THE Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma paid tribute to the late Na Kalevu, Ratu Sakiusa Makutu, at Cuvu Village yesterday when it presented its i reguregu to the vanua and the chief's family.
The delegation was led by the general secretary of the Methodist Church in Fiji and Rotuma, Reverend Tevita Nawadra Bainivanua.
In a statement, Mr Bainivanua said Ratu Sakuisa was a strong supporter of the church.
"Historically, the paramount chief of Nadroga, Na Kalevu, played an important role in the spreading of Christianity in Fiji," he said.
"Our church records show that 165 years ago, the then Na Kalevu, Ratu Kinijoji Nanovo, personally went to the Methodist mission on Viwa Island to request for a missionary to bring the lotu (Christianity) to Nadroga, the first paramount chief to actively seek out Christianity."
According to the church, the missionaries were out on a mission and Ratu Nanovo found only a leper present. He decided to take the leper to spread the gospel.
Later when one of the Methodist missionaries arrived in Nadroga, he found the then Na Kalevu wearing the leper's clothes to signify his acceptance of Christianity and that of his people.