Walter Magaya of PHD Ministries turned 36 and celebrated his birthday in style.
The founder of Prophetic, Healing and Deliverance Ministries which started in 2009 is motivated by the fact that it has attracted thousands of people at its weekly Sunday services in Waterfalls, Harare, Zimbabwe. Further, in 2015, Magaya took his brand of Pentecostalism to Botswana and South Africa.
Given the importance of education to Zimbabwe, which has seen many pastors and church leaders stampeding to be addressed as “Dr” or “Professor” in order to enhance their social status, it is striking to note that Magaya has chosen the name “PHD” for his ministry. In this article, we explore the impact of PHD Ministries on Zimbabwe’s Pentecostal landscape and the larger religious context.
Methodologically, information for this study was gathered through participant observation at PHD Ministries’ services, particularly at Zindoga (Malvern shops) in Waterfalls, Harare; interviews with participants at services; interviews with critics; as well as interaction with published material and information gathered from live religious broadcasts on the national television. Desk analysis was subsequently pursued.
Although the researchers were unable to access Magaya himself for a direct interview, they were able to interact with his close associates, consistent members of PHD Ministries, as well as some who have since stopped attending PHD services for one reason or the other.
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