- A church in South Africa is turning heads over its unorthodox style
- Gabola Church allows its members who congregate at a Tavern to take alcohol
- The Bishop, Tsietsi Makiti, baptizes the fast growing members with alcohol of their choice
- Gabola is the Tswana word for drinking
A church in South Africa has rewritten and redefined what a ‘standard church’ ought to look like, behave and preach.
The fastest rising Gabola Church in South Africa situated south of Johannesburg allows its members who congregate at a Tavern to take alcohol as they worship God and are baptized with a brand of alcohol of their choice.
Gabola Church in South Africa has been making headlines since it publically admitted that alcohol consumption is not a sin as it is considered by a majority of the Christian faithful.
In fact, alcohol flows freely during church sermons.
According to the Bishop, the church, which was started baout three years has attracted a huge membership from the general public.
Members of the church do not give offering, instead, they are encouraged to buy alcohol from a store inside the church.
“If you drink beer, you get baptised in beer. The same goes for those who drink cider and other alcoholic beverages,” said Makiti
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.
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.”
The Bishop says they do not rely on donors to run the church but sales from the alcoholic drinks.
It is clear that Gabola church will continue to grow as most of its members feel accepted and appreciated with every drunk being considered a member of the church.
According to the Bishop, in order to become a full member of the church, all you have to do is to be a consumer of any alcoholic drink.
The bishop says he will welcome you with a bottle of beer in one hand and Bible on the other hand.
“If you drink a beer, then you will be baptized with beer,” Bishop Makiti says.