Poverty a sin, says pastor

2017-01-18 06:01
Past. Zenzile November makes a grand entrance into the massive corrugated iron church to the ululations of the congregants of the Victorious Faith Ministries.

Past. Zenzile November makes a grand entrance into the massive corrugated iron church to the ululations of the congregants of the Victorious Faith Ministries.

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Clad in a blue Aeronautica overall, Past. Zenzile November’s grand entrance into the massive corrugated iron church to the ululations of congregants lifts the veil on the life of this extravagant yet humble man.

At a recent service, he entered into the dwelling of his Victorious Faith Ministries riding a blue Harley-Davidson. Topping it off, he was wearing expensive blue Palladium boots, which can cost upwards from R2 000.

Located in the centre of the Phase 6 settlement in Mangaung, Bloemfontein, several congregants hummed in the hot zinc sheet church filled almost to capacity.

The Victorious Faith Ministries has 5 000 congregants, according to November, the founder and principal pastor of the church.

In song, congregants march to a large offering basket filled with numerous bank notes to offer their donations. The basket, placed in front of the stage, is frequented by churchgoers during the sermon.

“Give your offering and make way for your miracle,” says November upon climbing off his flashy Harley-Davidson motorcycle.

“I still believe in miracles. The fact that we woke up this morning is a miracle,” he told Express.

Referring to the Limpopo prophet Lethebo Rabalago, who made headlines for allegedly spraying congregants with Doom to heal diseases, November quotes 1 Timothy 4:1:

“Now the spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons.”

During a deliverance session, November was seen spraying ointment on congregants believed to have been possessed by demons.

The charismatic pastor says people have stopped referring to the Bible for guidance and are consequently subjected to manipulation by people claiming to be men of God.

However, November says he has no problem with Doom, because the pesticide “destroys the demonic possession, but does not harm the person”.

November is well-known for driving a luxurious fleet of vehicles, which includes an AMG Mercedes-Benz S65 V12 Bi-turbo priced at about R1,5 million.

November says he is unfazed by those who criticise him for his wealth and added that the Bible “says poverty is a sin”.

Joblessness and poverty are some of the challenges faced by the residents living in the Phase 6 settlement

“I empower the congregation and the community,” November says.

Empowerment has come through the sale of various products by the ministry. Products include anointing oil at R50 per bottle, healing water at R30 per bottle and a miracle cloth at R100. Through these deeds, some residents said they had have found solace in the church teachings and deeds.

Every year on New Year’s Eve, the flamboyant November holds a coffin service, during which congregants write down the problems they do not want to face in the new year. Upon documenting all problems they do not want to encounter, they throw the letter containing their problems into a coffin. When the service is over, they burn the coffin with all its unwanted papers and bury the ashes.

Charismatic, comical, humble, bold and strict are some of the characteristics cited about November’s congregation. The pastor’s miracle and deliverance service has attracted a large following locally.

“I still believe in miracles. The fact that we woke up this morning is a miracle.”
– Past. Zenzile November

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