An all-male church where members are allowed to drink alcohol during service

The motto of the Gabola Church of International Ministries is “Praise the Lord and pass the libation”. Even baptism is performed with liquor.

Wondering how possible? Gabola Church of International Ministries is an all-male church where members are at liberty to drink alcohol while service is ongoing.

The motto of Gabola is “Praise the Lord and pass the libation” and congregants are seen holding and displaying different bottles of liquor of their choices in the chapel, drinking it as the pastor preaches.

According to the, Gabola Church of International Ministries takes its name from the Tswana word for “drinking”, and it both allows and encourages members of the congregation to drink during service.

That is not all, the church also baptizes members with preferred alcoholic drink of parishioners. Alcoholic drinks like beer, whisky and wine ‘blessed’ by the church’s founder and resident bishop, Tsietsi Makiti are openly consumed during service.

By way of explanation, founder and resident pastor, Tsietsi Makiti told the Daily Sun that “This is where those labeled ‘drunkards’ by other churches are welcome. This is a space for people to come together in God’s name without being ashamed of being drinkers. We are only saying this is an environment where one can drink without being judged at all.”

What is also interesting is the claim by the church’s founder that, he has been under pressure from people from other parts of South Africa to expand Gabola Church all over the country.

“If you drink beer, you get baptized in beer. The same goes for those who drink cider and other alcoholic beverages.

“This church also prays for their drinks before they are served. With God in our taverns, we would see crime being reduced and love and respect promoted,” said Tsietsi Makiti.

Meanwhile, the ‘man of God’ says he has plans to make the church more inclusive in the near future where women will also be allowed.

“Women are also not allowed because we have men who are drinking, and we cannot have instances where some of them start troubling these women. We will allow women at a later stage, once our congregants have been well prepared,” Tsietsi Makiti said.

However, it has no space for children, as the founder said “Wherever we hold our services, we disallow children from buying alcohol, even if they are sent by their parents; we send them back.”

It is not yet clear if by way of expansion and making the church more inclusive as the founder has hinted, children will also be considered in the future

Gabola members meet at Freddy’s Tavern, Orange Farm, in the south part of Johannesburg, from 11 am to 3 pm, and the of the tavern, Freddy Mathebula is reported to have said his business has boomed due to the church’s activities.

Mathebula said “Since the church started, crime has been reduced and we have received a great response from the community.”


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