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Devout Shembe followers gather for blessings

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Thousands of Nazareth Baptist Church followers congregated peacefully at newly established Sandanezwe Temple, to receive blessings from Bishop Mduduze Shembe.

The bishop who is also referred to as King Shembe had traveled from KZN to bestow a blessing on the newly established branch which has been set up in Doornfontein Johannesburg.

Keeping alive traditions established decades ago, the Shembe remove their footwear before entering the holy space, women are not permitted to sit amongst the men nor are they allowed to wear trousers.

Areas of division are also visible where virgins assemble, as well as an additional space for women who have had born children, yet are not married.

Prayers were said by various ministers before Shembe alighted from his Mercedes.  There was a sudden sense of urgency by the congregation to get closer to Shembe as he began blessing the evangelists.

The thousands gathered, believe that the holy spirit of Shembe is passed on from father to son, the current Shembe, Mduduze, received the holy spirit when his father Vimbeni Shembe passed away in March 2011.

Shembe is also blessed with healing qualities.  It is believed he can solve your problems as well as cure your ailments.

Due to the volume of people who arrived to be blessed, Shembe did a group blessing over all who had gathered as he was not going to be able to speak toor bless everyone personally.

The Ebuhleni faction of the Nazareth Baptist Church is currently divided due to a leadership dispute.  Some believe that Mduduze, son of Vimbeni, is the rightful recipient of the leadership position, whilst others believe that Vimbeni’s cousin Vela should have succeeded as per the wishes stated in the late Vimbeni Shembe’s last will and testament.

23 February 2012



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