A Treasure of a Treasurer
A key leader in The United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe was Rhodes Chimonyo, a Person in Mission in his own country. Rhodes was a lay person who took over the position of field treasurer from a missionary in 1975. He received the funds from the World Division of the Board of Global Ministries and made certain those designated funds went directly to the specific church projects all around Zimbabwe. Mr. Chimonyo always had at his fingertips the needed financial information; his continual correspondence with the World Division of the General Board of Global Ministries enabled all to be informed.
In addition, Rhodes Chimonyo was the conference treasurer starting in 1977. He received payments from stations and circuits throughout the conference. He also managed the pension program.
Wherever Rhodes lived and worked, he found ways to serve God through the church. Rhodes first taught at a rural mission school. The missionary school manager saw and respected the ability and dedication of Rhodes Chimonyo and asked him to serve as school manager. This meant working with 150 teachers in 30 schools, planning the building of new schools, and handling money.
At that time in North America, the church was seeing more clearly the value of scholarships and international experience for emerging African church leaders. Rhodes and his wife, Grace, and their two children came to Nebraska where he earned his B.A. degree at Nebraska Wesleyan and his Master’s degree at the University of Nebraska.
Upon their return home Mr. Chimonyo was appointed to teach French at the Old Umtali Center. Soon he became field treasurer for the conference and continued faithfully in that task. Some folks in the church in Zimbabwe called Rhodes Chimonyo “the glue of the Zimbabwe Annual Conference.”
Taken from “A Treasure of a Treasurer: Rhodes Chimonyo: Person in Mission,” in People Just Like These: Stories of Persons in Mission Serving Around the World, edited by Elizabeth L. Howard. (Denver, CO, and New York, NY: Global Mission Partners and The World Division, The General Board of Global Ministries of The United Methodist Church, 1992), p. 19.