Leadership row hits Methodist church as Bishop John Mwaine exits
A leadership row that has engulfed the Methodist Church in Kenya has led to the removal of Bishop John Ntombura Mwaine against his wish.
A delegation from the church visited Bishop Mwaine, who has served for a decade, in his office and asked him to vacate.
The Bishop is accused of overstaying his term and refusing to hand over power to his successor.
Bishop Zablon Nthamburi confirmed at a recent press briefing that Bishop Mwaine’s tenure ended on August 3, 2022.
He has since reportedly been denied entrance to the ministries center until the conference standing committee summons him to hand over.
The church took over its conference with immediate effect and has endorsed the Connexional Transition Ad-Hoc Committee (CTAC) to manage the office until a new presiding bishop is elected.
The removal of Bishop Mwaine has caused a stir within the church, but it is hoped that the new leadership will bring positive changes and help move the church forward.
“Today we have come to take over our conference with immediate effect. We have now actually taken office. We endorse the connexion transition ad-hoc committee(CTAC) to manage office until a new presiding Bishop is elected,” Said Bishop Nthamburi.
“We will not allow him to enter the ministries center until the time the conference standing committee summons him to hand over,” Added Nthamburi
On March 26, 2023, Reverend Ntombura made an announcement that he will be leaving his post as the leader of the Methodist Church.
This decision was made to prevent a split within the church, which has been facing increased dissent over the extension of his 10-year term by two years.
Reverend Ntombura had been serving as the leader of the Methodist Church since 2012, and his original term was scheduled to end in 2022.
Despite Reverend Ntombura’s announcement, it remains uncertain when a special annual conference will be held to elect his successor.
This uncertainty has left many within the Methodist Church anxious about the future of their leadership.
Last week, some Methodists gave Reverend Ntombura a seven-day ultimatum to vacate his office or face ejection. In response to this ultimatum, a transition committee led by three former presiding bishops was mandated to form a caretaker committee to oversee an election.
Reverend Ntombura’s decision to step down from his post is a significant development for the Methodist Church, which has been grappling with leadership wrangles for some time. Several Synods, including Nkubu, Kaaga, Nairobi, Nyambene North, and Western, had already cut ties with Reverend Ntombura.
But on Saturday, after a day-long conference Standing committee meeting in Nairobi, the presiding bishop announced that he will pave way for the election of a new leader this year.
“After meeting the conference standing committee we have thoughtfully and prayerfully considered the state of the church and voluntarily decided to make way for a special conference which will initiate the election of a new presiding bishop within this year,” Rev Ntombura told journalists at the Methodist Church head office.
In the meantime, Bishop Ntombura said he was ready for dialogue with members of the church who had cut links with his leadership.