Methodist Church In Kenya
The British Methodist Church entered Kenya in 1862 through the work of the then United Methodist Free Church. It started at Ribe station which was the base from where the mission was launched. Today the work is concentrated in several of the main areas of the country as well as in Uganda and Tanzania. The church has ministers from almost all the ethnic groups and currently a Masai bishop is in charge of Western Kenya synod. The church became autonomous in 1967. Membership at that time stood at about 8,000. Recent statistics show a growth rate of 7.8 percent. This points to a great need of pastors to care for the members of the church and to look after the mission areas in Tanzania and Uganda. Membership is growing faster than the number of ministers. The church sponsors over 140 schools, one main hospital, ten clinics, three agricultural training centres, fifteen youth polytechnics, the Kenya Methodist University and two guest houses. It also shares with other churches in St Pauls United Theological College at Limuru, near Nairobi.
The vision of the Methodist Church in Kenya is to know Jesus Christ and to make him known. The doctrinal standards are those of the Methodist tradition:
a) The Methodist Church claims and cherishes its place in the Holy Catholic Church which is the body of Christ. It rejoices in the inheritance of the apostolic faith and loyally accepts the fundamental principles of the historic creeds and of the Protestant Reformation. It ever remembers that in the providence of God Methodism was raised up to spread scriptural holiness through the land by the proclamation of the evangelical faith and declares its unfaltering resolve to be true to its divinely appointed mission.
b) The doctrine of the evangelical faith, which Methodism has held from the beginning and still holds, is based upon the divine revelation recorded in the Holy Scriptures.
c) Christ's ministers in the church are stewards in the household of God and shepherds of his flock.
d) It is the universal conviction of the Methodist people that the office of the Christian ministry depends upon the call of God who bestows the gifts of the spirit, the grace and the fruit, which indicate those whom he has chosen.
e) Those whom the Methodist Church recognizes as called of God and therefore received into its ministry shall be ordained by the imposition of hands as expression of the church's recognition of the minister's personal call.
f) The Methodist Church holds the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers.
g) Preachers itinerant and lay are examined, tested and approved before they are authorized to minister in the holy things. For the sake of church order and not because of any priestly virtue inherent in the office, the ministers of the Methodist Church are set apart by ordination to the ministry of the word and sacraments.
h) The Methodist Church recognizes two sacraments namely: baptism and the Lord's Supper as of divine appointment and of perpetual obligation of which it is the privilege and duty of members of the Methodist Church to avail themselves.
The mission of the church is to respond in obedience to the divine call of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to proclaim the holistic gospel in word and deed in the power of God's Holy Spirit. Currently the Methodist Church in Kenya is planning to evangelize in Southern Sudan, in Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.