By Elias Kifle
Ethiopian Orthodox Church preacher Memher Zebene is once again causing havoc inside the Medhanialem Church in Maryland by turning members against each other so that he can overthrow the elected board members and make the church his personal property.
Most Ethiopian churches in the Diaspora are fulfilling the spiritual need of Ethiopians and providing essential services to our community quietly and with little or no controversy. In this regard, the St. Mary Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Atlanta is a great role model.
But in some church that are infiltrated by individuals like Zebene, there is always chaos. Recently, at a Dallas church, a church official had called police officers on church members who spoke out against the way the board conducts. The police officers entered the church — without taking off their shoes — and removed individuals whom the officials wanted to silence. This has occurred after the church board was taken over through shenanigans.
Memher Zenebe is trying to do the same thing at the Medhanialem Church that has served the Washington Metro Area for over a decade.
The problem started when the Board hired and brought Zenebe from Ethiopia to teach Bible. His hip hop style of preaching gained him popularity — mainly among the young members — and he soon managed to get himself selected to the Board. He has also accumulated a great deal of personal wealth since he arrived in the Washington DC area. A few years ago, he went to Addis Ababa to get married at a lavish wedding party where Woyanne cade Ato Gebremedhin (formerly Aba Paulos), who claims to be the Patriarch of Ethiopian Orthodox Church, was invited.
Memher Zebene’s recent actions, his endless squabbles with church elders and board members, his power struggle to take over the church all point to the conclusion that he is serving not the church but himself — he is after fame (vainglory), wealth and power over others. It is said that vanity is Devil’s favorite sin.
Click here to read a recent article posted about Zenebe for more information.