On Sunday, October 14, St. Margaret’s will welcome the Rt. Rev. Metlhayotlhe “Metlha” (pronounced MET-la) Rawlings Ogotseng Beleme, fifth Bishop of Botswana, who will preach at both the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. services.
Bishop Beleme has served as the Bishop of Botswana since July 2013 and is the first native of the country to serve as Bishop. Our own parishoner, the late Bishop Shannon Mallory, served as the first Bishop of Botswana from 1972 to 1978.
After attending primary and secondary school in his hometown of Molepolole, he trained as an artisan electrician before working for three years at the Jwaneng mine. Following a discernment to serve God in the church, he was accepted for Anglican ordination and went to study theology and train as a priest at Lelapa la Jesu Seminary and the National University of Lesotho in Roma from 1990 to 1992.
Following his ordination in 1993, he served as Rector and Archdeacon in several parishes in Botswana, eventually becoming sub-dean at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. He undertook further studies in ecumenism at the Ecumenical Institute of the World Council of Churches and the University of Geneva in Switzerland.
In 2007, he moved to South Africa to serve in the Diocese of Matlosane, where he worked as both dean of the Cathedral of the Resurrection in Ikageng-Potchefstroom and as rector of the Parish of St Peter’s Klerksdorp and archdeacon to the bishop.
Bishop Beleme and his wife Thapelo have three children, Thabiso, Lone and Sentle. When he’s not working or spending time with his family, he enjoys watching sports–especially soccer, having played for two teams in Botswana–as well as action movies and reading.
We gratefully acknowledge the Diocese of North Carolina for assistance with the biographical information contained in this article.