The Primacy of the Spirit: The Case of African Initiated Churches as Pentecostals

  • Masiiwa Ragies Gunda
  • Vengeyi Obvious


This chapter seeks to engage in the debate on whether or not African Instituted Churches (AICs) are Pentecostal. It shows that some of the AICs in Zimbabwe, especially the so-called “Spirit-type” or “prophet-healing type” known widely in Zimbabwe as Mapositori and MaZioni, can be regarded, with some qualification, as Pentecostal, with “Pentecostal” assuming an adjectival function, where it seeks to describe the belief in the centrality of the Holy Spirit and the gifts presumed to be emanating from the Spirit in the life of believers. The chapter is divided into four sections. First, is a general outline of the understanding of Pentecostalism, highlighting some of the key characteristics of this movement including the all-important Acts 2 Pentecost event. The following section looks at the AICs and their categorization, especially in Zimbabwe; followed by another section that details the characteristics of the “Spirit-type” AICs. The final section engages in a comparative analysis of the “Spirit-type” AICs and the Pentecost experience as well as post-Azusa street Pentecostalism.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masiiwa Ragies Gunda
    • 1
  • Vengeyi Obvious
    • 2
  1. 1.An Old Testament scholar and a consultant on religion, gender and sexualityHarareZimbabwe
  2. 2.Old Testament StudiesUniversity of ZimbabweHarareZimbabwe

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