Leader of South African initiatives for reconciliation and reformation reflects on the death of Nelson Mandela
The following is a message from Michael Cassidy, Fuller alumnus and founder of African Enterprise in South Africa, on the death of Nelson Mandela. You can read Fuller alumna Wilma Jakobsen's (MDiv, '87) reflection on the legacy of Nelson Mandela here.
Message from Michael Cassidy
"The moment South Africa has in many ways been dreading has come upon us and our beloved Madiba has ended his long earthly walk to freedom. Nelson Mandela has died and South Africa is bereft. The country will never have a greater son nor one who has left a greater legacy. We need to pray that the values he sought to bequeath to us of forgiveness, reconciliation, large-heartedness, non-racialism and true democracy benefiting all should not be in any way compromised or abandoned but re-embraced with renewed commitment and deep resolve.
If as a nation we can do this it will constitute the best expression of gratitude possible to this great man who has left our midst. We covet your prayers for our entire country at this time, that stability, peace and a new sense of racial harmony will prevail. We know you will also remember his loved ones, family, and those who seek to give continued political leadership to South Africa at this time. God bless South Africa. God bless you all."
Michael Cassidy (BD, '63) is the Founder of African Enterprise, and has been involved in evangelism, teaching, and leadership ministries since 1962, the year he launched AE. In 2012, Cassidy was honored and named Fuller Seminary's Distinguished Alumnus. That same year, he was named Honorary Chairman of the global Lausanne Movement for world evangelization, succeeding he late Rev. Dr. Jon R.W. Stott. A native of South Africa, Cassidy was educated at the Parktown School in Johannesburg and at Michaelhouse School in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. He holds a Master of Arts from Cambridge University and a Bachelor of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. Cassidy is known for his behind-the-scenes facilitation of initiatives in South Africa which brought together a wide spectrum of political leadership in dialogue. These efforts have been widely acknowledged as having contributed to a peaceful South African election in April 1994. In 1996, at the request of President Nelson Mandela, he and other church leaders were deeply involved in spearheading an extensive and successful peace initiative in KwaZulu-Natal in the run-up to the province's local government elections. Cassidy continues to reside in South Africa with his family.