By Amunga Peter.
James Obunde, 68, will this morning be annointed as the Archbishop-elect of Church of God East Africa.
He replaces Archbishop Byrum Makokha, 88, who served at the helm of the church until he died in August last year.
Prior to his elevation to the new role, Rev Obunde served as the Deputy Archbishop in charge of Administration and doubled up as the Acting Archbishop.
He will be consecrated and enthroned today (Sunday) 28th March 2021 when he will officially take over as Archbishop of the church.
The ceremony will be graced by the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK)
Rev Obunde will be handed a Bible, Certificate of Consecration and the Church Constitution after the consecration ceremony symbolizing instruments of power.
Obunde is taking over the mantle at a time the church is facing disintegration over property and leadership row.
Currently, the Church of God East Africa has over one million followers in the region, majority of them from Western Kenya.
The church headquarters is at Kima, a remote village in Luanda constituency, Vihiga County.
Obunde disclosed that donors from the United States pulled out “but we are determined to move the church forward by initiating income-generating projects in order to keep our church afloat and keep the gospel alive”
He is focused on developing the church prime plots within Nairobi Central Business District (CBD), Buruburu, South B, Mariakani, Kakamega, Eldoret and Kisumu.
“We shall be able to generate income from the properties once they are fully developed and the income will go into facilitating church activities.”
Obunde was born on December 5, 1953 in Luanda Sub County and is married to Rev. Beatrice Mbelesha.
They have five children and five grandchildren. Obunde holds a diploma in Bible and Theology from Kima International School of Theology, Bachelors and Master’s Degree in Religion from Azusa Pacific University (USA) and a second Master’s degree in Business Administration from California State Polytechnic University (USA).
Earlier, Obunde served as the Director at the Board of Pensions (now pastor’s welfare) for two years, Administrative Assistant to the Executive Secretary, Treasurer and General Secretary and Administrative Church Coordinator for 14 years.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, Amani National Congress (ANC) leader Musalia Mudavadi and a host of local leaders have been invited to attend the ceremony, however, they will NOT honour the invite following the upsurge in Covid-19 infections.