It is not often that a college like Mukhanyo has a married couple who study together. Even more extraordinary is to have two such couples, with all four of them graduating this year. Who are they, why did they come to Mukhanyo and what are they going to do? Here are their stories:
The Moloi Couple
Baatile and Paulos Moloi met at a missions festival in Pretoria and married in 2015. They are active members of the Revival Christian Outreach Ministries in Soshanguve, north of Pretoria. Baatile is part of the musician group and teaches the Bible to youth. Paulos is serving as a deacon, leading the youth department, and tutoring in the Bible school, as well as recording daily devotions – and also preaching in the absence of the pastor.
Both have full-time jobs, he as a quality auditor at an insurance group, and she as an administrator in a private company. They have two children. Both have completed their BTh degree in the past year and are continuing their theological studies.
Why are they are doing it, already with a busy life as it is? An important reason for them is that many church leaders “don’t have the necessary theological skills and knowledge. Consequently, there is much abuse and manipulation of Scripture in churches. The result is that pastors speak about social, psychological and political problems, not the gospel of Jesus Christ”.
Paulos says: “growing up as a Christian I had the desire to teach and preach the Word of God. But I knew that I did not have sufficient knowledge… I struggled with concepts such as ‘free will and sovereignty of God’, ‘predestination and free will’, ‘the problem of evil’, etc.”
After serving as a technical facilitator at a Mukhanyo distance study group, he and Baatile decided to study for the BTh degree at Mukhanyo’s Pretoria campus – degrees which they completed in three years and six months.
Why at Mukhanyo? Baatile and Paulos list the reasons: The degree is completely Bible-based, including Hebrew and Greek. Lecturers are highly qualified but still humble and patient with students – and approachable. The fees are very affordable, especially with both receiving partial bursaries. Also important to them is the fact that Mukhanyo’s programmes are officially accredited.
What now are their plans? The BTh is a foundation for their post-graduate studies. Baatile is studying practical theology with a focus on worship. Paulos is studying systematic theology with a focus on apologetics. They are preparing themselves for missions and evangelism. Paulos says “in the work of evangelism, there is a need to give an answer to those who oppose the Bible and the Person of Jesus Christ”. Paulos also wants to be involved in lecturing theology. “The next generation of pastors must be theologically qualified and should not replace the gospel with sociology, psychology and politics”.
The Sebuthoma Couple
Pastor Buti and Josephine Sebuthoma started as lay preachers, planted the Powerhouse Baptist Church in Mamelodi, east of Pretoria, in 2009, and then decided to start studying at Mukhanyo in 2018. In 2021 both completed the Diploma in Theology.
For both, it was and still is a matter of preaching repentance, revival and redemption by Jesus Christ to anyone who wants to listen – in the open air, at funerals, fellowship at their home or today in a large church with space for some 300 people.
Mukhanyo equipped them to do all this with a much better understanding of the Bible, sermon preparation, and an ability “to preach and live the Word of God”. And that is why they want to continue studying theology, now by registering for the BTh degree.
Both Buti and Josephine were brought up in Pentecostal homes. But only later as young adults, they believed in Christ alone as their Saviour and were confirmed in a Baptist church. Pastor Buti was a messenger for a pathologist. Josephine started studying law and working for the SA Revenue Services. Today she still works for SARS and he for the SARS Commission. They enjoy busy lives with this full-time work, three children, all the church work, as well as their studies.
Do they lose heart sometimes and want to give up? “Yes, but that is the advantage to study as man and wife: the one encouraging the other”. The same is true for their church ministry: working together as man and wife to arrange things, approaching people, open-air proclaiming, etc.
Hopefully, in due course, they will be able to become full-time involved in preaching and teaching God’s Word. For now, being middle-aged, they have to continue what they are doing. Their church work does not provide an income. And at present, with the pandemic and all its restrictions, it is not easy to draw people to the Sunday services and the prayer evenings. They hope things will return to normal as of 2022.
Yes, there are many challenges. Churches are losing the youth who, with their parents, must be approached on a large scale. And the covid restrictions proved to be not good for the church.
How did they find Mukhanyo? “The late Rev. L H M Mungi of Pottershouse Faith Mission in Mamelodi gave us the contacts of Rev. Tebogo Mogale, a Mukhanyo lecturer, for more information. And it proved to be a good choice. They learned to understand the Bible far better, how to be shepherds, to love people, how to conduct a service, to deny one’s self, etc.”
They recommend Mukhanyo for theological studies: “Mukhanyo has good lecturers and accredited qualifications.”