CHIPINGE – Reverend John Matiza is the new president of United Church of Christ in Zimbabwe (UCCZ) after being installed during a colorful event held at Musirizwi Ruwadzano Centre in Chipinge on Sunday.
He replaces Rev Ephraim Ngadziore who led the church for two four-year terms.
Rev Matiza told Chipinge Times after the installation that he was calling for unity in the church.
“I am calling upon every member and our partners to come together and work as a team in order to take the church to another level. The president will only provide leadership and all of us will contribute and thereby glorify God,” he said.
The outgoing Rev Ngadziore thanked congregants and pastors for the support he got when he was in office. He said good leaders are good followers and he described Rev Matiza as a good follower and urged the church to support him.
“Leadership is all about following. I am happy that the incoming president was a good follower. I urge all of you to support him. Every leader has dreams, so let’s stand with him and support his dreams. Let all pastors unite and work together so that we achieve what God called us to do,” he said.
Rev Matiza was born in Chipinge in 1967. He attended Samhutsa, Tilbury, Maunganidze and Munyoro primary schools before enrolling at Mashoko Mission in 1982 for his secondary education.
He decided to give his life to Christ while at Mashoko Mission School.
“I was born in a Christian family, both parents were strong members of Zion church where my father was the bishop. To me it was more of following parents to church, enjoying the dancing and singing but in terms of giving my life to Christ, it happened at Mashoko Mission School where I did my secondary education, “ he said.
Rev Matiza started his journey as a clergy in 1990 when he joined Rusitu Bible College.
“In 1990, I went to Rusitu Bible College for a Diploma in Biblical Studies. After graduating, I went for further studies at the United Theological College where I received a certificate in Biblical Studies. I then started ministry in 1994 at UCCZ -Mbare. I also worked in Highfields in 1997,” he said.
In 1997 he obtained a Certificate in Church Administration with Corat Africa, Kenya. In 2001, he left for England for a BA (hons) in Applied Theology at Moorlands. Between 2004-2006, he obtained a Masters Degree in Missiology with All Nations Christian College in England.
Rev Matiza returned home in 2007 and joined Smile International where he worked as a director for seven years. In 2015, he joined Operation Mobilization up to 2020 when he was elected president.
He is married to Ketani Matiza and the couple is blessed with four children, Trust, Tatenda, Ratidzai and Takunda. https://masvingomirror.com