ZAFMC LEADERSHIP

God's General ,Bishop Ezra Andrias



Vice-Bishop J Muzangwa


Senior High Priest Kandros Mawisire


High Priest Matongo


High Priest Penengwa


COUNCIL OF SENIOR HIGH PRIESTS(Top Six)

  1. Muzangwa J
  2. Mawisire K
  3. Hove T
  4. Matongo J
  5. Penengwa P
  6. Chidanga J



"The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion." (Psalms 135:21)

ABOUT ZAFMC

We're happy you want to know more about the Zion Apostolic Faith Mission Church .Learn about our mission, beliefs, ministries, history and structure.

What We Believe

We believe in God the Almighty,the God of Abraham,Isaac and Jacob.The Bible being our only Holy scripture that came from our lord to save mankind. We believe that the Bible is the inspired, "God-breathed" Word of God and that its teaching is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:20-21).We look forward to Christ as he is the WAY,TRUTH and LIFE. Water baptism marks the beginning of a Christian life in ZAFM.We strongly believe in the word of prophecy. The word of prophecy is respected as it gives us direction as Christians.Prophecy is there to build,comfort and encourage believers.(Corinthians 14:3)

History of the church

The Zion Apostolic Faith Mission Church was founded by Andrias Pedzisai Shoko in 1923.Shoko was a kraal school teacher of the Dutch Reformed Church at Zunga School near his home. Owing to the poor conditions of work ,Shoko left teaching to become a herd-boy at Native Commissioner Peter Forrestall's farm where he was offered better wages. But as conditions worsened Shoko joined the exodus to South Africa as a frustrated man.



Bishop Andrias Shoko (ZAFM Founder)at a church service near his homestead in the 1960s.

While in South Africa that same year, Shoko and another migrant labourer Samuel Mutendi were baptized by 'Edward of Basutholand' better known as Edward Lion, a sessionist leader for the Zion Apostolic Faith Mission (Z.A.F.M.) who had broken away from Bishop Mahlangu's Zion Apostolic Church in 1920.The Zionist teachings were brought to South Africa by Petrus Louis Le Roux, an Afrikaner faith healer who was a member of John Alexander Dowie's church. John Alexander Dowie was based in Illinois ,USA .He is the founder of the first Zion church.He sent Daniel Bryant alongside Petrus Louis Le Roux to preach the word in South Africa. Edward incorporated them into his church and on his return to Chivi,Shoko made his influence felt, much to the alarm of the established order the Dutch Reformed Church.He was the first to challenge the Dutch Reformed Church monopoly in the area. By concentrating his activities in the Southern part of the district near his home in Museva, Shoko constantly made use of the Nyuni range of mountains to conduct his sermons and healing practices and soon gathered a large following. His original way of relating the gospel symbolically attracted many.


Bishop Andrias Shoko at work in plain clothes. "Love not sleep, lest you come to poverty, open your eyes, and you will have plenty of bread"

He held open meetings and baptized all those that believed in his teachings. The colonial administration was quick to react and took the opportunity to rally the support of the chiefs using 'moralist' propaganda. In 1933 the NC convened a meeting of chiefs, headmen and 'their people' where it is alleged that they all unanimously condemned Andreas' church on the grounds of his age-then hardly 25 years old. It is given that the elders requested that his activities be banned. The state reacted accordingly and Andreas was not only warned but was actually punished for his "so-called" offenses.He was detained at Chibi several times.

For Shoko the struggle for religious independence did not end there. In 1935 he was stirring religious opinion in the reserves of Fort Victoria district, necessitating yet another Native Board meeting there convened by the Native Commissioner(NC) Victoria (Now Masvingo)in 1936 with strikingly similar consequences as the one at Chibi. This time Shoko earned himself a deportation to his home in Chibi. From then on Shoko's activities were watched closely and the state turned him into a jail-bird frequently in and out of the Chibi BSAP cells. It was in this endless bid to contain him that the N.C. Chibi put him and his followers under some form of house arrest by driving them into one village in the southern part of the district and having their village head reporting to the N.C's office on a monthly basis. The state's reaction to Andreas Shoko's movement was alarmist, equally reflective of the fears it had of African expression .

1948 was a turning point in the history of the ZAFM. For Shoko , as in all struggles, there were struggles within the struggle he led. 1948 was the year in which his church experienced the first schism led by Jeremiah. who broke away to form his own Z.A.F.M in Chief Shindi's area at the southern end of the district. Jeremiah parted from Andreas with about 200 Church members.
His main complaint was that 'father' Andreas had introduced polygamy into the Church but he ,himself took a second wife shortly after starting his church. In this case the stated reason for fission was clearly secondary to other motivations There were two other consecutive break always by Rueben and Ruka Changa in 1949 and 1950 respectively.
Rueben lived near the ZAFM but he left the ZAFM to join the Members in Christ Assemblies. Ruka Changa caused a major schism in 1950 when he broke away with hundreds of Church members living in the Belingwe (Now Mberengwa) area. He was, however, unable to maintain his position because his followers flocked back to Andreas.
Eventually he admitted defeat and rejoined the ZAFM himself. However it appeared many of these secessionists had personal agendas against Shoko and as it turned out most disappeared into oblivion while others rejoined him. Shoko nonetheless kept the flag of his revolution flying undeterred.

It must be said to Bishop Andreas's credit that, as a result of his strong yet flexible character, he has been able to avert fission on a large scale. Due also to a patient and persuasive determination, he even succeeded in winning back many of the subordinate officials who had broken away under the main secessionists. During a Church service in the Chibi reserve on the 16th of May, 1965, Andreas clearly demonstrated his personal involvement in the 'home-coming' of one of these stray leaders, a certain Simon Tawanda. On this occasion he announced that Simon, having been lost, had 'returned to his father' for a common act of joint worship. This announcement was followed by loud cheering as the members present watched Andreas leap jubilantly in the air with loud 'Hosannas' and 'Hallelujahs'. The humility of this leader which accompanied this vivid expression of joy, must have been one of the important personal contributions towards the cohesion of the leadership of this Church.Unlike the other Zionist movements of Masuka and Mutendi who had experienced more than seven major breakways by 1962,he had come across only three.


Sensing the succession dispute that could arise after his death,Andrias annointed his son Darius in 1955 in the presence of the then high priests amongst them was Kandros Mawisire, Paul Mandude,Erivhanos Makhadho and Mabhigiri.His fellow preacher and friend Samuel Mutendi passed on in 1976.He never turned back but he kept on healing,prophesying, baptising and preaching.Andrias died in 1985 after close to six decades of praising the lord and his son Dorius succeeded him. Dorius was ordained as Andrias (II) at an event that attracted a huge crowd from all walks of life.


Above: Bishop Dorias Andrias,the successor to the founder of the the ZAFM discusses the future expansion of the church at his father's grave at Museva,Chivi District.



Above:Bishop Dorias ponders the next phase on the newly constructed church at Museva.(1985)


Bishop Andrias Dorias(ii) in 2010

Bishop Dorius Andrias moved forward with the gospel.He led the church for 27 years.He left a an undisputed legacy.The numerical growth of the church was experienced under his leadership.New branches were started in all cities around Zimbabwe and in some rural areas as far as Binga. He died in October 2012 at Mpilo Hospital in Bulawayo.He was laid to rest at Museva.

Before his death,he anointed his son Ezra as his successor just like what his father had done when he was anointed.This was done in the presence of his High Priests and family.He also left a written Will testifying that Ezra was to take over as Bishop.His memorial service was contacted on 28-30 December 2012 and Ezra was ordained as Bishop Andrias (III).The ZAFMC church is moving forward with the chosen man of God,Mambo Ezra.


Acknowledgements

First and foremost we would like to thank God the Almighty in the heavens for making this project a success.Glory be to Jehovah!! We want to extend our heartfelt gratitude and deep regards to Professor M.L .Daneel (former professor of Missiology in the Faculty of Theology,University Of South Africa) for the work of documenting the ZAFM History. Without his work,the ZAFMC history could be shallow.