Introduction to the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God
The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (UCKG) is a contemporary, evangelical, biblically-based church, actively involved in numerous national outreach projects caring for people’s spiritual, emotional and physical needs. The Church was established in 1977 by evangelist Pastor Edir Macedo, who saw the need to reach out to the poor and neglected, offering them practical support and spiritual guidance to help uplift and transform their lives. The UCKG has churches in more than 30 African countries as well as all provinces throughout South Africa.
The Church in South Africa
The first church in Africa was established in Angola in 1992 and the same year a bishop and pastor arrived in Johannesburg and started evangelical work from a building in Bezuidenhout Valley. The membership grew quickly and a year later, on 3 January 1993, the first church opened in a Hoek Street basement in the Johannesburg Central Business District. Two hundred people attended the first service in the Park Station church and the following week the number doubled. In August 1993, the church also started holding services in a warehouse in Soweto because the premises in Johannesburg were not big enough to accommodate everyone. In 1993 the UCKG opened a church in Durban to serve the needs of that community. In 1995 the first big church was built in Johannesburg on a city block between Hoek, De Villiers, Plein and Eloff streets.
The Cenacle of the Holy Spirit in Soweto is the largest church in the area and is modelled on the UCKG’s Cenacle in Rio de Janerio, Brazil. Besides being an important tourist attraction, this is the place where many are led to salvation and given the opportunity to improve their lives. As well as Cenacles of the Holy Spirit in Johannesburg, Soweto, Cape Town and Durban, the UCKG has an extensive network of smaller churches. In remote or rural areas where churches have not been built, UCKG pastors and local volunteers hold special outreach initiatives for the community in rented space, in tents or out in the open where necessary.
The word “cenacle” means “upper room” and refers to the dining room in Jerusalem where Christ and His disciples met and where the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost. All the UCKG’s major churches are referred to as Cenacles of the Holy Spirit. The UCKG churches nationally hold services every day. Bishops and pastors are all trained “people of God” who have embraced the call to serve their communities. These dedicated people are available round-the-clock, to relate to, empathise with, and assist anyone seeking help. Besides “saving souls”, the church is committed to offering relevant, practical support, oft en at grass-roots level. Pastors and volunteers off er people spiritual guidance and serve them through soup kitchens, HIV/Aids awareness and support campaigns, basic skills training and empowerment initiatives as well as a 24-hour counselling helpline (call 0861 330 320 or SMS 34635).
Different groups minister to people living and working on the streets, distribute food and basic necessities, visit people in correctional centres and patients in hospitals and assist with burials. In order to reach as many people as possible with their message of good news, the Church broadcasts daily television programmes, the Worker’s Prayer on SABC TV 1, as well as regular programmes on Soweto TV. The Church publishes a weekly newspaper, the Universal News and a periodical magazine Plenitude.
The UCKG hosts an interactive website www.universalark.co.za which contains relevant information for those seeking assistance and a social networking site: www.universalarkcommunity.com The church has touched and changed countless lives through ambiti ous annual events, including night vigils in Africa’s legendary FNB Stadium, marches against HIV/Aids, crusades of faith and on-going relevant pastoral care. It exists for the spiritual support of its members and the care of the wider community. The Universal Church of the Kingdom of God has more than 350 churches in all nine provinces of South Africa.
- Who you will see
Pastors & Bishops:
The meetings and conferences are conducted by a fully trained Pastor or Bishop. These are men of God (and in some countries also women) who have embraced the ministry on a full time basis. They do not have other employment and their only aim is to serve God by serving and helping the congregation and others in the community that need assistance. On gaining more experience, Pastors may then be chosen to serve as Bishops.
Assistant Pastors will also be present in the services and their role is to assist the Pastor or Bishop. They also have embraced the ministry full-time to help others. After some years of experience, many of them will be consecrated to become a Pastor.
Assistants are voluntary helpers who dedicate some of their free time outside their daily life of work, family, domestic duties etc, to this calling. They have been chosen from among the congregation to assist the Assistant Pastors, Pastors and Bishops and to serve the members of the church.
You will find that most Bishops, Pastors, Assistant Pastors, and Assistants have been through personal problems in the past before they started attending the church.
Through the teaching and prayers they received at the UCKG, they used their faith and overcame these situations. They have all had a personal encounter with God and have undergone a transformation of self. They are therefore willing and capable of assisting you through difficult situations.
Please introduce yourself to one of them who will be more than happy to sit down and speak with you for however long you need. Alternatively, call 0861 33 0320 to book an appointment.