Bishop Michael Vorster

Bishop Michael Vorster was born on 24 February 1957. In 1980, at the age of 23, Vorster became a lay pastor with a special interest in working with the youth. A year later Vorster was appointed as a probational minister in the Commemoration and Sole Memorial Circuits in Grahamstown. Between 1984 and 1988 he was appointed to the Durban Central Methodist Church, and was responsible for the following:

  • Establishing a non-racial integrated Youth Council
  • Convenor of the District Justice and Reconciliation Group
  • Member of the Council and Executive of Ecumenical Agency: Diakonia
  • Secretary of the District Ecumenical Affairs
  • Co-established the Durban District Council of Churches’ Youth Programme

Between 1993 and 1996 Vorster was seconded to work with the Vuleka Trust in Botha’s Hill, a multi-denominational organisation with Methodist, Roman Catholic and Anglican clergy. Between 1996 and 2002 Vorster was seconded by the Methodist Church to work with the Diakonia Council of Churches as:

  • Manager of the Peace Team, enabling churches to be involved in peace monitoring, community policing, stress and trauma training to assist political violence survivors
  • Manager of the Priority Issues Team, combining peacemaking and peace-building teams into one
  • Enabling churches to become involved in the Local Government issues
  • Training unemployed people to start their own micro enterprises
  • Training people in HIV/Aids prevention and care

Between 2001 and 2002 Vorster worked as coordinator for the World Council of Churches’ Durban Peace to City campaign which aimed to promote global peace and overcome violence by assisting church leaders to respond appropriately to the violence in KwaZulu-Natal. Vorster was also Convener of the District Resolution Team which assisted church leaders in handling conflict. This team also trained a number of leaders in Circuits of the District and participated in the Justice and Reconciliation Mission task group.

Between 2003 and 2004 Vorster worked in Gauteng assisting in the design and facilitation of a workshop that addressed the issue of extravagant spending on funerals in the context of people dying of HIV/Aids. Between 2004 and 2007 he was ministering in Durban North, Avoca and Greenwood Park churches and between 2006 and 2007 he was Chairperson for Aid for Children in Crisis and Chair of the Masifundisane Project, which he started in 2004.

Reverend Michael Vorster is currently the Bishop of the Natal Coastal District in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa. He has a BThHons (Rhodes) MPh (Ecum)(Dublin). He is based in Durban, and is married to Rev Carol Walsh, an ordained Methodist minister. Vorster is also overseeing a number of mission projects which are under the auspices of the Umhlali Methodist Church, including:

  • Siyazama Creche
  • Ethelbert Children’s Home
  • Ethembeni School
  • Umuzi Wethemba KwaJesu

Rev Michael Vorster continues to give strategic direction to the church, helping to ensures adherence to the church’s belief that:

  • God loves every human being. John 3:16 says “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.”
  • We are all children of God and because of that all the people we come into contact with are our brothers and sisters
  • People are sacred
  • God expects us to serve the community
  • God wants us to promote justice for everybody
  • God wants us to show compassion to people who are sick, have made a mess of their lives and who are unable to believe that God loves them
  • God wants us to take advantage of opportunities for spiritual, emotional, mental and physical growth so that we can become the best people we can be
  • God wants us to spread the good news that he loves everybody and that there is a place for everybody in his church
  • We are responsible for the financial wellness of the church as adequate funds ensure the ongoing work of God and the upkeep of his house
  • We are responsible for the care and upkeep of the environment as nature is one of the most precious gifts of God