Homepage
Home Read stories Africa maps The Project Resources Our Writers News

Ngomane, Barnabas
1942 to 2008
Church of the Nazarene
South Africa

Rev. Barnabas Mashinameni Ngomane was born on 10 February 1942 on the farm Rietspruit; later called Venus Timbers, in the Graskop area of what is today the southeastern part of the Northern Province. He was the son of Mr. & Mrs Jack Ngomane. His parents joined the Methodist Church in 1949 and his mother took him to church when he was eight years old. He attended the Albany Nazarene Mission School at Bethel and pursued secondary education at Magatlise, Sabie.

Barnabas attended a youth camp in June 1958 conducted by Missionary Marjorie Peel. It was there that he first responded to the message of Salvation. He joined the other young people at the altar to pray and then returned to his home church at Bethel.

He heard that Missionary Elmer Schmelzenbach wanted someone to work in his garden and in December 1962 the family left the farm and moved to Arthurseat. Barnabas began attending the higher primary school at the mission there the following year. January of 1963 became one of the most memorable months of his life because that was when he received the Lord. It was under the preaching of Rev. Nelson Khoza. At the camp meeting in June of that year he was "caught by God's word to become the servant of the Lord" during the challenging service conducted by the Bible College on the call to God's work.

After completing Standard eight he enrolled in the Bible College at Arthurseat Mission to prepare for the work of the Lord and graduated from the four-year course in November 1967. On January 13, 1968 he married Miss Netta Mhakamuni Malamule at Edinburgh.

That same year Ngomane was appointed to teach in the Bible College. He also started a preaching point at Ngodini (Kabokweni), White River, on the Sunrise District and was assigned to be the full time pastor there in November 1969.[1] In 1971 he wrote, "It is good to speak many words about Christ and write a lot about Christ. But people who hear what we say and read what we write also want to know if we live what we say and write." [2]

Due to financial constraints he also worked as a private teacher for the Department of Education from 1973 to 1982. Kabokweni Church was about ready to become self-supporting when he left in 1982 to begin a preaching point further to the east at Cork, near the border of Kruger National Park on the Eastern District. He was ordained by Dr. Charles H. Strickland in 1986. Ngomane was passionate about church planting and in galvanizing support for this very important ministry. He planted the following churches: Hokwe, Role, Cascade, Kabokweni, Mahushu, Cork, Mabarule and Somerset.

By 2001 Kabokweni had become a large congregation with over thirty professional people among the membership. Under Ngomane's ministry Cork Church grew into a large church and by 2001 was also ready to become self-supporting when in that year the Ngomanes accepted a call to pastor at Giyani in the far northeast of the Northern Province on the North Eastern Church District.

They were blessed with three daughters and two sons and the Lord helped them to provide them with a good education. In 2001 one was a teacher, Yvonne was a nursing sister and Mathilda was an advocate. The one boy did not complete school and the youngest was in Grade twelve.

The Lord watched over Ngomane as he came close to death on three occasions. In January 1986 he was involved in an accident when the car he was driving collided with another car. Three of the occupants died and Ngomane broke his leg. On January 20, 1993 his bakkie (pickup) was taken from him at gunpoint. Many times such hijackers simply shoot their victims for fear that they would later be recognized. In this case they recovered the vehicle about six months later. Then on October 13, 1995 his bakkie was again taken from him at gunpoint but he was fortunate to recover it the following day. In 2001 Ngomane wrote: "The Lord has been and still is so good to me and my family."

Mrs Nettah Mhakamuni Ngomane (1946 -) was born at Edinburgh to the east of the Arthurseat Mission. After completing her primary school education she attended the Nazarene Bible College from 1966 to 1968. While they lived at Kabokweni she continued with her studies and was able to get a teaching post with the Kangwane Education Department. She served at several schools in the area including the Makhahlela and Nyalungu Primary Schools. In 1983 she obtained her Primary Teacher's Certificate at Mgwenya College of Education. After completing her matriculation she went on to achieve her Senior Primary Diploma during the years 1989 to 1992.

In 1992 Nettah was elected Secretary for the Eastern District of the Church of the Nazarene. In January 1994 she was appointed Principal of Mvuyazi Primary School. Her employment as a teacher through the years made it possible for her husband to concentrate on his work as pastor. She planned to retire from teaching in 2001 when they moved to Giyani.[3]

On 3 March 2008 Rev. Barnabas Ngomane went to be with his Lord. He suffered from cancer.[4]

Paul S. Dayhoff


Notes:

1.Lebone la Kgalalelo, (The Lamp of Holiness), Pedi/Sotho/Tswana magazine of the Church of the Nazarene in South Africa, (Florida, Transvaal, South Africa: Nazarene Publishing House,March-Apri1 1968),7.(November-December 1968),2.
2.Pastor B. Ngomane, "How Can a Person Witness for Christ", Isibani/Lebone, (The Lamp),Swazi/Zulu/Pedi/Sotho/Tswana Magazine of the Church of the Nazarene in South Africa. (Florida, Transvaal, South Africa: Nazarene Publishing House,July-September 1971),12.
3.Rev. & Mrs Barnabas and Nettah Ngomane, letter and biographical reports, (28 September 2001).
4.Rev. Collin Elliott, Africa South Field Coordinator, email message, (March 11, 2008). Obituary sent by Dr Enoch Litswele.


This article is reproduced, with permission, from Standing Stones of Africa: Pillars of the Faith in the Church of the Nazarene, First Edition (Linited) 2006, copyright ©2006, by Paul S. Dayhoff. All rights reserved.