Sleath, Hedly

Born on 3 October 1928 at Halstead, Leics. He became a member of the local Methodist chapel, where he served as Sunday School Superintendent and steward and organized a major refurbishment of the building. He became a local preacher and, following a call to the ministry, studied at Cliff College. Failing to be accepted for the ministry, in 1958 he went to South Africa, studied at Rhodes University and became a Methodist minister there. After serving at Stutterheim and Seven Fountains, in 1969 he was transferred to Maseru to take charge of the Lesotho Mission. As mission superintendent he had four circuits in his charge, with a staff of four ministers and a Biblewoman. Membership rose from 6,000 to 10,000 and he built 21 churches. He asked local people to build the stone walls and then raised the money for a roof, buying the material and erecting it himself.

There were six poorly equipped Methodist primary schools and he raised funds to equip them with benches and blackboards, built new classrooms and the Matsepe Vocational High School at Mafeteng. In 1975 he started fundraising for a hospital; building began in 1978 and Semonkong Methodist Hospital opened in 1981. Despite suffering a series of strokes in 1975, in 1979 he was transferred to Matatiele for three years and then worked for two years as secretary for the Order of Christian Service in Johannesburg. He died in 1988.

  • Hedley Sleath, A Decade with the Basotho (1988)

Entry written by: BT
Category: Person
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