The Sunday News
Sunday News Reporter, Rumbidzai Mhlanga
FOUNDER of Oneness Pentecostal Ministries and one of the longest-serving clergymen in Bulawayo, Apostle Timothy Towe Magagula has died.
Apostle Magagula (83) died at Mpilo Central Hospital in Bulawayo on Friday where he had been admitted for two days.
He had served the church for 49 years.
Church Overseer Pastor Elison Shava, who was mentored by the late Apostle Magagula for 20 years, said the Christian ministry had lost a dedicated evangelist.
“Apostle Magagula was to me a general, visionary, leader, father and mentor. I was under his wings for 20 years. It was as if the Apostle knew he was not going to be with us for a long time as for about 10 years he had disengaged from all church activities, leaving us to do everything with him being an advisor only,” he said.
Overseer Shava said as if to bid farewell to the church, during the Easter Conference last month, Apostle Magagula ordered a big cake which fed about 800 people.
“Now we can see that the Apostle was bidding farewell because he told all of us to be there as he wanted to bless us at the conference. All the teachings and his speeches showed that he was saying all those things for the last time. He even blessed me with his Bible which was a symbol that he wanted me to carry on from where he left off. There will not be any fights for leadership positions because the Apostle sorted all that at the conference,” he said.
In the early 1960s, Apostle Magagula was involved in the liberation struggle under Zapu and operated in Zambia and was at some point arrested in Victoria Falls for his involvement in the liberation struggle.
Overseer Shava said the late Apostle’s calling came when he was in prison awaiting trial when he received an order from God to spread the Word of God.
He was released a day before the trial.
“In 1968 he met up with leaders from the United Pentecostal Church who were teaching a similar gospel to his, he then joined the United Pentecostal Church where he underwent the School of Ministry. In the same year he was ordained a pastor in the same church. In 1970 he established Oneness Pentecostal Ministries which was formally launched in 1975. Further to that he was involved in a lot of interdenominational gospel work, one of which was the Mandlandawonye group, a group which carried out extensive evangelism work in areas like Magwegwe, Lobengula, Njube and Pumula.”
Oneness Pentecostal Ministries is head-quartered in Nketa, Bulawayo and has several branches in Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Funeral arrangements are yet to be announced.