The subject of prophecy has been a source of intense debate in recent times with some people, especially among non-believers, claiming desperation drove most people to consult prophets.
However, the crowds seen at mega-churches run by a new breed of preachers tell a different story altogether. One such preacher is the founder of Glen View-based Goodness and Mercy Ministries who spoke to the Daily News on Sunday about his ministry — which he says is buoyed by prophecy, life, family, education, prophecy among other activities in a recent interview.
Prophet Tapiwa Freddy, who is the first child in a family of four, was born at Harare Central Hospital, in the capital and did his primary education at Glen View 3 Primary School and Glen View 2 High for his secondary education before proceeding to Royal College for Advanced Level.
The GMM founder, who is currently studying towards a degree in Sociology, is a family man. He is married to Milanda — whom he met while doing God’s work since he used to pray for their family — and the two have four daughters. Freddy says it was difficult for him to realise that the visions he was seeing and trying to interpret were actually part of his calling until a reverend with the Methodist Church told him it was so.
Although he managed to release his first album — Mesiya (2002) — while he was doing “A” Level, he basically did not sing at school. The Mesiya project only saw the light of day through the assistance of one Nyamufunga, who was principal of Royal College then.
Freddy has gone on to release Serevende (2006) and One Hundred Percent Prophetic (2016). One of the tracks on the album, Vana, was voted number 29 in the Coca Cola Top 50 in 2016.
He said during his earlier days, he went through different denominations trying to find a place where he could be accommodated.
By God’s grace, he founded a ministry in 2005 and it has grown tremendously over the years.
The musician in him has continued to thrive and he has been involved in several other musicians’ projects including, Trymore Bande, Bethany Pasinawako-Ngolomi, Evangelist Timothy and will also attend Baba Harare’s album launch on January 11.
Most of there singers have found a platform for their works on GMM TV.
Freddy says he has bought his neighbours — who are orphans — a residential stand and has built a house for them. He has also given start-up finance in the form of soft loans to vendors of amounts ranging from $150 to $300 per individual, with the highest cumulative total disbursed so far reaching $5 000 on one occasion.
Last Christmas, he was in Musana where he grew up and donated food hampers to 35 widows.
As for his plans for 2019, Freddy says he has plans top expand his outreach, while also consolidating the church’s presence in places they have visited in 2017 and 2018 like Bulawayo and Mutare.
The man of cloth also said GMM TV, launched on May 1 with the idea of reaching out to the world, is recording a rise in viewership.
“Jesus commanded people to evangelise. (Matthew 28 verse 19) ‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’
“We have just realised from the international visitors we are getting that GMM TV has indeed been reaching far and wide. We are also getting a lot of feedback from these far-away places.”
The GMM founder, who is due to hold a Know It Before it Happens all-night cross-over event on December 31, also said the church has opened a counselling centre at the church which is already operational.
“We have opened a unit that offers counselling services at the church. Glen View, where we are based, is one area that was ravaged by the recent cholera outbreak that killed over 50 people.
“In response to this, we have plans to drill a borehole for the community. It has already been sited and work on it will commence soon. It is not a big thing but we want to find our own small way of helping the community around us,” he said.
The Harare-based cleric has hogged the limelight with his controversial spiritual spectacles, something that has earned him the nickname “Doctor of Prophecy”.
Although his critics have accused him of using African occult powers for divination, Freddy has argued; “Prophecy and miracles deliver people from satanic influence and draw people to God.
“Just like in the Bible when God drew Moses’ attention through a burning bush (Exodus 3 verse 1), I use spiritual spectacles to unravel mysteries and help people repent and seek God.”