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Split rocks MCK as bishops back Ntombura’s leadership

By Phares Mutembei | December 25th 2020
Methodist Church in Kenya bishops and members of Kenya Methodist University management board at their meeting at Kaaga Synod in Meru on Wednesday. They said they had confidence in the leadership of presiding bishop Joseph Ntombura and told off those opposed to his leadership. [Phares Mutembei, Standard]

The leadership of the Methodist Church in Kenya (MCK) has thrown its weight behind Presiding Bishop Joseph Ntombura.

Bishops from the church’s five synods in Meru said they had faith in Bishop Ntombura’s leadership.

The MCK in Ribe, Kilifi County, split and formed a conference, and appointed bishop Wellington Sanga to oversee the region.

Bishop Sanga said the church at the Coast decided to devolve functions to manage their affairs.

Another wing of the church, the Nairobi Region Conference, declared internal autonomy, after the Coast Conference and Mount Kenya Regional Conference.

But the bishops who held a meeting in Meru on Wednesday said they were happy with the leadership of Ntombura.

In a speech read by Kaaga Synod Bishop Catherine Mutua, the bishops who were flanked by former presiding bishop Lawi Imathiu and members of the Kenya Methodist University  management, said retired ministers and those who had faced disciplinary action had no power to speak on behalf of the church.

Presiding Bishop Joseph Ntombura.

“We assure our MCK members our church is intact and progressing well under the leadership of our presiding Bishop Ntombura who is also the president of the Methodist Church in Africa. Under his leadership MCK has grown and expanded its boundaries of expanding the gospel to the unreached,” said Bishop Mutua.

She said in the last two years under Ntombura, MCK had granted more than 30 congregations in the Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.

“This is contrary to what is being peddled by a small group of self-made individuals. Our church is growing steadily and consistently. In the governance of the church, it is governed by the conference which is the final authority as provided for in our standing orders number 14 under the leadership of current presiding bishop and with consultation of standing committee members,” Mutua said.

She said no personal decisions are made on church property.

“We want to make it very clear that no personal decisions are made. All substantive decisions, including land and all MCK institutions, Kemu for example. Those are made by relevant bodies and organs, according to standing orders of the church,” she said.

The bishops said Ntombura had not expelled any clergy.

Mutua claimed that disgruntled individuals were frustrated after failing to plan for their retirement and those who were out of the system due to various indiscipline cases.

Bishop Imathiu told off a section of clerics over creation of additional conferences, saying the church’s standing orders had no such provision.

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