Rev Nokuthula Dhladhla is a Pastor of House of Prayer and Worship (HPW) which started in 2015 in Soweto. Previously she was a Senior Pastor of Hope and Unity MCC (HUMCC) since 1998-2010. She was ordained in 1998 officially as a Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) pastor until 2010. Rev Nokuthula is also a part of Deo Gloria Apostolic Network of churches which is based in Durban. She is a member of Global Interfaith Network (GIN), a member of Circle of Concern African Women Theologians, a Board member of Micah project, a committee member of Association of Christian Religion Practitioner, she is also a Vice -Chairperson Dialogue for change. She has worked as Project Officer for SANERELA+ part-time, and is a Founding member of the new association which is called Ashes to Purpose. She previously worked for Ecumenical Service for Socio Economic Transformation as a project officer.
The life and experiences of Rev Nokuthula has been documented in several book chapters, and documentaries (Miriam Dancing by Elise van Wyk, to have and to hold by Melanie Judge, Faces and Phases by Zanele Moholi and different magazines (bona 2015). DVD and also at an exhibition “Journeys of Faith – Navigating Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity” held at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg.
She has a Diploma in Theology and a 3 days short course – Urban ministry – Pretoria University 2008. Other trainings: SAVE training tool on HIV, gender and sexuality by INERELA, training and resource development- created in the image of God by IAM, One Body material – on human sexuality, the inclusive church and image of Godin the face of HIV and AIDS by Nordic – FOCCISA. She is recently been asked by Soulforce to be the Advisory Team member in creating Gender Justice theological resources.
In the years since then, Nokuthula has participated in a very wide range of work in the field of religious dialogue especially – convening and participating in many meetings with religious leaders, working towards establishing greater understanding and tolerance for LGBTIQ people in the faith sector. Among others, she has made a very important contribution to a process convened jointly by the Church of Norway and the Fellowship of Christian Councils of Southern Africa (FOCCISA) to begin a process of dialogue and training material with the councils and their members towards creating greater understanding and tolerance for LGBTIQ people in Southern Africa. She has also been involved in designing the training curriculum for LGBTI people of Faith engaging in as Dialogue partners. She was recently ask to speak on a side event, CSW63 in UN Preventing gender base violence: the role of the religious leaders. Her focus was on LBTI.
She facilitated workshops around rural areas for LGBTI integrating sexuality and spirituality for the Micah Project; and in convening a dialogue process for the House of Rainbow, a UK based network of LGBTIQ friendly churches. She is also one of the founder members of Dialogues for Change, a recently established organization aiming to convene dialogues with South African religious leaders around greater understanding and tolerance for LGBTIQ people. She runs a healing space for young Lesbian women and gender non conforming woman. That aims to help in healing the internal wounds that have prevented then in finding their purpose.
Nokuthula is an exceptional human being – she is grounded and compassionate, and from her life experience, able to articulate exactly why LGBTIQ people must be valued and recognized as full human beings, especially in faith-based contexts. She has a great deal of experience of dealing with difficult contexts and is able to stand her ground. She is a powerful, funny, deeply human speaker. Nokuthula is a person of great passion, someone who is committed to making a different world possible and someone with immense dedication to activism. She is well known within the LGBTI sector and beyond. She has volunteered her time extensively to facilitate workshops and sensitization trainings in several provinces. She has done this in collaboration with numerous NPO’s.
Most recently she has also participated in a side event convened by the UN Interagency Task Force on Religion at CSW2019 around the role of religious leaders in preventing gender based violence (March 2019), as well as at a side event convened by GIN at the Human Rights Council in Geneva on religious institutions around the world affirming LGBT people (July 2019).