Genesis of the United African Apostolic Church
The United African Apostolic Church (UAAC) was established by Bishop Matsea Paul Mureri. Before establishing the UAAC, Bishop Mureri, was a member of the Lutheran Church, having joined it in 1899. He was a fully ordained Pastor ministering at Tshanowa, Limpopo Province. As per the Lutheran Church doctrine, Bishop Matsea Paul Mureri got married in 1899 to a woman from Shanzha, Ha-Shavhani, from the Bugana clan, in a western style wedding.
In 1904, Bishop Mureri joined the Faith Mission were he worked with Pastor Du Buisson who was based at Maroi camp.
After the death of Pastor Du Buisson, Bishop Mureri requested his fellow worshippers to form a church centered on unity. He then established a church called Dzanda La Mudzimu in 1912 and drafted its first constitution in 1915. The church was officially registered in 1918 and its name was changed to the United African Apostolic Church.
Our church history
The United African Apostolic Church (UAAC) is the second largest African initiated Church in South Africa. With its headquarters in Ha-Mavhunga, a village in the Nzhelele Valley, the UAAC was established in 1912 by the late Bishop Matsea Paulos Mureri who began fellowship as a member of the Faith Mission, a missionary led ministry. When the missionaries returned to Europe, Bishop Mureri took up his calling and formed a church called DZANDA LA MUDZIMU which was changed to United African Apostolic Church upon its official registration in 1918.
Bishop Matsea Paulos Mureri worked tirelessly as he healed the sick and fought evil spirits. Due to his successes in casting evil spirits, local communities and church members nicknamed him “Tshibike wa Malondo”.
He worked with the following elders during his tenure:
- Pres Abraham Mahafha
- Bishop Alpheus Nemaungani
- Pres Lazarus Fhedzi
When Bishop Matsea Paulos Mureri passed on in 1975, the church leadership recommended his son, Jeremiah Mureri, as a successor and he was accordingly ordained in 1977 and continued to work with the above-mentioned elders. Unfortunately, Bishop Jeremiah Mureri also passed away almost a year after ascending the throne and as the church had now adopted the traditional lines of primogeniture in order to maintain stability; his son, Archbishop Dr Elias Muthuhadini Muleya Mureri was the automatic heir to the throne and he was officially installed in 1978 and led the church for 40 years, until his untimely death on 22 December 2018.
Notwithstanding following this traditional mode of succession, the Honorable Archbishop Dr Elias MM Mureri already gained prominence in the church even prior to his grandfather’s death as he was credited with most of the church ‘s expansion, especially in Gauteng, North West and Mpumalanga provinces. He was honored with a title “Arch-bishop” in 1979 by the government after realizing the size of the church.
Currently, our church has over 1.5 million registered followers, with a significant number of affiliates in certain SADC states such as Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, and Tanzania. Due to this growth in membership, the Arch-Bishop established the youth and women movements in 1985 and 1987 respectively.
We are a typical apostolic church, having blended distinctive Pentecostal features, like faith healing and prophesy, with complementary features from African culture and tradition and we predominantly make use of drums and rhythmic circular dance. We believe that the Scriptures of both the Old and New Testaments are the inspired Word of God, that they are inerrant and that they are the supreme and final authority of all Christian life. We also believe that Jesus Christ is the Lord and Head of the Church.