My name is James Mitchell Veremu. I was born on 31st October, 1955, the fifth of seven children of four boys and three girls in a family. I read my schooling in an Anglican Church school of an Anglican mission that was near our home. I started schooling in the year 1962. Being an Anglican Church school, I had to be baptized into the Anglican Church and take the tenets of the Anglican Church. So, I was baptized and confirmed, and I was partaking of, what they called, the sacrament of the Lord's body. I was in this mission school for 8 years, from the year 1962 till 1969. Then I had to go for secondary education. I left this school and went to a secondary school. That was in 1970.
It was during the year 1970 that I first came into contact with the people who were preaching in a different way than the one I was used to hearing in the local Anglican Church. This people were the 'Gideons', who came to our school to have a half-hour session once every week. As the leader was teaching the scriptures, I got to find out that I was not baptized right because I was sprinkled by water. I needed to be baptized by immersion. So I asked the man how I could be baptized. He told me to go to a certain place where he sent certain people who could help me and baptize me. But I was not able to go. So the thing was sort of passed by and that was the end of it.
Then in the year 1972, when I was at a friend's house, a Pentecostal preacher from the Assembly of God came to pray for the mother who was sick. But this preacher could not just come and pray for the sick mother; he said he had to preach the Word. I remembered him preaching from the Book of Acts about Philip going down to Samaria to preach the gospel and also about Simon the sorcerer. This was my first time to hear a Pentecostal preacher, and you know, I just fell in love with his preaching. Something just touched my heart. From that time he would always come back to have meeting at that house and to pray for the sick mother. Because I was interested, I kept on attending.
During Easter of the same year, we were taken to an outlying area where we had Easter convention, and there I gave my heart to God, fully surrendering my life to Christ. So I was now just waiting to be baptized. It so happened during the same year, this preacher broke ranks with the Assembly of God because of some misunderstandings he had with its leadership. So I followed this preacher, my pastor. He wanted to join up with a British man, Alexander Warrilow, who was residing in our country (known as Rhodesia at that time). He had met Brother Branham when Bro. Branham came to Rhodesia in 1951. And he had experienced all the miracles that took place in the Branham campaign in 1951. He later came in contact with the literature regarding the Message in the 1960s and he believed. He started preaching this Message and there was a little group that was with him. He was the first person whom God used to bring the message into my country. So our pastor went to join up with this man and his group. That was in December, 1972.
That was the first time then for me to come in contact with the message. I still remember it was at a convention in December 1972 that I heard this white man preaching and he was teaching on water baptism, and there was another old black preacher who was preaching on the serpent seed. And it really got to me. After the meeting, they distributed some literatures. I remembered the first Spoken Word book that was given was 'This Day This Scripture Is Fulfilled'. I remembered taking this book and read it when I went walking or herding cattle during weekends in those days.
So I was then in this fellowship of the Endtime Message. There were several other Endtime Message churches in different localities and all of us would gather together ever so often throughout the year. However, we were actually doing things the way we were doing when we were in the Assembly of God church. But one thing that we got was the baptism in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and also that there was not suppose to be woman preachers. In the course of time there arose some misunderstandings between our pastor and those other preachers concerning some doctrines in the Message. And, maybe because of that, our pastor decided to pull out of this Message fellowship. The year was 1975.
When he pulled out, he told us, the congregation, that he did so because of some misunderstandings. Because many of us were young, we were not told what the misunderstandings were. Being young we didn't care much then. But at a later stage the pastor told us that he had met another white man, who believed in the baptism in Jesus name and the One God doctrines, that we should work with him. Questions were raised against the pastor about doctrines, but I remembered the discussion was very watered down. Well, the church took the decision to join up with this white missionary from America, whom we learn later that he was a minister of the United Pentecostal Church. So, in 1976 we were with the UPC.
In 1977, I got married, at the early age of 22.
Then in 1979 some doctrinal issues were brought forth with the leaders because the UPC allows woman preachers, that it believes in the initial evidence of Holy Ghost baptism being the speaking of tongues, and the "Jesus Only" concept of their understanding of the Godhead. I believe there were four of us who were very vocal with these issues. Finally, it came to the missionary's ears that there were some young men who were trying to cause problems. He found out later that our basis for all these arguments and things were the Spoken Word books that we were having. They then brought out a chart listing some of Bro. Branham’s teachings trying to show errors. They denounced him and branded him a false prophet.
Well, that did not go down well with us because, for one thing, we had come to the understanding that God had sent Bro. Branham as a prophet-messenger to our generation. So in 1980, together with two believing friends, I left the UPC. I wrote a letter to my pastor telling him that I was leaving. I had nothing against my pastor. He was a real man of God. Being from the Pentecostal era, it was difficult for him to cross over into the new light. But he was a very good preacher of holiness and sanctification. He really molded my life and I owe a lot to his ministry. He kept me living right as a young man for my marriage. But because of the Word, I had to leave. When I wrote my letter, I had no idea that on the same day each of my friends had send in their own individual letter.
Now, it might have been a coincidence that when we moved out of the United Pentecostal Church, there was another elderly man, sort of an elder in the church, who sometimes preached, he too came out with his family and six other families. However, this group came out not because of the Message but personal misunderstandings between them and the pastor. We said, "Okay, let's team up and start worshipping God." Then we went to another elderly man who was having services with his family and two other families. We had known them back then when we were in the Message (during the time of that white man) before we broke off to join the UPC. So we were altogether as a church with the first elderly man as the leader assisted by that other elderly man.
Not long after, the same problem of coming to down to earth with the true doctrines and the Message re-surfaced. One sticky thing was about the covering for the woman; was it a hat or hair? Though the sisters should not preach yet we had song leaders who were sisters, singing and leading the congregation in worship. We know that that is not right and so they left. My three friends and I were left with the elderly man and another elderly believer. We said, "Let's go on and take what the Message teaches."
As we started again to go on into the truth of the Message, this elderly man whom we were looking to as our leader was always messing up things. He did not have any direction. He did not have the revelation. You know, if he wanted to preach a sermon, he just took a Spoken Word book and said, "Good evening friends, the weather is good"; he was just saying exactly what Bro. Branham was saying as he was introducing himself. Certainly it did not go down well with us. We saw that there was something wrong with that. At other times he would go to other Message churches to listen to the preaching of other preachers. Then he would come back to the church and preach what he heard there. This just showed that he had nothing of his own. We had other problems with him.
The church agreed to have him step down. He did and the leadership went to the other elder with me as the assistant in the church. At that time we were also fellowshipping with another assembly called Highfield Assembly (in a town of that name) where Bro. Warrilow was preaching. There was also a pastor there. We asked them to come and help us because they were a little more matured than us. They complied and they came to assist us spiritually for about six months.
Our assembly is in a town called Chitungwiza. By 1983, the saints said that we were of age and they sought to have a pastor instead of just having elders. The leaders in Highfield were informed and they came to oversee the flock choosing their own pastor. Two names were brought forth, the elder’s and mine. And the lot fell on me. It was a bombshell that fell on me, you know. How was I going to lead this church. I was going to be responsible for these people; how was I going to do it? Now, that was in the late 1983.
In 1984, you know, after praying, fasting and seeking the leading of the Lord, I started writing letters to all overseas believers whose addresses I came across. Some responded, some did not. I just stumbled over a tract with the address "Prophetic Revelation". So I wrote, and Bro. Gan replied. He sent me some of his literature, some Spoken Word books and some tapes. After going through the literature, you know, I could see the truth of the revelation of the Word. Then I finally asked him to visit us and he came in 1988. I met him at the airport. I had no car, so I just took him on a local bus to my humble home, where my wife had fixed a meal. He took the meal and I took him to a brother's house, which was still under construction, not fully furnished. We told him, "Now, this is where you are going to stay". He complied and it just touched my heart how that somebody from overseas could mix and mingle and stay in humble dwellings. So that was one thing that made me see a difference that I had not seen before. For the first time here's a man who happened not to go to a five-star hotel and things like that.
Bro. Gan was with us for a week or so. We enjoyed his preaching and teaching of the Word. And from that time, it was almost a yearly affair for him to visit us, and we were learning. During the first four years of our communication by letters, I learn a lot about the basics and foundations of truth of the Message brought to us by Bro. Branham. Even this recent visit of Bro. Gan, we could see the Message and the purpose of God sending the Message. And as I testified earlier our leader, who was leading us in the beginning, was just taking and reading from Spoken Word (books) and said, "Now this is the message…" which did not go down well with us, especially with me. But that was the way things were being done all the time, over and over, again and again. However, now I saw somebody who was preaching and teaching from the Word, and laying the foundation of the faith in the Word in the life of the believers. Bro. Gan did not just use simple quotations of the prophet and the scriptures at all, but he took the Word and expounded It. He brought us back to the true foundation. So we were learning. His ministry was of great help; it had a great impact upon us.
As the years passed on, Bro. Gan got me to get in touch with other believers in the neighbouring countries of Africa – Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Malawi and others. A few times he facilitated my going on visits to some churches there when they were having conventions, or when he himself was there. Up until this day there is still a continual fellowship between my church and the churches in those other countries.And now the bond is getting bigger and stronger. I was getting to meet and see people of 'like faith', people who believe the same as I believe. That was a great relief and encouragement to me. And I am still learning.
In 1999, Bro. Gan facilitated also my going to India. In the city of Bombay, for some two weeks, I was fellowshipping with saints of like precious faith. Then I visited Philippines, exposing myself to people of the same faith. In the year 2003, Bro. Gan visited us again. We were very sad to hear when he said "I believe that this is my last trip to this country, I may not come again." Then he facilitated again my going to India the following year, 2004. So I visited India, many places in the south. I also visited Singapore and the Philippines as well.
I want to give all the glory and honour to God who, through this humble ministry of Bro. Gan, has enlightened not only me, but many, to see the purpose of God in sending His servant the prophet, William Marrion Branham, to our age, to make ready a people as the Bride of Christ for the soon coming rapture. So I just want to thank God.
As for now, by the grace of God, not only do we visit and minister to the neighbouring countries, but in our own country, we do outreach to the locals as well. And people are responding to the Message. We thank God that He helps us and facilitates all that are needed, be it financial or spiritual, that the Word may reach all those who were ordained and whose name were written in the Book of life. So I thank God for His grace. I thank God for guiding my life. I thank God for bringing me to Light. I thank God for getting me into the present day truth. Amen.
At this point, I would like to bring this in. You know, as for us, after coming out of the United Pentecostal Church and coming together to start worshipping the Lord God as according to the light we read from the Spoken Word books that we had at that time. You know because of our childlike attitude we made a lot of mistakes. We saw this everywhere else too. Because I've read where Paul said God sent the five-fold ministry for the perfecting of the saints, I was wondering how was it going to be that we would come in contact with the ministry of the present day truth? We were just out of the denomination, just worshipping the Lord, so how could we come in contact with the five-fold ministry? But, by the grace of God we just pushed on.
I was worrying about this thing until one day, I asked Bro. Gan. I said, "How is it going to be that a little group somewhere out there, trying to serve God and worship God in truth, how will they know, how will they be established?" He said, "Maybe they've got their pastor there, or maybe an evangelist just started the work. How are they going to know whether the church they are in be truly a part of the true Church of the Lord? Well, God would sent them an apostle or an apostolic ministry to ground them in the truth."
You know, when he told me this, I could then see the light of the Scriptures where Cornelius was zealous for the Lord and he wanted to serve God and while in prayer the angel appeared to him and told him to send for Peter. And the Apostle Peter came and established them in the faith. Then there were those people down there where the Evangelist Philip was in Samaria, and the Lord sent the Apostles, John and Peter, down there. Then there were also the believers of John the Baptist in the town of Ephesus trying to serve God, and God sent the Apostle Paul to establish them in the truth.
Yes, I want to just thank the Lord for so wonderfully directs and leads those who have the desire and hunger for the truth. You know, He just led us, the saints of Chitungwiza Assembly. He brought one to establish us and root us in the truth, and make our foundation sure.
As we go on God brings in other ministries to nourish us, to keep us well strengthen and built up in THE FAITH. The love of God is just showing us the light as we keep going. So this is how the Lord worked and dealt with me these past years, that I found grace to serve Him.
May God bless you all, as you continue to pray for us that God would keep and would guide us as we look for the imminent coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to take His Bride, that we be ready for the occasion. May God's grace bless you all. Amen.