The late Archbishop Elias Miriri (left) with Chief Livhuwani Matsila (right).
Tributes have started pouring in following the passing on of the leader of the United African Apostolic Church, Archbishop Elias Miriri.
Miriri, of HaMavhunga in Nzhelele, passed away on Saturday after a long but unspecified illness, church spokesperson Mbulaheni Nenzhelele said.
Nenzhelele could not give more details but said that the family and the church were grief stricken about the archbishop's death. He said the family will sit this week and more details and funeral arrangements would be made known after that.
Soon after news of his death were known, messages of condolences started pouring in from different quarters. One of the first persons to send condolences, was Chief Livhuwani Matsila, the late archbishop's right-hand man and close confidante.
Matsila described his passing on as a great tragedy, especially to himself, as the Archbishop was someone who was very close to him. “I am deeply heartbroken and emotionally torn apart as I confront the reality that I will never share with him again the special moments we had in church sessions and the warm hospitality at his home. He was a true blessing and an angel of God who comforted me and my family during trying times. We pray for the Miriri family and relatives in these hard times so that God may bless them with comfort and strength. I will eternally miss the father figure and guardian angel which he was to all of us, he said.
Miriri shepherd the nearly two million members of the UAAC for years. Founded by the archbishop’s father, bishop Paulos Matsea Miriri in 1912, the UAAC is a Pentecostal church that has developed from Pentecostal missionary origins with African beliefs to a syncretic African initiated church.
It is considered to be the second largest of such churches in South Africa.
A full and comprehensive report will follow in the first edition of the Limpopo Mirror in January 2019.
Date:24 December 2018 - By: Elmon Tshikhudo
Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and has since been a familiar name among the newspaper's readers.