Zambia Union President Dies of Sudden Illness

GIFTED HANDS: Dr. Ben Carson is one of the world's most respected neurosurgeons and a devout Seventh-day Adventist. Carson, 56, said he prays for guidance before every surgery. [Photo courtesy Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly/RNS]
Cornelius M. Matandiko is remembered for his commitment to evangelism. [photo: ZUC]
eventh-day Adventists in Zambia are mourning the death of their country's church leader who recently passed away unexpectedly.

Cornelius M. Matandiko, 48, who served as Zambia Union Conference president since 2004, died after a short illness April 2 in Lusaka, a church spokesman said. He was also chancellor of Zambia Adventist University, a television evangelist for Voice of Prophecy, and a member of the National Constitutional Conference for the Republic of Zambia.

"The church loses in Matandiko not only a man of passion but a man who was committed to evangelism," said Joe S. Lubasi, Zambia Union communication director. "We have known him as a visionary leader, very supportive of all our projects. He believed in big things," Lubasi said.

Matandiko's funeral was held April 6 at the Lusaka Show Grounds in order to accommodate the 20,000 people in attendance, Lubasi said. 

Service attendees included the state president's representative, Minister of Health Brian Chituwo, the nation's First Lady Maureen Mwanawasa, and Zambia's first president, Kenneth David Kaunda.

Before his death, Matandiko had trained 400 lay members to serve as evangelists around the nation.

Matandiko is survived by his wife, Patience, and their two daughters.


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