- Published on 01 October 2011
MEMBERS of a Bulawayo church have started dropping out after the pastor allegedly demanded hugs from women as a sign of solidarity.
One of the church members, Thandazile Ncube who has since dropped out of the church, claimed the pastor was out of his mind. "On Saturday the pastor told us that everyone was entitled to hug him as a way of showing him love after his misunderstanding with one of the church members," she said.
Ncube said he was using hugs as a desperate measure to win back the love of many who were against what he is alleged to have done to one of the church members. "The impact of his actions is rather heavy on the name of the church and he is just trying to clean the name of the church that is now in disrepute," she said.
Ncube further alleged that the solidarity support that was made by other pastors who visited the church was a failure as it was a stage-managed. "It is totally against our culture for me to hug another man when I am married and what they tried to do was a failure as a lot of our church members actually boycotted the service," he said.
Another church member who identified himself as Nozioho Mdlongwa alleged that the church was led by greedy leaders who were after enriching themselves at the expense of church members. "The pastors who came on Sunday were trying to cover their tracks as they have scandals in their churches. "So that is the reason a lot of our church members decided not to come to church on the day," she said.
On Saturday everyone was told to hug the pastor. "This was a move meant to blindfold the media that had exposed their hypocrisy that the pastor had exhibited to the world. "So a lot of people have distanced themselves away from such activities because on the day only 15 people attended the sermon," she said.
When reporters spoke to the pastor about the 'hugging allegations', he said he was not at liberty to shed more light on the matter.