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 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.”