The church in Molepolole started in the mid 1930’s under the endeavours of Elder Samson Makwati who upon his salvation in the South African mines in Lichtenburg decided to quit his job and go back to Molepolole to preach to his people as per the vision he received from the Lord. It is reported that he arrived in Molepolole in around 1934 and began preaching the Gospel to his own household immediately and this gave Molepolole AFM the status of being one of the first pioneering assemblies in Botswana if not the first.
Elder Samson Makwati journeyed from South Africa to Molepolole Botswana on foot having no travel documents. He was given a lift on the way before reaching Mafikeng by a white man who confessed that he does not usually give people a lift in front of the van and especially a black person but he was amazed by the radiance he noticed on the face of Samson Makwati. Before they could go through the town the white man asked Samson Makwati whether he is in possession of the travelling documents, and the answer was negative which prompted the white man to ask Samson Makwati to decide what to do since if he drops him outside the town the Police will arrest him and he cannot continue with him in his van since he will be held responsible for giving a person without proper documents a lift. Samson Makwati responded by saying that he did not ask for a lift and that whether he is dropped before town or not he is on his way to Botswana and the route to Botswana is through Mafikeng so he is going to Botswana. The white man decided to drive through Mafikeng and drop him outside the town and Makwati continued with his journey to Molepolole Botswana.
Challenges facing the inception of the church
In Molepolole Kgosi Kgari Sechele II the ruler of Bakwena tribe did not allow any church to operate in his village except the London Missionary Society (L.M.S.) – the present day UCCSA and the Anglican Church. It was hard to preach the gospel in those days so the unacceptable church resorted to underground meetings which meant that the brethren would meet under the cover of darkness in the night inclusive of the sacraments and ordinances. Examples: If you were found preaching you would be tied to a tree and smeared with fat so that ants could bite you. Pastor Samson Makwati and others were constantly imprisoned for preaching the gospel and made to stand on one leg failing which they would beaten.
In the olden days during Kgosi Kgari’s chieftainship whenever there was a mentally ill person he/she was sent to the chief and the chief would order that he be taken to Samson Makwati for healing since he was known to be a healer for mentally ill people. This became a norm after the healing of the woman who was a lunatic in chains and was brought to Kgosi Kgari and he summoned Samson Makwati to come and heal her on the basis that if she is healed then his church will be allowed to operate in Molepolole Samson Makwati asked that the woman’s chains be taken away from her before he could pray for her healing and the chief said if she should run away then he will hold him responsible because the woman was wild! Samson was adamant that she should be released from her chains and the chains were released and he prayed for her and she was instantly healed and came back to normality. And the church was allowed freedom of worship in Molepolole.