Pastor Ezekiel preaches on at a Sunday service despite government ban

New Life Prayer Center and Church Pastor Ezekel Odero during a Sunday service at his church in Mavueni, Kilifi County, on May 28, 2023. [Robert Menza, Standard]

Embattled pastor Ezekiel Odero’s New Life Prayer Centre and Church on Sunday held its Sunday service without any interference despite the government's decision to de-register it.

Members of the church based at Mavueni in Kilifi County ignored the government ban and trooped in for the early morning for the service.

The congregants blamed the state for interfering with their right to worship, which they believe has changed the lives of many in Mavueni village.

Speaking to The Standard, the members insisted Odero had good intentions for the local community and urged the state to leave him alone.

Rehema Mwololo, who claimed to have been healed by Odero, decried the government's decision to ban the church as uncalled for.

"When pastor Odero came to Mavueni, I had many problems with my family members, but after he prayed for me, life changed. He united me with my family and started this business for me. Even my children changed. We are on talking terms because of the pastor,” said Mwololo.

Dorcas Kulundu, who is a staunch follower of Pastor Odero, asked the government to allow the church to operate without interruption.

Kulundu confessed that thousands of people who had come to the church had been healed and wondered why the government was fighting pastor Odero.

“We have decided to continue going on with prayers by the pastor because we want someone who can change the lives of people. He has already changed the lives of many,” said Kulundu.

As the services were proceeding in the church, a mentally disturbed woman who had slipped from the hands of her relatives from Uganda started running around, causing fears that she could easily be knocked down by vehicles.

However, church members in charge of the sick managed to get hold of her and bundled her into an ambulance and took her to a hospital in Kilifi.

As the members trooped into the church, the plain-clothed police officers, who were monitoring the situation from a distance in their vehicle, later disappeared.

Yesterday, journalists could not be let into the vast church compound and had to stay outside as service proceeded.

The Registrar of Societies, Maria Nyariki, cancelled the registration of Pastor Ezekiel’s church under unclear circumstances despite existing court orders stopping interference in the church operations.

She called registration of the church alongside five other churches on May 19, 2023, and published it through a gazette notice dated August 3, 2023, and served the notifications last week.

The others are Good News International Ministries, Helicopter of Christ Church, Theophilus Church, Kings Outreach Church and Royal Park Homeowners Estate Association Langata.