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Bhengu

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Rev. Nicholas B.H. Bhengu

Founder of the Africa Back to God Crusade (Assemblies of God)

You can scroll down for some of the Back to God team members.

To the Glory of Jesus
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Rev N.B.H. Bhengu- UKhehla

Rev. Nicholas BhekiNkosi Hepworth Bhengu was born in 1909 at Entumeni (KwaZulu-Natal). I run short of words to describe uBab'uBhengu, thus Pastor Mpofu (AOG) once said "...he was a man who walked with God" (Thaba-Nchu, 2000). It was Rev. Bhengu himself who gave spiritual birth to Pastor Phillip Msiza, Pastor Richard Ngidi, Dr. JM Masebe and many others. Known as "Manotsha, Papakho, uMkhulu or uKhehla" by his converts, Rev Bhengu was inevitably the epitome of what The Lord intended him to be. He is no longer with us, but the "character" can still be seen on some of the men in Assemblies of God. He is viewed by Anderson as "...the most effective of any Pentecostal leader in South Africa." His ministry was characterized by miracles and sound doctrine. It is said that, Rev. Bhengu saw it from the old man Rev. Chiliza who was very old at that time. They became very close.  In his book, What a giant of faith, *Khathide (1993:10) puts it as a "link of fire" from Chiliza to Bhengu, from Bhengu to Ngidi. How phenomenal! Even today, if you look intently onto the work of these men, you find many similarities. Furthermore, Bhengu was an evangelist, a teacher of the word, and a pastor. Through his ministry a very large congregation was born in the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, and the rest of South Africa together with the neighboring countries. Bhengu emphasised holiness and the fear of God, among other things. He taught his church to be self-sustained and he also encouraged material independence (hand work). He was also inspired by the likes of **"...Huldrych Zwingli, John Calvin, John Knox, John Wesley, Evan Roberts, David Livingstone, Robert Moffat, Henry M. Stanley, Charles G. Finney, Dwight L. Moody and Reuben A. Torrey."

REV. BHENGU'S CONCERN FOR SOCIAL ETHICS

According to Hollenweger (1972:133-136), Bab'uBhengu's social programme can be summed up as follows:

1. Brotherhood between 'red people' and 'school people' [according to the Xhosa language, uneducated people are regarded as red people].

2. A struggle against crime amongst Africans in the locations by preaching against bad films, alcohol, smoking, and sexual licence, and an emphasis on the blessing of work and the necessity of observing the ten commandments even in relations with white people. [emphasis mine].

3. The strengthening of the self-confidence of the Africans towards the Whites.

4. The struggle against the independent African Pentecostal Churches (the Zionists).

5. A more remote aim - communal village settlements for his followers.

[NB: The Zionists of Rev. NBH Bhengu's time would dance the whole night beating drums until they became dizzy. They would claim that by doing so, they walk according to the Holy Spirit. Their works contradicted such a claim: Their works depicted an extreme neglect of The Word of God. Papakho believed in a balanced church, walking in the Spirit of God and in accordance to The Word of God. His old friend Rev. Job Chiliza (known as uJobha kaYenge by his converts) was also critical of Ezra Mbonambi's Zionist doctrine].

HIS STANCE REGARDING POLITICS

Furthermore, the former communist, Rev. Bhengu, was viewed as a traitor by the extremists of the African National Congress due to his plea for peace with the whites. Ironically, one of its leaders Chief Albert Luthuli once said, "I respect Bhengu as a sincere and honest man." Hollenweger further quotes Katesa Schlosser when she wrote, "Bhengu is far from being a blind admirer of the whites, but he is too reasonable to be a fanatical black nationalist" (Hollenweger, 1972: 136). Moreover, uKhehla was a personal friend to Lucas Mangope (the former President of Bophuthatswana). Lucas Mangope is a member of the Assemblies of God movement to this day.

*Khathide, A. 1993. What a giant of faith. Johannesburg : Gospel Publishers.

**Hollenweger, W.J. 1972. The Pentecostals. London : SCM Press.

OLD SERMON TAPES

Our dear brothers, Pst. Dennis Ntombela and Pst. Nqoba Zindela (Radio Highway team) have managed to discover old sermon cassettes. Sermons by Rev's Nicholas Bhengu, Richard Ngidi, and William Duma. As for Pastor Ngidi, he also has videos. Now Dennis plays them on radio every Monday between 21h00 to 22h00 at night (I'm no longer certain about this time. I think they have rescheduled. Anyone interested can phone them on 031-709 2951). I once listened to the one where Rev. Bhengu said with an aggressive voice, "ABANTU MA BEPHAMBUK'ENDLELENI, ABAZIZWA." That means, "WHEN THE PEOPLE START GOING ASTRAY, THEY DON'T FEEL THEMSELVES." It is also from these cassettes that I realised the kind of opposition Papakho had to face at times. Some people would accuse him of being old fashioned, whilst others wanted him to die. He once said, "ONE SAID LET HIM DIE, SIZOLUNGISA IZINTO," (SO THAT WE FIX HIS CHURCH). Those were people who were critical of Papakho's vision. His resilience and straight talk against such people was remarkable. 

I must congratulate the Body of Christ for such men as Pastor Dennis Ntombela & Pastor Nqoba Zindela. Let's work together to preserve the little that is left. We will try to give you updates as to what's going on in the church in South Africa. My prayer is that they release copies and make them available for the public. You can also click below the photos to download the Doctrinal Belief of the Back to God Movement. Click on the first picture for an enlarged view.

Lover of The Word
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Rev. Nicholas Bhengu

Rev. & Mrs. Bhengu getting married
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click here for Bhengu's Doctrine

TEAM BACK TO GOD
In a Back to God publication, Rev. Bhengu viewed these men as "Faces of Dedication," thus acknowledging the commitment they had to the vision of Bringing Africa Back to God. It should be noted that there are more men whom I did not publish because of space limitations. Please forgive us for the quality of our pictures. It is not easy to find good ones.

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Mashicila Dlamini

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William Makinana

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Nathaniel Donda

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Alfred Camngca

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Kaizer Bour

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Harrison Majiya

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Aaron Hlongwane

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Isaac Hleza

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Abel Matroshe

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Wilberforce Dloi

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James Mbadol

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Fred Shabalala

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Hartley Qina

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Charles Robertson

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Abel Nozishe

MORE INTERNET LINKS ON THE HISTORY OF
THIS REMARKABLE MAN
REV. NICHOLAS BHENGU
 

John Bond wrote a nice book in this regard. It is entitled For the record and can be ordered from:

The Assemblies of God Group Administration          

PO Box 767, Parow 7499, South Africa,

Telephone: +27 21 930 2536

e-mail: aogsa@netactive.co.za


 

To the Glory of Him whose NAME is above all names

"The Lord spends time with those who spend time with Him"

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