The “A” Choir of the Full Gospel Believers’ Church in Soddo, the capital of Walaytta Zone (also known by vernacular names like Wolayita, Wolaytta, etc.), was established in 1980. The choir’s organisers were the then leaders of the congregation, Belete HebteGorgis, Roman Samuel (Evangelist), Samuel Degsaw (Evangelist), Amsale Arega and Bezabih Bancha. Evangelist Samuel Degsaw served as the choir’s leader for a long time.
The founding members also included Adilla Hadero, Tsehay Dola, Tirfe Tomas and Aster Elias. Most of them composed songs. Already as a teenager, Samuel Borsamo wrote songs for the choir. Later he became a well-known gospel singer in Ethiopia. Bezabeh Bancha (a blind person) and Alemayehu Anega were the music players since the establishment of the choir.
Already in 1980, the choir sang outside the congregation. The Full Gospel Believers’ Church (aka Mulu Wongel Church) of Badessa had invited them to sing at their evangelical (Q: evangelistic?) conference. Badessa was also where communist cadres imprisoned choir members and confiscated their musical instruments for the first time.
During the military regime (1974-91), there was great persecution through much of Ethiopia. The cadres ordered the official closure of the congregation’s ministry. Some choir members (e.g. Tirfe Tomas and Aster Elias) were imprisoned because of their faith and even tortured. However, many doors opened for the singers to serve secretly. The choir was invited to sing in individual homes and clandestine meetings of various denominations in Soddo and beyond.
After the regime’s fall in 1991, the choir began singing publicly again. Appart from their local congregation, the singers served in many other cities such as Adaba, Addis Ababa, Hawassa, Shashamane and Shone. They were mostly invited by congregations, in some cases also by World Vision.
Walaytta Mulu Wongel “A” Choir has been strongly supporting the ministry of its congregation in Soddo. It played a significant role in promoting the Good News of Jesus Christ. This choir also served as a role model for others by serving various congregations and denominations besides its mother church.
(1) እግዝአብሔር አየን (Egziabeher Ayene; “God visited us”). Audio cassette produced and distributed by Wolayta Mulu Wongel Believers’ Church in 1989.
(2) እግዚአብሔር ፍቅር ነው (Egziabeher Fiker Naw; “God is Love”). Audio cassette produced and distributed by Wolaytta Mulu Wongel Believers’ Church in 1992.
(3) የማይጠፋ ተስፋ (Yemaytefa Tesfa; “A Living Hope”). Audio cassette published and distributed by Wolaytta Mulu Wongel Believers’ Church in 2015.
» Visit Wolaytta Mulu Wongel “A” Choir’s YouTube Channel
» Listen to selected albums and songs
» Watch selected songs