Peter Storey is a South African Methodist minister who is a former president of the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA), and of the South African Council of Churches (SACC), and Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams Distinguished Professor Emeritus of the Practice of Christian Ministry at Duke University Divinity School.
His 40-year ministry in South Africa was defined by sustained opposition to the infamous apartheid government and its oppressive racist policies, first in Cape Town during the forced removals of people of color and as chaplain to Nelson Mandela and other political prisoners on Robben Island. Later, as a Methodist and Ecumenical leader he played a significant national role in the Church’s anti-apartheid struggle. He and then Bishop Desmond Tutu were witnesses-in-chief for the SACC when the apartheid regime put the organization on trial.
His pastoral ministry was spent in inner city churches, most notably District Six in Cape Town and the Central Methodist Mission in Johannesburg, and he has also preached and lectured widely around the world. He served for 13 years as Bishop of the Johannesburg/Soweto area and played a leading role in MCSA transformational movements such as Obedience ’81 and the Journey to a New Land process prior to the advent of democracy. He founded South Africa’s Life Line telephone-based crisis intervention service and Gunfree South Africa, the nation’s anti-gun movement.
Bishop Storey was a regional chairperson of the National Peace Accord combating political violence in the Johannesburg/Soweto area and was appointed by President Mandela to help select the members of the post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He also gave evidence in the trial of former State President P.W. Botha. After retiring as Bishop he taught for seven years at Duke University Divinity School and in 2003 was named a distinguished professor. He has received a number of honorary degrees, including one bestowed by Duke University in 2007.
Returning to South Africa in 2006, Storey headed up the design, funding and building of the new Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary in the city of Pietermaritzburg, which was opened in September, 2010. He chaired its Governing Council and most recently served as interim president of the Seminary.
His publications include: With God in the Crucible – Preaching Costly Discipleship (Abingdon, 2002), And are We Yet Alive? – Revisioning our Wesleyan Heritage in the New South Africa (Methodist Publishing House, 2004), and Journey Begun – the Story of a Church in a New Land (Methodist Publishing House, 1995). In 1970 he founded the Methodist monthly newspaper, Dimension, and was its editor for eight years. He was also a weekly columnist in the national Sunday newspaper, the Independent.
He and his spouse Elizabeth live near Cape Town. They have four sons and six grandchildren.