On Sunday 29 August 2021, District Apostle J Kriel conducted a special divine service at Welcome Estate congregation, Cape Town.

The District Apostle was accompanied by Apostle R Worship, Bishop N Barron and the District Rector, Community Evangelist N Williams.

As basis for the divine service, the District Apostle used a Bible word from Genesis 3:9 - “Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, ‘Where are you?’” The message for the divine service was that God desires to take care of us, but requires us to remain close to Him.

The divine service was also live-streamed to St Helena and Ascension Islands, located in the south Atlantic Ocean, some 3 200 and 4 500 kilometres away respectively.

Before the conclusion of the divine service, the District Apostle placed Bishop Barron into a well-earned retirement. The Bishop, who served as secretary to both District Apostle Kriel and the retired District Apostle Noel Barnes, was in the ministry for 42 years. He was ordained into the sub-deacon ministry at Welcome Estate in 1979 and retired in the same congregation.

The District Apostle thanked Bishop Barron for his faithful following and love for God, and the members. He also used the opportunity to thank the Bishop’s wife, Marjorie, together with their daughters. “Your zeal and dedication to God’s work cannot be questioned,” said the District Apostle. “Thank you for holding up the office of the District Apostle with integrity and honesty.”

Quoting portions of a letter to the Bishop penned by the retired District Apostle Barnes, the District Apostle noted: “We found in you a great confidant with whom we could share anything.”

The divine service was concluded with a rousing rendition of the hymn, “Thee, God, praise we bring”.