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William Duma - Take your glory Lord

William Duma - 1933  - 3 Zulus

Ten year old William Duma sat in the Kraal as the other boys played and wrestled. “Oh mother! I look at the sky and think of the Great, Great One. I stare at the big mountain and wonder how it came here. It makes me frightened not to know. I wonder and wonder what God is like. How can I see Him? How can I tell people about Him if I don’t see Him? My heart cries to itself. I am so lonely. Sometimes I long so much for Unkulunkulu that I think someone must come from the sky to me. Nothing happens and my heart feels as heavy as a stone.”
Duma means “Thunder” and God did truly thunder out of the South African skies as William Duma, a man of prayer, sought Him. Duma’s mother was a Christian brought to a saving knowledge by a widow woman who had lost all her family and lived alone in her hut with such peace and joy. His kindly pagan father had watched his wife and one day while in Kimberly; “a stranger came to me in distress. ‘Tell me, Zulu,’ he said, ‘tell me if you know it, the Name of the God-Man who died for my sin. I have forgotten His Name, but He is in my heart. I’m going home to my heathen people. I must tell them of Him. He found me a few days ago. He died for me and my people must be told He loves them too.’ I told the old mnumzane His name was Jesus. He took both my hands in a grip of gratitude and walked away glowing, his old lips murmuring, ‘Jesus, His Name is Jesus, I must remember, oh I mustn’t forget, His Name is Jesus’
‘”Shame nearly drowned me and somehow my heart broke. I had tossed that Name here at home, but this stranger! I believe he would have forced his trembling spirit to stop everyone on the busy street, white or black, to learn the Name of this strange new lover in his heart.

‘”At that moment Christ’s love poured into my heart bring peace and joy, and since then my spirit soars like the wings of a bird up and up surely to the gates of heaven. What is my secret? Jesus Christ is my Lord and Master.”

William Duma - 1933  - 3 ZulusIt was this event, announced at the beginning of a festival of ancestor worship, which caused the Dumas to have to leave the Great Kraal.
Vika, the father, had an infectious, joyful, abounding faith and reached out to everyone in their new neighborhood. He built a prayer hut high up on a hill and went there every night. Many of the neighborhood followed him there and there many hearts gave way to the flowing love of Jesus.

William had committed his life to the Lord at fifteen, but from twelve to twenty he suffered serious ill health. He struggled to come to terms with his illness and to find answers to him many questions. He slowly learned that he would have to surrender his question of ‘why’ and lay it as a love gift in the center of God’s will. These years of suffering, of unanswered prayers, of disappointed hopes of recovery, of waning health were a hard training ground. He did not realize that his faith was being prepared for an extraordinary ministry dominated by an unwavering faith in the God of the impossible.
Between fifteen and twenty years he was committed to going to school and working to support his family. He was also committed to working in the small local church. At 20 he decided to fast for seven days to seek healing for his many ailments so that he would be free to preach without sickness. Here is the account of that event.

“Each morning he left Elangeni for his hidden sanctuary with honeycomb, lemon and water for sustenance. Each sunset he returned home.
At the end of the seventh day, he left the quiet spot knowing that God had met him, that the wind of the Spirit had blown upon him – but had not healed him. Making his way slowly home, he turned to look at the place of blessing where he had hoped to be touched by God. It was there the burning desire to be healed was replace by a greater longing – that God Himself should be his only desire. Although his future was no clearer, he had gained one certainty, that he would not miss God’s appointed destiny for him.
At midnight on the seventh day of his fast, unhealed, he got up to pray. His communion with God was so deep that the hours passed unnoticed. In the middle of the night, he felt a touch to his head and knew it was the finger of God. Heat like fire raced through his body, causing him to sweat profusely. He collapsed and, as he lay on the floor, he felt a surge of cold follow the heat and realized, almost incredulously, that the pain was no more. He described the moment.
‘”Although I knew God had touched me, I was afraid that the pain would gradually return. I placed my hands on the parts of my body which for years had been torn by pain. I tested and retested myself, then gathered courage to see if I could walk without pain. I walked, walked faster, then stopped in the joy anchored in certainty – I was healed! Dumb with gratitude I knelt, knowing my healing was His charter for my life’s work. In His good time, it had arrived.”

Later Duma went to Durban and attended Bible school there and worked. He attended Bible classes under Miss G. Hitchcock, a gifted American missionary much in demand at conventions. He also took charge as an evangelist at a small vigorous church under the American Board of Missions.
It was during this time that He experienced a first healing of someone else. His Uncle and Nephew arrived at his door on their way to the Zulu Mission hospital because the young boy and embedded a large needle and cotton in his leg by accident. As the boy didn’t seem in great pain they decided to sleep and go to the hospital in the morning. That night the boy awoke crying with his leg in seeming spasms. Duma sat and stared at the boy until a voice spoke to him and said; “Why are you looking at the boy and doing nothing it? Why are you not praying about it? Why are you not praying for him and with him?” Shamed into action by the voice Duma prayed and the boy began to scream and looking at the site where the needle and thread had entered they watch as the leg spasms stopped and the needle and tread were expelled by a strong force.
In 1939 he took on the Umgeni Road Baptist Church, a church of seven people. It was there the glory came down and the mighty ministry of William Duma took root. Duma had many mighty wrestlings with the Lord to bring the Umgeni Church into the place where the Holy Spirit resided and His mighty miracles were a common occurrence. God used those times to draw him close to Himself while looking unsparingly at his heart. Everywhere sin resided within was cut and killed. Duma was shown by the Lord that he must never dally in any of the thousands ways of sin but remain close to Him and reside in the secret place. In particular the glory seeking of the soul was scourged from him and his cry from that point on was always; “Take Your Glory Lord!”.

One other event put an exclamation point on the Ministry of William Duma. Bhengu, a middle aged evangelist in the rural area of Zululand, rang to tell Duma of the tragic death of his seventeen year old daughter. Bhengu had not called a doctor under the direct order of the Holy Spirit to “Trust Me alone.” Duma never shunned doctors and even recommended them in certain cases. But now Litta lay as a corpse and Duma was stunned. It seemed the enemy had arrived with all his black mocking laughter.

Here we take up the story; “Duma left Durban immediately by taxi for the burial. He was dropped five miles short of his destination. Trudging the remaining miles he became suddenly conscious that his dejected spirit was being lifted up by the Holy Spirit. Inexplicable joy overcame his grief, and he began to praise God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. He realized also that in his spirit he was making an incredible request to God, that Litta should be resurrected from the dead to the glory of God. As he passed through the countryside, barrages of insults were fired at him from workers in the fields, from women at their cooking pots, from passing horsemen and pedestrians. To all these he was not only impervious, but unaware. Nothing pierced the depths of his communion with God.
The district was offended because no doctor had been called. They howled, ‘Is that the teaching of your church? You should be ashamed.’ Cocooned in God’s presence, he pressed toward the end of the journey where he was joined by two companions, who had been waiting for him. Mrs. Magwaza, a woman among women, whispered in reminiscent of Bethany, ‘Mfundisi, if you had been in prayer, Litta would not have died.’ Jali, a humble saint of Duma’s church, walked unnoticed, in silence by Duma’s side. As they approached the house of mourning, muted singing wafted towards them. It was a favorite hymn of comfort. The relentless sound of spades, cutting the earth as the grave was being prepared, was a grim accompaniment to the hymn of hope. Duma walked on seeming not to hear, head uplifted, as if in another dimension, seeing no one, greeting no one.

Entering the home, he walked through the rooms crammed with people to the place where Litta lay rigid on her mattress on the floor. Closing the door, permitting only the parents, Jali and Mrs. Magwaza to remain, he examined the corpse to make certain for himself that she was dead. Ice cold, no pulse, no heartbeat. Jali, versed in the tribal tests for ascertaining death, said, ‘She is gone.’ Experienced Mrs. Magwaza confirmed his verdict. Duma had seen and examined too many corpses to have any doubts. This was no coma – Litta was dead.

In the room of death, Duma was strongly under the power of the Supernatural. The four onlookers sensed his total engagement with an unseen Presence. Instinctively they drew aside and stood against the wall. Whatever he was experiencing was totally beyond them. The saw, not their beloved little minister, self – effacing, with a quiet voice, but a man clothed with a new stature, invested with an unearthly authority, for removed from them in spirit. Calling for a basin of water and a small towel, Duma gently bathed the face of the girl. For him time was no more. Silence curtained the room. Standing, he silently anointed Litta, with oil. Suddenly he sank on his knees beside the mattress. He was unable to stand any longer. Still kneeling, he took the girl’s hands clasped together in the unyielding clutch of death and, with tremendous wrenching, separated them placing them widely apart. He then lay, limb to limb on the body, as Elisha had done, but not with mouth to mouth. Years later describing the experience, his voice subtly changed, as if again becoming aware of the mysterious dimension in which he had moved at that awesome time: ‘I prayed a few words in my own language, then I lost my “humanity”. I was no longer a person. I did not know what I was saying. I spoke, not in other tongues, but beyond tongues. I was unconscious of mind, a brain, or a thought. I was away from the body, totally in the Spirit and yet I cannot tell how. I forgot everything – who I was – what I was – where I was – what was happening. I know only that I called in a voice louder than my own, a voice somehow reinforced, “Litta!”

Almost immediately, I felt a strong movement against my breast, a pushing, which grew stronger. I rolled off the body, onto the mattress and further onto the floor. I was incapable of standing. I turned to look at Litta. There was a slight movement. We watched, scarcely breathing. Time seemed to stand still as, unaware that we were watching, she raised, or it seemed that she was being raised slowly, inch by inch, until she lay upright against the wall, her startled eyes unrecognizing, unmoving, unknowing. I tried to stand. I longed with all my heart to run from that house, from that room, away, away from the power of the presence of God which was too “intense”.”

Litta slowly came back to health, but awe was upon the people on what had happened in that glorious, powerful encounter.
Duma’s ministry eventually reached out to Africa and the World and his Umgeni Road Baptist Church became a beacon to all those lost and sick that needed the power of Jesus to save and heal.



The Prayer Life of William Duma

Book Report: Take Your Glory, Lord, by Mary Garnett,

Claudia R. Wintoch

Spiritual Development I

Shirley Smith


World Revival School of Ministry

Fall Trimester 2001

1. William’s Early Years


William Duma was born into a Christian Zulu family in South Africa in the beginning of the twentieth century. In a place where the power of demons were part of every day life, our Savior had gotten hold of his parents. One day an elderly lady came to the Dumas’ home and William’s mother Nomvula realized that she had something unique. It did not take long for her to receive this same Savior. God was preparing godly parents for William. Nomvula would go to her prayer hide-out at dawn every morning, being trained in prayer for a boy who would be known as a man of prayer. Some time later his father also met Jesus which led to their family being expelled from the extended family.

Nomvula knew even before William’s birth that he would be a preacher. When she died, she said to her son: “My son, I want you to be an umfundisi[1], because that it what God sent you to earth for.” (p. 20). As a boy William was “consumed with the wonder of creation” (p. 11). At the age of fifteen, he committed his life to Christ. From the age of twelve to twenty, William had serious health problems which led to disappointment, why-questions and waning faith. However, God was preparing him for the ministry He had prepared for him.


2. William’s Healing


William was a shepherd, attending school and working in the store when possible. One day, aware of his call to be a preacher, yet constantly ill, he decided to fast and pray for seven days. He left early in the morning to go to his secret place, returning at sunset. On the seventh day he knew he had met God, yet was not healed. But God changed his desire for healing with the greater longing of God being his only desire. At midnight that day, as he got up to pray,


“he felt a touch on his head and knew it was the finger of God. Heat like fire raced through his body, causing him to sweat profusely. He collapsed and, as he lay on the floor, he felt a surge of cold follow the heat and realized, almost incredulously, that the pain was no more.” (p. 21)


William made a covenant with God to meet with Him every day at midnight for the rest of his life.



3. Anointed to Heal


His own healing was not yet his commissioning to a healing ministry. William went to Durban where he became a cook and started attending Bible classes. Soon after he became the evangelist of a small lively church where God used him for healing for the first time. He says, “I did not dwell on the healing, I thought it was just an isolated episode in my life, not to be in any way repeated.” (p. 23). However, the next healing followed soon after. In 1939 he took the pastorate of a church of 7 people. After a year of hard fruitless labor, he became so dissatisfied that he left for 21 days to fast and pray because “the Holy Spirit tells me God will meet me there” (p. 25). And He sure did. He says, “Each day, as I sought God, my spirit moved nearer to the Holy of Holies while God searched my heart unsparingly.” (p. 25). On the twenty-first day the following happened:


“[…] until, feeling suddenly very warm, I though the sun must have risen. Raising my head, I found I was in the center of dazzling light. A curtain of shining gold, suspended in space slightly above the ground, completely encircled my dark figure. I was confused with wonder as I discovered my body was glowing. […] Then with authoritative clarity came a Voice soft yet strong, remote yet near, commanding as a King, assuring as a Lover, […] “your dead church will become a witness to Me. You will see humanity transformed from darkness to light. […] My Son, I anoint you with the gift of healing. I charge you to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ – to perform in His name the ministry of healing body, soul and spirit.” (p. 26)


William set up a stone of memorial and would return every year for prayer, fasting and intercession. And every year “amazing manifestations of God’s power in healing followed Duma’s yearly retreat at Emolweni” (p. 38).


4. Signs & Wonders


As he came down the hill, he was “totally framed in a silhouette of flame” (p. 27), reminding us of Moses who had seen the glory of God. During the 5-day campaign that followed, there was a strong sense of the power of God in the services – demons suddenly started manifesting screaming loudly, followed by the deliverance of those women, over one hundred people committed their lives to Christ.

William’s ministry started growing rapidly, seeing healings, deliverance and the dead raised. He would always pray in the name of Jesus and refuse to pray for those who rejected His name. As his church was growing under the power of the Holy Spirit, the Lord commissioned his church to be “constantly kindled by prayer” (p. 32) which led to the establishment of a weekly intercessory prayer and healing service. He encouraged the attendees to fast that day from dawn to the close of the service at around 3 or 4 p.m., and many testimonies of healing can be recounted from those meetings.

In a nation gripped by the power of witchcraft, the gift of discernment was frequently given to William – whether it was the discernment of spirits, of sin in people’s life, or hidden things taking place.


4.1. Healing through Cloths

On one occasion a Canadian woman with cancer sent him a blouse to pray over, believing for her healing when sent back to her. William was not new to praying over handkerchiefs. During the weekly prayer meeting, he “laid hands on the short-sleeved pink blouse as though anointing her person. The power of God descended mightily and he felt it soak the garment.” (p. 38) Needless to say that she was healed.


4.2. Raising the Dead

It is also reported that the dead were raised in his ministry. On one occasion an evangelist’s daughter, Litta, was very ill and died. While he did not oppose medical help, the Holy Spirit urged him to trust God alone. The girl died and William was called to come to the burial. On the way there, having to walk the last 5 miles, his grief was suddenly overcome with inexplicable joy and he began to praise God. He suddenly found himself making the incredible request that Litta would be resurrected from the dead to the glory of God. He was caught up in communion with God, oblivious to what was going on around him. He entered the room were the girl was lying, being “strongly under the power of the Supernatural” (p. 51) The girl’s family saw “a man clothed with a new stature, invested with an unearthly authority, far removed from them in spirit.” (p. 51) William recounts, as he was lying on her body like Elisha, limb to limb:


“I prayed a few words in my own language, then I lost my “humanity”. I was no longer a person. I did not know what I was saying. I spoke, not in other tongues, but beyond tongues. I was unconscious of a mind, a brain, or a thought. I was away from the body, totally in the Spirit and yet I cannot tell how. I forgot everything – who I was – what I was – where I was – what was happening. I know only that I called in a voice louder than my own, a voice somehow reinforced, “Litta!” (p. 51)




The girl came back to life. However, William was unable to stand and wanted to

“run […] away from the power of the presence of God which was too “intense”. It overpowered me. But I could only crawl on my knees. I could not stand. I was sweating profusely. Someone picked me up, carried me to a bed […] For three days I could not lift my hands, nor walk. […] For three weeks I […] was totally powerless.” (p. 52)


Interestingly he says, “I never, never want, in the flesh, to pass again through the dark caverns of the glory of that day.” (p. 52)


4.3. Casting out Demons

At times God would call him to special prayer and fasting for severe cases of illness and demonization. On one occasion a young Christian lady had lost four children prematurely and was pregnant again. He fasted and prayed for seven days from sunrise to 2 p.m., as she also did.  He says, “at first my prayers seemed to hit bouldesr of obstruction and return sterile to my spirit. I persisted in prayer and pressed on in the dark for some assurance from God that a healthy child might be born.” (p. 70). On the sixth day he had a vision of the baby’s skull being broken open, then God knitting the skull together. When the lady came to the prayer meeting, she suddenly realized something was wrong. The women formed a circle around her as the “full church immediately went to prayer of their own accord”. William started praying, realizing the baby was in a wrong position,


“Direction and power came to his hands, but their movements were against a strong opposing pull of satanic interference. ‘The strong force of Satan tried to dislodge my hands,’ Duma explained. […] The opposition grew stronger and I repeated my command […] until […] I felt the undisputed power of God guiding my hands and was assured that the foetus was now in normal position.” (p. 70f)


5. Ministry Abroad


William did not only travel in South Africa and the neighboring countries, but he also ministered in Congo, Germany and Scotland. His travels abroad made him very much aware of his inadequacy, as it had been the case earlier when he had gone to white churches. On one occasion he was to speak to ministers of the Church of Scotland who intimidated him because of their many degrees, and his having “no polish in English” (p. 60). The Lord assured him He was with him and the power of God surged through him, releasing the power of God in the meeting. God confirmed His word with signs and wonders, healing in Scotland the same way He did in South Africa.

6. The Enemy’s Counterattack


6.1. Visit to the Witchdoctor

A visiting minister, after having seen healings and conversions, wanted to go to a local witchdoctor “to obtain a photo and a story” (p. 108). When arriving there the witchdoctor said, “My kings [evil spirits] told me you were coming … Listen! Now that you have come they are singing. Don’t you hear the singing of my kings around the room?” (p. 108f). Following that visit, William continually felt dizzy and surrounded by darkness, dominated by satanic fear, longing to die, unable to pray. After two days it slowly started to lift. Having dealt with the demonic frequently, he says,


I have always claimed the protection of the Atoning Blood of Jesus Christ. […] the morning I had unexpectedly been asked to take Mr Mason to a witchdoctor, I had not prepared myself in prayer.  I was vulnerable, I was off guard and walked into the situation unknowingly.” (p. 110f).


6.2. Busyness of Life

In the sixties, flooded with invitations, absorbed in the preparation of campaigns and all his other commitments, he recalls,


Through the years, at 4.00 a.m., by appointment with my Lord, I had been fed by the Hand of God. The busyness of preparation ate into my early morning appointment with God. Less and less time was spent in deep communion with God. I told myself I was praying earnestly for the campaigns. Vaguely at first, I realized […] [it] had tailed off. (p. 115)


The results were physical tiredness, a decrease of His healing power, pride coming in, the loss of discernment which led to hard untruthful attacks from opposed Christian brothers and sisters, nearly destroying his ministry.  His “already debilitated spirit sank into a pit of antipathy nearing hate.” (p. 116). William suffered a stroke, the doctors believing he might never recover. In his hospital bed he was reading the story of Hezekiah,


“Reading of Hezekiah’s reprieve I was comforted. The tears I wept and wept into my pillos cleansed my attitude toward the young pastor. I mourned like a dove in Lebanon for the resentment I had allowed to make a travesty of my ministry. I grieved for the spiritual capital which had drained away because my first eager communion with God at daybreak had been shortened, if not replaced, by campaign planning. Those recollections broke my heart and I wept into the pillows.” (p. 118)


William was restored to the Lord, healed physically, and returned to his church, being not the same as before. He died at the end of 1976, knowing he would go to be with his Savior.


7. Conclusion


William Duma’s life is a remarkable example of the power of prayer. He would spend whole nights in prayer, making people wonder when he was sleeping. It was His sweet communion with the Lord in the early morning which energized him, gave him his marching orders and the power and authority to heal. His life is an inspiration for us to imitate his zeal, giving us hope that it is not the person that makes the difference, but the time spent with the Lord, the hunger and commitment, readiness to lay down our selves and everything we are and have. Most of all I am greatly encouraged to see the Lord raising up indigenous African people who grow up surrounded by witchcraft, with little light, yet knowing the power of spirits and how much greater our Lord God is.


By: http://healing2thenations.net/papers/duma.htm, http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/newbb/viewtopic.php?topic_id=25216&forum=34&0

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