I was ready to die single as I had lived for 15 years without a wife: Late Ezekiel Guti’s love story


IN 1979, late Zimbabwe Assemblies of God-Africa (Zaoga) founder Archbishop Ezekiel Guti and wife Eunor tied the knot in a special mɑrriɑge that was to stand the test of time and become an exemplary symbol of true l0ve and commitment.

What made their l0ve story unique was that the couple walked down the aisle on their first dɑte and a day after lobola payment.

Until he was introduced to the young Eunor, the late man of cloth Baba Guti had almost relegated the idea of mɑrriɑge on the margins of his mind especially after the death of his first wife.

He had to stay in bachelorhood for 15 years but with Zaoga growing so phenomenally to about 80 churches in 1979, elders thought it wise and respectable that the man of God found a helper.

This had to take prayers and fasting as the church elders sought God’s guidance on Archbishop’s mɑritɑl destiny.

“I was ready to die single as I had lived for 15 years without a wife. It was not easy as my mind was so much engrossed in God’s work. But when someone explained to me at the bible school what scriptures say about mɑrriɑge, my perception of marriage changed,” late Archbishop Guti told The Sunday Mail in 2019.

He reminisced about his early days as a preacher when he would visit Harare Hospital where a bevy of young nurses would admire him but he never paid attention.

This is how the late preacher became disciplined.

“The girls would say “mudhara wemagirazi uyo” (that bespectacled man) but I understood my calling. I barely paid attention to any of that save for preaching the gospel,” he narrated with a chuckle.

A young beautiful Eunor was also part of the single girls at Harare Hospital although she was a church youth leader.

As years went by, the Zaoga church elders made a decision which was to give birth to one of the formidable and admirable mɑrriɑges in the Christian community.

It was time for the Archbishop to settle down again.

“They (elders) had meetings for three days praying about the issue and several names came up but failed to qualify. I then said there was a rich white lady in America who I could mɑrry. The church elders requested for more time to search for a suitable lady,” said the late Archbishop back then.

As the search went on, one of the elders suggested that Eunor would be an ideal partner for the Archbishop given her dedication and commitment to the church.

She had at the time moved from Harare Hospital to Morgenstar in Masvingo.

“Everyone (elders) nodded in agreement (that Eunor was the ideal partner) and it was arranged that an elderly woman — Mrs Nkomo — be sent to Eunor.

“I knew she l0ved me as a Pastor but never imagined we could be mɑrried one day.”

As the talks were going on, Ezekiel and Eunor were not allowed to meet before mɑrriɑge. Amai Guti interjected and revealed an interesting ordeal of how God spoke to her about her mɑrital destiny.

It was a Monday morning back then in 1979 during a prayer session while she was off duty.

“I had dedicated my life to serving the Lord and vowed that Jesus was my husbɑnd and the engagement ring was the Holy Spirit.

“As I was praying, I spoke in tongues and heard a voice saying; are you willing to do my will? I quickly replied, yes, as I thought the ‘will’ was that I shouldn’t mɑrry.

“The voice continued asking me if I wanted to get mɑrried and I said yes again thinking it was my vow to Jesus.”

The following day while she was at work she received a phone call during tea-break.

Narrating her l0ve story with a beaming smile Amai Guti said it was that phone call that changed her life forever.

It was Mrs Nkomo, the church emissary who had been sent to sweet-talk young Eunor to mɑrry the Archbishop.

“Baba is back and he has been allowed to mɑrry. You are the chosen one,” Amai Guti narrated how the message was relayed to her by Mrs Nkomo.

“I dropped the phone and cried. I went into a trance speaking in tongues.

“The Holy Spirit reminded me of His words the previous day. He said this is it,” said Amai Guti.

She did not know how to break the news to anyone and went to her room.

Archbishop Guti was her Pastor and never imagined she could be his wife.

“I pretended to be fine as I met my roommates but deep down I was in sh0ck. For days, I could not eat properly until that lady (Mrs Nkomo) came to explain.

“I said, if it is God’s will, let it be done. It was not easy.”

Lobola negotiations started after a month and everything went on smoothly.

The couple never wasted time as they got mɑrried on their first date.

They were blessed with seven children, two of which are now late, 22 grandchildren. They also have great grandchildren from Archbishop’s first mɑrriage.

They also revealed how they ran churches in 144 countries.

Archbishop Guti said, “We are a God fearing couple; God and His will come first before our self-interests.

“The church belongs to God. We should be guided by the Word which is why we are still together.

“We do not pursue money. The love of money is the major reason why we have problems in some churches.”

Baba Guti passed away on Wednesday aged 100.

His death was announced by his ZAOGA church which he founded in 1960.

“It is with heavy hearts and deep sorrow that we announce the promotion to great glory of our dearly beloved spiritual father, visionary and iconic leader Archbishop Ezekiel Handinawangu Guti. He peacefully departed from this world today, Wednesday, July 5, 2023,” ZAOGA national chairman Apostle Joseph Guti announced in a video posted on the church’s social media pages.

“He has transitioned to be with his Lord and master whom he faithfully and sacrificially served for over eight decades.”

Guti celebrated his centenary birthday on May 5 last month, with President Emmerson Mnangagwa in attendance.

His ZAOGA church, also known as the Forward in Faith Ministries International, remains one of the biggest in Zimbabwe with branches around the world.

In 2012, he established the Ezekiel Guti University in Bindura, reportedly at a cost of US$100 million. He and his wife, Eunor, were the joint chancellors.

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