Pall bearers carry the body of Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa Forward in Faith founder Archbishop Ezekiel Guti upon arrival from South Africa at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport in Harare yesterday. – Picture: Joseph Manditswara
ZAOGA Forward in Faith Ministries International has set aside three days — August 3 to 5 — to celebrate the life of Archbishop Ezekiel Guti, who died on July 5.
He was 100.
The body of the late cleric was repatriated from South Africa yesterday.
The church’s spokesperson, Apostle Mishael Nyambo, said the celebrations will be held on August 3 and 4 at the City Sports Centre, while an all-night vigil is set for the National Sports Stadium on August 5.
Multitudes gathered to receive Archbishop Guti’s body at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport yesterday. It was accompanied by his widow, Archbishop Eunor Guti, close family members and church leaders.
The expectant crowd broke into song and dance when the body arrived.
Thousands also lined Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Road (formerly Airport Road) to catch a glimpse of the hearse.
The funeral procession proceeded to the church’s Braeside branch, where a welcoming service was held.
Addressing mourners at the service, the church’s deputy secretary-general, Apostle Dr Steve Simukayi, said they will release a programme that will guide people on how they could pay their condolences to the family.
“We know that Zimbabwe loves Baba Guti. All the churches of Zimbabwe . . . the business community, our political leaders, the academia and the medical fraternity loved Baba Guti.
“So, in order for us to give Baba Guti a befitting farewell, we need to do justice to it. It must not be done haphazardly,” he said.
“There is going to be a schedule that will be announced where we will give different groups time to pay condolences to the family.
“There is going to be body viewing for Baba Guti in a public place, where we are going to see him and bid him farewell.”
ZAOGA’s former secretary-general, Bishop Washington Rupapa, described Archbishop Guti, who preached the gospel for an uninterrupted 75 years, as a selfless evangelist.
“He went around the world, not on holiday, but seeking after souls. Our father had a burden to reach out to the lost. Leaving the biblical 99 sheep, he would go out there to the lost soul that did not know Christ,” he said.
Archbishop Guti’s body was later taken to a local funeral parlour.
The church is presently observing 30 days of mourning, which end on August 5.
The late ZAOGA founder was born on May 5, 1923 in Chipinge, Manicaland province.
Apart from evangelism, he spearheaded the provision of social services through his church.
He sponsored the setting up of the Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University in Bindura, as well as Mbuya Dorcas Hospital in Waterfalls, Harare.
Barely two months before his death, he invited President Mnangagwa to his 100th birthday celebrations.
The President recently described him as one of the “generals and patriarchs of faith”.