Zambia: Adventist Church leader dies of sudden illness
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Lusaka, Lusaka Province/Zambia, 09.04.2008 / ANN/APD

Cornelius M. Matandiko (48)

Cornelius M. Matandiko (48)

Photo: courtesy Zambia Union Mission

Seventh-day Adventists in Zambia are mourning the death of their country's church leader who passed away unexpectedly last week.

Cornelius M. Matandiko, 48, who had served as the Adventist Church's executive director in the southern African nation since 2004, died after a short illness April 2 in Lusaka, a church spokesman said.

Matandiko 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 looses in Dr. Matandiko not only a man of passion but a man who was committed to evangelism," said Joe S. Lubasi, communication director for the church in Zambia.

"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 stadium 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, Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda, Lubasi said.

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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