All 127 pastors who completed the VM training program pose for a group shot in Vosloorus, South Africa, showing off their certificates before putting them to use.

Following an extensive training program covering each of the 19 Volunteer Minister courses, 127 pastors on the outskirts of Johannesburg celebrate their newfound knowledge in a moving graduation ceremony.

My people perish for the lack of knowledge,”—the oft-quoted phrase from the biblical Book of Hosea—was a sentiment shared by 127 South African pastors until their recent training series on the 19 chapters from The Scientology Handbook.

“We have learnt to raise our communities from the dirt and give them hope for the future with knowledge that is practical and applicable to this time and age,” wrote leaders of the United Faith Church from across five townships in a letter of thanks to the Volunteer Minister team. “Many difficult problems are now simply solved.”

In a lively, emotional graduation, between Zulu songs of praise and before a crowd of more than 400, each of the 127 religious leaders received his own certificate, attesting to his newfound expertise in a diverse range of subjects, from answers to drugs to study tools.

“We can heal our nation,” declared one newly-certified pastor.

“We managed to bring all the bishops together, as a team, with one vision: to help people... we are all from different denominations but we are united because of Scientology.”

Professor BukhosiXimba, one of the main organizers of the training, reflected upon the power of Volunteer Minister tools. “We managed to bring all the bishops together, as a team, with one vision: to help people,” he said. “We are all from different denominations but we are united because of Scientology.”

Petrus Zwelibanze Dhlame, President of the Religion of Christ Church, Archbishop Azarias G. Ndlela of the Isiziba Church of God and Archbishop Jabulani Henry Ndaba received special appointments as Volunteer Minister Directors in their respective communities, where they will, in turn, train others in Volunteer Minister tools for life.

“I would like to thank L. Ron Hubbard for bringing the Volunteer Ministers program to me and my community,” said Petrus Dhlame. “It has brought light where there was darkness. It has brought knowledge with which problems can be solved. I am looking forward to… making this knowledge known broadly throughout our communities.”


While VMs continue to respond to every major disaster the world over, we take a look at the need that fuels that work.



was caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, in the most costly natural disaster in US history.



occurred between 2004 and 2013.



were reported from disasters over the same nine-year period.



struck last year, leaving 98.6 million affected and $66.5 billion worth of damage.



magnitude 6.0 and above have taken place since 2000 alone.


Volunteer Ministers are on call across the globe and around the clock to respond to any and every disaster. Your contribution will fund volunteer travel as well as food, water, tents and medical supplies for disaster victims.