Remembering South African Bishop Ubane who stood for dignity, equality

Presiding Bishop MJH Ubane passed away 28 January. Photo: ELCSA
Presiding Bishop MJH Ubane passed away 28 January. Photo: ELCSA

LWF’s condolences and prayers to Lutheran church in South Africa

(LWI) - The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) has sent condolences to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa (ELCSA) after the sudden loss of its Presiding Bishop Molwane Job Henock Ubane, describing him as a leader who “stood up for the God-given dignity of all people.”

Ubane who was consecrated bishop of ELCSA in April 2019, died unexpectedly on 28 January. A memorial service was held on Tuesday 2 February and the funeral will be held Friday, 5 February at Bethlehem Parish of Western Diocese, South Africa.

In a letter to ELCSA’s Acting General Secretary Mr Ashmeer Joseph, LWF General Secretary Rev. Dr Martin Junge conveyed the Lutheran communion’s hope “that God’s comforting presence will be reaching you all as you mourn and as you serve God in ongoing witness to God's liberating grace.”

He recalled Ubane’s participation at the LWF Twelfth Assembly in Windhoek, Namibia in 2017, where “he was part of an active, inspiring delegation of ELCSA, offering gifts of hope and passion for the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”

Referring to the many gifts that the ELCSA bishop offered to the mission and ministry of LWF’s member churches in the African region, Junge noted Ubane’s leadership “in the forefront of equality for women, children and the foreigner in South Africa.”

“Please extend our greetings of solidarity, prayer and thanksgiving for the life and ministry of Bishop Ubane to his family and to the whole church,” Junge wrote.

Bishop Ubane is survived by his wife, Kedibogetse M Ditibane and three daughters Boitshoko, Tshegofatso and Reabetswe.


The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa is one of four LWF member churches in South Africa. It was founded in 1975 and joined the LWF in 1976. The ELCSA has over 580,000 members and 2,300 congregations in four dioceses.