The story of our vision for a magnificent church center, which has become known as Kingdom Cathedral, has a different beginning for many people.
For the person who has just joined our ministry, Kingdom Cathedral begins at the point we are now – the construction phase. For some it is longer – to 2004 when we first had a team of architects build a model of the building for New Life. For others it is after our eviction from our original home at Samora Machel known as New Life Temple.
But, for Chichi and myself, Kingdom Cathedral begins way back….the year we got married. That was in 1982 - a momentous year. Zimbabwe was a growing nation and I was pastoring full time at New Life Temple. But our world changed that year.
I had a dream one night, in which God revealed to me that Chichi and myself would pastor a 10,000 member congregation. The dream was so clear – the building I saw looked like a fan, with 6,000 seats at the head of the fan, and 4,000 seats as the tail. It was shocking – literally.
Now, at the time, I had never heard of a ministry in Africa that commanded those numbers. But Chichi and I knew that this was God showing us our future, and we believed that at some point in our ministry lives we would have what God had shown me.
As years progressed, Chichi and I changed a lot, as people do when they grow. We left the United States organization that had served as our covering and began Jabula New Life Ministries International. Our church was exploding in the city of Harare. We began exploring the possibility of building a larger facility. I began pursuing Mr. Peach, a businessman who had helped us procure our current building plot. I sought his assistance to purchase a piece of land. Nothing came of it though.
Trials, Testing, and Faith
Then a major changing point in our lives occurred in 1998. In that year, Chichi lost her dad. But also we, as New Life, lost the property on Samora Machel Avenue. The organization we had separated from, which had been our covering, sued us for the building and had us evicted from the property. As a church, we could have counter-sued the organization, but God spoke clearly to us that we should "sow the building, in order to reap the city". And so Chichi and I did not fight the eviction, and our church essentially became homeless. It was during that trying time, while I was jogging in the neighborhood, that God gave me a vision of a church building that looked like a key. He spoke to me saying, "I'm giving you the key to the city". And that is how the key design, which so many are familiar with, came about.
We began in earnest to plan and design the building. A team of architects, under the auspice of Pastor Philani Ndlovu, designed and modeled the "key" vision that has become known as Jabula 10K. In 2004, we began initiating the project in earnest, raising funds and soliciting support. In that time, we had found our land and had begun negotiating the purchase terms of the agreement.
The land was located in Eastlea, opposite Tendeseka Park. In an ironic twist, well a God twist, the location of the land is in the same vicinity of the building we lost in 1998.
Zimbabwe In Crisis
The agreement was at such an advanced stage, that we as a church paid in excess of two hundred and eighty five thousand American dollars to repair Boundary Road, which is the access road to the land. We had momentum and believed that this was going to happen. However, Zimbabwe as a nation was experiencing a very difficult economic crisis with devaluation of the Zimbabwean currency and hyperinflation out of control. These circumstances forced the ministry to be very prudent with money, purchasing fixed assets as quickly as cash came.
This made saving and investing for the building very difficult. The culmination of the crisis came in 2008, when the Zimbabwean dollar ceased to exist. In that period between 2007 and 2008, New Life Covenant Church lost over night the equivalent of over one million American dollars which we had saved in Zimbabwean currency. The reserve that we had for Jabula 10K no longer existed, and we had to start over on the project.
The discouragement level was very high. All the momentum we had built had disappeared, not of our own doing. But Chichi and I never questioned God. We still believed what God had promised us in 1982 would come to pass.
The Dream Is Alive
Fast forward to the end of 2011 when I made the decision to reformat the team that had been in charge of the Jabula 10K project. We placed Pastor Parkvoo Mutendera in charge of the entire project, with the mission of getting the project back on track. It was in 2012 that new impetus was created with the news that the Jabula 10K project was moving forward fast. We then christened a new name for the project, "Kingdom Cathedral."
We began fundraising again in order to build the "arsenal" for the project. The 10K team gave us a number of deliverables that we as NLCC had to meet. So that is our project, our dream, our belief.
Jabula 10K has been a work in progress since 1982; but Chichi and I believe, that with the support of "Kingdom" people and God's guidance, we will finish the work God started in us so many decades ago.
We invite you to join us, partner with us, and support us in any way you can. We believe and know we will build this and complete our cathedral – "KINGDOM CATHEDRAL".