Gospel of God Church
On 1 October 1914, many strange
events took place in Zimbabwe (then called Southern Rhodesia). According to
witnesses, at around 7:00 p.m., a bright star moving from east to west
illuminated the country. The atmosphere roared and the earth trembled - shaking
people, implements and utensils. Wild animals left the forest and came to peoples
On the following day at Gatoma gold
mines, a European manager gathered his workers
twenty-seven groups in all. After a question and answer session, he disclosed to
man of God has been born today. This is the Lord who teaches about the Kingdom
of God ... this man will bring back the Church that was known as the Last Zion.
He will start his ministry eighteen years from now - in 1932.
Towards the end of June, 1932
Shoniwa was cycling home from Norton Railway Station when he saw a bright light
and fell unconscious from his bicycle. He fell into a coma for ninety days`
after which he was extremely ill. He spent much of this time in hut together
with a number of friends namely: Sampson Mativera, Cheurombo, Mazhambe, and four
Malawians. At the end of this period he was presumed dead.
On that day, he lay in the locked
hut when his friends heard two voices conversing outside the hut. One voice
seemed to be his while another seemed to be coming from above
The voice from above instructed:
your people to honour the Sabbath
And he replied:
give us strength to honour the Sabbath
By similar command and response,
the following instructions were given:
Tell your people to have no God but me
the Almighty God.
Tell your people not to commit adultery
Tell your people not to call Gods
name in vain.
Tell your people not to murder.
Tell your people not to steal.
After this, Shoniwa disappeared
mysteriously from his locked hut.
On 1 October 1932 Salatiel, a
shepherd, and his (Salatiels)
European boss saw him on Mount Marimba, near Norton Railway Station. He alone
appeared to be on the mountain seated under a tree, despite the many voices that
could be heard singing Hosanna choruses with him.
Shoniwa narrated to Salatiel what
had transpired during the three days after his presumed death and disappearance.
His spirit had gone up to heaven where he was baptised and named John the
Baptist or Johane in Shona Language. He had a staff, a white robe, and a small
book. The book, he explained, was: the Gospel of God that would be
preached throughout the world.
The robe was:
holy temple for the whole world - like the holy temple of Jerusalem.
About the staff, he
said this was:
sign of the final Judgement.
On hearing what transpired at Mt.
Marimba, the colonial government at Salisbury (Harare) ordered a search of the mountain.
After failing to capture John the Baptist the policemen on the mountain called
for reinforcements. More policemen were sent together with dogs. The search was
temporarily halted when the dogs developed multiple heads.
On seeing this, Government
officials contacted Musami Mission. The missionaries there contacted Pope Pius
XI in Rome - who advised a Priest known as Father Bobricki, to fast and pray for
three days, and then to go to the mountain empty handed and talk to the strange
Accompanied by police, the priest
met Father John (or
in the mountain. They exchanged pleasantries and conversed at length. The
conversation traversed dozens of languages. By the time it was over, the priests
linguistic mastery had been challenged and exceeded in every language the he
including Latin and Italian.
Yet, John was still provident
enough to avail an opportunity to the eager colonial empire
to test its might. As soon as the conversation ended the police changed the
agenda to arrest and detention. Despite no visible resistance, efforts to chain
John turned futile as the
handcuffs lost their usual grip. It was only by his own command that they were
able to bind him.
While in prison, despite torture,
John refused to abandon his mission. The prison authorities came to terms with
the futility of their efforts the following morning when they found him seated
outside the locked cell. More stringent locking on the following night turned
scandalous when John was found outside - singing Hosanna with the other
The prison authorities sought an
explanation for his actions. To this he replied that he had been sent to redeem
sinners. When they demanded some evidence he told them:
the entire city of Salisbury (Harare) will be covered by locusts!
True to his word, at a quarter past
ten on 30 October 1932, Harare (then Salisbury) was completely covered by a
cloud of Locusts. As a result, the Colonial Government offered to build him a
Church. However, John asked for a Church that would traverse the whole world
a suggestion that was promptly turned down.
The Government officials asked for
the meaning of the locusts that had covered the city. When he told them that
these locusts signified the return of the 1914 war (the Second World War); they
then asked for a survival tip. To this he explained:
you (British), Africans, Americans, and Jews pray to God, the war will end.
He then went out to teach the
people - showing them great wonders, and prophesying. About the fate of colonial
rule in Africa, he prophesied:
The white shall fight the black. The white with guns
and the black with stones, but the white shall be defeated.
One day, John was walking past a
village, when he saw a tree that had been felled.
This apparently usual occurrence
prompted him to ask:
Who has cut this tree?
When this question attracted
protests from the owner of the homestead, he politely explained:
son of the man who cut this tree will indeed be the first black ruler of
Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). He shall liberate this country when he will be living in
The man who had cut the tree was
called Gabriel Mugabe, and this prophecy came to be fulfilled in 1980 when
Zimbabwe attained independence from Britain.
had neither been to school nor attended any of the missionary churches, he
taught the word of God in depth and in breadth. He not only unravelled the
Bible, but also even taught from many ancient texts that were not available in
Zimbabwe at that time. His followers were asked to travel as far as South Africa
and Kenya to purchase books in order to witness and confirm his teachings. Some
of books include the books of Adam, the books of Enoch, the book of Jubilees,
Still in the same year, John was
arrested for a second time and taken to prison at Malondera. The futility of the
venture was seen in broad daylight. John and the other prisoners sang Hosanna,
as spades, wheelbarrows, hoes, and mattocks worked the quarry unmanned.
Puzzled and confused, authorities
ordered that he be released and taken to his birthplace at Rusape. Without any
delay, John resumed his mission and travels - through out Zimbabwe and beyond.
It was a journey of great sacrifice
for John and his followers. They sold their property to finance the mission.
Many of them abandoned their homes leaving behind crops, animals, and land to
their relatives. Much of the initial travel was done on foot. This way they
travelled through Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and went as far as Port Elizabeth in
It was in South Africa that John
and his followers (apostles) were treated with dignity and great consideration
from the local authorities. However, the African population there remained
preferring to stick to their old ways. For this reason he decreed:
Africa will be the last African country to be snatched from colonial rule.
Some of the highlights of this long
The ordination of
Evangelists, Pastors, Prophets, and Teachers.
The formation of the
house of covenant or the ark of virgins - which comprised of female members
chosen from the congregation.
Practical teachings on the
law and aspects of life including work and trade.
From South Africa, travel resumed
northwards into Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, and Kenya. On September 13
1973, Father John rested physically - leaving behind the Holy Spirit to guide
the Church under the structures and leadership that had been set up.
were given about future challenges and travels. The Church elders would travel
all over the world - announcing the Sabbath and the Judgement day. The entire
congregation was admonished to look after the house of covenant:
care of these virgins properly so that they can remain holy before God till the
end of time.
It is for this reason that there
are many churches that profess the teachings of John the Baptist or John of the
Wilderness (Johane Masowe). However, it is the Gospel of God Church that has
stuck to the original teachings and mission.
Kenya, congregations now exist in other countries like: Ethiopia, the Sudan, the
USA, and Britain. John asked his followers to specifically make pilgrimages to
seven countries: Israel, Ethiopia, Britain, Germany, the United States, India,
In 1998, twelve elders and twelve
sisters from the House of Covenant visited Jerusalem as was prescribed. In 2000,
a similar pilgrimage was made in Britain, Ethiopia followed in 2001, with a trip
to the historical town of Axum. Then in 2003 the elders and the House of
Covenant visited some stipulated sites in Berlin, Germany. In 2004, the trip to
the USA followed, in 2005 the pilgrimage to India was made; the preaching of the
Gospel of God still continues.
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