Many industrial buildings and shops in Bulawayo have now been converted into churches. The difficult economic situation in Zimbabwe caused numerous industries to shutdown and leave their buildings derelict. But churches have capitalised on the situation converting the abandoned buildings for church use.
Bulawayo, the second largest city in Zimbabwe was once considered a hub for industry but many companies have shutdown due to the persisting economic challenges bedevilling the country.
Speaking to Report Focus News the founder and leader of Spiritual Revival Encounter, Prophet Sheltons, said the churches are making good use of the buildings which would otherwise waste away and be dilapidated. “Churches are not necessarily going to employ people as was the case with the factories that previously used these buildings but at least they are keeping these buildings maintained and are paying rent which is better than leaving them unoccupied and further ruined.”
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The 25 year old leader of Spirit Revival Encounter is one of many young prophets who have imaged in Zimbabwe. His ministry started three years ago and his congregation is growing fast and strong.
“From a tender age I had visitations from the Lord. I remember very vividly when I was doing my O levels as leader of scripture union, every-time I would minister demons would fall, healing would take place and it was then that I realised that God had called me to be his servant.
Eventually I opened my ministry in 2016.” Said Prophet Sheltons who holds his church at Astra Building right in the heart of the city.
Other churches that have taken over buildings of companies in Bulawayo include United Family International Church along Josiah Chinamano Road in Belmont and 15th Avenue.
The church took over a building that was used by one of the country’s biggest textile companies, Textile Mills.
Textile Mills employed hundreds of workers when it was in operation, but now it has been converted into a church with a sitting capacity of 3 000.
Another Pentecostal church, the Revelation Church of God – at Kelvin industrial area – took over the premises of a wholesaler, Goveya Enterprises.
Many other shops in the city centre that shutdown due to economic challenges left vacant buildings which have now been taken over by churches.
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