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This man Pastor Ezekiel Odero: From fisherman to wealthy televangelist

Long before he amassed his wealth and influence, televangelist Pastor Ezekiel Odero was a fisherman in Kisumu County. Years later, he relocated to Mombasa County where he initially studied and worked as a mason before going into the ministry.

Back then, the man who later founded New Life Prayer Centre and Church, would either be in class at Technical University of Mombasa or working as a mason.

Mr Odero started preaching the gospel in Shanzu Mombasa County where he was based until mid-2019 when he bought TV signals from Paul Mackenzie. Mr Mackenzie is the leader of a cult-like sect which has been on the news following mass deaths of its members under macabre circumstances.

Pastor Ezekiel Odero
Pastor Ezekiel Odero of New Life Church. PHOTOS | COURTSEY

He then took advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to cast his nets wide through TV evangelism, at a time when the government has placed restrictions on all public gatherings.

Also read: Why Pastor Ezekiel Odero has been arrested

At one time, Pastor Odero, who was born in Homa Bay County, played an instrumentalist role in Prophet David Owuor’s Repentance and Holiness Ministry.

“He used to play piano and violin during church services. Once in a while he could also share the word of God,” said a source claims he who knowns him well.

Pastor Ezekiel Odero of New Life Prayer Centre and Church is led away by a police officers after he was arrested in Mombasa County. PHOTO | COURTESY

Recently, Pastor Odero moved his church from Shanzu in Mombasa County to Mavueni in Kilifi County due to the large number of people joining his church. At his new church compound, he also runs hotels and international schools among other social amenities.

Also read: Arrest me if you so wish, Pastor James Ng’ang’a dares the government

The clergyman is also fond of selling ‘holy water’ to his followers and congregants. The water is believed to offer healing and protection.

He is known to be strong advocate of fasting, a practice he attributes for his slight body frame.

On family matters, Pastor Odero had a first wife who died leaving behind with a son. He later remarried.

Pastor Ezekiel
Pastor Ezekiel Odero

Pastor Odero who was arrested on Thursday morning by detectives attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) over links to Mr Mackenzie, a cult-leader who asked his followers to starve to death as a ticket of ‘meeting Jesus.’

Following the arrest, Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki has said Pastor Odero is now facing criminal charges related to mass killing of his followers.

Also read: Pastor Ben Kiengei – ‘Carry’ your brains when you go to church