Solomon Maphosa, a Zimbabwean national and longtime administrator in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, has been elected president of the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division (SID).
The General Conference Executive Committee voted Wednesday for Maphosa, who most recently served as the division’s executive secretary, to replace Paul Ratsara as president.
“Pastor Maphosa has a great love for God's church and for evangelistic outreach and mission,” General Conference president Ted N.C. Wilson said Thursday.
“I have known Pastor Maphosa for many years, and it will be a privilege to work closely with him since, as with all division presidents, he also will be a General Conference vice president,” Wilson said. “Please pray for Pastor and Mrs. Maphosa as they carry the spiritual responsibility of focusing the vision of God's people in SID on Total Member Involvement and the Lord’s soon coming.”
Maphosa, a native of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, received his undergraduate degree in theology from Andrews University at the campus of Solusi University in Zimbabwe and later graduated with a master’s in religion and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Andrews University. He has served in a variety of roles in the church, including assistant evangelist, district pastor, West Zimbabwe Field stewardship director (1986-88), West Zimbabwe Conference youth director (1989-93), West Zimbabwe Conference executive secretary (1995), Zambesi Union executive secretary (1995-2000), and Zimbabwe Union Conference president (2001-2005). He had served as the division’s executive secretary since 2005.
Maphosa is married to Savie Maphosa (nee Zikhali), and they have a son, two daughters, and four grandchildren.
The Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division has about 3 million church members and covers 20 countries, including South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Zambia.
Ratsara resigned as division president on May 31.
The General Conference Executive Committee elected Maphosa on June 22. A day before the vote, the Executive Committee of the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division voted to recommend Maphosa’s candidacy to the General Conference Executive Committee.
"The Holy Spirit was very much present in the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division Executive Committee process on Tuesday, June 21, for the selection of a recommended name for division president and subsequently division secretary,” said Wilson, who attended the meeting in South Africa. “We praise God for His leading and the sweet spirit exhibited in the committee. We engaged in much prayer interspersed throughout the process. We spent an appropriate amount of time on the needed characteristics for a president. We had an open process of discussion and then voting using secret ballots. The division committee chose Pastor Maphosa as the recommended president at the conclusion of the process.”
The General Conference Executive Committee elected Gideon P. Reyneke as the new executive secretary of the Southern Africa-Indian Ocean Division. Reyneke previously worked as the division’s field secretary and director of the division’s Sabbath School and Personal Ministries department.
Goodwell Nthani remains the division’s treasurer.
“Pray for this new administrative team,” Wilson said.