Multi-million church: General Ogolla's legacy to his community

St Thomas ACK church, Nduru. The construction of the church was done by the late CDF General Francis Ogolla as a gift to his community. [Isaiah Gwengi, Standard]

In the remote village of Nduru, South East Alego, one building stands out: the St Thomas Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) Nduru.

The church, which neighbours Nduru Primary School, was built by Chief of Defense Forces Francis Ogolla, who footed the construction bill using his own money.

According to members of the church, the construction started in 2016 following a series of fundraisers and contributions from members.

This did not however help much in the construction of the church as it stalled to some point as the congregants struggled to raise more funds for its completion.

In an interview with The Sunday Standard, Fabian Okoth, the chairperson of the church's finance committee, said the General's help came at the right time.

He said there was an existing church building but it was too old and small to accommodate the growing number of congregants.

"It was not easy to complete building the church due to financial constraints but we thank God that our General saw the need to support us in building the church," said Mr Okoth.

According to Okoth, General Ogolla took over construction of the church from lintel, roofing, plastering and painting of the building.

He added that he also drilled water at the church and bought furniture worth more than Sh200,000.

Okoth termed the General's demise as a big loss not only to the family and community, but also to the church.

"General was a true Christian and he loved the church. This is the greatest gift that he has left behind for the community," he said.

He said that the church building is not only for praying, it will also help the community in terms of providing a venue for meetings.

ACK Bondo Diocese Bishop David Kodia said General Ogolla's dedication and love for the church was indisputable.

"It is sad that he has not lived to witness the consecration of the church he built, but it is a legacy that will live on for very many years," said Bishop Kodia.

According to his family,  General Ogolla was God-fearing and he believed in giving back to the community in whatever form.

The General, who perished on Wednesday following an air crash in Elgeyo-Marakwet, served as the chairman of the Military Christian Fellowship from 1994-2004. His funeral service will be held at the church.