Living legend lights centenary torch

torch light 1
Deacon Memezi Mthembu (centre) after lighting the centenary candle. With him are Rev Sfiso Ndlovu, right and Deacon Joe Vezi.,

By Ndlelanhle Khuzwayo

One of the living legends of the Church of the Holy Ghost, Deacon Memezi Mthembu was honoured on Sunday when the centenary torch was brought to his home in Mofolo, Soweto.

Deacon Mthembu is 102 years old and an icon in the church, who has worked hard for the gospel and ensured that he passes on a golden inheritance to the next generation.

The Church of the Holy Ghost is celebrating 100 years of existence since the establishment on 17 June 1917 in Stanger, Kwazulu Natal. Mthembu, who joined the church in 1932 when he was 17 years old, thanked the church for honouring him and encouraged his family especially the youth to abide by the principles and values of the church.

The church has massively expanded, with branches in areas such as Mpumalanga, Eastern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo, North West, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and Mozambique. It’s  stronghold is till in KwaZulu-Natal.

The centenary torch has been circulating around the country in areas where the church has a footprint and has been in Gauteng for two weeks. The Gauteng branch hosted a centenary torch lighting ceremony on April 8 and is scheduled to hold another on April 15  at Southdale Hall, Johannesburg.

torch light 2
Deacon Mthembu’s great-grandchildren, Gugulethu Khuzwayo, left, and Siyamthanda Mthembu) during the centenary torch visit to his home.

Commenting on recent visits to church veterans,  spiritual leader of the church, Archbishop Phelelani Nzuzasaid: “To see their faces beam with satisfaction, to read the deep stories through their eyes, and to simply hear their cracking voices utter a soft ‘Amen’ – is the greatest honour of this year’s celebration.”

The torch Lighting Ceremony is part of a series of events planned by the church as a build-up towards a magnificent centenary celebration on June 17 at Durban International Convention Centre.

“The lighting of the torch symbolises the light brought to Africa by the gift of the Holy Spirit — the church has seen the hand of Grace, witnessed the mighty strength of Provision and drank the deep well of Calvary,” said the archbishop.

The torch will be heading to Limpopo on April 22.

For more information about the centenary torch lighting ceremony, please contact Ndlelanhle Khuzwayo 076 905 0840 or email

One Comment

  1. Mr Amon Vusumuzi Mbatha

    God lives amongst us through His Holy Spirit . God is the Spirit and those who love Him must live by the Spirit. Amen. God bless the World.