Meet the Leadership
Ps John & Sharon Bendixen
A member of the senior management team of Hewlett-Packard South Africa until December 1997, John entered the full-time ministry as Ministry leader, Pastor and Christian Educator in January 1998.
After serving faithfully as members and senior leaders in their local church for 19 years, John and his wife Sharon went on to become founders and Senior Pastor’s of Heritage of Faith Churches in Johannesburg and Witbank, South Africa.
John and Sharon have been married for 38 years and have a dynamic ministry to encourage, restore and increase joy in relationships.
John is also the founder of Heritage of Faith Bible Institute and Leadership Academy, and Heritage School of Ministry, of which there are now over 20 schools around South Africa and United States of America.
He is also the founder of Heritage Institute of Commerce, providing curriculum and DVD based learning for Christians in business.
John has always been passionate and active in educating believers on enjoying God, how to successfully live your faith in Business and life, personal financial improvement and how to enjoy God’s best in relationships.
DR LYNN FULFORD
DIRECTOR OF MINISTRY
I have been in the full time ministry since January 1984 and have served within the helps ministry as a pastor to date.
Having spent 20 years in the engineering industry in design and construction of quarrying and mining plant and equipment ore dressing process, I fulfilled my role in both project engineering and consultant to these industries. It was a very challenging and enriching time of my life with the expertise I developed, causing me to travel extensively in Africa and Internationally.
I became a committed Christian in May of 1975 and served as a deacon and Sunday School Teacher for several years in a small Pentecostal church in the south of Johannesburg.
With a hunger and desire for more of God we resettled in a large Charismatic Church in Randburg where we took up the full time call to pastor in January 1984, where Elsabe and I served for 25 years of which 22 years was in the full time pastorate.
During these years we attended Bible School, I did theological studies through Trinity Seminary and developed many courses and learning programs that I still carry in my heart today.
In February 2005 we were invited to join the team at Heritage of Faith Ministries, where I have served in a support role to assist Pastors John and Sharon Bendixen develop and grow their calling and life assignment from the Lord.
I have always enjoyed my support role and am called to be the best possible second in command God has made me. I am clear about my call to pastor and teach the Word, which gives me great enrichment, fulfilment and life purpose as a minister.
I served in a support role to the HFBI team until I was appointed Director of Ministry to HFBI. I am also honoured to serve Heritage of Faith and Affiliate Churches in various areas of Governance and Administration. Today with my experience and qualifications my desire is to help raise the standard and quality of the ministry as a major component of the Heritage of Faith philosophy of ministry.
Having personally completed all Heritage study programs I am a proud student of the Word of God having grown up within this Heritage of Faith with a deep hunger to study for more and more of the truth found within His Holy Scriptures.
2 Timothy 2:15
“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
In His loving Service
PS CHRISTI GROBLER
Pastor Christi worked for 20 years with her husband Grobbies in the dental industry and within this time they devised detailed plans to move to Germany and America until the Lord spoke to her and told her that it was a time and a place in Witbank, South Africa. The Lord spoke very clearly, like He did with Isaac, that they were not to go overseas and that their place was in Witbank.
In obedience to this, Pastor Christi served faithfully within the local congregation for 15 years and taught in the bible school (HFBI) since its inception until the Lord called her into ministry as an associate pastor.
She continued to work in the dental lab with Grobbies whilst serving as an associate Pastor for a further 5 years before leaving the dental industry completely. It was important for her to stay faithful in her work with Grobbies in accordance with Proverbs 31 – not courting neglect of her present duties by assuming other duties. This was an integral part of developing personal leadership. Developing personal leadership first and foremost is the basis upon which Pastor Christi builds her life. The pattern of personal leadership, public leadership and purpose leadership were given by her spiritual leader and Pastor John Bendixen who, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, spoke concerning this pattern of living for all believers.
Pastor Christi continues to follow Christ and her spiritual leaders in the way of a true disciple and now leads many of the local church prayer meetings and teaches many subjects within the bible school. Her example of submission and discipleship continues to impact many and all who know her knows her fruit.
Ps Melusi Ngcobo
In my sixth year I went to a boarding school and this is where I began smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. Doing these things made me feel welcome in a hostile culture.
After six years of trying to find myself within this hostile culture I was forced to return to my parents, since the effects of experimenting with substances had negatively influenced my education. My parents decided to take me back. While I was excited about that, my struggle to find myself in another culture was not over. I reverted to the best coping mechanism I knew, alcohol. Drinking alcohol introduced me to a variety of characters, all of who were not good for me and influenced my life negatively.
Since then my life has been completely transformed. I have found my true identity and I do not suffer from the need to fit in. I am a completely changed individual. I fell in love with the Word of God from that moment and whilst the Holy Spirit is still at work in areas of my life and thinking, it is different because He does so in the environment of hope. My hope is that I am becoming more and more like Jesus on a daily basis and it’s by His grace through faith.
I am now a husband to my precious and beautiful wife Lebo and a dad to my three beautiful daughters and we are serving the LORD together. We are disciples of Jesus.
Ps Garth Bendixen
From as far back as I can remember I have been a Christian, which to me meant that I believed in God and that He sent Jesus Christ to die for me to be my saviour. But truth be told, I had no clue what this actually meant! I went to church as a child and as a teenager but I never really knew who God was and who this Jesus was that died for me. I just knew that I had made Him my Saviour and that I had secured a ticket to heaven one day. HOORAH!
Don’t mistake what I am saying, I wanted to know God and I wanted to know more about Jesus but I also wanted to have fun with young people and as far as I could see there were no young people TRULY enjoying being Christians.
There were many young people who said they were Christians but they certainly never behaved like it. They enjoyed the things that most young people enjoy; drinking, smoking a variety of things, going to parties, seeing which girls or guys catch their eye and just doing whatever they feel like doing. And so the little flame, which was the desire I had to know God and Jesus Christ was squashed, smothered, put aside and basically ignored on a daily basis. The thing was though, it never really went away! I could never completely ignore the desire in me to know Jesus. I tried HARD!
What made it so much harder was that I had a mom and dad that actually loved God and they enjoyed being Christians! Can you believe it?! They would pray together, worship God (loudly) together, speak to my brother and I about what God was saying to them and they would go to EVERY meeting our church (at that time) was holding.
So I could see that it was possible to enjoy being a Christian and to know God but I was still overwhelmingly conflicted! I wanted to be accepted by my friends at school and I couldn’t see another way except to do what everyone else was doing.
It was in my teenage years that I became a “gangster,” or so I thought. I found myself drawn to the rapping, hip-hopping, break-dancing, gangster crowd! I was so proud to be listening to hip-hop music that “no one else” was listening to. We called it, “underground” hip-hop! It was so underground that it sounded like it was actually made underground!
I would practice my breakdancing at school during breaks and after school and did some small performances with a crew until I injured my ankle ligaments quite badly. This injury was about the same time that I was “asked to leave” school, which is a nice way of saying I was expelled from the school I was attending at that time. My friends and I were caught growing and smoking marajuana. This was not a proud day! I told myself I didn’t care but I was just trying to deal with the pain of being expelled. I didn’t ever think I would be “that kid!”
All this time I knew God was calling my name, asking me to come to Him so He could give me purpose and confidence! I knew He had answers but I was determined to live my life the way I wanted to! I tried filling my life with as many distractions and activities as I could but whenever I was alone with my own thoughts I was desperately unhappy! This is what drove me into my ultimate drug addiction.
I was married to my beautiful wife Marcelle when I was 23 (she was barely 20). I knew nothing of what it actually meant to be committed to another person! I had only been committed to myself up to this point. I thought that somehow being married would give me some purpose and enjoyment. It did nothing of the sort. In fact it only served to highlight just how selfish I was and how little I knew about life and loving someone else. I continued to bury myself in drugs. I weighed between 72kg and 75kg most of my adult life however while I was using drugs I dropped down to 61kg. I was basically a human skeleton. My life was an absolute mess! I had moved out of the house with my wife and was living off anyone who would have me. I continued to bury my shame and fear in drugs until I finally reached my “rock bottom!” I imagine this was how the prodigal son in the Bible must have felt. I found myself living and eating with the pigs and “came to myself.” I cried out to my family for help and together they worked to get me into a drug rehabilitation centre in Durban (South Africa) called “The Cedars.” I was forced to confront many horrible truths about myself and about how selfish and self-centred I had become. I learned just how much heartache I had put my wife and family through. I had broken down almost all traces of trust. The only hope that was really left was that I could make the choice to change. My wife was clinging to this hope with everything she had left in her.
I can not tell you that I had some “shining light” moment or that I had some heavenly encounter with angels or anything like that. What I can say though is that I made a decision everyday that I was going to change and NEVER go back to that way of living. I went to AA and NA meetings everyday for a year and then regularly after that. I often say this to people, “God took me to AA and NA to bring me back to Him”.
I am so grateful to God for restoring my life! I now have 3 beautiful children and an adoring wife that I also ADORE! I was also recently given the title of Pastor for which I am truly grateful and also humbled. Only God could do such a miracle. The journey of how I have come to this place in my life and how I know others can get here is what I would like to share in SNCTRY.
I thank you for allowing me the opportunity to share this beautiful life we can all live in Jesus and for Jesus.