A popular American evangelist has been stranded in Nairobi after he was denied permission to preach in two Adventist churches.
Pastor Randy Skeete was originally scheduled to be the guest speaker at this year’s one week camp meeting at Newlife SDA Church in Kisii but was turned away.
The pastor opted to conduct the one-week mission service at Gloryland SDA church in Nairobi, but that too did not materialise.
Having been blocked by the South Kenya Conference for the Kisii mission and Central Kenya Conference for the Gloryland mission, the American opted to head to Kampala, Uganda.
“I will be at Mt Olives SDA Church, Kampala, Uganda this weekend. I look forward to it,” Skeete said in his latest tweet. The SDA church conducts annual week-long evangelical meetings in the month of August which involves inviting guest speakers from other regions.
In his Tweet on August 14 pastor Skeete said: “I leave for Kenya this afternoon to minister to God’s people who attend the Kisii Newlife Camp meeting, August 18-25. May God’s name be praised.”
On August 16 he tweeted: “Wapendwa wa Kenya, I will not speak for the Kisii Newlife camp meeting. I do not know the background details but humbly accepted the decision. May God grant me another opportunity. I will speak at Glory land Church, Nairobi. God bless the Kisii brethren.”
The next day, August 17 he tweeted: “The Gloryland Church meetings will be held at Afralti grounds on Waiyaki Way opposite CCK. God bless His people on this holy day.”
However, that too was blocked as it emerged some officials of the church were not comfortable with him on grounds that the leadership was not consulted forcing the man to head west to Kampala.
Youths in the church took to social media accusing the Church leadership for rejecting a pastor Skeete, from Ministering at Newlife SDA Church in Kisii.
Normally, the church that requires a Pastor from outside the Conference does a letter ‘Service Call’ which should be endorsed by the executive arm of the Conference which is either accepted or rejected at that level.
In this particular case, the service call which was done in the month of March was accepted and forwarded to the Church Union in Nairobi.
The Union has no powers to reject an executive decision from the conference but can only advice. It is not clear why some of the Church leaders did not want the visiting Pastor to preach in the Kisii Church
The Kisii New life SDA Christians went ahead to contribute for the Evangelist’s air ticket as well as other Camp meeting expenses.
In July 3, 2018, a letter purportedly written by the Conference executive Secretary Dr Lenard Aencha and addressed to church members instead of the Church Clerk sought to have the church organize to have a different pastor for the Camp meeting.
The Church Board which is the supreme organ of any SDA Church convened a meeting on August 11 and unanimously agreed to appeal the decision. They agreed that Pastor Randy and the entire speakers be allowed to attend the camp meeting failure to which there could be no camp for 2018.
In a video clip recorded during a church business meeting, the Church Clerk and several other members could not hold their tears accusing the church elders and Pastor Mr Samson Omwange of having failed the faithful.
On August 14, Dr Aencha replied requesting for Minutes of the early church business meeting but insisted in the letter that the issue of Pastor Randy had been concluded and he won’t be allowed in Kisii.
“Processing your appeal may take longer and that may not benefit you for the sake of the camps. Kindly accept any speaker the Conference may send you,” said Dr Aencha.
The Camp meetings are held every year in the month of August. Youth form almost 90 percent membership in the Kisii Newlife Church.
On Thursday 16, the Church Business meeting, members agreed that there will be no camp meeting without Pastor Randy and the rest of the Ministers.
A source within the Church says, the South Kenya Conference were not happy that pastor was to preach at the Church and not at the Kisii Central Church Camp meeting whose membership includes the who-is-who in the community.
Behind the curtains also is the supremacy and leadership wars for the newly created Omobera Conference which has been curved out from South Kenya Conference.
It is alleged that the Newlife Church Pastor Samson Omwange could be eyeing the position of President in the newly created conference.
Pastor Omwange reportedly wanted to have Union President Pastor Blasious Ruguri.
A member of the Church Naom Morang’a said; “There is God in heaven, who knows our deepest intentions. This was purposed to be a period of spiritual uplifting and encouragement to soldier on despite the hurdles that we encounter in our daily spiritual journey. May He who is our Maker and King provide the best direction, for man is a weak creature that gets compromised.”
Pastor Omwange could not pick our calls nor reply to our messages. South Kenya Conference President Pastor Julius Bichanga also could not be reached. He is in the US for a similar camp meeting.
Pastor Randy who is known to speak passionately about the SDA Church and the evils within the Church has on several occasions been in Kenya. He was in Nyanza in 2016 and in 2013 he was at Lavington SDA in Nairobi.