History of Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe

There are basically three waves of Holy Spirit outpouring with a global impact;

The Upper Room in Acts 2:1-15. – This was the initial major outpouring as prophesied in Joel 2:28, the universal outpouring of the Holy Ghost upon all flesh. This was 50 days after the Pass- over and the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Pentecost simply means a festival celebration after 50 days from Passover, also known as the feast of weeks or harvest (Leviticus 23:15, Deuteronomy 16:16). The birth of the church is the first fruits harvest of the work on Calvary.

The Azusa Street Revival in Los Angeles, California, USA.
-This was under the leadership of an Afro-American man by the name William Joseph Seymour. He was born in 1870 to Simon and Phyllis Seymour. He was enrolled in Charles Fox Parham’s Bible School where emphasis was on the Holy Spirit through the book of Acts. In 1906, William Joseph Seymour was invited to preach in Los Angeles California. His message about The Holy Spirit and tongues was not accept- ed resulting in him being locked out of the church. He found refuge in the home of Richard Ausbury on Bonnie Brae Street. 

The Holy Spirit descended upon the house prayer group on April 9, 1906, with evidence of speaking in tongues. They then moved out to a bigger place, a disused barn at 312 Azusa Street in downtown Los Angeles. This Azusa Street movement became the second major Pentecostal outpouring since the day of Pentecost in Acts 2.

The Charismatic Movement in 1960. -This started led by Catholic priest, spreading mainly among previously non-Pentecostal churches and denominations. Again, the people spoke in tongues.

John Graham Lake. (1870-1935). – He received the Holy Spirit baptism in 1907 under William Joseph Seymour. Prior to that, his terminally ill wife had been miraculously healed under John Alexander Dowie. In 1908, John Graham Lake sold his business with the compulsion to spread the message of the Holy Spirit in Africa. He was accompanied by Thomas Hezmalhalch, arriving aboard a ship in Cape Town, South Africa, on May 14, 1908. (Maxwell, 38). They then proceeded by train to Johannesburg. The team was welcomed by Mrs. Goodenough, who gave them one of her houses to use, as she had been instructed by the Holy Spirit. She went to the train station at the right time to meet royal strangers as she was led by The Spirit. On May 25, 1908, John G Lake preached his first message in a small black church in Doornfontein, then outside Johannesburg. His four-square gospel was:

  • Jesus saves!
  • Jesus baptizes with the Holy Spirit.
  • Jesus heals.
  • Jesus is coming back again!

Migrant workers from across sub–Saharan Africa received the Holy Spirit baptism, bringing back the same message to their communities north of South Africa. Among these Holy Spirit baptism converts were Zacharias Manamela, then Kgobe who visited Gobatema in Gwanda, this was in 1915. One of their first converts was Isaac Chiumbu, nicknamed Kachembere. He was of Malawian origin and he took up leadership of the movement in the then Southern Rhodesia. Some of the migrants spread the message in Katerere in Nyanga area. Prominent converts of Isaac Chiumbu were the famous Gwanzura brothers who were shoemakers in Kadoma (then Gatooma). They were Petros, Johannes (nicknamed Chihari), Zachariah, Samson and Enock. These carried the AFM mantra across Zimbabwe.

In 1930, Loudeweck L Kruger was sent from South Africa to help with the establishment and organization of the AFM in Zimbabwe. He established assemblies along the following languages: Shona speaking, English and Afrikaans. Some of the first Shona speaking assemblies were in Masvingo, Kadoma, Mbare, Rusape and Mutare. Because of his popularity

in establishing assemblies people began to call the church Kruger’s one ( Church yekwa Kruger).

Reverend Langton Muwirimi Kupara was elected the first local or indigenous President of the AFM in Zimbabwe in 1983. The position was then called General Superintendent.

He was succeeded by Reverend Jeffrey Mvenge, after him Reverend Peter Steven Mutemererwa, then Reverend Enos Manyika, Dr Aspher Madziyire and now Bishop Amon Dubie Madawo.

Technically speaking, the AFM is not a denomination but is a movement of the Holy Spirit.

Some landmarks of the AFM include the purchase of a farm in Chatsworth for 60 pounds (about US$75.) in 1949 through missionary Johnson. Of particular interest is the fact that the total amount was raised from among the local peasant members of the AFM.

The farm was named Rufaro Mission, where a school and a conference center were established.

The second landmark was the establishment of Living Waters Theological Seminary by Missionary Willard Wilson in February 1974.

The establishment of many primary and secondary school all over the country, including early learning centers as well as tertiary education centers, the building of many churches and establishing of assemblies within 5km distance from each other and the training of many pastoral staff, and candidates also add to the movement’s great missionary works.

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