Drama ensued in Othaya, Nyeri County on Sunday, January 16, after worshippers at ACK Saint John Gichami Anglican church staged a protest on streets instead of attending the mass service as is the tradition.
The worshippers were protesting the sacking of Reverend Archdeacon, John Gachau, who was reportedly fired after divorcing his wife.
Mt Kenya West Diocese head, Bishop Joseph Kagunda, directed Gachau to iron out the differences with his estranged wife or marry another woman within six months if he wanted to continue serving. The ultimatum elapsed and Gachau was fired.
However, on Sunday, January 16, the faithfuls walked to the dismissed archdeacon’s home and matched with him to the Church, demanding that he leads them in the service.
At the gate of the parish, they read out their declaration written on placards: “wives are not bought in the supermarket” The worshipers sang and danced as they led him to the Church.
The Church members defended the priest, saying he was being victimized without cause, vowing not to allow any other pastor, including the bishop, to take over the church.
They even threatened to split from the ACK Mt Kenya West Diocese if Gachau will not be allowed to lead them.
Bishop Kagunda had opposed the installation of Gachau in the past, but the court quashed his orders.
“As members of this church, we ask Reverend Gachau to continue giving us spiritual guidance from today henceforth.”
In his message, Gachau said: “As you have requested, I will continue serving you. May God help me.” The worshippers maintained that any attempts to bring another minister will be thwarted.
“As members of this church, if we don’t want Gachau we will write our memorandum to the bishop but for now he is the only pastor we know.” The worshippers said.
They told Bishop Kagunda to stop victimizing Gachau because of their personal differences.
Since 2014, Bishop Kagunda had been embroiled in a legal suit with three clerics, including Gachau whom he accused of homosexuality.
In the 2018 ruling, Justice Bryan Ongaya said the three were unfairly dismissed and demanded they be reinstated. Following the homosexuality allegations, Gachau’s wife deserted him and since then, efforts to reunite them have been futile even after being cleared by the court.
The Christians are now threatening to split the parish or separate from Mt Kenya West diocese if Bishop Kagunda dares to introduce another minister.