Chic African Culture

Making of African Apostolic Church of John Maranke


The late Muchabaya Momberume popularly known as Johane Marange in the year 1912 founded the African Apostolic Church of John Maranke.


Muchabaya Momberume the story of an African religious pioneer


St Noah Taguta leads members of the Johane Marange Apostolic Sect in song during a Passover Conference at Mafararikwa July 2015
Men worshiping at Johane Marange Apostolic Church

About Johane Marange

The Johane Marange Apostolic Church is most known for pioneering the famous white garments, teaching Old Testament laws, beards and bald hairstyle.
Johane Marange was born Muchabaya Momberume and his father was named Fuleni. While working for Chief Marange, Fuleni fell in love with his daughter in Mafararikwa leading to the birth of Arnold, Cornolius and Muchabaya and some girls.

Fuleni, could not afford to pay lobola or a bride price to Chief Marange. As a result, Chief Marange decided to adopt Muchabaya, the youngest of the boys, as payment. That is how he became Muchabaya Marange.

Although missionaries had the monopoly on who could preach, Johane Marange's church managed to get registration and the church was established in 1912. From then, he was told by the Holy Spirit to preach the word of salvation. His theme being “repent for the kingdom of God is at hand”.

In 1917 at the age of five, Muchabaya received the Holy Spirit which revealed to him he was to be called John the Baptist. This happened while he was herding cattle and people went to report to Chief Marange how the young boy was speaking in tongues.

Although missionaries had the monopoly on who could preach, Johane Marange's church managed to get registration and the church was established in 1912
In 1932, a voice told him he was John the Baptist, an Apostle called to preach internationally and convert people, to baptize them, and to tell them to keep the Old Testament laws and the seventh-day Sabbath.

He spoke in tongues and was given other ecstatic manifestations of the Spirit. In July 1932, the first mass baptism, of 150 people in the Marange chiefdom, took place.

Pioneer of independent African churches

Johane Marange is one of the most well-known pioneers of independent African churches. For 30 years, Marange travelled regularly, often on foot, through the then Rhodesia and the neighboring countries of Botswana, Zambia, Malawi, and South Africa and as far north as Democratic Republic of Congo.

African Apostolic Church of Johane Marange is one of the largest denominations in Zimbabwe and has tentacles across the African continent. The church now has more than 3 million followers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo alone and more than 2 million followers in Zimbabwe.

Although missionaries had the monopoly on who could preach, Johane  Marange's church managed to get registration and the church was established in 1912
Women worshiping at Johane Marange Apostolic Church

Polygamy is part of the culture

Polygamy is part of our culture and there is no going back in that regard. While one can marry as many wives as he wishes, these women should be above the legal age of majority. We cannot run away from this culture, which has its roots in the Bible,” said Prophet Shumba.

In Zimbabwe, St John Marange Holy of Holies Temple Apostle Church Bocha Passca is a holy city where everyone has to enter the holy city barefooted, including those driving their vehicles.
Any food item containing yeast and sweets is not allowed through the gates. Women wearing pants cannot enter the holy city.

Those not wearing white garments must be clad in long and dignified dresses or skirts and their heads must be covered. Congregates sit in a massive oval with men and women on different sides.
Marange died in 1963, a split occurred between his 12 sons, his cousin, his eldest son Abero succeeded him as priest, the name given as the supreme leader of the church. There are now several different churches in Zimbabwe using the name African Apostolic Church.

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