Ntombura: I am still bishop of the Methodist Church of Kenya

African Methodist Council President Reverend Joseph Ntombura speaking to reporters in Narok. [Robert Kiplagat, Standard]]

Bishop Joseph Ntombura said he still heads the Methodist Church in Kenya.

In a statement, Bishop Ntombura condemned an attempt to wreak havoc on the church by some of the leaders.

“There is nothing new that they are bringing here. The same old story that they took to the courts, the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and our partners and they failed because everything is wrong, ” Ntombura said.

He accused the faction of breaking into his office while on the move.

They broke into my office through the back door. I thank God that they were arrested, ” Ntombura said.

The bishop also condemned a decision to install an interim leadership, saying he is fully responsible. He said there is no such position in the constitution of the church.

The bishop assured church members that he was in complete control, adding that his administration had taken steps to resolve the issue once and for all.

“They will know that there is a God who takes care of his people. It is no longer a cooperative society for political drama,” he said.

At a December 15 press conference in Nairobi, the faction claiming to be the interim leadership led by Dr Stephen Kanyaru said Bishop Ntombura had been ousted from his post as presiding bishop and chairman of the African Methodist Council.

They claimed this was done by delegates on December 3 at the Methodist Church Center in Lavington, Nairobi.

However, a few days later, in a paid communication in the local dailies, the administration of Ntombura denounced the interim management. The opinion listed eight defrocked ministers and seven excommunicated members.

Among those listed as defrocked ministers in the ad are Dr Charles Makonde, Jacob Ibuatha, Maingi Ruaria, James Muriki, Ronald Nzai, Richard Abio and Cosmas Tuji.

The excommunicated members are Dr Gerishon Mwiti, Goeffrey Kathurima, Dr Gladys Mwiti, Hellen Kamencu, Kobia Michubu, Martin Muriuki and Mathews Kaburu.

“The Kenya Methodist Church Conference Standing Committee wishes to inform all of our esteemed members and the general public that the individuals whose photographs appear above (Misheck Kanake, Dr Stephen Kanyaru and Isaiah Deye), as well as those whose names are listed below, have ceased to be ministers (defrocked) and members (excommunicated) of the Methodist Church in Kenya, ” the ad read.

On Friday, a section of the church in Meru supported Ntombura.

Led by the bishop of the synod of Kaaga, Bishop Nicholas Mutwiri and Bishop Lawi Imathiu, they urged church members to ignore other groups led by Dr Kanyaru as what they called undermines church leadership.

This group which represents the 39,000 members of the Kaaga Synod is here to say that Presiding Bishop Ntombura is the official spokesperson for the Methodist Church in Kenya, East and Central Africa and also the spokesperson for the African Methodist Council, ” they said.

They also denied the existence of an interim leadership in the church, claiming that Bishop Ntombura is still legally in office, continuing the church’s work in missions and church planting.

“The Kaaga synod members note that every official communication will go through the synod office through their constituency superintendents and this is the message that you must take it seriously,” they said.

Jerry B. Hatch