Renowned AFM evangelist Chiweshe dies
Renowned Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe pastor and evangelist Phanuel Dzangare Chiweshe has died. He was 65. Evangelist Chiweshe, who had served in the AFM Ministry for 23 years, succumbed to a kidney failure on Tuesday evening while on his way to Parirenyatwa Hospital.
He was the resident pastor of AFM Mt Camel Assembly in Unit M, Chitungwiza. Family spokesperson Mr Tinashe Muchemwa yesterday said the evangelist collapsed at his Concession home while praying.
“He had been battling the problem (kidney) for the past two years but we never thought it would reach this stage. He was supposed to go for a church crusade in Mabelreign that evening (Tuesday), but God had his own way. He collapsed when he was about to leave for the crusade. Doctors pronounced him dead on arrival at the hospital,” he said.
Mr Muchemwa said the evangelist’s body will lie in state in Chitungwiza before being taken to Concession today and back in Harare for burial at Warren Hills Cemetery tomorrow.
Born in Chiweshe on November 11, 1945, Evangelist Chiweshe was one of the pillars of the AFM church in Zimbabwe. He groomed other well-known prophets including Reverend Oliver Chipunza, the president of the Inter Denominational School of Deliverance and Reverend Emmanuel Makandiwa of the United Family International.
Rev Chipunza last night expressed shock at the death of Evangelist Chiweshe. Rev Chipunza said the sudden death of Evangelist Chiweshe had robbed the Kingdom of God of a great evangelist.
“We are deeply sorrowed as a church and as the body of Christ with the death of Evangelist Chiweshe. I worked with him, as a youth together with the likes of the late Langton Kupara in the Apostolic Faith Mission.
“He was the pioneer of evangelism in Zimbabwe and he elevated the gospel in the country to higher levels,” Rev Chipunza said. He narrated how as a youth he had learnt from Evangelist Chiweshe.
“I was a youth leader and he mentored me into what I am today. He used to come and do crusades in Highfield with Reverend Power Mutsvene and we used to emulate him,” Rev Chipunza said.
AFM Zimbabwe secretary-general Rev Amon Madawo described Evangelist Chiweshe as a role model and advisor.
“We worked together since 1997, when he was still a deputy overseer. From the time he became an overseer, the church grew,” he said.
Rev Madawo said Evangelist Chiweshe had been an evangelist since 1985 and he also worked as a pastor in the United States between 2001 and 2003.
“His death is a great loss to the church and his great works have been appreciated world over and the void he has left will be difficult to fill,” he said.
AFM Greendale senior Pastor Hezekiah Mkhuhlane attributed the growth of AFM to Evangelist Chiweshe. He said he met him in Zengeza and went to the same Bible College from 1982 to 1984.
“We entered into evangelism together and Evangelist Chiweshe became a Sunday school teacher. He then rose through the ranks in church and helped grow the AFM church to levels which shows that he was a true man of God,” Pastor Mkhuhlane said.
Evangelist Chiweshe was among founding members of the Anointed Ambassadors for Christ Inter-denomination, a group that held crusades locally and internationally. Evangelist Chiweshe was well known for sermons recorded on DVDs, cassettes and CDs which include “Baba Vebenzi” and “Tsano Handeyi” among many others. He is survived by his wife Tabeth and three children.
Mourners are gathered at AFM Mt Camel Assembly in Chitungwiza.