“It’s all about Jesus! It’s a new Journey for us and it is about serving with all our spirit, mind and body”. The Benjiman family served as the first pastoral family of colour in the Morningside Community Church. They serve as a mentoring couple to Pastors both nationally and abroad (having successfully raised and served two local churches, in full, time ministry for more than two decades). Rev. Gabriel J Benjiman is an ordained Minister in the COTN. He currently serves as the Africa Regional Education and Clergy development Coordinator. He has his heart set on Christ and the believing community. Gabriel regards himself as a student for life and has been involved in theological and leadership training for over 23 years through various institutions. He sensed a call into full-time service while studying to be a lawyer in South Africa. Rev. Benjiman has pursued a Masters degree in Biblical Studies with the Rand Afrikaans University, and a Master of Arts with Northwest Nazarene University. He is a keen student of leadership and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education Degree. Gabe is passionate about: Education, networking with church leaders, evangelistic outreach, leadership development & social development and empowering the marginalized. He presents radio ministries called “Hands full of purpose” and “In Focus” on Good News radio and “Peace for Today” with World Mission Broadcast. He has a deep passion to express himself as a writer and social-media commentator. He contributed scholarly and clergy development articles and papers towards books published by various Colleges and Scholars.
Maryann Benjiman laughingly emphasizes her Nazarene roots having been born into the Nazarene family. Trained as a Logistics and risk management personnel, Maryann worked in corporate management roles for a number of years while serving alongside Gabe establishing two thriving local churches. About a decade ago, Mary joined Gabe in full-time ministry at the church. She is strong on the practical elements of discipleship such as convening prayer groups, prayer walks, compassionate ministry outreaches and mission drives to orphanages and the homeless children on the streets of Durban. Over the years Maryann has operated a blanket and shoe drive for school children in the far flung rural communities of Kwa-Zulu Natal and the urban informal settlements. Maryann is a dynamic speaker and presents a challenge to disciples for “running with endurance the race set before us!”
Maryann is an ultra-distance marathon runner having participated in numerous ultra-distance runs while raising awareness and funds for the Bible Society. As South Africans, both Mary and Gabe lived in and through the most volatile era of apartheid. Having been conscientised about apartheid they are outspoken about conflict -Resolution, living with ‘woundedness’, forgiveness, justice, restitution and reconciliation. Gabe and Mary enjoy their two daughters, Karris Shalom (18) and Eden Kelita (13). The Benjimans live happily in Durban, South Africa.