Brief history of the Church of God
The Church of God was started in Anderson, Indiana as a holiness Christian denomination with roots in Wesleyan pietism and also in the restorationist traditions. Founded in 1881 by Daniel Sidney Warner, the church claims many adherents spread across the globe. Initially the Church as a movement did not have formal membership since she believed that true biblical salvation, which will result in a life free from sin, makes one a member. Similarly, there was no formal creed other than the Bible. In addition, there is much official room for diversity and theological dialogue, even though the movement’s culture is strongly rooted in Wesleyan holiness theology. The founder, Warner had been a member of John Winebrenner‘s General Eldership of the Church of God, whose members were called Winebrennerians. He differed with the Winebrennerians on the doctrine of sanctification which he held to be a second definite work of grace, and on the nature of the church. The desire of Warner and the others was to forsake denominationalism and creeds. Therefore, they resolved to trust in the Holy Spirit as their guide and the Bible as their creed. His vision was that the Church of God would extend her hand in fellowship to every blood-washed one, rather than align themselves with a movement.
The Church of God in Kenya started in 1905 by Robert Wilson a South African Missionary who had a vision while in South Africa of Spreading the Word in Bunyore, Kenya. With the help of other missionaries they established a mission station in Kima, Bunyore Area of Luanda Constituency, Vihiga County. The Church has done a number of changes from the mother Church which includes official membership and a number of amendments on ordinances, and pastoral attires vis-à-vis bishopric leadership and structure in general. The Church as one of the mainline Churches in Kenya is headed by an Archbishop, The Most Rt. Rev. Dr. Byrum A. Makokha. Under the newly promulgated constitution, the Archbishop has two deputies; Deputy Archbishop in charge of administration- Rt. Rev. James Obunde, and Deputy Archbishop incharge of Guiding and Counselling- Rt. Rev. Dr. Benson Andebe. The said leader has led the Church into a number of transformation, spiritual guidance and numerical increase in congregations not only in Kenya but in East and Central Africa. Under his leadership, the Archbishop has witness massive growth of congregations from less than 100 when he took over leadership to over 1, 500 currently. With the headquarters still at Kima Mission, the Church has made tremendous steps in equipping the Church holistically. For instance, there are a number of institutions i.e schools (Primary, Secondary, and theological colleges), health facilities, vocational centers, Properties, under her name. Church of God has also produced a number of scholars and academicians. The Church of God in East Africa (Kenya) is well known as a singing church The Church has traversed a long route but against all odds, she is still strong, orderly, seasoned and live!! That is our Church- The Church of God in East Africa (Kenya).
The Church of God in East Africa (Kenya) believes in the Holy Tri- Unity of God, the Virgin birth of Jesus Christ, and the Holy Book, the Bible, as both the infallible Word of God and the final authority in all matters of sin, salvation, eternal life and socio- cultural relationships here on earth.
Church of God in East Africa (Kenya) seeks to be a leading spiritual organisation in East and Central Africa that provides godly services to all people for the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Church of God in East Africa (Kenya) exists to proclaim the Good News of the Lord Jesus Christ as commanded in the Great Commission (Matthew 28: 18- 20). This will be fulfilled through worship services, prayer meetings, home fellowships (CLCC), Biblical teachings, evangelism, discipleship, stewardship, and leadership.