Five years ago, a one of a kind church sprung up in South Africa and made headlines in its quest to win souls by embracing alcohol consumption during its service.
Inside church where worshipers are served beer, alcohol & baptized with liquor
Alcohol and praise & worship flow freely in equal measure at the church.
Located in Orange Farm in the outskirts of Johannesburg, alcohol and praise and worship flow freely in equal measure at the Gabola church.
Led by self-styled preacher Tsietsi Makiti who proclaimed himself Pope, the church opened up its to people who had been pushed out of other churches for drinking but .
“Many people in the taverns, in the pubs and in the restaurants are regarded as sinners because they are drinking…I was sent by the holy spirits to go to the taverns and the pubs to preach the word of God there because the rejected people of God are full in those places and need to be redeemed” Makiti explained in a past interview.
The church operates from a bar with the pub owner also serving as Makiti’s assistant and spreading its reach to neighbouring pubs and converting owners and patrons.
To churches that raised questions on Makiti's operations,the self-styled pope defended the church saying that judgement is for God.
“Only God can judge. If the church leaders are already pointing a finger at Gabola church and judging, then they are not true leaders. They must come to Gabola church to be baptized anew.” He explained.
The church prides itself in welcoming drunkards in pursuit of salvation, maintaining that they are not in the business of judging who is a drunkard and who is not as the same can only be done by God.
According to Makiti, he is a man on a mission is to win more souls, allowing worshippers to imbibe their favourite drinks as they worship.
“The whole world is looking at Gabola church because all our preaching and services to our congregants are free. All other churches ask for money for the same at a time when the congregation is poor.
“We are drinking and worshiping at the same time…We are going to baptize you free, we are going to marry you free and we are going to baptize you free. We are not doing business with the name of Jesus.” He added.
Turning every pub into a place of worship in his own style, maintaining that he has no business with physical buildings labelled as churches.
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