Tamirat Haile Weshebo was born in Kowada village, Tinika ward, former Konteb district, Hadiyya Zone of Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region, in 1958. When he was five years old, his family dedicated him to implore a spirit, woriiqa’a, and to serve the local witch doctor. Tamirat had no peace and suffered from poor health during the next years. In 1972, his father agreed to bring him to Addis Ababa to stay with a relative. Things did not go well, and Tamirat eventually worked as a shoe shiner.
On a Sunday in 1974, a song attracted him to a reformist Ethiopian Orthodox Youth Association, Haymanote Abew. There he accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour and experienced deliverance from the bondage of the woriiqa’a spirit. After his fellowship group disbanded due to persecution, Tamirat joined Berhane Wongel (Baptist) Church. During the following eight years, Tamirat sang in the church’s “A” Choir and served in various other capacities, e.g. as a Bible teacher and prayer coordinator.
During the Ethiopian Revolution, it became challenging for choirs to perform in public. In 1976, Tamrat started solo singing. He served both in his church and other denominations, during public worshipping as well as in (underground) home services. Tamirat composed comforting songs as well as pieces that critiqued the regime and its communist ideology. He was one of the few gospel singers in Ethiopia writing and singing gospel music with social and political messages. His ministry as a singer was especially significant during the late 1970s and early 1980s when many church leaders, preachers and gospel singers were either incarcerated or had left the country. Tamirat was also arrested several times, but providentially only for comparatively short periods.
In 1984, Tamirat Haile transferred his membership and ministry to Meserete Kristos Church. He received ordination in 1996. After pastoring a congregation in Addis Ababa for several years, Tamirat moved to the United States. Since 2004 he is the (Senior) Pastor of the Ethiopian Christian Fellowship in Sacramento, California. Besides, he continues to sing and preach in other parts of the United States and beyond.
» View discography
Tamirat Haile. Halle luya [ሀሌ ሉያ, Hallelujah]. Addis Ababa: Living Sound Ministry, 1992 (The Songs of Tamirat Haile from 6 cassettes published between 1976-1992)
Songs in hymn books
Waa’i galaxxamona (2013)
No. 27, 94, 200, 253, 287, 442, 446.
In Wudase Amlak, etc.?
» Follow Pastor Tamirat Haile on Facebook
» Visit YouTube channel with gospel songs (owned by a brother of Pastor Tamirat Haile)
» Visit Dan Ministries’ YouTube channel (Pastor Tamirat Haile)
» Listen to selected albums and songs
» Watch selected worship services and teaching
» Watch interviews
Tibebe Eshete (2010). “Evangelical Christians and Indirect Resistance to Religious Persecution in Ethiopia”, The Review of Faith & International Affairs 8:1, 13-21 (esp. p. 19).
» Read online
Tamirat Haile. Yätämrat Amlak tamräña [የተአምራት አምላክ ታምረኛ, Tamrat’s God: A God of miracles]. Addis Ababa: SIM Press, 2016 (autobiography of Tamirat Haile; 548 pp., with editorial help of Wondiye Ali; secure your copy at Amazon.com)
Review by Rev. Gezahegn Mussie and discussion:
» Read Amharic biography (presented at a recognition ceremony in 2022)
— Tamirat Haile (Pastor)