Death of a Prominent Theologian and Member of the UCCSA

Death of a Prominent Theologian and Member of the UCCSA

Steven de Gruchy, a prominent South African theologian and member of the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa, was killed in a river rafting accident in South Africa.  He was active in global ecumenical concerns as well as the life of his own church.  His father, John de Gruchy, was active in the anti-apartheid struggle and is one of the leading Bonhoeffer scholars in the world.

Steven de Gruchy Eulogy

Sandra Gourdet, GM Africa Area Executive, sent the following letter to the UCCSA leadership:

Dear Dr Dibeela,

It is with profound sadness that I write on behalf of Global Ministries upon learning of the tragic death of the Rev. Dr. Steve de Gruchy. Words cannot express our heartfelt feelings knowing the impact of the loss to his family, the UCCSA church, and the academic world.

In very tangible ways, he touched the lives of many of our overseas co-missioners both personally and professionally. He was a presence for them and very influential in shaping their understanding of the church, life and culture in South Africa.

We mourn with the entire UCCSA family. During these very, very difficult moments, we will hold his wife Marian, the children, and his entire family in prayer. May memories of the joy and love shared with him remain alive in their hearts and hold them together during dark moments. We pray that those who knew him through the church will remember his devotion and love for his church. May his words of wisdom and lessons of life taught be held jealously in the hearts and minds of his many students.

Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal. May God’s constant presence and love sustain each one of you.


Rev Sandra R. Gourdet
Executive, Africa Office