Isaiah Shembe and the Nazareth Baptist Church

The Nazareth Baptist Church, also called the Shembe Church (iBandla lamaNazaretha) and the oldest African indigenous Church in South Africa, was founded by Isaiah Mdliwamafa Shembe, born of Zulu parentage in 1867 near Estcourt, kwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. In an interview with Edward Ximba, current Secretary General of the Ekupakhameni branch of the Church, he relates that Shembe’s mother, S’theya Radebe, fell pregnant mysteriously after she had eaten a beautiful flower from the forest where she was collecting wood.

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