History of the Diocese
The Diocese of Kitale is one of the 40 Dioceses in the Anglican Church of Kenya which forms part of worldwide fellowship of Anglicans in the Anglican Communion. The Anglican Church of Kenya traces its roots to the Diocese of Mombasa. In 1961, Diocese of Mombasa was subdivided into three to create Fort Hall, Maseno, and Nakuru Dioceses. Later, Kitale Diocese fell under Nakuru Diocese until January 1983 when Nakuru was sub-divided to create the Diocese of Eldoret that covered the North Rift Region, with the late Bishop Alexander Kipsang Muge as the First Bishop. After his tragic death on the 14th August 1990, Bishop Stephen Kewasis Nyorsok became the Second Bishop of the Diocese of Eldoret.
Establishment of the Anglican Diocese of Kitale
The Diocese of Kitale was established on 1st July 1997. It was carved from the Diocese of Eldoret. The first Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Stephen Kewasis Nyorsok, was enthroned in July 1997 and successfully led the diocese until August 2018.
The Second Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Dr. Emmanuel Chemengich, was consecrated and enthroned on 7th October, 2018. Under the leadership of both Bishops, the Diocese has achieved so much as outlined below.
Highlights of the Diocesan Achievements
- Construction of the diocesan offices in 2003.
- Expansion of the Bishop Muge Mission Centre (BMMC), then referred to as, “Bishop Muge Guesthouse and Conference Centre (BMGCC)” throughout the twenty five years including, building new facilities, renovating old facilities, and establishing Agri-business unit (dairy and horticulture farming).
- Purchased 100-acre farm in Kapomboi in 2007.
- Training and ordaining clergy for diocesan ministry throughout the twenty-five years.
- Creation of Lodwar Missionary Diocese in 2007.
- Launched the five-year Strategic Plan (2019 – 2023) in March 2019 to direct allocation and utilization of diocesan resources through its 5 strategic pillars.
- Creation of Kapenguria Diocese from 1st January 2022.
- Restructuring the diocesan administrative operations in 2020 by reducing the governance units from five (5) to three (3) Boards, namely, the Board of Administration & Finance (BAF) for resource mobilization and management, the Board of Mission and Discipleship (BMD) for spiritual formation and evangelistic outreach, and the Board of Education & Social Services (BESS) for society-transformation.
- Established and implemented from 2019 a uniform diocesan-wide Parish Stewardship Programme (PSP) across the Parishes of the Diocese contained in the “Diocesan Stewardship Handbook (DSH)”.
- Initiated and implemented spirituality/Discipleship Programmes specifically, Advent and Lent seasons, and “Rooted in Jesus” Programme (4 Discipleship books) launched in January 2020 and trained over 230 Clergy and Lay Readers and another 40 facilitators, both clergy and Lay Readers, from each Parish and Diocesan office staff.
- Establishment in 2019 of new diocesan-wide Children and Youth discipleship programs, namely, Vuka Christian rites of passage for youth, i.e., “Vuka to Teens (V2T)” for Primary School leavers & “Vuka to Adulthod” (V2A) for Form Four leavers, Holiday Bible Teachings (HBT) in April, August and December, and from 2021, implemented the new “Discipleship for the Good Shepherd (DGS) Curriculum for children and teens.
- Established “Yireh Foundation Company Limited (YFCL)” registered in April 2020 and its subsidiary companies, namely, Yireh Restaurant, Yireh Financial Services (YFS), and managing BMMC and Kapomboi farm investments.
- Developed key administrative operational documents in 2020: Parish Management Standards (PMS) with the tool for the ‘Annual Parish Performance Appraisal and Evaluation’; Human Resource Policy and Procedures Handbook; Finance Policy and Procedures Handbook; Yireh Financial Services (YFS) Policy Handbook; Diocesan Stewardship Handbook (DSH); and reviewed the Diocesan Constitution.
- Enhanced leadership development in 2020 through establishing and implementing of the Diocesan Leadership Institute (DLI) for building capacity of all leaders.
- Established Clergy and Staff Medicare and Welfare scheme in 2022 and streamlined implementation of clergy statutory deductions in 2021.
- Established Diocesan Christian Empowerment Resource Programme (CERP) in 2021 for identifying and training clergy and Lay Readers on selected discipleship and Christian education resources to be used in the local churches.
- Creation of new parishes: from 20 in 1997 to 62 in October 2018, and an additional 26 Parishes from 2019 to total 87 by December 2021. 27 Parishes formed the new Diocese of Kapenguria leaving 62 in the residual Diocese of Kitale.
- Consecration of St Luke’s Cathedral church on 25th April, 2021.
- Between 2019 and 2021 the diocese initiated strategic partnerships through signing of MOUs with like-minded Christian organizations, namely, Just Earth organization for Farmers’ Field Schools (FFS) programmes; Discipling Marketplace Leaders (DML) for Business as Mission for equipping of Christians in businesses and farming enterprises; and Purpose-Driven Church (PDC) for establishing healthy and high-impact churches; and engaging the Trans-Nzoia County Government who have drilled a borehole and installed the water pump in Bishop Muge Mission Centre that has guaranteed clean, adequate water supply.
Current Diocesan Status and Resources
The Diocese of Kitale currently has seven (7) archdeaconries, 15 rural and urban deaneries, sixty-two (62) parishes, and 220 local churches. The diocese has a Christian population of about 20,500. The Diocese has eighty-five (85) clergy, over 485 lay readers, and 17 diocesan staff including those in the diocesan institutions.