Prop. Jayson Gribble is one of our new URCSA Cape proponents. But who is this young man who loves reading, binge-watching series and who recently discovered the joy of hiking? He explains:
“I was born at Pofadder, on the 29th of April 1997. My mother is Avril (née Gribble), and my stepfather is Tony Links. I grew up in Pofadder where I completed my primary school at Francois Visser Primary School in 2010. After that I moved to Concordia, Namaqualand in 2011 where I matriculated at Concordia High School in 2015. This is where I still reside.”
In his formative years, Prop. Gribble’s grandmother had the greatest influence on his life. She, unfortunately, passed away on the 9th of June, two weeks prior to the initial date of his trial service this year. “Her faith and hope in God had always made me desire that relationship with God as well. But also her community work, and the fact that she saw her faith life as a contribution of her community work commitment, had a great influence on my own desire to contribute to the development of the communities within which I find myself.”
Another great influence in his formative years was his mother. “She brought me up to stand firm on principles, faith and to make decisions that are in line with my desires and dreams in life. Also, her persistence that I should, no matter what, stand for what is right even if I stand alone.”
Prop. Gribble has been brought up in a Christian home and based on this upbringing he became a member of URCSA because this is the church he was raised in.
“Pastoring was something I thought about ever since I was young,” he says. “My mother tells on numerous occasions how I used to preach at home (playing church). And I think since then I had maybe this desire for pastoring. Nonetheless, prior to me fully accepting this call, I wanted to become a teacher in accounting which was my favourite subject. So, I also wanted to make a difference in the lives of people.”
Even so, Prop. Gribble had always feared pastoring because of the yoke of responsibility and the pressure. “I do believe that since I was young, this was a calling placed in my heart – something I had to adhere to. And on the 13th of March 2016, after much wrestling and contemplation, I accepted this calling on my life to become a pastor even with all the pressure and the enormity of the yoke that would be placed on me. And particularly because I want to be a servant of the Lord, especially in this capacity the Lord has called me now.”
In 2017 Prop. Gribble started his theological studies at Stellenbosch University and completed his Bachelor of Divinity in 2020 and his Master of Divinity in 2021.
His final year thesis entitled “An eruption within an eruption? An exploration of Puleng LenkaBula and Vuyani Vellem’s contribution to Black Theology of liberation” focussed on the historical development of Black Theology of Liberation, particularly in South Africa. With reference to this, he choose Puleng LenkaBula (Vice-Chancellor of UNISA and theological ethicist) and the late Vuyani Vellem (who was Professor of Systematic Theology and Ethics at the University of Pretoria’s Faculty of Theology and religion before he passed on in 2019) as conversation partners. In the thesis, Prop. Gribble looks towards what is the future of Black Theology of liberation, and to what both these scholars can point us for future engagement in this framework of theologizing.
When asked what Prop. Gribble’s dream for the church is he says, “It is that we will become a church that truly embodies all its confessional basis, to be a welcoming church – or rather as my good friend Prop. Ashwin would argue to be a church for others. Also to be a church for the destitute, the poor and the wronged (Confession of Belhar). We should be a church that not only confesses but embodies this church for others within our different communities – a church that takes hands with others to root out evil and injustice wherever it exists.
“For the congregation, I would be called to, I tend always to say: ‘Me going to a congregation, is me joining where God is already at work.’ My dream is that also there we must embody what we confess, and also become involved in being compassionate, loving, caring, and serving the community. This we do not do for ourselves, or to be saved, but particularly because we are saved. We do this with a thankful heart in service of the One who saved us, that is Jesus Christ our Lord. The other stuff, although important, like financial sustainability and so forth will follow.”
Prop. Gribble also has a keen interest in politics, history, philosophy, and theology. He also loves good comedy and documentaries.
Please contact Prop. Gribble at [email protected] or 071 749 1730 for more information.