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New Church in Celebration of Alcohol


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobse

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Humanist Voices)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/10/26

Religion News Service reported on the new church in Orange Farm, South Africa. A clergyperson poured whiskey into a cup to anointed a man.

The congregation of the Gabola Church swig beer and dance. A rite of passage initiated for the newcomer. Less than one year old, Tsietsi Makiti, said, “We are a church for those who have been rejected by other churches because they drink alcohol.

Those drinkers get seen as sinners, who Makiti helps save. The line of argumentation amounting to the Holy Spirit through drinks. Other South Africans claim Gabola Church does not qualify.

It does not amount to a church. Archbishop Modiri Patrick Shole said, “They are using the Bible to promote taverns and drinking liquor. It is blasphemous. It is heresy and totally against the doctrines.”

Gabola Church is a non-member of the South African Council of Churches. No affiliations exist with the church. It stands alone as the whiskey-chalice and beer-congregation church.

56 million people live in South Africa. Approximately 80% of the population identify as Christian: Catholic and Protestant. Some other sects sprinkled in the mix.

30 worshippers, recently, held a service in an Orange Farm township bar. It is south of Johannesburg. That service had a pool table as an altar with, of course, whiskey and beer.

Six ministers blessed cold beer bottles. Other alcoholic beverages included brandy, whiskey, and others. Hymns got sung. All in praise of drinking and its good side.

Makiti said, “Our aim is to convert bars, taverns and shebeens into churches… And we convert the tavern-owners into pastors.” The churchgoers get encouraged to drink in a responsible, mature manner.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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