In 2014, Midrand Chapel sent Sammy to pastor Moletsane Baptist Church in Soweto. Soweto is the largest township in Johannesburg, and some estimate that it contains 40% of the total population of the city. Like many of the township pastors, Sammy is a graduate of Christ Seminary in Polokwane.
Testimony of Salvation
I grew up in a religious family. My parents were members of the ZCC, a denomination where I grew up attending Sunday gatherings on a regular basis. In my mind, God existed and we all worship the same God, even though we approach him differently. Hell was for really bad people – for drunkards and smokers. In my early teenage years I started drinking, and I knew that I fell under those who are going to hell, and I stopped going to church. My parents tried to warn me but the pressure from my peers was stronger than the fear I had for my parents. I mixed with the wrong people through my cousin and we made the most of every moment for fun and pleasure. It was my life – why not do what I want!
My cousin was later arrested, and during that time the Lord used his friend to share the Gospel with him while he was in prison. Out of desperate need for a life change, he responded to God’s invitation to believe and trust in Christ. I didn’t know about his conversion, but to my surprise, when he visited me after his release, he asked if we could go to the born-again Christian church. We knew this is where you find real Christians, they have more rules than just don’t drink and smoke, but I thought it would be cool.
I remember sitting, attentively listening to the preacher talking about Heaven and Hell. I was so terrified that I asked to be saved from that punishment of hell. It was not long before I started drinking again, and that fear which was temporarily instilled in me was gone. I was thinking about all the unsaved celebrities and saying, if they are all going to hell, then hell will not be that bad.
But even then, I wasn’t out of God’s reach. From the way that seemed hopeless, God called me to the narrow road that leads to eternal life. Once again, I was invited to the church and after many teachings I finally understood that God requires me to repent from my own sin and believe in Jesus, and to trust that He fully forgives those who come to Him through repentance and faith (Isaiah 55:7).
I was 17 years old when I responded to God’s invitation to have a new relationship with Him by believing in Christ. I rejoice in Christ my Savior who enables me to turn away from sin and put my hope in Him alone. Because of this I know for sure I’m going to heaven.
Since that time, I have often walked closely with Him, and at times, walked afar from God. But He has been so gracious with me! No matter how many times I stumbled, He always picked me up again and set my feet back on the right path.
Call to Ministry
My passion for the Gospel came while working for a family care center, providing home-based care and counseling to HIV/Aids patients. Seeing people dying in their sins was my deepest pain.
But even though I had a strong desire to reach the dying world with the Gospel, I felt like I was not thoroughly equipped to share the Gospel in a community rooted in ancestral worship and witchcraft. I wanted to be equipped, and in 2005 I enrolled with Christ Seminary. While at the seminary, I learned that God’s vehicle for His Gospel is His church.
In 2006, Midrand Chapel asked the seminary to recommend to them a student for internship, and that’s how I ended up at Midrand Chapel. I was there from 2006 until January 2014, when they sent me to serve as pastor of Moletsane Baptist Church in Soweto.
2006 is also a memorable year because that’s when I married my wife, Itumeleng. Together we are on a great life-long journey of learning to love like Christ does the church. God has blessed us with two girls and two boys.