Flashback: November 2016, Ghanaian evangelist, Dag Heward-Mills, stirred a hornets’ nest during a crusade in Zimbabwe, when he said anointed oils and ornaments, which are popular with most prophets, are not part of the Word of God.
Preaching to close to 10 000 people at Dulivhadzimo Stadium in Beitbridge, Heward-Mills said the scriptures alone were adequate and were all he could offer.
“I don’t give any anointing oils or bangles, all I have is the name of Jesus and that’s all I can give,” he told the multi-denominational crowd.
Christians worldwide, including in Zimbabwe, have of late been adorning wristbands, necklaces, bangles and different oils from pastors, prophets or leaders òf their sects as prayer guides.
Leaders of some sects have opened shops to sell different prayer guides, a move frowned upon by worshippers of traditional churches, who say it’s commercialisation of Christianity.
Heward-Mills’ crew converted Dulivhadzimo Stadium into a state-of-the-art arena under floodlights from their equipment ferried in six 30-tonne lorries.
The crowd was also fascinated by a drone carrying a camera that was flying around the stadium capturing video images.
At the start of the sermon, congregants were asked to “sow a seed” by putting offerings in envelopes provided by the master of ceremonies (MC).
“We have now run out of envelopes, but you can buy some envelopes and put your offerings,” the MC said before despatching dozens of ushers with large bags to collect offerings.
A number of congregants, after the preaching, went on stage with testimonies of how they had been healed.
Almost all those who testified said they had problems with their hands but were now feeling healed.
Heward-Mills, who has been on a crusade in Beitbridge, claimed he could raise the dead, restore sight, cleanse lepers, make the deaf hear and make the lame walk.
By yesterday the dead had not risen while those with visible physical disabilities were yet to be mended.