The history of Authentic Word Ministries which birthed Zion Temple Celebration Centre dates back to the early 1990s. In 1992, in the city of Kisangani (in Democratic Republic of Congo), God gave a revelation to a group of college students who were having daily prayer meetings, interceding for the world and for the Church in general. The revelation was about God’s intention to raise an army of "end times warriors" around the world, to prepare the bride of Christ before His majestic return. A fellow student now an Apostle by the name of Paul Gitwaza led this group of students.
They started thinking and meditating about how they were going to begin this gigantic enterprise, but the Spirit of God would not allow them to. He instructed them to wait until further notice. The Holy Spirit exhorted them instead to remain in brotherly communion and fellowship until the time appointed by the Lord to begin this worldwide ministry.
God’s vision for this ministry was an end time revival movement that would reach every corner of the world, through a mighty army of servants both fully committed and equipped to fight and win the battle for the Lord. The army would be made of people devoted to the Lord, uncompromising in their love for the Lord, despite suffering and persecution that they would face.
In 1995, three years after the Vision was given, God gave the go-ahead for the ministry to start, and revealed both the name and the location where the ministry would be headquartered. God gave the name of Authentic Word Ministries and the ministry was to be headquartered in Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda.
The Authentic Word Ministries was divided into five branches in order to accomplish its vision that is "To prepare the Bride of the Lamb" :
1. Church planting
2. Mission and Evangelisation
3. Samaritan Heart
4. Socio-Economic Empowerment, and Development
5. Information and Communication
The Authentic Word Ministries officially started in 1996, in humble and difficult conditions. It was not easy to begin a ministry in Rwanda, given the atrocious past of the Genocide that the country was just coming out of.
People‘s hearts were extremely heartbroken, hundreds of thousands of helpless and hopeless genocide survivors – men, women and orphans ; one can imagine how difficult it was to tell genocide survivors- widows and orphans that God loves them and has a plan to restore their lives.A group of young people, single and dedicated to God, determined themselves through prayer and evangelisation to reach out to the people and ministered to them the Good News of the kingdom of God.
The group was composed of those who received the vision in 1992, in Kisangani and other members that God brought later to join this mission.Given the state of the nation, the background of these young people themselves, there were so many challenges. First, they had no salaries, no offices and only had their faith in God to live by.Within a short time, the Holy Spirit guided them to start overnight prayers every Friday so that the hearts of people may be prepared to meet God. These turned out to be powerful prayer meetings where the power and mercy of God were manifested. People were healed, bodies and souls and many people in Kigali still remember that place called “Cave” ; for it was and still is the source of the revival that set the fire to the whole nation in 1997 and 1998.In 1999, the first Church was planted by the Authentic Word Ministries in the city of Kigali, Rwanda. Since then other churches have been planted in other countries. These churches are known as "Zion Temple Celebration Centres.”
The first service of Zion Temple Celebration Centre took place on the 11th of July 1999 very early in the morning. Miraculously, without any advertising or invitation, this service had a prophetic attendance of 120 people.Officially, the church, Zion Temple Celebration Centre was recognised on the 8th of August 1999 with the ordination of her Senior Pastor, Reverend Paul GITWAZA, who is the International President of Authentic Word Ministries and Zion Temple Celebration Centre.The church went through a rapid and spectacular growth ; within the five years the church had more than seven thousand members in Kigali.Zion Temple’s reputation grew beyond the city of Kigali to other provinces of Rwanda to Africa, Europe and the US.
Zion Temple Celebration Centre started churches in neighbouring countries as well as in European countries : Arusha (Tanzania), Bujumbura (Burundi), Bukavu (Democratic Republic of Congo), and in Europe to Copenhagen (Denmark), London (England), Brussels (Belgium).
To date, Zion Temple Celebration Centre has expanded more that it is also in Paris (France), Eskilstuna (Sweden), Manchester, Liverpool, Coventry, Oxford (England), Atlanta, Indiana, Chicago, Texas (US), Edmonton (Canada) and in China.For the first time in History, a Rwandan ministry had opened churches that were fully operational in Europe and in the United States of America.
Blessing Day (Ex-Tuesday) : 17h00’-19h30’
Silence Day (Ex-Thursday) : 17h00’-19h30’
Transfiguration Day (Ex-Sunday) :