Zion Christian Churches Churches Liturgy Prophets Services Members

© 2023 Dr Margaret Sheppard

The history of this church was rather unclear. It is led by Keorapetse Ntoko who was born in 1945 and has the position of Moruti. It started in Kanye in the early 1970's and this Moruti and some of his members had in fact previously belonged to Kanana, but there had been a disagreement so they had left to start a branch of BUCZ. The leader had joined Kanana whilst working in the mines in South Africa. He had become a full Moruti in 1978 (it was probably as late as this as he did not finish all parts of his marriage until 1979, and Baruti are expected to be married). There are several branches of BUCZ in Botswana, with a membership of about 1,000. The Bishop of the church comes from Francistown and the Headquarters in Botswana is in Lobatse, where the Bishop works.

This church is organized very much along the same lines as Episcopal. The basic uniform is green and white. However in this church, unlike the others, there are frequent baptisms and purifications (when those who have already been baptized go again to be purified by total immersion). This is also a church where they believe in Sacrifice and these services seem to be frequent. Also the Dikhosa are very strict about church discipline. People are not allowed to drop asleep in the church and are prodded awake by the Khosa.

The Moruti himself often reprimands the congregation during services for not singing loudly enough or for not clapping their hands properly. When I first started visiting this church they were meeting in a small square house uphill belonging to a member, but later in 1978 they began building a mud square-house with a tin roof in the Moruti's own yard. By 1980 this building was nearly complete. Cords, a flag and bottles of Holy Water are hung on the roof and rafters to protect the church.

Botswana United Church in Zion (BUCZ)

Inside the partially finished church - woman member receiving prophesy at a Sunday Service

Lady members stand together. Some are wearing the BUCZ church uniform (green and white) others have specially prophesied protective additions  (e.g. the woman in yellow and green.

The Moruti and his family relax after an exhausting Sunday Service.

BUCZ members after a Sunday Service. There are more men than women attending as many of the male members were absent on South African mines contracts. The basic BUCZ church uniform is green an white, but many members  are wearing their specially prophesied protective additions.