MCK Kaaga Synod Standing Committee members during a presser at Kaaga Guest House. Kaaga Synod has distanced itself from the leadership of Rev Joseph Ntombura

The crisis around the leadership of Methodist Church Presiding Bishop Joseph Ntombura deepened Tuesday after more than 20,000 members of Kaaga Synod disowned him.

The resolution by Kaaga Synod Standing and Finance Committee, the overall decision making body of the Synod, comes a day after Methodist Church members gave Rev Joseph Ntombura a seven-day ultimatum to vacate office.

Led by Kaaga Synod Bishop Nicholas Mutwiri and Kenya Methodist University Board of Trustees chairman Silas Muriuki, the Synod’s top management organ observed that Rev Ntombura’s reign has continued to cause divisions in the church.

They now want Rev Ntombura to vacate the office immediately.

On Sunday, in a meeting attended by Methodists from across the country in Nairobi,  it was resolved that a transition committee takes over the church leadership from Monday next week. The meeting was led by former presiding bishops Lawi Imathiu, Zablon Nthamburi and Stephen Kanyaru.

The move by Kaaga Synod, which comprises 23 circuits, is seen as the last straw that may break the camel’s back in the church leadership wrangles that have raged on for the last 10 years.

Kaaga synod Bishop Dr Nicholas Mutwiri and Mr Mr Silas Muriuki (seated) flanked by Kaaga Standing Committee during a press briefing. Photo by our correspondent.

In a statement, Rev Mutwiri and Mr Muriuki, who have been close allies of Rev Ntombura, said Kaaga Synod will no longer take instructions from the presiding bishop nor will they finance or participate in his activities.

“All clergy serving in Kaaga Synod are not accountable to the conference until the current stalemate is resolved. Kaaga Synod will not accept any new stationing or replacement of clergy by the conference. Kaaga Synod has opted out of all conference activities for now,” Rev Mutwiri stated.

The leadership wrangles escalated last week after Rev Ntombura lost his position as president of the Africa Methodist Council, a position he used to extend his term last year.

Mr Muriuki said the new standing orders 2020 aimed at governing the church are alien and introduce a new doctrine against the Methodist Church constitution.

“The standing orders introduced by Rev Ntombura are foreign to us. He has introduced new offices such as deacon, deaconess and disciplinary courts which are alien to Methodists. The Methodist constitution requires that all members participate in amending its governing documents. This was not done in coming up with the 2020 document,” Mr Muriuki said.

He said members of the Conference, the apex decision making organ of the Methodist Church in Kenya, did not give their input to come up with the new standing orders.

“Due to misunderstanding surrounding the 2020 standing orders, we shall revert to using the 1996 standing orders until an agreeable one is developed. For harmony to prevail, Rev Ntombura must vacate the office of the presiding bishop forthwith,” the former North Imenti MP said.

Rev Mutwiri said all churches in the Synod would meet for a prayer service on April 16 for unity of purpose.

On Sunday, the church members meeting in Nairobi, said a transition ad-hoc committee will run the church until a new presiding bishop is elected.

The transition committee will also be tasked with coming up with agreeable church standing orders.

Rev Ntombura has severally maintained that he is legally in office and his term was extended by two years by a duly constituted conference in August last year.


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