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Arch-Bishop Ezekiel Handinawangu Guti

Archbishop Dr Ezekiel Handinawangu Guti is the leading founder of Zimbabwe Assemblies of God Africa (ZAOGA), a pentecostal church which broke away from the South-African derived Pentecostal church, the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM), in 1959. ZAOGA was founded on 12 May 1960 in Bindura, under a tree. The church is also known internationally as Forward in Faith Ministries International (FIFMI). He was born in 1923 in Zimbabwe (by then it was called Rhodesia), in the Manicaland, Chipinge area called Ngaone.

Dr. Guti holds a Bachelor of Christian education and Doctorate from Northgate Graduate School, from Zoe College USA. He also has the following qualifications: BA; MA; D.D; D Min and PhD in Religion.

As of 2011, the church was established in 106 nations, with over 2 000 churches in Southern Africa and has branches in other countries including Australia, The United Kingdom, U.S.A and Germany. Pastor Ezekiel Guti has ministered for over 60 years and spoken in many different countries, colleges and universities. He has founded seven Bible colleges named Africa MultiNation For Christ Colleges (AMFCC), three in Zimbabwe, two in Mozambique, one in Zambia and one in Ghana. He has also founded various ministries including F.I.F. Children’s Home, Africa Christian Business Fellowship, and Gracious Women's Fellowship.

According to Gutis followers, Bindura was the setting for alleged supernatural signs, including an angel said to have stood with Guti while he was preaching here in the 1960s.

Church faithfuls still report seeing angels when they visit the Bindura mountain where Apostle Guti used to pray and meditate.

Archbishop Ezekiel Guti has written over 69 books on his teachings. He is married to Dr Eunor Guti, who is the president of Gracious Women, an ordained pastor, first woman marriage officer in Zimbabwe. She holds a BA; MA; D.D in Min from Friends University. She received an Honorary doctorate Degree from Jacksonville, Florida and is state registered nurse, with diplomas in Business Administration, Bookkeeping, Dressmaking & Designing and Christian broadcasting, Radio & TV. Apostle Eunor Guti is a director of women’s ministry in ZAOGA Forward in Faith.

Forward In Faith Ministries International's (FIFMI) website hosts the newly commissioned Ezekiel TV channel. The television channel broadcasts on television channels in some African countries and some European countries.

Forward in Faith Ministries International have built a hospital, "Mbuya Dorcas Health Centre", in Zimbabwe that will have a wing providing spiritual, rather than medical, attention. The hospital was funded by members of Forward in Faith Ministries worldwide

Born to peasant farmers in rural Chipinge, Pastor Guti was the eldest in a family of three.
He had a lot of responsibility in the family as his polygamous father was not always at home, juggling among his three wives.

Between 1948 and 1949, Apostle Ezekiel Guti later travelled to Harare where he met a man he had been shown in a dream who explained and baptised him. He started to speak in tongues.

He preached in Mbare but was to be chased from the church after getting extensive press coverage. In 1958, he ministered in Highfield, in a church started by a South African pastor who had been chased from his own church. Pastor Guti too was later to be expelled from that pastor’s church as the leaders the pastor had left on his return to South Africa had not liked him.

He says God "instructed" him to go to Bindura where no one was to follow him and on May 12 1960, the Zaoga church was born under a gumtree.

Commenting on the challenges Dr Guti went through in founding ZAOGA, this is what the Man of God had to say:

The establishment of this ministry was not easy. The religious leaders who had expelled me organized a gang to destroy my life...
...God protected me. They reported me to the police and the police came to arrest me, but the member-in-charge came and went into the house with me at Cottage 593. He said to me: “I have come to arrest you but since I am also a Christian, I know this is jealous. You do the work of God.” The policeman strengthened me. I began to hold meetings in a structure that was not used by the owners. Our enemies sent the police to chase us, then we used a classroom. At the time, we started Highfield Assembly, we had many problems, which cannot all be written. “His mercy endures forever.”

The church is now a big empire, operating in 106 countries worldwide. It has diverse investments, including 120 dressmaking schools in Zimbabwe, bible schools, colleges and vocational training centres, hospitals and clinics, primary and secondary schools, and so many other properties in various countries.

Some of the money for these projects comes from members’ tithes and Archbishop Ezekiel Guti says unlike some churches, Zaoga's tithes are based on net salary as the church understands that gross includes taxes and other deductions which do not necessarily belong to the member.

Pastor Ezekiel Guti says he draws knowledge gained from the "painful result" of his first marriage in counselling couples and in his teachings on Christian marriage. His children are also members of Zaoga, serving as administrative officers and pastors among other duties.

The work of God in ZAOGA – FIFMI has grown exponentially, and in Zimbabwe alone, the ministry has a membership of more than two million believers. Forward in Faith has spread into most countries in Africa, and throughout the continents worldwide.

In December 2010, ZAOGA was granted a licence by the Zimbabwean government to set up their University in Bindura, which shall be called Zimbabwe Ezekiel Guti University. (ZEGU).

Archbishop Ezekiel Guti, who will be the university's chancellor, said the institution envisaged producing high quality graduates who will contribute to the socio-economic development of the country.

ZEGU will start off by operating from Harare and, when fully established, will have faculties of theology, agriculture, environment and tourism, information and communications technology and health science. Dr Guti is also well known for performing miracles, and in 2009, a prominent singer, visually impaired and former Jairosi Jiri Band member, David Mabvuramuti, who had only six per cent vision due to the hereditary illness retinitis pigmentosa, was able to see for the first time in his life after Archbishop Ezekiel Guti prayed for him.

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