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Church on the Rock: From humble beginnings

By style Reporter

As its name might imply, Church on the Rock Ministries International has for the past 31 years stood on solid foundation, thanks to the tutelage of Apostle George and Bishop Rosewittar Chikohwa.

From humble beginnings at the New Mabvuku Crèche in 1988, the Church on the Rock Ministries International has turned out to be the midwife of national repentance, revival, reformation and transformation of many nations where the ministry is found.

Apostle Chikohwa (61) and Bishop Rosewittar (59) responded to God’s call when they left one ministry to establish Church on the Rock Ministries International.

A passionate and vibrant servant of God, philanthropist and educator, Apostle Chikohwa bears numerous life transformation testimonies. In an interview with Standard Style on Wednesday, he said had it not been for his wife and close associates in Christ, he would have quit evangelism.

“I left this other church where I was fellowshipping with my wife as per God’s instruction to establish Church on the Rock Ministries International in 1988,” Apostle Chikohwa said.

“To prove that our departure was a genuine call not triggered by greed or anger, we did not take any member from the church or any musical instruments with us.

“We started this church from the grassroots and with nothing. The first church service was held at New Mabvuku Crèche on February 14, 1988.”

Apostle Chikohwa said there were no congregants to talk about, save for the two of them.

“We had no congregants and I am the one who would move around sticking posters around Mabvuku to publicise our service. However, the church started to grow and we expanded to other suburbs like Mufakose and later to Marondera,” he said.

“The church operated on a shoe-string budget and we were renting a room in Mabvuku. It was a challenging phase of my life and fortunately I had a supporting wife by my side.”

The preacher, who has ministered in Africa, Europe, North America and the Oceania, said the greatest opportunity of his life was when he got a scholarship to study in the United States.

“I wanted to go and study, but I had no money to buy myself an air ticket. I tried to sell my small car, a Renault, but there were no buyers until a well-wisher chipped in and bought a ticket for me.

“After spending a year in the US, I came back home. My return saw a number of pastors, preachers and bishops from other churches showing interest in the Church on the Rock Ministries International and we welcomed them and a number of them were given positions in the church.

“Unfortunately, this group of preachers had other intentions; they were driven by greed as they thought that my coming back to Zimbabwe was backed by US financial support, which was not the case. The church was hit by a mass exodus of church leaders and congregants. It was back to square one.

“However, we soldiered on although at one point I decided to leave the country to go and minister in the US. I was in a dilemma to leave the country or serve my fellow Zimbabweans until I got a calling. God visited me and told me that I had to serve my fellow countrymen and from that day, I never looked back.”

Renowned for bringing salvation, restoration and hope to thousands through the great gospel of Jesus Christ across the globe, Apostle Chikohwa believes his desire to serve the Lord is not advanced by the love of money.

“From the beginning, Church on the Rock Ministries International was not built out of the desire to make money, but the need to serve and do the work of the Lord. We have as a church produced world-class religious leaders, entrepreneurs, academics and many other influential people in society,” he said.

“Because of Bishop Rosewittar’s philanthropic work, we established an orphanage — Glory to Glory Child Care Centre — in Norton and it has produced teachers, doctors, pastors and many other people. We are also opening a new orphanage in Mutoko in the next few months.”

Church on the Rock Ministries International has planted ministry assemblies all over the country, especially in all towns and cities, as well as in countries like South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Botswana, Mozambique, Australia, New Zealand, Dubai and Saudi Arabia, among others.

From Thursday, the church had been running a convention for leaders dubbed Higher Life Leaders’ Conference at the church’s headquarters at Gazaland shopping centre as part of celebrations to mark its 31st anniversary.

Today, with congregants being drawn from the church assemblies in Harare, including Chitungwiza, Avenues, Avondale, Hillside, Ruwa, Vainona, Glen View, Domboshava and Eastview/Mabvuku, as well as major cities across the country, Church on the Rock Ministries International hosts the anniversary service, which would be characterised by life transformation testimonies, and speeches from international guests and Apostle George and Bishop Rosewittar.

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