Midlands State University had its inaugural congregation in the newly constructed University Chapel to mark the commencement of the 2018 academic year on Tuesday, 13 March 2018.
At its inception, the University’s master plan included a model Chapel but regrettably, its construction had been derailed by a multiplicity of challenges emanating from the harsh effects of an unfavourable macroeconomic environment as well as competing obligations such as student accommodation. Hence, the inaugural service was a significant milestone which shall be forever etched in the annals of the institution’s history.
In his welcome remarks, MSU Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor V.N Muzvidziwa expressed joy at being a part of the historic service, in the long awaited chapel. “The analogy of the Lord himself moving about in a tent and in a tabernacle is mirrored in the fact that our students have used unsuitable facilities such as common rooms and lecture rooms to worship and develop their spirituality during most evenings and weekends. It has been quite disheartening to see our students whom we regard as the single most important component of our community using these unsuitable venues for such a noble cause. We are delighted that the Chapel is now going to serve as an open house of prayer or quiet contemplation at any given time,” said Professor Muzvidziwa.
The construction of the chapel is in line with the University’s vision and core values which seek to produce a relevant and holistic graduate who upholds the principles of honesty, integrity, accountability and compassion for others.
University Chaplain, Dr Reverend Mpofu could not hide his joy when he delivered his first sermon in the House of the Lord. He made reference to the book of 2 Samuel Chapter 7 verse 5, in which the Lord pleads for the construction of His dwelling place. In that regard, Rev Mpofu noted that the Chapel provided the appropriate ambience for reflection for people of all faiths or denominations. Accordingly, he implored the University community to use the chapel for its intended purposes.
The event was punctuated by praise and worship sessions with church choirs from various denominations taking turns to sing devotional hymns. The church service ended with a prayer session that was composed of three main prayer petitions. The first petition was to commit the 2018 MSU academic year and University leadership to the Lord as well as to ask for peace and tranquillity, and was led by Reverend Sithole from the Methodist Church in Zimbabwe.
Pastor Sibanda from the Seventh Day Adventist Church prayed for good health amongst students, staff and family members whilst Reverend V. Mhlanga from the United Church of Christ also led a prayer session for covering new partners and continued financial resources for students.
The service was attended by members of the University community among them, the University’s leadership, students, staff and pastors from various churches.