SMMS Archives have been named after the late scholar and first SMMS Grand Chancellor, Rev Dr Simon Gqubule.

The Archives were dedicated by MCSA General Secretary, Rev Charmaine Morgan during the opening service, on 27 January.

The Gqubule family donated some 5 000 archival material from Dr Gqubule’s collection during the dedication service.

Speaking for the family, Dr Phumla Mnganga, who is also the Chairperson of the SMMS Board of Directors, said they were honoured to hand over to SMMS the life-long collection of their father, a servant, a scholar and a transformational leader, whose legacy is indelibly intertwined with SMMS.

“It was my father’s life-long vision of service to work as a teacher, a scholar, a researcher and a producer of knowledge for the Methodist Church of Southern Africa. The characteristics that inspired him in Seth Mokitimi and other leaders of the MCSA that he then attempted to live by were those of service and of being a life-long learner. Even at 89 years old, he continued to learn and read avidly and widely beyond his discipline. We are absolutely certain that wherever he is, he knows that we have done the right thing in donating this collection to SMMS,” Dr Mnganga said.

She urged seminarians to be life-long learners and servants of the human race.

“May you be first and foremost servants of humanity, of Southern Africa and those whom you lead. While you are here, may you be learners and razor-sharp scholars. May you vigorously pursue understanding of your discipline, your calling and your service. May you ensure that that the vision, the life-long work of the founders of the MCSA and all its heroes continues,” she said.

In accepting the archival material SMMS President, Rev Vido Nyobole, expressed gratitude to the Gqubule family for donating the invaluable collection to the seminary.

Rev Nyobole said, “Through these books and church-related material, Rev Dr Gqubule’s name will be engraved in the annals of the MCSA and on the door of the Archives.”

Dr Gqubule was SMMS Grand Chancellor from January 2015 until his death in May 2016.