Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of Bonganjalo Goba

Bonganjalo Claude Goba
December 21, 1943 - September 21, 2016

url.jpgIt is with sadness that Global Ministries shares news of the death of Reverend Dr. Bonganjalo Goba on September 21, 2016 in South Africa.  Born into a Congregational family he studied at the Federal Theological Seminary in South Africa receiving an Associateship in 1969.  He received a Master of Theology from Chicago Theological Seminary in 1976, a Masters in Social Science from the the University of Chicago in 1977 and a Ph.D from Chicago Theological Seminary in 1988.  

Reverend Dr. Bonganjalo Goba began his ministerial career in 1970 at the United Congregational Church in Benoni Circuit in South Africa.  From there, he was a minister, teacher, international student and lecturer through 1987 when he became an Associate Professor of Theology and Ethics at Chicago Theological Seminary.  

Beginning in 1989 he served as the Regional Secretary for Africa with the United Church Board for World Ministries (today Global Ministries) in New York City.  

In 1992 Reverend Dr. Goba was named the Professor of Practical Theology and Systematic Theology and Ethics at the University of Durban-Westville and later served as its Dean.  

Bonganjalo Goba was very committed to the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa and the post-apartheid transition to democracy.  In 1985 he signed the historic Kairos document, which challenged the churches' response to the vicious policies of the apartheid state, especially under the state of emergency declared on July 21, 1985. 

The University of Durban-Westville seconded Professor Goba to serve as the Executive Provincial Coordinator of the KwaZulu-Natal Electoral Observer Network in 1994-1995.  This organization trained and developed 1,600 election observers and monitored the election process, visiting all polling stations.  His involvement continued into 1996 as the Provincial Commissioner of the Electoral Code of Conduct Observer Network for local elections. 

In 2001 Professor Goba took the position of Carpenter Visiting Professor of Theology and Ethics at Lancaster Theological Seminary, Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  In June of 2002 Bonganjalo Goba became the Area Executive of the Africa Office with Global Ministries, the common witness of the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Indianapolis, Indiana.  

Reverend Dr. Bonganjalo Goba was the author of numerous articles and book chapters on theological and social themes that were his passions.  He spoke five languages.  After his work with Global Ministries in Indianapolis, he returned to his beloved South Africa to teach and work there until his retirement.  

Reverend Dr. Bonganjalo Goba is survived by two daughters, two sons and grandchildren.  His wife, Gwyneth, predeceased him in 2014.  

As declared by South Africa’s President Zuma, a Special Provincial Official funeral service for Reverend Dr. Bonganjalo Goba was held Thursday, October 6, 2016, at the Amanzimtoti Civic Center, Durban, South Africa.  Condolences may be sent in care of Reverend Marco Cable, Global Ministries Area Executive for Africa, lcable@dom.disciples.org or P.O. Box 1986, Indianapolis, Indiana 46206. 


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