Nelson Mandela Executive Mayor Thandoxolo Wayile has endorsed a call by church leaders to take action to embrace God’s purpose for Port Elizabeth, which they believe is to be a gateway of blessing into and out of Africa.
In a speech to the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Council, Mayor Wayile called upon councillors, officials and communities to support the initiative and said that at a future date “We will gather at our new stadium for a prayer meeting”.
Mayor Wayile’s call follows a meeting in which several prominent Port Elizabeth church leaders met with him and Deputy Mayor, Cllr Nancy Sihlwayi to update them on the outcome of an initiative by Pastor Jimmy Crompton of Word of Faith Christian Centre which sought to understand God’s purpose for the City.
The church leaders told the Mayor and Deputy Mayor that they believed that they had a word from God regarding the purpose of the city. They believed that God’s redemptive purpose for the city was to be a gateway into and out of Africa for God’s authority and power and for the prosperity and upliftment of its people.
They said the city’s gateway history could be seen from its origins. The first significant human settlement within the city area was Bethelsdorp, which was established as a mission to the indigenous people, especially the Khoi. In Genesis, Jacob called Bethel the ‘Gateway to Heaven’.
The city had also served as the springboard for David Livingstone’s first missionary journey into Africa, the ministry of Nicolas Bengu a prominent revivalist and for Piet Retief the initiator of the Great Trek. The city was also the entry point for the 1820 Settlers into South Africa. Two of South Africa’s largest banks traced their origins to the city and surrounding area. The first rugby and cricket matches were both played in Port Elizabeth. The purpose of the recently established harbour at Coega was to serve as a Gateway for Africa.
The church leaders believed that despite all that God had done in the city, division and disunity had hindered progress in all sectors and especially in civil society, the church, city government and sport. The first written historical mention of the area was the landing of Bartholomew Diaz in Algoa Bay, which was followed by a mutiny staged by his crew, and that since then the city’s history has been characterised by division.
The church leaders believed that the city would see significant progress if God’s purpose for the city was embraced by its citizens and the root causes of the problems within the city were dealt with. They said that a meeting would be called at which prominent city leaders in all sectors would repent of division, rebellion and greed which were the causes of the evils which have hindered the city.
This initiative enjoys widespread support among city church leaders, and the delegation that met the Mayor included Pastor Crompton and Adv Crompton both of Word of Faith, Rev Mvusi Gwam and Trevor Jennings begin of Transformation Christian Network, Rev Zwelidumile Tom of the St Stephens Anglican Church, Danie Mouton of the Dutch Reformed Church in the Eastern Cape and Pastor Neville Goldman of Ebenezer Church. The initiative also enjoys the support of Bishop Lunga ka Siboto, Presiding Bishop of the Ethiopian Episcopal Church and Bishop Bethlehem Nopece of the Anglican Church and other local church leaders.