Nyarombo Mennonite Church (Migori County, Nyanza Province, Kenya)
The Nyarombo Mennonite congregation was established in 1942 in the Suna West Sub-Location in Migori County, Nyanza Province, Kenya. The church emerged when two young men, Wilson Ogwada and Nikonar Dhaje, preached in that area on 16 December 1942. They were Kenyan citizens who had gone to study at the Shirati Mission School in Tanzania. After the construction of the church they left Odhiambo Okendo in charge of the congregation. He was supported by some ladies including Rebecca Kizinza Okendo, one of his wives. In 1943 a team from Tanzania visited the newly planted church led by: Bishop Elam Stauffer, Zephania Migire, Clyde Shenk and Zedekea Kisare. They were warmly received by the local believers who admired the Shirati Mission Center. At that time reporting was to the Tanzania Mennonite Church which related to the Eastern Mennonite Board of Missions of the Lancaster Mennonite Conference in the USA.
Some local citizens wanted a church in the Nyarombo area that could provide education and a hospital and were ready to donate seven acres of land to the church for these purposes. The first baptism took place in 1943. The early members of this church, among them Rebecca Kizinza, walked to Shirati in Tanzania many times to attend services until 1964 when the missionaries bought a piece of land and erected a permanent house to host evangelists. In 1965 evangelists Hellon Amolo and his wife Joyce were sent by the mission board in Tanzania to lead the congregation. They arrived on 15 July 1965 and served under Pastor Dishon Ngoya and later under Pastor Manaen Wadugu all from Tanzania. In 1968 pastor Clyde Shenk and his wife Miriam took over. They worked together till 1976 when Shenk returned to the USA and Nashon Adera and his wife Margaret took over leadership. The following also served as pastors of Nyarombo between 1988 and 2018: Enos Mang’ira, Samuel Otieno, Joseph Marera, Mourice Obondo and Deacon Fred Wanduru.
Due to the poor road network Nyarombo could not easily be accessed. For this reason a new church was planted in Migori about nine kilometers east of Nyarombo. As a result Nyarombo began to decline, and the hoped for school and hospital were not built. Those who gave their land to the church felt the church was not adding value to their lives. On occasion this controversy has threatened the life of the church. No new development projects were possible in the facility because of this threat.
In 2018 the church was still strong with about 100 members including children.
Ojwang', Francis S., ed. ‘’Forward in faith: history of the Kenya Mennonite Church: a seventy-year journey, 1942-2012. Nairobi, Kenya: Kenya Mennonite Church, 2015: 35-38.
|Author(s)||Francis S Ojwang'|
Cite This Article
Ojwang', Francis S. "Nyarombo Mennonite Church (Migori County, Nyanza Province, Kenya)." Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. August. Web. 16 Feb 2019. http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Nyarombo_Mennonite_Church_(Migori_County,_Nyanza_Province,_Kenya)&oldid=161437.
Ojwang', Francis S. (August). Nyarombo Mennonite Church (Migori County, Nyanza Province, Kenya). Global Anabaptist Mennonite Encyclopedia Online. Retrieved 16 February 2019, from http://gameo.org/index.php?title=Nyarombo_Mennonite_Church_(Migori_County,_Nyanza_Province,_Kenya)&oldid=161437.
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