Chatsworth pastor dies from Covid-19 soon after opening his newly built church
Durban- Just over two weeks after welcoming his congregation into his newly built church in Chatsworth, Pastor Krish Govender died due to Covid-19.
For 35 years, Govender had dreamt of building a church, but never got round to it.
During the hard lockdown last year, places of worship were not permitted to hold services to prevent the spread of the virus. Govender, who led worship from a local school, then decided to forge ahead with his plan to build a church.
On December 16, the father of one opened Jesus for the World Angels Christian Centre in Shallcross and held the first service. A day later, Govender felt unwell and was taken to hospital.
"He tested positive for Covid-19," said Quenton Chetty, a fellow pastor and friend.
“Despite this, he used his days in isolation at his home praying and encouraging his congregation to have a positive mindset. Health-wise, he seemed to be doing well, but on December 31 he became ill again."
Chetty said he took Govender to hospital.
“He was struggling to breathe. While going to the hospital, he told his family that the doors to his church should remain open. He said the work of God must go on. Pastor Govender was admitted and given oxygen.
"He later told me that he was feeling better and that after he recovered, we would start fasting and praying for those who were Covid-19-positive and for a vaccine to be found. On January 2, we received the news that he had died.
"Pastor Govender was kind and caring and he always made the time to speak with people to find out how they were. The last Bible scripture that he read at his home, while isolating, was Matthew 19 Verse 29. It reads: ’And everyone that hath forsaken houses. Not only the then disciples of Christ, but any other believer in him, whether at that time, or in any age, that should be called to quit their habitations, or leave their dearest relations, friends, and substance: as brethren or sisters, or father or mother, or wife or children, lands, for my name's sake.’”
Chetty said Govender was one of the first pastors in Chatsworth who started ministries from tents.
“He did not believe in waiting for people to come out looking for him. He went to the people and prayed for them. He held services in a tent and he used to walk from house to house to pray for people. Pastor Govender even took me to India a few years ago, where he held a ministry in a tent. It was that moment that changed my life and put me on the right path.”
Chetty said Govender wanted to build a church, but he always put others' needs ahead of his own.
“He helped to build churches for other pastors, including building one for me in Mariannhill, and last year he built his church. His church’s land is quite big, and he intended starting a vegetable garden and distributing the fresh produce to the community. He also wanted to build accommodation for widows. We will strive to make his dreams a reality."
Govender is survived by his wife Jane, and son Gabriel. He was buried at Shallcross Cemetery on Monday.