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Nairobi Methodist splits from main church

By Anyango Otieno | November 29th 2020

Methodist Church in Kenya Presiding Bishop, Joseph Ntombura. [File, Standard]

The Methodist Church in Kenya is today set to launch its Nairobi region group at a conference in yet another split.

This is the latest major split in the church after groups from Coast and Mount Kenya region sought to disassociate themselves from the headquarters in Meru. An invitation letter seen by the Sunday Standard for an event to be held today indicates the declaration of internal autonomy of the Methodist churches within the Nairobi region as the main purpose of the event. The region will however stay "connected" with the main church.

“Internal autonomy means the Nairobi Churches are breaking away from the administration of the Methodist Church in Kenya head office while remaining part of the Methodist Church in Kenya Connexional Church,” the letter read.

The Nairobi Region Conference is now the third to declare internal autonomy after the Coast Regional Conference and the Mount Kenya Regional Conference.

The Coast region split took place last year where it also announced it had seized key assets including schools and land, and declared it would not submit weekly collections to the mother church.

The church in Coast, which is based at Ribe in Kilifi County went ahead to appoint Bishop Wellington Sanga to oversee the region, this is despite a court order stopping the exercise.

At the time, the East and Central Africa Presiding Bishop Joseph Ntombura (pictured) demanded the Coast faction should leave quietly, but Sanga declined, noting that they are firmly in the church because it does not belong to a particular community or person.

Wrangles have threatened the cohesion and vast investments the church has painstakingly made over the years when it enjoyed unity.

Sanga said the clergy in the Coast region had decided to devolve the functions of the church to allow them to manage their own affairs.

The letter indicated that the concept of the regional conferences is the devolution of power and administration to lower tiers due to historical concentration and abuse of power by the head office

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