Fare Thee Well Apostle Apostle Ephiel Mukamuri!

On October 21 at 5:49am, a dear friend sent a terse text message, whose content I could not take lightly:  

“Shalom hama. It is with a heavy heart that I inform you about the passing on of our dear Apostle Mukamuri. Saints, our father has gone home to be with the Father,” she wrote.

Apostle Dr Ephiel Mukamuri passed on during an all night prayer service at his home in Emerald Hill, Harare and was laid to rest at a local cemetery on October 25, 2017. The funeral service was attended by hundreds of mourners from all walks of life, including an array of men and women of God.

But it was at the “Home Going Celebration” that I realised who the man I knew in 2016 through the weekly column, Divine Appointments, was.

Apostle Mukamuri was yet another of God’s generals who on October 21 said, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.” (2 Timothy 4:7)
Fare Thee Well Apostle Apostle Ephiel Mukamuri!
Born on March 3, 1960 in Chivi District, Masvingo Province, he did his primary education at Bondolfi Mission primary school before proceeding to Fletcher High School.

It was at Fletcher High, where he met Prophet Andrew Wutawunashe of Family of God and Dr Goodwill Shana of Word of Life Ministries, and was born again in 1976. He said he received the baptism of the Holy Spirit in 1977 while reading a book on a bus.

When he finished school, he worked with the Andrew Wutawunashe World Witness (AWWW) before leaving for Dr Benson Idahosa Bible School in Nigeria. Dr Rutendo Wutawunashe who addressed mourners on Sunday spoke about Apostle Mukamuri’s passion for Christ.

He also met the love of his life, Pastor Elna, at AWWW, and she testified after his death: “I see divine coincidence in that we fell love with the then Brother Ephiel during an all-night prayer meeting in Mutare, and he also went home to be with the Lord during an all-night prayer meeting.”

God blessed them with a daughter Charity and three sons Theophilus, Shalom and Mordecai; and five grandchildren.

Pastor Elna continued, “An amazing thing happened (the year they fell in love) in that everybody else fell asleep except the two of us, and that’s when the conversation began, and by the time the others woke up, we had concluded our talks. We knew each other so well such that there was no need to play delaying tactics and pretend to pray about it.”

When Apostle Mukamuri graduated from bible school, he returned to Zimbabwe and they got married on May 1, 1982. That same year, the Lord led him to pioneer Logos Rhema Ministries, incorporating The Word of Faith Churches.

From the interview the writer had with him last year, which was also corroborated by the church, on their first Sunday service, they were just the two of them.

Apostle Mukamuri said then, “Before I went to Bible school, the Lord had started speaking to me as far back as 1980, about starting ministry work. I had also been greatly impacted by the ministry of Kenneth Hagin, and had developed an addiction to the word of God such that when the Lord was dealing with me, the name of a ministry that witnessed into my heart was Logos or Rhema, because it really speaks both about the written word and the internal word of God. And I also know that the name of Jesus before coming to earth was Logos (John 1:1).”

35 years on, Word of Faith Churches are found in all major cities of Zimbabwe, South Africa and Lesotho.

During that interview, Apostle Mukamuri continually referred to Archbishop Ezekiel Guti of ZAOGA FIF.

He said, “Baba Guti is a father of fathers in the faith, a true Christian patriarch. He has spoken the wisdom of God in my life and our church over the years… He has preached at our church meetings a number of times.”
Fare Thee Well Apostle Apostle Ephiel Mukamuri!
He also spoke about the grace connection that saw his church host different men and women of God from other nations, including Dr Andre and Jenny Roebert of Faith Broadcasting Network; award-winning American gospel artistes, Don Moen and Ron Kenoly; Dr Fred Price of Ever Increasing Faith Ministries, Pastor Chris and Shary Schauermann of Gateway Community Church, among others.

He also spoke about his passion for compassion ministry or alms giving, as he preferred to call it. Thus giving to the poor is part of the church’s activities.

In the 2016 interview, Apostle Mukamuri said, “In 2004, we informally started a charity organisation, not because we were rich, but it was something we were doing from the heart as Christians. We called it the Joseph Project.”

The Joseph Foundation, which is now the charity arm of the ministry with the sole objective to minister to the needs of the underprivileged members of society, especially children, was eventually registered. The Foundation gives supplementary feeding to almost 10 000 school children in Harare during week days.

He also opened a Christian school, whose thrust is to provide Christian education to orphans and vulnerable children. When he passed on, these kids were among the congregants attending what was to become his last all-night prayer service.

This is the legacy of a man who understood the principle of giving, for he said in 2016, “I have been a preacher for many years, and I didn’t know the value of giving to the less privileged. I used to think that all I had to do was teach them the Bible, and trust God for their well-being through their faith. But God opened my eyes to some scriptures in the Bible. (Proverbs 19:17, Psalms 41:1, 2 Corinthians 8). When my eyes were opened to the power of alms giving, I realised that it’s a privilege. Why do we call it a privilege? Because God will give you kickbacks for that.”

Apostle Mukamuri was also a dedicated family man who was described by his last born son, Mordecai, as “a loving father, supportive, encouraging in the faith, compassionate, hard-working and very diligent.”

His brother Pastor Dennis Mukamuri said, “He was a man of faith who stood radically for his faith; his voice of faith thundered amongst us and led us to the Lord.”

And his sister-in-law, Mrs E. Mukamuri described him as “a man of God, my father who adopted me and raised me in his house without any segregation, paid my school fees and I later became his young brother’s wife.”

Fellow ministers of the gospel spoke glowingly of him. Evangelical Fellowship of Zimbabwe Secretary General Pastor Blessing Makwara said Apostle Mukamuri was “a humble man, full of the wisdom of God.”

Archbishop Asa Gurupira of Faith In God Ministries said, “I have known Apostle Mukamuri since the 90s … We know him as an authoritative voice in the area of faith. He has been providing food for our orphanage and he did just that a day before passing on. A friend indeed and we will miss him.”

Contacted from his base in Oregon, USA, Pastor Schauermann said, “We have been visiting and ministering with Apostle Mukamuri for many, many years. At our first visit he facilitated for me to speak on Zimbabwe’s national TV. Dr Mukamuri was a man of influence. I was very impressed watching him disciple many people and then send them to start Christian works of their own.

“I was able to take that idea back to the United States. By copying Dr Mukamuri’s discipleship programme I was able to influence Christian leaders here in the US for close to a quarter of a century. He was a great teacher, and I was always impressed at how many hours a day he spent reading and meditating on God’s word.”

He added: “Dr Mukamuri had a great prayer life. He would always challenge us to rise early each morning for prayer. He sponsored many all night prayer meetings. He will be greatly missed by all of us in the United States who were influenced by him.”

This was echoed by Rev Tuturu of Harvest House International who described him as “a father, a pioneer and apostle of faith, a genuine man of God who had an amazing passion to live a life of faith. We salute the great works that he did during his lifetime”.

His children in faith also spoke glowingly of the man they never realised would say good bye to them during prayer time.

Overseer Chimbete (nee Ruzete) of Word of Faith, Mutare said, “Apostle was a father, a teacher of the word, a character builder, man of faith, generous giver, hospitable, a man of love with a daring spirit and selfless connector to new relationships”.

Pastor Kwaramba described him as “a man of God, a diligent servant of God, preaching the truth in all seasons, sold to his cause for Christ with a hard forehead”.

Pastor Chiyama, God’s Champions Children’s Ministry Pastor, said Apostle Mukamuri was “a strong believer in training children in the way they should go. He treated children the way Jesus did. He was serious with children and did not relegate them to the playing field.”
Fare Thee Well Apostle Apostle Ephiel Mukamuri!
But it was Mrs Chivanga, a worship leader who propably summed up the best in him: “Apostle Mukamuri vanga vari mukorokoza. He could go panning and find a rough diamond and polish it to perfection by the grace of God. That’s what he did to me when he came to Victoria Falls and picked me. I didn’t know that I was a worship leader but he saw it in me before I knew it.”

May his dearly departed soul rest in eternal peace!

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