In Summary
  • Pastor Peter Manyuru, the church’s owner, is selling hope, faith and miracles.
  • Unfortunately, buying the “prophetic tools” is not enough to ward off the bad luck.
  • The pastor spices up his sermon by shouting.

Outside Kahawa House on Haile Selassie Avenue in Nairobi, business is booming even though it is only 9.30am on a Sunday.

Traders use all manner of tricks to entice passers-by into buying slices of watermelon and pineapple or bottled water.

But most pedestrians are in a hurry as they are running late for church at Jesus Teaching Ministries (JTM) at Kahawa House.

Inside the building, another business is thriving.

SELLING MIRACLES

Pastor Peter Manyuru, the church owner, is selling hope, faith and miracles.

To get a prime sitting space with a good view of the pulpit at JTM – as members call it – you have to be at Kahawa House as early as 4am.

By 9am, the building is full to the brim.

I arrive at the church some minutes to 10am.

Singing can be heard as one approaches.

GUEST RELATIONS OFFICERS

A team of five, with reflector jackets inscribed “Guest Relations Officers”, waits at the gate.

As we are being frisked and checked with a metal detector, one “Guest Relations Officer” asks those visiting for the first time to follow her.

Ten of us honour the call.

The young man leads us up a flight of stairs to a room where visitors are received.

He hands us over to another team of about 15 people.

Those in this group are wearing T-shirts with the words “Guidance and Counselling”.

PROPHETIC TOOLS

A young woman shakes my hand and introduces to me to what she refers to as prophetic tools. She says I need these to “break from the snares of the enemy” — the devil.

The tools include a pencil and a pen, each going for Sh50.

There is also an adhesive label reading “JTM Ministries” that I am to stick on my bed for it “drives out evil spirits”. The sticker goes for Sh100 and so does the “anointing oil” in a tiny transparent bottle.

“We also have the special anointing oil. This one is very strong and efficient but you need to apply it twice a day and fast for seven days. It goes for Sh1,000,” she says, showing me a bottle.

Unfortunately, buying the “prophetic tools” is not enough to ward off the bad luck.

DEDICATE ONESELF

Apparently, I need to “dedicate” myself with at least Sh1,000, present my visions with at least Sh500 and dedicate them with an amount not less than Sh1,000.

After all these, I can present myself for special healing and deliverance with Sh3,000.

“If you want to meet the apostle in person, you pay Sh5,000 and you are given an appointment,” the woman continues.

My host then hands me three envelopes in which I am to place the self-dedication, vision and vision-dedication cash.

She then introduces me to another woman, who asks for my identity card and background.

INQUIRIES ABOUT FAMILY

She wants to know about my parents and siblings and if any of them has a problem that needs to be prayed for.

I'm then made to sign a form allowing the church to broadcast my testimony upon getting a “breakthrough”.

Pastor Manyuru owns Aviation College and Aviation TV, which broadcasts his services.

And the church is huge.

Apart from the main hall on the ground floor, it has four more floors, each capable of holding around 300 people. Every auditorium has more than 10 TV sets.

The “shepherd” is in a white suit.

PAY FOR HEALING

He moves from one auditorium to the other promising prosperity.

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