Name: Rev. Dr. Mankekolo Mahlangu-Ngcobo
Church: Life Restoration Ministry
I preached my initial sermon in 1988 and was ordained in the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, 1990 as a deacon and 1992 as an elder.
I founded Kalafong (which means place of healing) in 2000 and was sent to South Africa for a year to pastor in Soweto. Upon my return, I founded Life Restoration Ministry in March 10, 2010. This is the fourth year of this ministry beyond the sanctuary. I am also an associate pastor at Shiloh AME Church where the Rev. Charlotte Clemons is pastor.
I was in anti-apartheid activities in South Africa where I was born. I was detained for 12 days in solitary confinement, released without charge, and fled the country into exile with the African National Congress.
I came to Baltimore to speak at a “Behold the Woman” conference organized by the Rev. Cecelia Williams Bryant in January 1981. I went back to Canada, spoke before a special committee at the UN, March 21, 1981 and joined my husband in Baltimore who was also in exile and a member of the ANC.
I was threatened with deportation and the community, especially Bethel AME Church, fought with me to stop my deportation. And now Baltimore really is my hometown.
Diploma in General Nursing and Midwifery at Baragwanath Hospital School of Nursing, Johannesburg, South Africa, 1972
Bachelor of Science, Morgan State University 1984
Master of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Univeresity 1985
Master’s in Theology, St. Mary’s Seminary 1988
Doctor of Ministry, United Theological Seminary, 1992
1. How did you hear your call to ministry?
The call was not easy for me to receive as I was interested in politics, the liberation struggle and was engaged in doctoral study of public health at Hopkins. I refused to hear a call to ministry until one day, I had a dream. I was preaching at Bethel AME Church and after the sermon I felt peace within my heart. When I woke up, I dismissed that as a dream. I was not able to continue to pursue my degree because I did not get the money. God was removing things that were holding me back. I discussed the matter with Bishop John Bryant and he affirmed my call.
2. What was the biggest surprise when you started ministry?
The surprise was that Rev. John Bryant then now the Bishop was inclusive of female ministers when other pastors were against women being ordained. The other surprise was that he encouraged my political activism when other churches were not interested with social justice and liberation struggles.
3. What aspect are you most proud of?
People being saved, transformed, healed, comforted, restored and freed from oppression and exploitation through the Gospel.
4. What’s the most exciting thing about your ministry?
Being able to reach those who are hurt, broken hearted; those who’ve suffered loss of any kind including loved ones with the message of restoration.
5. How does social media enhance your ministry, or not?
We have been able to deal with domestic violence issues especially among immigrants and HIV/AIDS in Africa. We have the annual “I remember Mom “gathering for those who lost their mothers and mothers who lost their children and Valentine’s Day for Singles dinners. We advertise these events through social media as well as upload sermons to our website.
6. Who in your community most inspires you?
Men and women who came from difficult and challenging places especially from Africa and became successful through hard work and communal support.
7. What’s your favorite form of recreation?
Spending time with my grandchildren, going to their basketball games. Reading and going out for dinner.