Pastor Paul Saul: the ultimate people’s person

A man who believes in the ideal that service to humanity is service to God, Pastor Paul Saul is an absolute paragon of virtue. He acts according to the dictates of his conscience and he is a patriot who never seeks fame and glory.
The very mention of Pastor Saul’s name is sufficient to produce sentimental smiles on the faces of people, both young and old, from all walks of life. It is, therefore, with great sense of approbation that the Sports Veterans’ Association (SVA) wishes to express its appreciation, as a mark of respect, for Pastor Saul’s contribution to the Pietermaritzburg community. His zealous pursuit of veracity, his stance for the down-trodden and his incorruptibility are acknowledged with a deep sense of appreciation by the SVA.
Pastor Saul was born on May 23, 1942, in Stanger. His parents, Mr and Mrs BM Saul, instilled in their nine children Godly principles and stressed the importance of commitment to their local church. Strongly motivated by the sterling humane and humanitarian qualities of his parents, Pastor Saul embarked on a career to serve the Ministry of the Church. Inspired by his mentor, Pastor D F Williams and realising his calling from God, Pastor Saul enrolled in the Durban Bible College for theoretical training in 1960. After three years of theoretical studies and practical training, he graduated as the first Indian in the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM).
He entered the full time ministry in January 1963, five months before his 21st birthday. He was ordained by Pastor van Rensburgh, who was the Director of the AFM at that time. Pastor Saul served with his mentor Pastor Williams in Stanger and Darnall and with Pastor Henry James in Clairwood. Together with the latter, Pastor Saul played a significant role in establishing AFM churches in Merebank and Chatsworth.
An invaluable asset to the AFM, Pastor Saul brought a unique blend of qualities to the ministry. He displayed a deep understanding and empathy for others, excellent communication and multitasking skills and an inclusive leadership style. As a consequence, in May 1965, at the tender age of 23, Pastor Saul was assigned by the executive council of the AFM to establish a church in Tongaat. Here, resources were limited and for the first six months, he received no salary from the mission.
However, due to Pastor Saul’s tireless commitment and dogged determination, Pastor Charles Flewelling presented him with a 300 seater army tent. This tent was used extensively in mass evangelism which resulted in churches being built around the North Coast town.
During this tenure, Pastor Saul endeavoured to accommodate the demands of the wider community. That was what he believed democracy was all about – the fact that one could attend to the needs of everyone, defend the vulnerable and protect the underdog. Not surprisingly, he served on the executive council of both the Tongaat Civic Association and the Tongaat Child Welfare Society. This call into social responsibility and community involvement which began then still remains close to his heart, causing him to be active in this aspect of the ministry to this very day.
On May12, 1973, Pastor Saul married his soul mate, role model and mentor, his treasure and partner, Sheila. A graduate of the Durban Bible College in 1968 after three years of full-time study and practical work, Sheila played a very supportive role to Pastor Saul and she is the support base that has allowed him to achieve so much over these years.
Pastor Saul is the perfect gentlemen, treating everyone with respect, armed with the gift to remain cool and calm under the most trying of circumstances. It would be no exaggeration to say that he is the people’s person and is liked by all while remaining true to his principles.
In the next issue of the Public Eye, we will highlight his role in the ministry in Pietermaritzburg and his involvement in community affairs, especially that of the Mountain Rise Police and Community Policing Forum.

  AUTHOR
Capital Media Reporter

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