All set for 'Call To Worship' 10th anniversary festival

HARARE - Interdenominational gospel music group and renowned praise and worship ensemble Call To Worship kicked off its upcoming 10th anniversary gathering with a well-attended leaders breakfast in Harare this week.

The group, which has held annual praise and worship events over the past nine years, is set to stage its 10th anniversary concert at the Harare International Conference Centre later this month over two evenings — on September 21 and 22.

This week’s breakfast, which was hosted by Call To Worship (CTW) founders pastors Charlotte and Philip Pike in honour of the spiritual, moral and material support they have received from the Body of Christ (the Church) in Zimbabwe and from several partners and well-wishers, was attended by some of the leading church and business leaders in the city.

Those who attended include Oneway Ministries founder and overseer Apostle Langton Gatsi, Evangelical Fellowship (EFZ) president Pastor Shingi Munyeza, Northside Community Church senior pastor Gary Cross, banker and businessman Nigel Chanakira, and Econet Wireless Zimbabwe finance director Roy Chimanikire, among many others.

Speaker after speaker spoke about how they became part of CTW’s journey over the past 10 years, and how their lives have been impacted.

Speaking at the breakfast, Charlotte — who started by giving God the glory and singing a song of worship (backed by part of the CTW choir) described her experiences, and the support she has received over the years as having been an exciting journey.

“It’s been an exciting and, at times, scary journey where we have met beautiful people along the way who have become family to us,” Charlotte said.

She said she had grown and matured as a believer over the years, mobilising people to praise and worship the One True and Living God.

“As we have laboured in our quest to bring people close to God in worship, God has knit our hearts together with many people across the Body of Christ, and for this we are truly grateful,” said Charlotte.

From their first worship gathering back in 2009, CTW has seen the event grow from strength to strength every year, hosting thousands of worshippers, including a gathering of 15 000 that converged at Glamis Stadium in the year 2011.

The group — which has at various times featured a 100 to 300-member worship choir drawn from several different church denominations and movements — is getting primed for what promises to be one of their biggest worship gatherings to date, themed “Created For His Glory”, featuring a celebrated cast of gospel artistes and worship leaders that include Mkululi Bhebhe, Janet Manyowa, Pastor Dudu, Pastor G, Tembalami, Pastor Josh and Pastor Prince.

Charlotte said God had been amazingly faithful over the years, adding that she was deeply indebted to the prayers and support of many people, from different walks of life, as they approached the 10th anniversary gathering in two weeks.

Co-founder Pike — who is also founder of Ebenezer World Outreach Ministries (EWOM) and husband to Charlotte — was visibly emotional in his tribute, expressing his profound gratitude for the support they had received over the years.

”Thank you, thank you, thank you. We can only say thank you,” Philip said.

“And where our thank you ends, may the Lord God richly bless you!”

Earlier on Munyeza — a pastor at Faith Ministries — had spoken of the power and potency of music and worship, especially among the young. He congratulated CTW for staying the course and coming this far, and for rallying a generation to turn to God through worship.

The EFZ represents over 700 Christian churches, denominations, ministries and para-church organisations representing over 4,5 million individual members.

Chanakira also acknowledged the work and effort that CTW, and the Pikes in particular, had put into training people to worship and leading them to take a glimpse at the life-changing, multiple facets of God’s glory and splendor.

Chimanikire commended CTW for their dedication and great work over the past 10 years, calling on other organisations in the market place to partner with CTW in heeding humanity’s highest call; to worship the Most High God.

One of the defining moments of the breakfast perhaps came towards the end of the event, when Gatsi led prayer for the CTW choir and its founders, describing their work as representing “the common denominator” of true worship, which cuts across the church, and unites all who profess the Christian faith in Zimbabwe and beyond.

The CTW breakfast, held at Northside Community Church in Borrowdale, Harare, also kicked off a multimedia awareness effort that is set to intensify as the event draws close.

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