Africa's First General Authority

Africa's First General Authority

Elder Christoffel Golden was sustained as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on March 31, 2001. He was the first resident of Africa to become a General Authority. Previously, he served in the Third Quorum of the Seventy as an Area Seventy for the Africa Southeast Area. He has served as President of the Africa Southeast Area and counselor in the Africa West Area. He is currently serving at Church headquarters as the Executive Director of the Priesthood and Family Department.

Elder Golden is an experienced businessman with a background in banking, pharmaceuticals, and marketing. He graduated from the University of South Africa in Pretoria, where he earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science and a post-graduate honors degree in international politics.

He has served in a number of Church callings, including full-time missionary in South Africa, ward and stake Young Men president, institute teacher, bishop, stake president, and area director for the Church Educational System.

Christoffel Golden was born in Johannesburg, South Africa on June 1, 1952. As a young man, he completed nine months of military service in 1971. From 1977 to 1979, he served in the Johannesburg South Africa Mission. After his mission, he met his future wife, Diane Norma Hulbert, who had graduated as a registered optometrist. He finished university while she served a mission in Johannesburg. They married in December 1981 and are the parents of four children.

“I have always had a deep love for the Savior. I grew up reading the Bible and saying my prayers most days,” says Elder Christoffel Golden Jr. “When I was 20, my mother opened the door to the missionaries. I won’t ever forget it. We all believed and were baptized.”

“Our lives were centered in the Lord right from the beginning,” he says. “There is no question that we delight in sustaining the Lord, the prophet, and the Twelve.”

In June 1996 he began working as an area director for the Church Educational System. “Many of the young people here don’t have parents in the Church,” says Elder Golden, who speaks both English and Afrikaans. “It is through seminaries and institutes that we can teach a gospel culture.”

“My love for Jesus Christ has been with me since I was a child,” he says. “This calling is another opportunity for me to serve Him.”