Groundbreaking for a New Chapel in Ezakheni
On June 9, 2013, Church members and leaders in Ezakheni Township of South Africa picked up shovels and turned over the soil to officially announce the lot where their new chapel would be built.
Plans for the new chapel were on display, and construction was due to start immediately after the ceremony.
Former Branch President Amos Moloi spoke about the history of the branch that originally met in Lady Smith. Members had to take a kombi (taxi) from Ezakheni to Lady Smith, a 15-minute drive, each Sunday to attend church services, a financial hardship for many. The members longed for a place to meet in Ezakheni and were eventually able to rent another church facility on Sundays, because that church had its services on Saturday. President Moloi recalled the time when officials of that church told them they could no longer meet in their building. They had nowhere else to meet and were faced with having to go to Lady Smith again in kombis for their Sunday service.
Members prayed to be able to stay in Ezakheni, and the leaders went back to plead for the opportunity to continue meeting in that building. Their prayers were heard, as they were granted permission. They met there until another building became available (a former butcher shop/ slaughter house). Although the building was not ideal, the members gave thanks for a place to call their own. As the Ezakheni Branch continued to grow, the Church finally granted them permission to have their own building, and all activities of the branch would be held in it.
(Leaders in attendance, Left to Right) Elder Craig Miller - Elder Scott Wilding - Ezakheni Branch President, Titus Egwuatu -Former Ezakheni Branch President, Amos Moloi – New Castle District 1st Counselor to the District President, Mthenjwa S. Gamede New Castle District 2nd Counselor to the District President, Samuel Mbhele - New Castle District President, Thamsanqa Ngubane
Elder Craig Miller, priesthood leader of the New Castle District, said that he hoped that they felt the Spirit in their souls as they sang The Spirit of God Like a Fire Is Burning, and that they would reach out to the community and serve them. Pointing out that it would not be long before the youth of the Church would be teachers and missionaries, Elder Miller asked the members to think of this building as a beacon to all the people who live in Ezakheni. He encouraged the members to continue doing activities that would help the branch grow, such as creating strong families, doing community service, and inviting others in Ezakheni to come to the church services.
Elder and Sister Wilding, along with Elder and Sister Miller (senior couples serving as missionaries in South Africa), were instrumental in hurrying this new building along. Sister Wilding and Sister Miller expressed a deep love for the people they worked with.
With construction due to start on the building directly after the groundbreaking ceremony, the mood was one of appreciation and excitement. Everyone wanted to have a part in breaking ground with the shovels.