Methodist Church of SA appoints its first female bishop
The Methodist Church of Southern Africa on Friday announced the appointment of its first-ever female bishop.
Reverend Purity Malinga will take over the reins from Bishop Ziphozihle Siwa.
“Having endured the cross and discrimination of patriarchy for over 200 years, women of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA) have finally broken through the stained glass ceiling by the election of the first presiding bishop who is a woman,” Siwa said in a statement.
His successor had been elected through a ballot where the 12 synods of the church cast their votes.
Siwa described Malinga as the ideal candidate for the position.
“Reverend Malinga is a tried and tested leader and we rejoice in her election as presiding bishop. This decision of the church affirms our belief in the partnership of women and men - and affirms our knowledge and belief in black women in particular- as capable leaders in their own right,” Siwa said.
The church said prior to this appointment, Malinga had already made history by being the only synod bishop ever elected in the MCSA.
She had served in that position for two terms between 1998 and 2008.
Malinga was born and raised in the small rural town of Ixopo, KwaZulu-Natal, and is a qualified teacher.
She practised as a teacher for five years before she entered the ministry in 1981.
Malinga also holds a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University and she previously served as the deputy president of the South African Council of Churches, the chairperson of the KZN Council of Churches, a member of the Diakonia Council of Churches and also a lecturer at the Federal Theological Seminary and John Wesley College.
She has also served as the director of the church's education mission and ministry unit for the last three years.
The church wished her well in her new position.