Citam church gets new bishop

President Uhuru Kenyatta with Bishop Calisto Odede (right) and his family at the Christ is the Answer Ministries church in Karen, Nairobi, after the bishop’s consecration yesterday. [PSCU]

President Uhuru Kenyatta has assured Rev Calisto Odede of government’s support in serving the faithful as he takes over as presiding Bishop of the Christ is the Answer Ministries (Citam).

Yesterday, Rev Odede replaced Bishop David Oginde, to become the third presiding bishop of the church which has 25 congregations and more than 30,000 faithful.

“You can always count on my support and my government’s support as we move together to do God’s will. Both of us are here to serve and we need each other and we need to work together. By doing so, we are able to achieve our objectives and deliver the needs of our people,” said Kenyatta during the consecration of Odede as Bishop at Citam church in Karen, Nairobi.

The Head of State steered clear of politics despite Oginde hinting that the church would like to be involved in the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report.

Oginde said the quick succession of events revolving around BBI had left the church stranded. “Some of us have been thinking of how to join but before we were ready, we heard the train had left the station,” he said.

Recently, some clergy threatened to lead a campaign against the quest to amend the Constitution saying their proposals were ignored.

Kenya Council of Church Alliances and Ministries said their recommendations on the threat to religious freedom, abortion and same sex marriage among others were not considered by the taskforce.

The president praised the church for supporting the government. “I look forward to working with you. Take up the challenge and do not compare yourself to others,” he told Bishop Odede. He advised him not to succumb to the pressure of “fitting into someone’s shoe” saying each leader was unique in their own way.

Kenyatta congratulated Oginde for his decade of service and thanked him for serving the church and the country with distinction, and assured him of friendship and support.

Oginde also thanked the president for his support during his term. “Your Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta and your Deputy President William Ruto you have been great leaders of this country and thank you. I have been amazed by the privilege and honour you have accorded me during my leadership in Citam,” Oginde said.

Odede, in his acceptance speech assured the president of his support and prayers saying despite the global health challenges, God will preserve the nation and the economy.

The consecration sermon was delivered by South African evangelist Frank Chikane who challenged the church to take the lead in helping the world to recover from Covid-19.