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MANZINI - Sibusiso Dlamini, the Prime Minister said the Evangelical Church had produced three prime ministers of the country.
These include himself, Obed Dlamini and Makhosini Dlamini.

He said authorities always looked at the church each time they wanted to appoint leaders.
The PM said he was a product of a school (Franson Christian High School) which was run by the church.
Dlamini said it was gratifying that the church had its foot print all over the country and beyond.
“I am given to believe that there are 112 churches in Swaziland, 132 in South Africa, 78 in Mozambique and one in Lesotho. That is quite a presence and no doubt, an extensive spiritual footprint,” he said.

He said the church can also pride itself for having produced the countrys first Minister of Education, Dr AB Gamedze who was appointed to the post in 1968.
The PM said Gamedze was the man who designed the country’s national flag.
Further, he said the church constructed 18 schools in the country and noted that some of these were now dilapidated.

“Cabinet has pledged that government would assist in renovating these schools and other missionary schools in the country,” he said. 
Meanwhile His Majesty the King says prayer has saved the country from the many challenges that the nation faced last year.
Speaking through his representative, Princess Tsandzile yesterday, the King encouraged Christians to continue praying for the kingdom.
He highlighted that Christians prayed when the country was affected by the financial crisis, at the time when trusted global financial institutions seemingly shunned the country.

“No one believed that we would pull through but through your prayers, we are here now, celebrating under a better off situation. We hosted the best ever elections and the peace was made possible by your prayers.”
This was said during the celebrations of 120 years of existence for the Evangelical church which was hosted at the Mavuso Trade Centre yesterday.
The event was attended by over 3 000 people from Swaziland, South Africa, Mozambique and Lesotho. The celebrations began on Thursday with a conference.
Speaking at the same function,

Matthews Matsenjwa, Chairman of the Evangelical Church encouraged churches to use the youth in positions of power in their churches. He said the youth should be appointed to influential positions so that they learn how to lead.
Matsenjwa said he wants to see the Evangelical Church being led by teams made of elders and the youth adding that the youth should be ordained to be pastors. He said they were better placed to deal with issues of the youth.

Matsenjwa also implored the evangelical church to establish itself in cities.
“We should change the way we think. We need influential people in our churches.
“These are business people and members of the academia,” he said.

He said the church needs money and it was the working class which had the potential of developing the church.
“Money will not come from above. We need people who have money to join this church and work with us to develop the work of God,” he said.
Yesterdays function also saw the launch of a book which details the history of the church.

Titled ‘Our Heritage,’ the book was launched by its authors, Nicholus Nyawo,  a pastor of the Matsapha Evangelical Church and his wife Soneni.
Soneni is a lecturer at the University of Swaziland under the Theology and Religious Studies department.
The lecturer said the book will afford present leadership of the church a rare opportunity to understand and appreciate the history of the church as they lead their various churches.

“This historical work seeks to establish a record of the Evangelical church and gives us the opportunity to study and learn how God has used both pervious and present leaders, as well as committed members to carry on the baton of Christianity,” she said.
She said the book challenged church members to continuously refer back to the scripture to address any situation.

“The events in the book exhort us as the present leadership and God’s household, as we trudge on to cross many rivers and climb mountains, to draw strength from how God has been the power that has propelled his people to victory despite numerous hurdles faced along the way,” she said. 

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