As South African police continue to investigate the fatal shooting of 22-year-old rising star preacher, Dwayne Gordon, inside the Eagle Christian Center in Newlands on Friday, an eyewitness to his murder says the gunman who fired the bullet that struck the young preacher in the neck ordered ministers at the church not to pray for him as he bled to death.
Gordon, who was a special guest speaker for Eagle Christian Center’s Restoration Conference, which was set to run from Oct. 6–8, was fatally shot after six gunmen entered the church and began robbing members in a harrowing ordeal partially captured in a livestream recording on the church’s social media account.
In an interview with EWN, Bishop Randal Coetzee, a minister at Eagle Christian Center, who was at the Friday service with Gordon, recounted how the gunmen entered the church, ordered congregants to the floor at around 8 p.m. local time and started robbing them.
Coetzee said the man who killed Gordon got upset with the young preacher for looking at his face.
“While the prophet was looking at him, he just lifted a gun in our direction. A few seconds later, I heard the prophet breathing loudly. And we couldn’t even attend to him because this guy was still standing here with a gun,” Coetzee told EWN.
He said some of the ministers in the church had tried praying for Gordon as he appeared to choke on his own blood, but the gunman who shot him demanded that no one pray for him. Those who tried to pray for the dying pastor were shot.
“The pastor was stretching his hand to pray for the prophet and the gunman said, ‘don’t pray, I don’t want you to pray for him’ as he pointed the gun at our pastor,” Coetzee said.
Two others inside the church were shot during the attack by the gunmen on Friday, including 39-year-old Sebastian Mosale.
While Coetzee believes Gordon’s death is the result of a botched robbery, Shepherd Bushiri, a multimillionaire prosperity preacher with a network of churches across Africa and millions of followers on social media, claimed Gordon was targeted by “fellow men of God who are hoarding their members.”
Bushiri, who fled South Africa for his home country of Malawi in 2020 after he was charged with fraud and money laundering, claimed it was failed attacks on his life that forced him to flee South Africa when he did. He also alleged that since he left South Africa in 2020, approximately eight preachers have been killed at their pulpits.
“Being shot on the pulpit because he was a prophet, in the pretext of robbery. The same tricks they used on me on February 7th, 2020, in Sandton as they rampaged my convoy. Luckily, we had intelligence, and they did not find me in the cars. Surprisingly, they robbed nothing from my people,” Bushiri claimed in a post on Facebook Saturday.
“This happened three months before a gunman stormed our church, charging to the pulpit while I was preaching. Thank God our security managed to intercept him. Not once,” Bushiri continued.
“Losing this young prophet is something that was not supposed to have happened. We all know the agenda and who is behind this — fellow men of God who are hoarding their members,” he added. “To all prophets of God there in South Africa, stay safe. Our prayers are with you. We have lost almost 8 prophets since I left South Africa due to such pulpit killings. Sad. And someone should still be asking me why I left South Africa? Insane! And someone still wants me to go back there? Keep dreaming!”
A Zambian televangelist based in South Africa, Prophet Isaac Kabamba, well-known on social media as Prophet DD Isaac, also claimed that Gordon was targeted because he was attracting followers from other churches in a country where jobs are scarce and poverty is high.
@sir_dwayne_gordon#foryou#fyp#preacher#prophetic#viral#tiktok#tiktoksouthafrica? original sound – Dwayne Gordon
South Africa has an unemployment rate of just under 33% and the domestic poverty line in South Africa in 2023 stood at 1,058 South African rands per month or about $55.23. Data from the World Bank shows that 55.5% or 30.3 million South Africans live below the national poverty line.
“The individual responsible for the demise of my son is another prophet of the same ethnicity, driven by the fear of losing his congregation. Prophet Dwayne Gordon, nurtured under my guidance, was known to me as an exceptionally devoted young prophet, ardently devoted to Jesus Christ,” he wrote on Facebook. “It is truly heart-wrenching to witness the tragic waste of his life. His spirit will inflict anguish upon any individual implicated in his untimely demise.”
Kabamba, who is a leader and founder of Holy Ghost Embassy Church with branches in South Africa and other parts of the world, said Gordon was previously shot in the leg at his Randburg branch but survived.
“I vividly recall the distressing incident that transpired in South Africa. Malevolent forces orchestrated an intrusion into our sacred sanctuary, located in our Kyasands Randburg branch.
They callously targeted my son, discharging a firearm that struck his leg. Miraculously, he managed to survive,’” Kabamba said, alleging that South Africa “harbors a propensity for extinguishing the lives of their own prophets.”
“May the indomitable spirit of Prophet Dwyane Gordon wage war against all those involved. To all congregations, prophets, apostles, pastors, and evangelists, I implore you to fortify your places of worship and ensure the presence of security personnel in your vicinity,” he said. “This very reason compelled me to return to my homeland, Zambia, where we could find solace and sanctuary.”
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