Methodist Church in Kenya Presiding Bishop Joseph Ntombura ousted
The Methodist Church in Kenya has removed Presiding Bishop Joseph Ntombura Mwaine from his position after he allegedly refused to step down after 10 years of service.
A delegation from the church visited Bishop Ntombura in his office and declared that it was time he relinquished his position. The bishop was accused of refusing to hand over power to his successor.
During a press briefing, Bishop Zablon Nthamburi confirmed that the tenure of the former presiding bishop, Joseph Ntumbura Mwaine, ended on August 3, 2022.
Bishop Ntombura announced his resignation on Saturday, and as a result, he is not permitted to enter the ministries centre 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 Ntombura 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 connexional transition ad-hoc committee (CTAC) to manage office until a new presiding Bishop is elected,” said Bishop Zablon Nthamburi.
“We will not allow him to enter the ministries centre until the time the conference standing committee will summon him to hand over,” added Nthamburi.
On March 26, 2023, Reverend Ntombura announced that he would be leaving his post as the leader of the Methodist Church this year. This decision was made to prevent a split within the church that 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 last year.
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 the 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.
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