Lizo, who started the church in 2002 here, oversees three others in other communities. They offer traditional services such as soup kitchens, but Lizo says it’s education and inspiring youth that is at the church’s core. At graduation time, the church invites in speakers from local schools and also Rhodes University, the highly respected college downtown.
“My vision was to try and remove that poverty mentality, especially from people of color,” he said.
“Money is not the paper you hold,” he tells his young members. “Money is a measurement of value. If your value is low, that’s why you are paid like that.” His lesson: Go study and increase your value.
“If you are running after money, money will run from you. Money does not follow people who run after it. Money follows value.”
The inside of Siyanda Mphelo's home in Extension 6 in Makhanda, South Africa.
That two-hour sermon is not the beginning of Sunday service. That belongs to Associate Minister Loid, who starts the worship day off with a rousing and very spirited 15 to 20 minutes of prayer and then moves the services over to Praise and Worship, where he plays the keyboards. Praise and Worship usually involves congregational participation in a litany of lively songs that are written for the purpose of uplifting and praising god’s name, usually led by a small “praise team.”
Loid is 22 years old and began playing the keyboards about five years ago. He sees his playing as an extension of his higher calling, which he says is to “bring people into submission to honor God.”
Asked if he was paid to play for the services he provided at the church, he gave a simple “no,” though with a puzzled expression.
Told that many musicians in America who perform in the church are paid for their services and oftentimes supplement that income with additional performances for funerals, weddings and parties, his mind seemed to be churning for a beat.
No one he knows of is paid for playing in the church, he said, adding that he is trying to build a studio to earn extra money by producing songs for singers and rappers.
“I believe God will provide for me,” he said.
No chasing after money for Minister Loid.