ABOUT THE ADVENTIST CHURCH
Seventh-day Adventists can truly be regarded as a worldwide family of Christian believers. The Adventist presence manifests itself in nearly every country of the globe. The church is served through its administration of 13 world divisions and two attached fields. No matter where you find a Seventh-day Adventist believer, you will find them adhering to the ideals described by the Bible. Their lives will illustrate both faith in God and the church’s commitment to the betterment of all human beings.
Seventh-day Adventist beliefs are meant to permeate your whole life. Growing out of scriptures that paint a compelling portrait of God, you are invited to explore, experience and know the One who desires to make us whole.
ABOUT THE EAST-CENTRAL AFRICA DIVISION
The East-Central Africa Division (ECD) is comprised of 11 countries. Amid a population of more than 350 million,the Seventh-day Adventist Church counts more than 3.1 million members worshiping in over 13,000 churches.
We are passionate about evangelism, rich in hospitality and committed to bringing wholeness to a world that is broken. With hundreds of tribes and people groups from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, we are uniquely diverse.
This Division is home to the Adventist University of Africa in Kenya, which provides theological training to pastors across the continent. It also operates several other universities and secondary schools. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) has major operations throughout the eleven country region.
ABOUT WEST KENYA UNION CONFERENCE
Headquartered in Kisumu, Kenya, West Kenya Union Conference facilitates the work of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the western Kenya region covering up to fifteen counties of the Republic of Kenya.
Organized into five local conferences and a Local Field underway, our territory is comprised of North West Kenya Conference that covers Turkana County, West Pokot, Trans-nzoia, Bungoma, Busia, Kakamega and Vihiga county; Greater-Rift valley Conference with Baringo, Elgeyo Marakwet, Uashin Gishu and Nandi county; Central Nyanza Conference curved within Siaya and Kisumu county; Kenya Lake Conference; Part of Homa-bay County; Ranen Conference; Part of Homa-bay and Migori County. Proposed Lake Victoria field; Part of Homabay and Migori County.
We provide services and resources for over 388000 thousand church members with 2,869 churches and more than 100 companies throughout our territory, as well as 6 elementary and secondary schools, two colleges, one Hospital, a Publishing House and a number of other youth and young adult programs.
The Seventh-day Adventist Church was born out of the Millerite movement of the 1840s when thousands of Christians searched for greater understanding of biblical prophecy. Among these believers was a group in New England that rediscovered the seventh-day Sabbath. They chose the name “Seventh-day” which refers to the biblical Sabbath, Saturday, ordained by God at Creation. “Adventist” means we’re looking for the return of Jesus Christ.
In 1863, the new Sabbath keepers officially organized into a denomination with 3,500 members worshipping in 125 churches.
They soon began sharing their faith outside of North America. Today, as one of the fastest growing Christian Protestant churches, approximately 18 million baptized Seventh-day Adventist members live in 204 countries around the world.
THE CHURCH IN KENYA
The Seventh-day Adventist church arrived in Kenya in the early 20th century when Pr. Arthur A. Carscallen and his wife, together with a Malawian by the name of Pr. Peter Nyambo accepted a call by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and embarked on a missionary journey that would, in 1906, land them near the home of Osumba in Karachuonyo along the Nyanza Gulf of Lake Victoria.
On arrival at the lake shore village, the Adventist missionary team one afternoon scaled the grandeur to a place called Ogango and cast a gaze upon the plateau of Gendia hill that spread between the flowing Tende River from the east and the expanse of Lake Victoria to the west. Archival sources reveal, “Convinced that it was suitable, accepted by the Lord and that the community would give it to them for building a mission station,” they acquired a piece of land from the Clan elder Mr. Ougo son of Onyango.
Proclamation of the Adventist message began through the building of the first church and residential houses. The station soon became a residential haven for the community members who got attracted to the message. These left their homes to stay at the mission center where they emulated the missionaries’ lifestyle and internalized the message. For example, Onyango Obama, grandfather of the immediate former president of the United States of America, Barack Obama, whose family is still centered in Kendu Bay, is reported to have said, “The arrival of the white missionaries provided an exciting diversion from the monotony of village life.”
First fruits were realized in 1911, when seventeen people became the first baptized members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church at Gendia. Onyango Obama is said to have been in the first wave of baptism. Today, the mission station remains the headquarters of the Kenya Lake Conference with a significant workforce within and without West Kenya Union Conference.
These early converts did not only become church members but missionaries to others. In fact, in Tanzania, Stefan Höschele reckons that, “the Adventist work grew steadily through the service of several Kenyan Luo teachers…Outstanding among [whom] were James Odero who served as an Assistant Mission Director for about a decade from 1925 and Luka Amayo who worked there in the 1940s.”