Cult or just another church?
For worshipers at the Gospel of God Church in Hurlingham, Nairobi is the centre of the world.
That is why it serves as their headquarters. And during prayer time – called after every three hours, the faithful must face east.
“We conduct the service while seated on the ground facing east,” explained the leader of the Gospel of God Church, Pastor Kimasi.
The religious group also claims credit for having prophesied Jomo Kenyatta’s ascendency to the presidency.
According to Prophet Jefuresi, the Church’s leader, their founding prophet had predicted who would rule Kenya.
“He prophesised that the man who was going to rule the land would die before he even took power and that a man from prison would take over,” said Jefuresi.
According to them, the man who died before coming to power was Dedan Kimathi and the man who would rule after leaving prison was Mzee Kenyatta.
“Mzee Jomo Kenyatta was good to us. He welcomed us personally and even told us to spread the gospel, especially to the Maasai”, said Prophet Kimasi.
He added that their prophet had predicted that Mzee Kenyatta would live a healthy life with vast wealth and die peacefully.
From their location next to Daystar University campus, the church unobtrusively conducts its affairs.
Based on their beliefs in prophesies and their style of worship, some people think the Gospel of God Church, which has origins in Zimbabwe, is a cult.
While their belief system is based on the teachings of an anti-colonialism prophet, the church adherents say Jesus Christ is their saviour. They also use the Bible in their worship.
“Before we pray, we have to remove our shoes. We conduct the service seated on the ground facing east. It has to be east because darkness is first destroyed from the east”, explained Pastor Kimasi.
They are led by prophets and evangelists and unlike mainstream churches whose leaders are elected, here, prophets have a final say when and who to choose as leader.
They say the black man must now take the gospel to Europe and America.
“When Christ rode into Jerusalem, he was on a black donkey. We believe this symbolised the black man taking the gospel to the white man who was desecrating Jerusalem at the time,” said Pastor Eniyasi.
The church never allows mingling between men and women. They are kept in separate locations. The sisters conduct small businesses for their personal upkeep and are advised to wear dresses only.
The residence and church area where the Sisters of the Gospel of God church reside in Hurlingam, Nairobi. Winnie Mabel Sanya.