Donkey Church, noun phrase

See quotations 1943 and 1965.
A nickname for the Methodist Church in Africa, which seceded from the Methodist Church in 1933.
Originally known as the Bantu Methodist Church of South Africa, this church was renamed the Methodist Church in Africa in 1979.
1943 L. Sowden Union of S. Afr. 194There is, or was a short time ago, a Donkey Church in the southern part of the Orange Free State, so called by observers because a heavily draped donkey was used in all the ceremonies.
1961 B.G.M. Sundkler Bantu Prophets 172H. with a great deal of flair for stage management — inter alia using a donkey as a symbol of the Church, hence the nickname ‘Donkey Church’ — led the masses until, more than a year later, R. gave the hint that he was available.
1963 Wilson & Mafeje Langa 97The Bantu Methodist Church of South Africa is an offshoot of the Methodist Church; it broke away in 1933, after a dispute..over church dues...People felt that they were being exploited to provide their superiors with cars, and yet Jesus Christ himself used a donkey...‘The Donkey Church’, as it is popularly called, ‘is becoming more and more respectable and one wonders if its leaders are still strong believers in donkey riding.’
1965 E. Mphahlele Down Second Ave 92Pastor M’Kondo..had broken away from the Methodist Church of South Africa. He was said to be a branch of what was commonly known as the Donkey Church. Its emblem was a picture of Christ entering Jerusalem on a donkey.
1973 Informant, Grahamstown‘He belongs to the African Methodist Episcopal Church.’ ‘That isn’t the same as the Donkey Church is it?’
1987 M. Melamu Children of Twilight 110Those were the days following the historic secession from the Methodist Church to what came to be known as the ‘Bantu Methodist’ or ‘Donkey’ Church.
1989 L.W.M. Xozwa Methodist Church in Afr.: Hist. 56In the 1979 Conference..we agreed on a new name which is Methodist Church in Africa...We have slightly changed the name. We have not changed our nickname, which is Donkey Church.
A nickname for the Methodist Church in Africa, which seceded from the Methodist Church in 1933.
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