Mzansi Celebs

Actress Innocent Sadiki now senior pastor of her church

South African actress and preacher Innocent Sadiki will head her own branch of Church By The Valley from September 3, though women are often the pillars of churches and senior positions are still dominated by men.

She and her husband, also a preacher, announced that Innocent would head one of the church’s new branches after she was appointed senior pastor at the weekend.

Speaking to the publication, Innocent said while she always knew she was “called to lead”, the promotion took her by surprise.

Innocent Sadiki (Sthoko)

“It’s difficult to answer this question because I have no doubt God has called me, but to lead a church is different for me. God took me by surprise. When I said I’m available to be used by Him, I didn’t know He would take it this far. However, I understand the assignment very well. I’m here on earth for a deeper purpose, my life is in His hands. So where He leads me, I will follow,” said Innocent.

The actress, well known as Sthoko on Skeem Saam, said she wasn’t fazed by being a senior preacher, a position usually held by male preachers.

“This is a reality but it doesn’t worry me at all. I know before He called me, He had qualified me. I’m also an advocate for women empowerment, so this hits home for me. This is an opportunity for me to show our God is able to use women mightily in the church. I’m never going to minimize myself for anything or for anyone.

Innocent Sadiki (Sthoko)

“This is why I have the annual conference ‘Beauty and the Blessed’, to engage women with provoking conversations with the aim to promote a shift in mindset and bring to light new approaches for mitigating the societal challenges facing women in this era of our nation.”

Innocent said she gets her mandate from the Bible.

Quoting from scripture, the mother of two recalled Matthew 28:19-20: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Sharing her vision, Innocent said a church under her leadership would be characterised by order and community.

Innocent Sadiki (Sthoko)

“I’m a very structured person, so I would like to see a church of order and most importantly build a community church. A home of worship and praise, a one-stop church which will cater for all spiritual wellness needs. I would like to see God take us to the nations. I don’t see a church, I see a global movement. The vision is bigger than me or even the church. If we remain humble, God will fulfil His plans.”

Asked if the added responsibility will mean less acting, Innocent said she would successfully juggle both.

“My ministry has never affected my acting career and will never. Everything I do is part of my purpose and destiny. It is all aligned and is working out for good for the kingdom of God. I’ll be working even harder on my acting career because I have to show God’s goodness. I can’t be a failure yet serving God. So I believe there will be an increase in my work and a greater impact at church,” she said.


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