A South African pastor died while delivering a sermon before his congregants.
The tragedy, which caused a huge stir on social media, happened at the African Methodist Episcopal Church in Kuruman, Northern Cape.
Via video footage making rounds, Reverend Bassie Jackals was seen sitting in the middle of his sermon while members of the church applauded him, thinking it was all part of the preaching. However, Jackals fell to the floor from the chair.
According to Christian Post, Jackals was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. Autopsy report indicates he died as a result of high blood pressure.
Reacting to the video, a social media user, said: “I pray that the family and congregants recover from this. #RIP Reverend Jackals. Indeed you have fought the good fight.”
Reverend Jackals, who left behind four daughters and a wife, was 42 at the time of his death. He was a candidate for the Master of Divinity degree from Payne Theological Seminary in Wilberforce, Ohio before his death.
According to The Zambian Dispatch the pastor attended Dr. EP Lekhela Secondary School and graduated from the University of Cape Town.
Reacting to the news, Zambian pastor and author, Walter Mwambazi said on Facebook: “He served as a vibrant and dedicated pastor of various congregations of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and was later given an added responsibility to become a Presiding Elder in the church.”
“Passionate about lifting the souls of people through preaching and praise, he led various organizations till his untimely passing,” he added.
Mwambazi said Jackals’ death should be a “wake-up call” to other pastors to rest and delegate tasks to others.
“The death of this man of God should serve us all as a wake-up call – please rest! Take time off, have a break please please, please! And find a way to share your responsibility and delegate. Raise lieutenants to help you with His work. It is His work, after all, you and I are just vessels,” he wrote.
His death adds to the growing number of pastors who have died on the pulpit. According to Christian Post, a New Orleans pastor collapsed suddenly and died in the middle of preaching at Great Saint Mary Baptist Church in 2015. He reportedly declared to his congregation: “If the Lord called me now, I’m ready.”
That same year, a pastor in Texas dropped dead before some 200 people while preaching at the funeral of a church member after warning attendees of the need to be “ready for death.”