Classic DACB Collection

All articles created or submitted in the first twenty years of the project, from 1995 to 2015.

Moko, Richard

Seventh-Day Adventist
South Africa

African minister. He was born in a Bantu village [1] near Grahamstown, Cape Province, South Africa, a descendant from a long line of Amaxhosa chiefs. For his time he was well educated, having become fluent in both English and Dutch, the two official languages of South Africa, as well as in his mother tongue. For a number of years before his conversion he served as a court interpreter and was considered one of the best in the country.

In 1893 Moko accepted the Seventh-day Adventist faith through the influence of Fred Reed, and was baptized in 1895 (according to his obituary) at the second camp meeting held in South Africa. For a number of years he supported himself by selling books and pamphlets in the African townships that surrounded the principal cities in the Cape province. While so engaged, he was offered the pastorate of one of the largest and most influential non-SDA churches in Port Elizabeth, paying a good salary, but he declined to accept it.

Early in the 1900s Moko joined the working staff of the Cape Conference. Traveling from town to town, he established African churches, sometimes meeting violent opposition. Once in East London he had one of his teeth knocked out, but in that town an SDA church was later built, a matter of great satisfaction to Moko, who stated that he would gladly give every tooth he had if each one would result in the establishment of a church.

In 1915 Moko was ordained, being the first African SDA minister to be ordained in South Africa. With W. S. Hyatt he traveled widely through the Kaffir country in a small wagon, holding meetings and establishing churches. With G. W. Shone he looked for, and helped locate, the site for the Maranatha Mission. He retained his strength and vigor almost to the end of his long life.

[1] Editor’s Note: The term originally used in the text was “kaffir,” a highly offensive and derogatory term for a black South African.

This article is reprinted with permission from the Seventh-Day Adventist Encyclopedia, copyright © by Review and Herald Publishing Association, 55 West Oak Ridge Drive, Hagerstown, Maryland 21740, 800-765-6955.