Minaar Zwane had been an evangelist working with the Dorothea Mission in Pretoria. He joined the Church of the Nazarene and continued as an evangelist. Around 1970, he married Grace Maluleka and they began pastoring a church in Soweto, Johannesburg. Their first church became self-supporting, and they moved to their second pastorate in 1973. In this second placement, they were dismayed to find the church divided and no money in the bank. Through the dedicated work of Minaar and Grace, the church was healed and it became strong spiritually and financially.
After serving the congregation for seven years, Minaar felt that his work with that community was done. He resigned, unsure of where he would serve next. Soon after that he was elected superintendent of the Southwestern District and continued in this service until 1989.
Of that time, he wrote, “To lead a district requires all one’s strength because a superintendent is on duty at all hours, day and night.” In this position, he lived through the highs and lows of ministerial life. He celebrated some of the blessings and encouragements of the job, such as seeing the churches and the district grow, starting new preaching points, helping to bring peace within the churches, seeing young married people active in the district, watching believers live in joy and new converts finding the Lord. He was saddened by any death among their beloved church family, when people made sinful decisions and times of confusion or contention in the district.
His wife Rev. Grace Zwane (1929-) is from Alexandra Township in Johannesburg. Grace’s gifts to preach and evangelize were evident soon after she was saved and entirely sanctified at 29 years of age. She fearlessly preached and testified on the commuter trains to and from Johannesburg. Soon, she joined the Moroka Church of the Nazarene in Soweto and became a Sunday school teacher. When she felt God calling her into full-time service she enrolled in Bible College at Siteki, Swaziland, in 1961 and completed her third year of study in 1963 when the new college opened at Arthurseat in South Africa. Her heart was burning to win souls for the Lord. While at Theological College in 1962, she described Alexandra Township as a “Sodom and Gomorra in our land” and continued:
I lived there according to the desires of my heart and thought it was in the will of the Lord. My way was right to me but the end of it was death. It was as we read: ‘There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death’, Proverbs 14:12. In 1958, God looked on me with His eye and His mercy. He reached out His hand that never grows tired or becomes lazy and lifted me out of those deep depths. I came to the Cross of Golgotha at the altar and He forgave my sins completely and gave me His strength. After that God called me to His work. His Word drew me and took me to Bible College here at Siteki, Swaziland. I am happy with the wonderful study of the Bible and theology here.
Upon graduation,, she became a full-time evangelist working with missionaries Jack and Mary Lou Riley in tent meetings in Soweto and surrounding areas. She took up the challenge of this work as a soldier of the Cross. Residing in Naledi Township, Johannesburg, she was called extensively to hold revival meetings throughout South Africa and Swaziland (especially to Manzini and Siteki in Swaziland). One of particular importance was held in Acornhoek, Mphumalanga, from March 21 to April 2, 1967. She served as a leader in youth camps, vacation Bible schools, revivals, evangelistic campaigns and as a song evangelist. Many found the Lord through her ministry.
She was a dynamic woman who preached with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Many people were saved and entirely sanctified under her ministry. She was a zealous Christian who lived a life of prayer and obedience to God. As pastor’s wife and later in the district parsonage the Lord blessed their ministry together. While at the parsonage, she still accepted calls to speak at special meetings.
Since 1989, Minaar and Grace have both been pastoring in the Soweto area, Johannesburg. Grace served as district chairman for the Christian Life and Sunday School program. In 1996, Grace looked very youthful and still sang for the Lord while Zwane looked very distinguished with his snow white hair.
Minnaar Zwane died on July 17,2005. The funeral was at the Orlando Church in Soweto and Rev. Wassenaar Ngobeni preached an inspiring message.
Paul S. Dayhoff
- “The District Superintendent,” Trans African,(Florida, Gauteng, South Africa: Africa Nazarene Publications, March-April, 1990),4-5
2.Grace Maluleka, Montsoša-Bošego (The Herald), Pedi/Sotho magazine of the Church of the Nazarene in South Africa, (Florida, Transvaal, South Africa: Nazarene Publishing House, November-December 1962), 10.
3.J. F. Penn, “Evangelist Grace Maluleka,” Montsoša-Bošego, (January-February 1966),2; Evangelist Grace Maluleka, “My Work and How the Lord Helps Me with It,” (September-October, 1966), 7; (July-August 1967),5.
4.Carol Zurcher, Memories of miracles in Africa,(Kansas City, MO: Nazarene Publishing House, 1989), 44-46.
5.Dr. Enoch Litswele, (E-mail message, July 26, 2005).
This article is reproduced, with permission, from Africa Nazarene Mosaic: Inspiring Accounts of Living Faith, first edition, copyright © 2001, by Paul S. Dayhoff. All rights reserved.