dried hair” depicted in much Christian art. He had endured beating and death on the cross without whimpering.

Men who met Jesus became real men. They should not be afraid to exercise anger in a controlled way against evil. They should control their lust. It was time for men to be real before God, he said.

Several men at the breakfast shared testimonies of how their relationship and walk with God had been strengthened as a result of their experiences at Mighty Men conferences.



  1. 36 guys in all attended the breakfast and it was really great to see the support the Christian Motorcyclist Association gave !

  2. Pingback: Anglican Mainstream South Africa » Blog Archive » Be visible and make a difference, Bishop tells “Mighty Men”

  3. Fantastic news story. Well done to all involved and God bless you all too.

  4. Firstly, thank you for launching this forum. I was perterbed though by one
    of your articles which speaks favourably of taking sjamboks and cleaning out
    a village. This is kangaroo court vigilantism. How on earth can we promote
    this as Godly manliness? Surely we should rather stand for the rule of law.
    Its ironic that your article appears in a week when police officials are
    appealing to people who were taking the law into their own hands to desist
    from doing so. Maybe caution is advised?

  5. This is posted in response to Andre’s reply posted under “contact”.
    Andre, crimes like rape and drug abuse thrive even in Christian homes.
    Statistically Christian men are as likely to rape their daughters as atheists. Again this morning on TV, vigilantism was raised in PE. People are
    dying at the hands of vigilantes. If this is the message going out from the
    church, can we not see the connection? By implication you are underwriting the vigilantism happening right now. One wrong cannot fix another wrong. A
    call to take up sjamboks is vigilantism, and illegal. We should be encouraging people to support the SAPS, to volunteer as reservists. We should be using this space to guide victims to counsellors, to direct addicts to rehabilitation. Are we really interested in fixing the problem, caring for the broken, healing the sick, or do we just want to look macho?
    We also know that situations escalate. It may start as a scare tactic and go wrong. Those being threatened are also likely to respond, and people will get hurt.
    How does an average person read this article? Andre, you are making many assumptions which others will not make. Others will assume people got a righteous whipping that day, because that is the implication. Others will take a sjambok to their neighbours, even their wives or children, and feel
    justified by this article. And this article says Jesus says their action is alright. What about Jesus’ teaching to love those who hate you, to pray for
    those who persecute you, to bless those who curse you?
    Most likely this action in this village did not solve the problem, it just moved it to another village, because poverty persists, hopelessness persists, and violence perpetuates ever increasing violence.
    Rape is about power, so the community just became bigger bullies and are themselves now criminals.
    What if these rapists and druglords returned with guns and declared war? We have seen these situations escalate before.
    The irony to the John 2 story is that Jesus didn’t clean out the taverns or the tax booths. He cleaned out the Temple. Maybe we are starting our cleaning in the wrong place?
    Andre, this article undermines what the SAPS are saying, and has the potential to escalate violence in an already volatile situation.

  6. Ya learn something new everyday. It’s true I guess!