Apostolic Baptism in South Africa through the Eyes of a Local Artist

- Reflections on a painting by Lucas Mahome, by Catherine Schieve


I met Lucas Mahome 20 years ago, in Johannesburg South Africa where I was participating in a course in International Education in 1998. He was an up-and-coming visual artist already exhibiting his work in major galleries, and was selling some of his drawings and paintings on paper to visitors from overseas. The work is vibrant and the pieces I bought are rooted in the local culture of the Alexandra township. Lately I did a bit of research on his work, and came across an image of a painting made in the year 1990, when Lucas must have been 18 years old: it is titled Apostic Baptism  and shows the local church community in mid-baptising ritual, in local waters surrounded by vegetation and a village in the background. I do not know if he painted it from memory or from an existing image. The faces are expressive and there is lovely detail of the vestments of ministers and worshipping community; the baptisand is half submerged, reclining in the water, eyes closed, face full of emotion.  His face is cradled lovingly by two men in attendance; one young and one old. There are thirteen people; one child sits on an Elder's shoulders. Many crosses play across the scene; on clothing, in peoples' hands, embroidered and held in hands, even in the intersections of tree branches. Peoples' faces are jubilant, contemplative, fun-filled - showing a range of feeling. One man's pant legs are rolled up and the water is calm and feels cool to the eye. One central figure seems to be singing or in mid-proclamation. Two village onlookers watch from a distance; one with a faint cross on her garments and the other holding a large cross. It is a joyous scene, full of promise and colour. The trees dance. It is full of inward and outward meaning; a closeup shows a butterfly hovering just over the baptised as he submerges and emerges.

Lucas V. Mahome, "Apostic Baptism" South Africa, 1990, watercolour on paper.

Interestingly, at auction this piece sold for $10 US, labelled as "outsider art" - a term usually used in reference to the creative work of the untrained and/or mentally challenged. We can only guess how this painting made its way to the US and how its meaning came to be misplaced so quickly. 

Details from "Apostic Baptism" by Lucas Mahome.  The artist's picture is below and  bio  graphy here .    Artwork images retrieved from online  auction website .

Details from "Apostic Baptism" by Lucas Mahome. The artist's picture is below and biography here

Artwork images retrieved from online auction website.

"Hearing Angels sing" : Pentecostal worship in Singapore

An extraordinary experience of sound and spirit is captured here on-camera, from the perspective of a worship musician on stage during a conference run by Patricia King Ministries in Singapore (Patricia King is an apostolic minister and entrepreneur).  The video is by Jeremy Yeo. His description follows:

"This happened in Patricia King's Conference in Singapore. Andrew Yeo the worship leader wished for himself to be able to hear angels sing in his lifetime and Patricia King said it will be granted to him and we started hearing Angels sing in a consistent note. This video does not do the actual experience any justice. From my experience being the videographer of this video, the Angel voices were crystal clear and placement of the consistent tone was right up at the ceiling around the whole hall. No musicians were playing at this point and the congregation started singing along. Listen out to the consistent note throughout the video and you'll be able to pick it out. Enjoy"

- Jeremy Yeo, videographer and worship participant

Singing with the Angels, Pentecostal worship, Singapore (Patricia King Conference, Assemblies of God denomination). Location: Bethesda Cathedral Singapore; 2011. This conference was a mixture of denominations of the protestant churches in Singapore. Video by Jeremy Yeo.