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Apostolic Faith Legends

As The Apostolic Faith in Zimbabwe we thank God for the legends, mighty men and women of valour who have walked the devine walk of faith and who created a lasting legacy for the Apostolic Faith Family. These gallant faith fighters, moved by God , have shown us the way in the one true Gospel and we acknowledge them below:

Rev Langton Muvirimi Kupara

Langton Kupara was born in the Musana area of Bindura in a family of 3 boys and 3 girls. He attended school at Mumvurwi until he reached standard five. In 1936 he left for Harare where he worked as an electrician for 15 years. All those years he was a born again Christian for he was baptised on 8 May 1932. He joined A.F.M in 1932. Between 1957 and 1959 he trained at the Kasupe Bible college in Zambia. In 1960 he was ordained as a full time minister before moving to Dandara in Murehwa. From Murehwa, he moved to Mbare where he would stay with his family for over ten years. The national conferences were held in Mbare then, and many people who came from different parts of Zimbabwe would pass by his house. Some even put up for the night. It was in Mbare in 1964, when his wife “died” and people were reportedly mourning when he came and prayed for her and she woke up. “Our father was not at home when it happened, when he came back people had gathered in the house crying. He was calm, not even moved and told mourners that my wife was not dead. He said God never told me that. He instructed everyone to go out and he prayed in the house until mother came back to life,” his second daughter Verna said in an interview. Reverend Kupara was a good musician with a voice whose presence was felt when he started a hymn. His favourite hymns were Vazhinji vanayo nhaka, Hosana Wokudenga, Dombondipa meso ndione and Mwari Muri zuva redu. From Mbare he moved Highfields where he carried on preaching the word and praying for people as A.F.M grew. From Highfields he moved to Marlborough with his family.

The Works: These are the Acts of the Apostle, Rev Langton Kupara. The first black man to lead AFM in this country at National level as Superintendent in 1983. He was a brave man who stood out for his Faith and many Exploits for the Kingdom of Jesus. A man who was well at ease with any age group, infants to senior citizens. He was humble to seek other people's opinions and would rebuke constructively without any fear. Above all he was sensitive to the leading of the Holy Ghost. One night at a Quaterly Conference in Zengeza 3. The devil sought to disrupt the meeting that night through a violent storm. The storm was so strong that the large blue and white tent that sheltered the parishioners was almost ripped off. With a loud voice, Rev Kupara rebuked the wind and immediately there was calm. The Service continued and many works of power were witnessed. During his time, a lot of church buildings were either built or bought. Glen Norah, Waterfalls (including the then pastor's house in Jennifer Way), Ngomakurira, Mufakose, Glenview, Zengeza 3, St Mary's and Seke. A highlight of his ministry was the establishment of Crusade Tent Ministry, what was then famously called 'Team Tende'. Many pastors graduated to this humble ministry. These included Pastor Tarupiwa, Masiyambiri, Mukwaira, Chiweshe to name just a few. A gallant fighter of Faith he was. Many remember him even for the songs 'He Will Take You Through ' and 'Tinotakura Muchinjikwa'. He loved Spirit filled choruses. His personal interpreter was Dr C. Murefu during cross cultural missions. “He introduced instruments in the church saying he was doing so to avoid children from going to night clubs. This development was not accepted by everyone then.” said Patricia, one of his daughters. A classical example happened in Bulawayo at Matshobane where there was a real head-on collision between the conservative Elders and the youthful. A member of the church, who had just won lotto, had purchased a full kit of musical instruments to be used in services. Elders could have non of that saying guitars are used in the secular to appease devil. They preferred clapping of hands rather. So they gave instruction that the instruments should not be allowed into the House of The Lord. Rev Kupara then was called in to resolve the stalemate. He vouched for a win win situation where the instruments would be played only on Choruses while Hymns were unplugged. Hands clapping would accompany Hymns. That was heavenly Conflict Resolution at its best. The legend's journey on this side of life ended on 1 February 1988. “He was buried at Warren Hills and so many people attended. Even after his coffin had been lowered many people were still coming. Until today we are grateful for such a send-off of to our father,” his daughter said. President Robert Mugabe sent a condolence letter to Kupara family when he died, part of the letter reads: “It is with profound grief that I learnt of the death of Reverend Kupara on Saturday after a long illness. On behalf of the government and on my behalf, I extend to you the Kupara family and entire Apostolic Faith Mission my condolence on your bereavement”. Hoko dzavakasiya varovera pasi dzinooneka pachena even from where we stand today as we CELEBRATE 100 yrs of AFM's existence in Zimbabwe. Long Live AFM.

Rev Dr Stephen Peter Mutemererwa

Born 1934 at Muzogwi, Chibi Masvingo Province to Peter Kupara and Sarah Chitembure in a family of 4, the late Rev Stephen Peter Mutemererwa attended Muzogwi Primary School and later Chibi Mission School. He took the middle name 'Peter' after his father Peter Kupara Mutemererwa. In 1964, he married Rosina Manatsa and together they were blessed with 9 children. He got employment as a Shopkeeper in 1947 at Nharira, Chivhu and in 1951, he enrolled to train as a teacher. He taught at Chibi Mission up until God called him to Ministry in 1956. He finally left the country in 1958 to Kasupe Bible College in Zambia where he trained. He then Graduated in 1960. The late Mutemererwa did his probation at Nyajena in 1963, Marriage Officer in 1965 (together with the late Rev L. Kupara, Ntizhila, etc), Assistant Overseer in 1966 and Overseer in 1972. Rev Mutemererwa's Ministry concentrated in areas such as Gutu, Chibi, Mberengwa, Chivhu and the Lowveld until he settled in Chiredzi pastoring Tshovani Assembly. The man also spearheaded the planting of many Assemblies in Masvingo Province. His Ministry emphasized on evangelism, deliverance, miracle works and Faith healing. In short, Dr Mutemererwa was a real Pentecostal father. People that saw or worked with him agree that he was tough and uncompromising. In 1983, while Rev Mutemererwa was Overseer in Masvingo, he became National Treasurer in the first National Committee post-independence. In the Committee he worked together with Rev Langton Kupara as Superintendent and Rev Mabusa as Secretary General. He then was elected Deputy Superintendent with Rev J.J Mvenge as Superintendent. In 1996, he was elected President for a single 3 year term. In 2000, he was called to pastor Mbare Assembly in Harare. Rev Stephen Mutemererwa worked at Mbare Assembly until he went to be with The Lord in 2005. His body was taken and laid to rest at Muzogwi, Chibi in Masvingo, his rural home.

Evangelist Bernard Mukwaira

As AFM in Zimbabwe slowly counts down to its Centennial Celebrations in August this year, I saw it prudent to write classical history of only a few of the countless celebrated Saints who contributed in God's field to bring AFM this far. 23 June 1997 is the date that saw the untimely departure of Rev/ Evangelist Bernard Mukwaira at the Avenues Clinic in Harare after being admitted there for a week. At the time of his departure, he was the Pastor at St Mary's in Chitungwiza and Provincial Committee Member for then AFM Mashonaland Province. Rev T I Murefu was the Overseer and Rev Mutemererwa was the Church's President. He was 52. The late Rev Mukwaira was born in Nyanga. After school he worked for Agritex as an Extension Officer. He left his job in 1977 to do full time sculpture. Accord to Roy Guthrie of Chapungu Gallery, Bernard Mukwaira whose works were exhibited internationally, worked so hard to be among the ten best sculptors of the world. After yielding to God's Call, in 1986 Bernard Mukwaira enrolled in Bible College and graduated in 1988. He was deployed to AFM St Mary's Assembly where he tirelessly worked until his sudden departure. He was a great Giver, Businessman, Pastor and Evangelist. The late Evangelist was laid to rest at his farm in Bromley leaving behind his wife Leocadia and seven children. Part 2 of the same story will focus on Evangelist Bernard Mukwaira's works and testimonies concerning his life. "It is better to be with the Lord than to be in the body and that is why Paul says to die is gain". This sobering statement was said at the burial of the late Rev Mukwaira by AFM President now late Rev S. Mutemererwa. A dedicated, committed and unique personality makes every statement you hear of the late Rev Mukwaira breathtaking and out of this world. Besides being an unparalleled Giver, the man lived in constant communion with God through a prayerful life. He simply would refuse to give up until an answer was given him. At Church, he did not so much believe in man-made programs. Most services would turn into worship or healing sessions right through. Outside, Rev Mukwaira was truly an Agricultural Extension worker of the Kingdom. He believed in sowing the Word of God through Crusades. He had his own team called 'Jesus In Action' (JIA) with which he bombarded Chitungwiza and away. His first Crusade outside Chitungwiza was at Mutawatawa of Maramba. A secular music band 'Farai Brothers' which was billed to perform at Mutawatawa packed up their instruments and left Mutawatawa when all the people there preferred the Crusade. Many miracles were witnessed and many souls were saved. At Mbare, after a week long Crusade it is said that 900 souls came to Christ. In Kariba, mighty works were seen through Rev Mukwaira's escapades. A little girl who was reported to be at the point of death through a terminal illness was rescued to life again and her entire family repented. Many many real stories can be told and volumes written about these crusades. Backing Evangelist Mukwaira were musical outfits such Fishers of Men, Sounds of Revival and Igugu LeNkosi making the Crusades exciting and unique. 1997 June the 9th was to be the launching date of a 3 months Crusade program that would begin in Bindura moving to Mutare, Chiredzi and other places ending at Rufaro General Conference by August. Only God knew that Rev Mukwaira would depart in just 2 weeks. At Living Waters Bible College Rev Mukwaira was instrumental with regards to donations in cash or kind. He also became a Dean of Students. His agricultural skills led to the starting of gardening projects at Tynwald Campus. Up to this day, the garden is still green. Rev/Evangelist Bernard Mukwaira will always be remembered in our hearts and minds. Truly one of the AFM Heroes. Live on AFM. 100 years in Zimbabwe. J. Danda.

Rev Dr Shumbambiri

As we reflect on the 100 years of AFM in Zimbabwe, this is a brief biography of one of our church's revered legends. Whenever he shouts his Spiritual chant "Aah....Aah" on the microphone at Rufaro, that alone is enough to terrify the devil. Many people receive their deliverance even from hundreds of meters away from Gotekwa. Rev Shumbambiri was born 1939 in Zaka Masvingo. He went to Jichidza School for his elementary education. He repented in 1962 in Harare and was baptised there. He married Rosemary Mpofu. Together they became Deacons in the early 70s. God called him to Ministry in 1975 and in 1977 went for training at Living Waters Bible College in Zimbabwe. In his Ministry, he says that he started off in Chitungwiza late 1978 where he continued to pastor for 8 & 1/2 yrs. He was mostly stationed in Zengeza 3. He worked in many around Chitungwiza including Dema, Seke rural areas. God was not yet done with Rev Shumbambiri who then moved to Highfields where he worked for 6yrs. He yet moved again to Mabelregn where he pastored for 6 and 1/2 years. He was assigned to be Overseer Mash Central in 1996. In his ministry, he founded 36 assemblies. In 2005 he then retired from being overseer. Raised many pastors including Rev Chiweshe. God gave him 7 children! 2 girls Moly and Primrose who are first and last born respectively. The 5 boys include Gregory who is National YPU Treasurer. At the time of the interview, they had 16 grand children. Live Long AFM. (1915 - 2015)

Mrs Kerina Mudyiwa Murape

Kerina was born in Nyachuru area of Chiweshe and grew up as a Salvationist. She later joined AFM in the mid to late 1930s at Mbare. The girl Kerina later married Naison Tigere Murape who was a BSA Police officer then. She was struck with bareness for a while until she was prayed for. The family was blessed with 7 children the 1st born Josiah (late) was born in 1940. She was long serving deaconess in the Apostolic Faith Mission. For over 50yrs, she diligently served in the House of the Lord. The church through Living Waters Theological Seminary celebrated her work in the body of Christ by conferring her with an Honoury Diploma in Theology. A true Heroine of Faith who did many works of Power including Prophecy and Healing. Mbuya Murape was a walking, talking Bible. Even at her advanced age, she could effortlessly reference and memorize Scripture. When one visited her homestead to be prayed for, she would prophetically announce the relevant scripture even before she was told of the visitor’s issues. Her peers included high profile clergy of the likes of Rev Ezekiel Guti, Langton Kupara, Peter Mutemererwa, Masike and many others. Mbuya Murape passed on 13 January 2015. She was buried 2days later in Domboshawa Harare North Province. Her funeral service was attended by the entire AFM National Executive and people from across the country. As AFM celebrates 100 years of Pentecostal ministry in Zimbabwe, the history would not be complete without mentioning Mbuya Murape’s contribution and role.

John Graham Lake

John G. Lake was born in Canada on March 18, 1870. He moved to the U.S. with his family in 1886, at the age of 16 He was born-again in a Salvation Army meeting at age 16 His first wife, “Jennie” died in South Africa on Dec. 22, 1908 (only six months after their arrival there) He founded the Apostolic Faith Mission on 25 May 1908 in South Africa with his friend Thomas Hezmalhalch. Lake and Hezmalhalch would appear to be the first Pentecostal missionaries to South Africa, and introduced speaking in tongues. In South Africa he stayed for 4 years after his wife’s death raising their 7 children with his sister Irene’s help. He returned to the U.S. on Feb. 13, 1913 where he married Florence Switzer in Sept. 1913. He moved to Spokane, WA in September 1914 where he began ministering in “The Church of Truth”. After six months he opened his own building which he called “Lake’s Divine Healing Rooms”. He began training “Divine Healing Technicians” in an organization he founded, called: The Divine Healing Institute. From Feb. 1915 until May 1920, Lake and his “DHT’s” reported over 100,000 healings. He then moved from Spokane to Portland, where he duplicated the work by founding a church and Healing Rooms. After five years in Portland, Lake began traveling down the California coast establishing Healing Rooms and churches. He went to Houston, TX, in 1927 and founded a church and healing rooms there. In 1931, Lake relocated to Spokane where he bought an old Methodist church and started his last work which included a church and a healing room in the church building. John G. Lake died on Sept. 16, 1935 in Spokane. You will notice that at the time of his death, Apostolic Faith Mission in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, had now established and fully put into structures.