Isaiah Shembe

Isaiah Shembe (b. 1870– d. 1935), was the founder of the Zulu amaNazaretha church and the most outstanding figure in the independent church movement in South Africa. The large majority of the three thousand African independent churches are either "Ethiopian" or "Zionist." The Zionist churches, whose name implies an identification with the holy mountain of Zion in the Old Testament, are largely charismatic prophet-led healing groups. Worship in the Zionist churches is an African variant of Pentecostal spirituality. Shembe is the outstanding personality associated with a very small group of churches, often referred to as African "messianic" churches, where the leader is ascribed by his followers with supernatural powers.

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