Peter Matika, Senior Life Reporter
AFTER recently making a phenomenal ground breaking record by filling South Africa’s FNB Stadium, which is the largest soccer stadium in Africa, Malawi-born prophet, founder and leader of Enlightened Christian Gathering Ministries (ECG), Prophet Shepherd Bushiri has established a church in Zimbabwe, where it will be headquartered in Bulawayo.
Housed in Belmont, along Fife Street extension ECG Bulawayo is currently led by Pastor Patrick Boanerge, who is the national and resident pastor at the Bulawayo branch, which has the capacity to hold up to 5 000 congregants.
According to Pastor Boanerge, Prophet Bushiri, who is popularly referred to as Major 1, prophesied in 2014 that his biggest branch out of all branches would be in Bulawayo. ECG Bulawayo has grown popular with astounding numbers of congregants ranging between 2 000 and 2 500.
So far the church holds popular Sunday services, mid-week services and daily morning prayers, which are well attended, even by the who’s who of the city.
Pastor Boanerge told Sunday Life in an interview that progress into establishing and registering the church took about eight months.
“Enlightened Christian Gathering Church is a modern congregation of Christ-centred believers celebrating God through the Prophetic, Healing and Deliverance Ministries. It is home to millions across the globe who seek to hear God speaking today.
ECG is led by founder and leader Major Prophet Shepherd Bushiri.
“ECG is more than a church, it is a family, where every race and class is accommodated, where the DNA of God declares each of us as citizens of Heaven, lives are transformed and miracles and testimonies are the order of the day as demons and challenges are confronted and conquered; in our family we don’t stress,” said Pastor Boanerge, referring to the church’s mission.
He said their sole mission and vision as a church was to rescue people from the devil’s bondage and spread the gospel of the Lord.
“We want to focus on the development of a prophetic ministry and church. Our mission is also to bear witness for Christ and his truth and to spread the gospel of the kingdom in all its fullness and power, so that the rule of God is brought about in the hearts of man through the prophetic ministry.
“With a servant’s heart the ministry of our prophet will equip his body to reach the lost through media with the prophetic.
This ministry exists solely so that every household can experience the prophetic word of God so that they may believe in him, call upon his name, and be saved,” said Pastor Boanerge.
He said since establishing the church in Bulawayo they had embarked on various programmes, with helping the less privileged being at the top of the list.
“In December we embarked on a programme to assist the less privileged people in society, where we donated various food stuffs. Jesus did say that it was important for people to help each other,” said pastor Boanerge.
He added that the church was also holding prayer lines for people, regardless of the church where they fellowship.
“Every Thursday we hold prayer lines for people, no matter which church they are from and we don’t make people pay. Also there are anointed products and all other Prophet Bushiri merchandise available at the church,” he said.
Pastor Boanerge noted that the Bulawayo branch also did international bookings and registrations for those wishing to visit the church in South Africa and vice versa.
On the first few months of the establishment of the church, Prophet Bushiri’s elder brother Reverend Otis Bushiri held an all-night prayer session at the church, where he is said to have performed miracles and delivered people from the devil’s talons.
Prophet Bushiri is expected to officially launch the church on a date yet to be advised but sometime this year.
The eccentric prophet Bushiri stretched his popularity beyond measure recently, after he filled the largest football stadium in Africa, FNB Stadium with a capacity of 94 736 during his annual spiritual gathering of Crossover, a day that was this year dubbed “Lion of Judah Night.”
Prophet Bushiri is the founder of Enlightened Christian Gathering and president of Shepherd Bushiri Ministries international, which serves nearly 60 000 members; Enlightened Christian Gathering, Pretoria in South Africa which hosts over 35 000 worshipers each week. His award-winning Prophetic Channel television broadcast reaches millions of homes across the globe. Touching the lives of many and inspiring them to live a life that is holy and acceptable unto God. A much sought-after motivational speaker to young and old, prophet Shepherd Bushiri is known for his prophetic capabilities to speak the word of the Lord with accuracy and precision, and has encouraged millions to pursue a personal relationship with God by listening to the voice of the Lord.
Prophet Bushiri was brought up in a Christian home. He is a son of Huxley and Christina Bushiri.
His birth was mysterious and there were so many issues surrounding his birth such that after he had been delivered, his mother called him Shepherd, acknowledging that the Lord is her Shepherd.