Filippus Letla Mminele (1892 - 1971)
The Order of the Baobab in
Profile of Filippus Letla Mminele
Rev Filipus Letladi Mminele was born on 10 February 1892 at Ga-Phaahla in Sekhukhune land. His parents were the evangelists Reuben Kgetlepe Mminele and Mrs Appoloniah Mninele (nee Lethuba).
His parents’ stay at Makgane in Sekhukhune land had a positive effect on the young Mninele. He often said that it was during this time that his love for mission work was kindled. He loved going around with his father on a donkey cart as he was visiting and establishing congregations and church schools.
Upon completion of the third-year teachers’ course in 1915, he did a compulsory one-year theological course at Botshabelo. This was for until 1960, when he left teaching.
In 1977 he married Deborah Matobele Mawela, who was born on 4 May 1893 at Makgane. She was generous and passionate person. The devoted Christian family was blessed nine children.
This was a family that put great emphases on trying to live out Christian values and ways of life.
Both Rev Mminele and his wife valued music as part of the liturgy. He encouraged and improved singing in the church through the use of his violin which he learned to play at Botshabelo.
Rev. Mminele and his wife loved adopting children from indigent homes. As such the family was always a huge one. At some point, they had had no fewer than six adopted children. Almost all these children together with their parents were later converted to Christianity. Distressed and homeless people found the Mminele homestead a welcoming place.
Rev. Mminele was a tireless worker in the service of the community and his Lord. Quite often he would work throughout the night doing church and social work. Despite the fact that he suffered a broken leg on two occasions he labored on.
Rev. Filippus Mminele undoubtedly served as a role model to many. He was a tireless worker who put the needs of others before his own. With his religious devotion, his entire adult life to the poor, enduring insufferable conditions in the process as he travelled top remote areas in the country.
Considering education a catalyst to better life, he set about spreading education and the love of learning among the rural people.
Rev. Filippus Mminele died on 23 January 1971 and was buried at GaPhaahla.