Bishop visits Kenyan district, parish

East Africa Area Bishop Daniel Wandabula recently traveled to the South Nyanza District in southwestern Kenya for the installation of the Rev. Kennedy Thomas Mwita as superintendent.

The three-day visit, highlighted by the Jan. 24 installation, was the first by an episcopal leader to the Moheto Parish.

Mwita noted the challenges that face him in his new position but said the most difficult part of his ministry was years ago when he regularly traveled 80 kilometers (about 50 miles), some of it on foot, to serve as pastor of Sori United Methodist Church.

Mwita added that he was surprised at his appointment as superintendent.

“But I will do my best to serve all Christians in the entire district and to restore those who have drifted away,” he said.

Mtwia is a graduate of Africa University, the United Methodist school in Mutare, Zimbabwe.

Wandabula, whose office is in Kampala, Uganda, noted his long friendship with Mwita. It dates to when Wandabula was a superintendent in Uganda and chaired the East Africa Conference board of ordained ministry.

The bishop drew on texts in Acts and First Peter in preaching the installation sermon. He noted the role of the elder as shepherd for church members, encouraging and instructing them in the Christian life.   

Wandabula also visited mission sites in the district and met with various leaders to discuss projects for public health, economic development and evangelism.

Another subject during his cabinet meeting was the effort by the Kenyan government to require extensive regulation of religious groups.  

Wandabula believes there’s no need for more government regulation.

“The United Methodist Church has very good structures at the local level and within the connection, which helps in self-regulation, guided by the Book of Discipline,” he said.

Odongo is the district superintendent for the Nairobi District and a communicator in Kenya for the East Africa Conference.

Note: This story as first published incorrectly stated that Bishop Wandabula's visit to the South Nyanza District was the first by an episcopal leader. Moheto Parish received its first such visit, but Wandabula had previously been to other parts of the district. 

News media contact: Sam Hodges or Vicki Brown, Nashville, Tennessee, (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

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