Top Methodist missionary Maokomatanda dies




Isaac Mawokomatanda

ONE of the United Methodist Church’s leading missionaries in southern Africa, Isaac Mawokomatanda, has died.

Mawokomatanda died on Saturday night in Georgia, the United States.

His son, Sam, yesterday said his father died after a long illness.

“We give thanks to God for his life and witness. We find comfort in each other and in our faith, which reminds us of God’s intention for life. In God, we have the hope and promise of the resurrection and a life that knows no end. While the sting of death is deep, we remain resilient,” he said.

Sam said his father was hospitalised in 2019.

“I felt a call to take a leave of absence from my church appointment in order to move to Georgia and be a part of the network of care for my dad.”

Mawokomatanda, who seemed to be on the path to recovery, was readmitted to hospital early in December last year, but he was later transferred to a hospice home on December 12 last year until his death on Saturday.

He is renowned for planting several United Methodist missions in Zimbabwe, South Africa and the United States.

Born on April 15, 1940, Mawokomatanda was ordained in 1968.

He started work at Mutare Hilltop United Methodist Church and moved to the Theological College in the late 1960s.

Mawokomatanda was a pastor at Muziti in Rusape and Mabvuku in Harare, before he was made a district superintendent in Mutare, a post that he also held in Masvingo and South Africa.

He was nicknamed Chipwanya Masango for his adventures in establishing his church branches in the country and mostly setting up missions in South Africa.

The late cleric then left South Africa to further his education in the United States, where he was attached to different parishes in Pennyslvania, Upstate New York and Baltimore.

When he retired, he lived in Atlanta, Georgia. He is survived by his wife Ruth, nine children (seven biological) and 23 grandchildren, and is likely to be buried in the US.