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Our History

From humble beginnings, this ministry has grown tremendously into the great work that exists today. What began as a ladies fellowship for 19 women in the Fortgale surburb of Mthatha in the old Transkei republic is today one of the leading shinning lights in the republic of South Africa.

In September 1987, Marius and Linda Gradwell became the pioneer Pastors of the then Umtata Christian Church and were later joined by Don and Nomsa Phillips as their assistants in 1989.

Pastors Don and Nomsa Phillips became the senior pastors of the church in 1997 and under their leadership, the church has experienced tremendous and supernatural growth from only a few hundred worshippers into the mega church which it is today with several thousands of worshippers in the main branch at Mthatha and its over twenty branches scattered across the Eastern and Western Cape provinces of South Africa. Now part of the Rhema Family of Churches, the church’s name changed to Rhema Umtata Christian Church.

In 2009, responding to divine instruction and to accommodate the unprecedented rapid growth, expansion and vision of the ministry, Rhema Umtata Christian Church formally became RUCC Ministries.

RUCC Ministries is currently more than just a local church, but an umbrella ministry vehicle which encompasses several organizations and more than 20 church branches.

At our flag ship in Mthatha, we are currently developing the RUCC village complex, which will include a state of the art 9000 seat church auditorium and conference center which is billed to become one of the biggest in the Eastern Cape. Also being built on the complex ultra modern educational complex, administrative and media facilities. Construction is already at an advanced phase with several of the facilities already in regular use. In 2010, the brand new “Marius Grawell” building was formally dedicated to host the expanding RUCC Christian School.