The kenyan churches in america
THE KENYAN CHURCHES IN AMERICA
The Kenyan churches in the US have been in the news lately albeit for the wrong reasons. In the last few months, Kenyans in the Diaspora have been bombarded with disturbing news about Kenyan clergy involvement in criminal activities and other malpractices, some of which have landed a number of them in jail.
Recently, Dr Anthony Mumbui Karimi, a Kenyan pastor of Ushindi Presbyterian church in Lowell, MA, was convicted of 3 counts of sexual abuse by a church based tribunal. The case was tried by the Permanent Judicial Commission (PJC) which is a special court appointed by the 2.3 million members of the Presbyterian church in the USA to deal with disputes within the church. The results of the trial have caused an outcry from members of the public who have accused some Kenyan pastors of bad behavior contrary to the word they teach. Following the conviction, Pastor Karimi was defrocked by the Presbyterian Church. Latest reports indicate that detectives from Lowell Police Department are investigating the former pastor for the alleged sexual abuse and misappropriation of church Funds. Dr Karimi is expected to appear in court soon to answer to these charges.
Elsewhere, a Kenyan priest was jailed for 5 years and nine months by a court after he pleaded guilty to sexually abusing an 11 year old girl. Prosecutors said that the Rev. Felix Owino, 44, was drinking on the night he inappropriately touched the 11-year-old girl at a friend’s house in HerndonVA.where he had been invited as a guest. Owino most recently served as an associate pastor at St. Paul’s parish in Weirton.Virginia. Until June 2010, he was a faculty member in the Philosophy Department at WheelingJesuitUniversity. The Fairfaxcounty judge that sentenced Owino said that upon completing his sentence, the priest may face deportation back to his home country of Kenya.
In a another development, a 57 year old Kenyan pastor has been booked by the Phoenix Arizona police for allegedly sexually molesting his niece. Phoenix jail records indicate that Pastor Edward Njagi who formally headed a congregation in Atlanta GA., was charged with a variety of sex crimes. Pastor Njagi’s mug shot taken when he was being booked at the Phoenix jail appears on phoenixmug.com. Reliable sources told KEN that the pastor had fled to Kenya following the embarrassing incident but was arrested while on a short visit to the US after authorities were alerted of his presence in the country.
In a yet another development, a senior pastor with one of the biggest Kenyan churches in Maryland was ousted from his position following allegations of an affair with a church member’s wife. When the church managing board learnt of the affair it fired the said clergy.
Recently, several pastors of the Kenyan community churches in the US have complained about a negative attitude towards them that has resulted from the aftermath of the recent sex abuse and other cases leveled against some of the “bad apples” in their lot. The cases have brought into sharp focus the running and administration of Kenyan community churches in the US, with most Kenyans saying that they would like to see their churches operate under a larger governing authority which would result in more transparency and accountability. Other Kenyans have questioned the validity and readiness of a few pastors to serve as spiritual leaders in some churches without knowledge or proof of when and who ordained them officially into full service ministry.Official ordination, while not guaranteeing that a pastor will not get involved in unwanted behavior, is seen by many as validation that a pastor has undergone the rigorous spiritual training and is mandated to undertake the tough job of ministering to the spiritual needs of their flock.
As a result of the outcry, some pastors feel that they are being bundled together with a few pastors who may, or who keep falling into temptation and therefore pleaded with Kenyans to differentiate between those accused or convicted and the many that are still upholding and practicing the word of God and serving as role models to their congregations. “Not all pastors are sinning out there. Most pastors are good people”, said Rev. Jeremiah Githere, a Kenyan pastor in New Hampshire. And as the NH pastor was speaking, our newsroom was inundated with calls from members of a Kenyan congregation in Atlanta claiming of being hoodwinked into buying a mega church without the requisite feasibility study. Those who spoke to KEN said that their pastor had told them that the property had been overvalued and information of the actual value withheld from him. But some members of the congregation claimed that their pastor had hoodwinked them as the church property had been foreclosed without the knowledge of the congregation. Callers claimed that the main problem emanated from the church’s management which is done unilaterally. “They never tell us what is happening,” said an irate member. Another member of the church who did not wish to be named due to the sensitive nature of the matter told KEN that the pastor had filed for bankruptcy months in advance and withheld this information from his congregation to the last minute. “We are very bitter although most of us are not saying it as we don’t want to be in bad books with the pastor”, said the member who has been with the church since it started in early 2005.
whats happening to the so called "pastor's industry"??????