A church in South Africa is turning heads over its unorthodox style. The fast rising Gabola Church is redefined what a ‘standard church’ ought to look like, behave and preach.
Gabola Church is situated south of Johannesburg allows its members who congregate at a Tavern to partake of alcohol as they worship God.
(Gabola is the Tswana word for drinking).
The congregates are baptised with a brand of alcohol of their choice.
While speaking to the Daily Sun, the church’s founder Bishop Tsietsi Makiti (52) stated that his church was two months old but has over 500 members and 2000 baptized.
“If you drink beer, you get baptised in beer. The same goes for those who drink cider and other alcoholic beverages,” said Makiti
Refuge for drunkards
Wearing his cleric’s hat with a bold cross stitched in gold on the front, Makiti stated that the church accommodates people who are not welcome at other churches.
He says that his church was created to offer refuge for drunkards who were not accepted and condemned by mainstream churches.
“This is where those labelled ‘drunkards’ by other churches are welcome..
Here, we drink in public and praise the Lord at the same time. This is not a joke … this is a space for people to come together in God’s name without being ashamed of being drinkers…
All we do is drink, praise and appreciate God at the same time. We don’t promise anyone magic.
We are only saying this is an environment where one can drink without being judged at all,” he added.
Currently Men only
On why there were only men in the church, Makiti stated that it was just a matter of time.
“Women are also not allowed because we have men who are drinking, and we cannot have instances where some of them start troubling these women…
We will allow women at a later stage, once our [male] congregants have been well prepared..
Wherever we hold our services, we disallow children from buying alcohol, even if they are sent by their parents; we send them back,” said Makiti.
The Bishop added that he had received many invitations to start a similar church all pover South Africa.
“We have been overwhelmed with invitations from across the country. People want us to come and launch Gabola Church. We are going to the North West soon, as well as other provinces.”
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