PROTESTS instead of prayers were the order of the day at the Methodist Church in Cosmo City, north of Joburg yesterday.

Some of the church’s members tried to deny others entry to the church building and carried placards calling for the Reverend Rampai Seeri to quit the church.

The reverend’s assistants blocked the door however, and while some members worshipped inside, others demonstrated outside.

Those outside told Daily Sun that Seeri, the leader of the church, had overstayed his term and they alleged he was a bully.

Monosi Tsoka (45), a congregant who had served for a long time, said they submitted their grievances in June but they still had not received any response.

“As a congregation we have the right to choose who we want as our leader. The reverend has overstayed his term.

“We want him gone mainly because he is a bully who cannot address us in a proper manner.

“He shows little care for the needs of his congregants,” Tsoka said.

Matebello Mahau, whose husband was allegedly sacked as a caretaker, claimed they had been ill-treated by the preacher.

“My husband was fired without an explanation after serving for seven years. During this time the reverend constantly shouted at us.”

The church secretary, Oscar Nyakatha, said they were aware of the congregants’ grievances and they had been referred to the Methodist Church’s chief superintendent’s office to be investigated.

“This is in accordance with the laws and discipline of the church. We cannot determine how long the process takes.

“The reverend is elected through a leadership conference of the Methodist Church. He was re-elected and therefore he will serve for another five-year term,” said Nyakatha.