Picto Article

Breakthroughs, blockages, and the path to self-accomplishment the case of Pentecostal Church fo...

Yonatan Nissim GEZ

The neo-Pentecostal movement emphasizes the promises of "breakthroughs"—financial and other—as a key point of appeal. At the same time, it offers a wide range of possibilities for self-made professionalization, giving rise to a caste of religious entrepreneurs whom Paul Gifford refers to as "foundersowners- leaders" Drawing on research on self-accomplishment and "waithood," we show how the church-founding avenue becomes a path for personal breakthroughs by meeting social and economic criteria for success. We draw on ethnographic research and several contemporary examples, notably that of Margaret Wanjiru, a successful female bishop. At the same time, we offer a retrospective examination of the career of an earlier Christian entrepreneur, Nganga wa Kago, with the purpose of asking just how new such professionalization actually is.