100 years of Min­istry and Wor­ship Makokoba Unit­ing Pres­by­te­rian Church cel­e­brates a cen­tury of God’s faith­ful­ness

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Sport Starts Here - Yoliswa Dube

THE Makokoba Unit­ing Pres­by­te­rian Church in South­ern Africa this year cel­e­brates 100 years of min­istry and wor­ship. Es­tab­lished in 1916, the church, un­der the theme “Cel­e­brat­ing God’s Faith­ful­ness through 100 years of Min­istry and Wor­ship: March­ing for His Glory”, marks an ex­cit­ing time in the life of the church.

The church cel­e­brates the past and em­braces the fu­ture ac­knowl­edg­ing God’s faith­ful­ness over the years.

It has seen 100 years of God’s word be­ing pro­claimed, the church be­ing led by the spirit, be­ing trans­formed by God and mov­ing for­ward by faith.

Makokoba Pres­by­te­rian has a sin­cere de­sire to show the love of Christ to ev­ery­one.

The pur­pose of the church is to de­clare the gospel, dis­ci­ple be­liev­ers and do the work of the church.

In line with God’s vi­sion of the church to cre­ate a strong and holy peo­ple who will fill the earth with the knowl­edge of his glory, Makokoba Pres­by­te­rian seeks to pro­vide liv­ing wit­ness to His good­ness and bring re­fresh­ment to the earth like dew, wa­ter­ing the world with God’s grace through good works and words of truth.

The church also seeks to leave an im­pres­sion on oth­ers wher­ever it goes – shar­ing right­eous­ness, peace and joy of God’s spirit ruled king­dom as well as to as­pire to great­ness in His name.

The mis­sion of the church is di­vine and three­fold in­cor­po­rat­ing evan­ge­lism (mak­ing dis­ci­ples), ed­i­fi­ca­tion (bring­ing ev­ery be­liever into per­sonal and cor­po­rate ma­tu­rity) and wor­ship (giv­ing heart­felt praise to God).

The church is God’s agency to evan­ge­lise the world there­fore Makokoba Pres­by­te­rian pri­mar­ily seeks to preach the gospel (Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15), to teach the saved (1 Peter 1:5-7) and to ma­ture be­liev­ers pre­par­ing them to per­form works of min­istry (Eph­e­sians 4:11-12).

It is also Makokoba Pres­by­te­rian’s charge to pro­vide a spir­i­tual at­mos­phere for or­derly wor­ship (1 Corinthi­ans 14:40), to re­pro­duce the char­ac­ter of Christ (Philip­pi­ans 2:5), to bring the joy of the Lord to mankind and to in­flu­ence the world by be­ing the salt and the light of the world and for the pres­ence of the church to be an “an­ti­sep­tic” to sin.

The church mem­ber­ship cur­rently stands at over 300 peo­ple with about 30 per­cent com­pris­ing chil­dren, youth con­sti­tute 25 per­cent, men 10 per­cent and women 45 per­cent.

The church also has a sub­stan­tial num­ber of the el­derly in the con­gre­ga­tion — the el­dest be­ing in their 90s.

The Makokoba Pres­by­te­rian main ser­vice starts at 10AM with Holy Com­mu­nion shared ev­ery first Sun­day of the month. Sun­day school starts at 10AM while youth ser­vices are held on Wed­nes­days at 6PM and Satur­days at 2PM. Women’s fel­low­ship is held on Thurs­days at 2PM, on ev­ery se­cond Satur­day of the month at 2PM and on Sun­days at 12PM.

The men meet for fel­low­ship on Mon­days at 5.30PM while dis­trict meet­ings are held on Tues­days and Wed­nes­days at 5.30PM.

The church was built dur­ing the First World War and has sur­vived the Se­cond World War as well as the coun­try’s lib­er­a­tion strug­gle.

Makokoba Pres­by­te­rian hon­ours the peo­ple God used to bring the church to be­ing — their sac­ri­fice, gen­eros­ity and pi­o­neer­ing spirit of the first lead­ers and the con­tri­bu­tion of each gen­er­a­tion since.

It is the de­sire of the church to carry on the good work, op­er­at­ing in unity for the great com­mis­sion and ex­ten­sion of the king­dom of God for His glory.

In ear­lier years, the church build­ing was used as a school serv­ing the sur­round­ing com­mu­nity. Pupils were trained to be re­spon­si­ble cit­i­zens with strong char­ac­ter and un­ques­tion­able skills.

The church plays an ac­tive role in ad­dress­ing the needs of the peo­ple and is at the mo­ment en­gaged in a pro­gramme — Hope for a Child in Christ (HOCIC) — which seeks to sup­port chil­dren af­fected by the HIV/ Aids pan­demic.

Sev­eral sta­tions have been opened by the church over the years al­though only three of them are still op­er­a­tional.

These in­clude Gwa­temba in Fi­l­abusi, Vum­bachikwe in Gwanda, Tshe­lima along Nya­mandlovu Road, Ken­nil­worth past Iny­athi Mis­sion, Vim­ridge along Harare Road, Mnondo Farm along Khami Road, Khayelit­sha in Nku­lumane sub­urb, Mhaw­ini and Ka­ma­tivi.

Most of the preach­ing sta­tions were closed dur­ing the lib­er­a­tion strug­gle and have not been re-opened since as the church is in the process of re-build­ing them. The ones that re­main op­er­a­tional are Vim­ridge, Khayelit­sha and Ken­nil­worth.

Hav­ing gone through the past 100 years, the church looks for­ward with zeal to the next part of their jour­ney to eter­nity, vic­to­ri­ously march­ing for His glory.

As part of its 100th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions, the church held a march on Novem­ber 12 af­ter which Rev­erend M Mu­ton­ganavo preached. The march was sym­bolic for God’s glory. On Novem­ber 13, the church held a wor­ship ser­vice hon­our­ing peo­ple used by God over the ages with Novem­ber 14 hav­ing been set aside to honour the men’s min­istry.

Novem­ber 15 saw the host­ing of a ser­vice show­cas­ing dis­tricts (home groups) mid­week wor­ship and prayer ser­vices where con­gre­gants en­cour­age one an­other while to­day the church holds a birth­day ser­vice high­light­ing the fruits of Makokoba.

Makokoba Pres­by­te­rian marks this day as the birth­day of the church. A ser­vice for all will be held at 5.30PM.

At this ser­vice, the church shall share a birth­day cake and cel­e­brate com­mu­nion led by the Mod­er­a­tor of the Pres­bytery of Zim­babwe, Rev­erend TA Chemvumi.

To­mor­row, there will be a ser­vice to honour the women’s min­istry while on Fri­day there will be a cen­te­nary cel­e­bra­tion din­ner where prom­i­nent his­to­rian Pathisa Ny­athi is ex­pected to be a guest speaker. The din­ner is also ex­pected to raise funds to­wards pay­ing school fees for less priv­i­leged chil­dren.

On Satur­day, Makokoba Pres­by­te­rian hosts a fam­ily fun day which starts at 10AM. The day is meant to cel­e­brate fam­ily life.

The an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions will be con­cluded by a wor­ship ser­vice on Sun­day as the church cel­e­brates God’s faith­ful­ness in the past 100 years.

Rev­erend M Ra­mu­londi, on be­half of the Mod­er­a­tor of the Gen­eral As­sem­bly, is ex­pected to preach at the ser­vice.

The iconic Makokoba Unit­ing Pres­by­te­rian Church build­ing in Bu­l­awayo

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