Bishop Tsietsi Makiti prays for drinks before they are served to congregants in his church. PHOTO | COURTESYBishop Tsietsi Makiti prays for drinks before they are served to congregants in his church. PHOTO | COURTESY
By DAVID KWALIMWA and AGENCIES

A church in South Africa has introduced an unorthodox way of baptizing its faithful –  your favourite alcoholic drink replaces water.

And that’s not all.

Congregants at the Gabola Church have also been given a go-ahead to drink alcohol during church services.

Bishop Tsietsi Makiti, 52, is the founder of the church and is the brains behind the idea.

PHOTO | COURTESY

PHOTO | COURTESY

ROCKETING MEMBERSHIP

The bishop says he started this church in a tavern and has since witnessed its membership rocket to some 500 members in just under two months.

Bishop Makiti also indicates his ideology was encouraged by the scripture narrating how Jesus changed water to wine.

He said: “So this church also prays for drinks before they are served (Just like Jesus did).”

“People who drink beer are happy and peaceful. This means they are living in the shadow of God.”

PHOTO | COURTESY

PHOTO | COURTESY

REDUCED CRIME

“With God in our taverns we would see crime being reduced and love and respect promoted.”

Also, the owner of the tavern, Freddy Mathebula, 53, has lauded the initiative.

“Since the church started, crime has been reduced and we have received a great response from the community.”

Photos available on the incident show several alcohol brands on display at the church.