South Africa-based Malawian prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his Enlightened Christian Gathering (ECG) last Sunday Service at Pretoria Show grounds in South Africa was phenomenal as it had over 105 000 people outside the already fully-packed six halls.
Such a spectre is only a symbol of how Prophet Bushiri’s ECG has, in just two years, grown tremendously with registered members showing over 300 000 people.
The growth pictures, as witnessed on Sunday’s Service, has since prompted the South African government to declare ECG an ‘event’, not a church.
The declaration, made by the South Africa’s Joint Operations Committee (JOC), means every ECG gathering, especially at Pretoria Show grounds, will be treated as an organised public event—not just as a church gathering.
In other words, ECG will not hold their services without involving, among others, critical stakeholders in events management such as the Police, Fire Brigade, Emergency Management Services, City Parks, City Power, Water Service Departments and Environmental Service Department.
The mission of the JOC is to make sure that all events held in South Africa are safe and that the organisers comply with all the By-Laws and Regulations of their respective cities.
For instance, in Johannesburg City, under the new Safety at Sports and Recreational Events Act, it is now a legal requirement for all Events with 2000 and more participants/spectators/audience to have Event Plans thereof submitted by the Event Organisers to the National Commissioner of SAPS, a month before the event, for Risk Grading purposes.
Reacting to the declaration, ECG communications director Ephraim Nyondo said the move only cements the ‘unprecedented growth of ECG church not just in South Africa, but also across the world’.
With specific reference to growth patterns in South Africa, Nyondo said the church has become a comfort zone to so many South Africans whom, currently, are facing political and xenophobic challenges.
“South Africans who are tired of relentless political squabbles come here and, in their search for peace and comfort, they meet, discuss and share a laughter with those disturbed and afraid of xenophobia attacks.
“As you can see there, our church has become a platform of national healing, reconciliation and hope to so many challenges facing the country. We believe prayer is a solution and that is why prayer is central at our every service,” he said.
Nyondo added that the church’s structure at the headquarters in Pretoria makes it symbol of unity in diversity.
“The main preacher, Prophet Bushiri is Malawian, while the resident preacher is South African. We also have several associate preachers from US, Kenya and other countries. So we have different nationalities coming together with a single purpose of preaching the gospel and giving hope to the people,” he said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :