Simon, Geoffrey Goliama (1964–2015)

By Elia John Mwakalonge

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Elia John Mwakalonge

Geoffrey Goliama Simon was a pastor, teacher, and church administrator from Tanzania.

Early Life

Geoffrey Goliama Simon was born in Tanzania June 18, 1964, to the family of Simon Goliama and Catherine Mpogolo, the fourth of seven children.1 Geoffrey and his siblings in descending order are: William, Monica, Annett, Geoffrey, Edward, Flora, and Jenny.

Education, Carrier, and Marriage

Pastor Simon completed Igurusi Primary School in 1979, Malangali Secondary School in 1983, and went to Advanced Level at Mazengo High School in 1986. In 1987 he joined the National Service for compulsory military training at Oljoro National Service Camp in Arusha.

Simon began his studies at Sokoine University of Agriculture in January 1989, where he was baptized into the Seventh-day Adventist Church on January 27, 1990. When he refused to attend classes and do exams on Sabbath, he was expelled from the university. Thereafter he accepted a church call to teach at Parane Adventist Secondary School, from 1991 to 1995.

In 1995 Pastor Simon began studying with Griggs University, based in the United States of America, that was operating an extended campus at Tanzania Adventist College in Arusha. He graduated with a B.A. in Theology in 1998. Upon completion of his studies, he served in different capacities, including serving as the Second Master at Suji Adventist Secondary School from May 1998 to April 1999. On January 17, 1999, Pastor Geoffrey Mbwana officiated Simon’s marriage to Theresia Maira. They had three children, Catherine, Simon, and Caroline.

Simon served as Njiro District pastor from May 1999 to February 2000. From March 2000 to March 2005 he served as the headmaster of Parane Secondary School, and from April 2005 to December 21, 2005, he served as president of the Eastern Tanzania Conference.2

Death

Pastor Simon was among the four church leaders and one driver who died in a head-on collision car accident on December 21, 2015.3 They were traveling from the conference headquarters in Morogoro to Dar es Salaam to attend Dr. Witson Mwamakamba’s burial service. Other leaders who died in the same accident were Pastor Loitopuak Lebabu, conference executive secretary; Mzuma Wikahi, conference treasurer; Pastor Joshua Kulwa, a theology lecturer at the University of Arusha; and William Kulwa, the conference driver, who was also the son of Pastor Joshua Kulwa.

Sources

Kellner, Mark A. “Tanzania: Four Church Leaders, Driver are Killed in Crash on Route to Funeral,” Adventist News Network, December 21, 2005, accessed April 14, 2019, https://news.adventist.org/en/all-news/news/go/2005-12-21/tanzania-four-church-leaders-driver-arekilled-in-crash-en-route-to-funeral/.

Simon, Geoffrey Goliama. Service Record at East-Central Tanzania Conference. Available at the Eastern Tanzania Conference Office.

Notes

  1. This article was mainly based on a narrative given by Mrs. Theresia Simon (wife of the late Geoffrey Simon), phone interview by the author, March 29, 2019.

  2. Geoffrey Goliama Simon’s service record at East-Central Tanzania Conference, available at the Eastern Tanzania Conference Office.

  3. Mark A. Kellner, “Tanzania: Four Church Leaders, Driver are Killed in Crash on Route to Funeral,” Adventist News Network, December 21, 2005, accessed April 14, 2019, https://news.adventist.org/en/all-news/news/go/2005-12-21/tanzania-four-church-leaders-driver-arekilled-in-crash-en-route-to-funeral/.

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Mwakalonge, Elia John. "Simon, Geoffrey Goliama (1964–2015)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Accessed January 27, 2022. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=DFIZ.

Mwakalonge, Elia John. "Simon, Geoffrey Goliama (1964–2015)." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. April 28, 2021. Date of access January 27, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=DFIZ.

Mwakalonge, Elia John (2021, April 28). Simon, Geoffrey Goliama (1964–2015). Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved January 27, 2022, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=DFIZ.