Massive attendance at Funeral service for Rev Erlo Stegen
Sunday 8th October was an incredible experience at KwaSizabantu mission in KwaZulu-Natal as multiplied thousands of people poured in from all over the country and even from around the world to pay tribute to an extraordinary Missionary Pioneer and Revival preacher, Erlo Stegen who passed away at age 88 on 26 September.
Sunday 8 October at KwaSizabantu mission in KwaZulu-Natal, the funeral service for Erlo Stegen was attended by prominent local, provincial and national leaders as well as foreign visitors from as far away as Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Germany, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Paraguay, USA, Australia, Zimbabwe and Swaziland. The auditorium at KwaSizabantu mission was filling up ready from 8 AM.
God’s Truth is Marching On
After many filed past the coffin, the service formally began at 10 AM and continued until 4:30 PM after which the burial service took place. With the brass band, the combined choir of KwaSizabantu mission co-workers, students and staff sang: "God’s Truth is Marching On.” The atmosphere at the service was electric and all were challenged by the Scriptures, the singing, the testimonies and by the life and legacy of God's Bondservant.
It was like a State Funeral for the Kingdom of KwaZulu. Representatives of the Royal family of KwaZulu, The local mayor, the provincial premier of KwaZulu, many chiefs and pastors from all over KwaZulu-Natal testified of the tremendous impact the life and teachings of Erlo Stegen made upon them and their communities.
Even previous president Jacob Zuma was present and testified that Rev Erlo Stegen was a hero of God, a diligent worker, a courageous leader and a generous man whose message was powerful because he lived what he preached and his life pointed people to God.
The 6 daughters of Erlo Stegen, their husbands and uncle Erlo's 25 grandchildren sang as a family choir. They all live on the mission, in and around the home of Erlo Stegen. Their devotion to their father and grandfather in caring for him for the last 2 years of ill-health is inspirational.
Dr Albu Van Eerden commented to me that had uncle Erlo remained in hospital, he would have died 2 years ago.
It was only the extraordinary devotion of his children and sons-in-law caring for him at home that extended his life on earth this far.
The eldest daughter of Erlo Stegen, Hulda declared: "my father was my example, my pillar, and my Hero and I am going to miss him a lot!"
Uncle Erlo's daughter Ruth declared that "we want to build upon the solid foundations he laid and we want to be faithful to the Scriptures he taught."
Tributes by leaders
Various church and political leaders stated that Erlo Stegen obviously loved God and loved God's people. He was a true man of God who turned away from sin and wholeheartedly pursued righteousness leaving us a very good example to follow. He taught us to do what we can with what we have and to trust God to do what we cannot. To be strong in the Lord and very courageous. Erlo Stegen has now completed his work and it is up to us to continue this great work.
Most people make no impact on the world. They're just born and die and there's no indication that they even lived. But Erlo Stegen greatly impacted many thousands of lives for the Gospel, leaving the world a much better place than he found it. Erlo Stegen brought many people to Christ and he has left behind a multitude of dynamic ministries. The support of his co-workers and children most certainly made his work even more effective. The challenge is how will we continue this work? How faithful and wholehearted will you be?
Message from the king of the Zulu
The King of the Zulu nation sent the message that indeed the entire Zulu nation is bereaved and the King especially as he looked on Erlo Stegen as his own father since the previous king had died. The King declared that he looked at the KwaSizabantu community as his family now.
Erlo Stegen preached the sermon as his own funeral
Most appropriately, Erlo Stegen presented the sermon at his own funeral: a very appropriate and powerful message from the Gospel of Mark chapter 16 on the resurrection of Christ was screened.
See also other articles on the incredible life and legacy of missionary pioneer Erlo Stegen Click on the image to view:
Dr. Peter Hammond
PO Box 74 | Newlands | 7725 | Cape Town | South Africa
Tel: +27 21 689 4480