Sammy Leballo – Pastor, Soweto
Like many of the South African township pastors supported by HeartCry, Sammy Leballo is a graduate of Christ Seminary in Polokwane, a school affiliated with Master’s Seminary. Sammy was taken on as a pastoral intern at Midrand Chapel, learning from well-respected pastor Chris Woolley. Midrand’s intention was to partner with Sammy in church planting.
He was appointed as an elder in Midrand Chapel in 2012 and then sent by them to Moletsane Baptist Church in 2014. Chris explains, “At the time, Moletsane’s membership was practically non-existent and the church was no longer meeting every Sunday for worship. We viewed this as a strategic church strengthening opportunity because townships in our country are largely devoid of solid evangelical churches.”
Moletsane Baptist Church is strategically located in the township of Soweto. Soweto is the largest township in Johannesburg, and some estimate that it contains 40% of the total population of the city. The township is formerly home to Nelson Mandela and holds a significant place in South Africa’s history. There is massive need for a biblical church proclaiming the true gospel and sound doctrine in Soweto.
To read more about Sammy, his testimony and call to ministry, click here.
Sandi Sonteya – Pastor, Blue Downs, Cape Town
Sandi and his wife, Zimbini, are planting Northside Baptist Church in the eastern area of Cape Town known as Blue Downs and Kuilsriver. This area is multi-ethnic and Sandi desires to establish a biblically faithful church where members find their identity, not in ethnicity or nationality, nor in financial status, but solely in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The actual church was launched in early 2018, and is under the oversight of Goodwood Baptist Church, probably the most strongly established Reformed Baptist church in the Cape region.
There is a large community in this area from a Muslim North Africa nation, and Sandi has seen a few of them come to Christ. When they convert to Christ, these saints, at the very least, face exile from their family and community, resulting in relational and financial hardship. Often they risk death for conversion. One man in Sandi’s church has been forced to move many times as his life is in danger. His own brother tried to kill him but only managed to shoot him in the leg. Sandi’s church must become their new family and community, and he is amazed by their courageous desire to take the gospel to their people.
To read more about Sandi, his testimony and call to ministry, click here.
Before his current role at HeartCry, Robert served several years in pastoral ministry, and a few years in Zambia, Africa as a missionary. He is also a veteran of the Marine Corps. Robert and his wife have been blessed with 3 children and 4 grandchildren. They live near Christiansburg, VA in the beautiful Blue Ridge mountains, where he enjoys deer hunting and fly-fishing for trout.More By Robert Shepherd