Background to the celebrating of 100 years since the first Kirk – Session and ordination of elders


On this occasion of 100 years anniversary of Africans’ Eldership, we give thanks to almighty for the growth of the little seeds which have germinated and multiplied a hundred-fold as evidenced by various congregations throughout Central, Eastern and Rift Valley Provinces of Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania; as well as the worshiping communities in in USA and Britain.
We celebrate the Presbyterian form of leadership identified with Elders. Elder in the Greek language is ‘Presbyteros’ from which we derive our ‘presbyter’ translated as ‘elder.’ Presbyterian church is governed by representative assemblies or courts of Elders. The ‘Ruling’ and the ‘Teaching’ Elder is the foundation in the Reformed tradition of the Presbyterian Church.

Kikuyu session elders ordained on 16th September 1920

In 2018, our church celebrated the one hundred and twentieth anniversary of the planing of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa in Kenya. Although the first pioneers of this great movement had arrived from Kibwezi in September, 1898 at Kikuyu, where the work of what was later to become the Church of Scotland Mission (CSM) was started, it was not until 1920 when the Presbyterian form of Church governance was established. The first Kirk Session was constituted on the 16 September 1920 and the ordination the first 26 Elders took place on 19 September 1920 at Kikuyu, and on 26 September 17 Elders were ordained at Tumutumu.
On 17th September 1920 the Presbytery of Kenya Colony was constituted by the Nairobi Kirk Session and the newly ordained elders from Kikuyu.

The Elders who were ordained at Thogoto on 19th September 1920

Ishmael Wango Samuel Gitau Daudi Makumi Benjamin Githiaya
Filipu Karanja Andrea Wainaina Samson Njoroge Ibrahim Njuguna
Zakaria Wambura Yusuf Ngwaci Daudi Makumi James Muriu
Musa Ngururia William Njoroge Tomaso Wanyoike Shadraka Mbirua
George Njoroge Joshua Matenjwa Musa Gitau Daudi Ndatha
Shadraraka Kang’u Ayub Nguyai Douglas Itotia Joseph Ngure
Musa Ndirangu Elijah Kibacia

The Elders who were ordained at Tumutumu Kirk Session on 26th September 1920

Solomon Ndambi Gideon Gatere Jonathan Ng’ang’a Joshua Riunga
Musa Matu Daudi Kamau Maina Maina Zakayo Kagotho
Luka Macaria Samson Maingi Zakaria Mutahi Asa Muhuga
William Mwema Jeremia Waita Lazaro Theuri Paulo Kahuho
Simeon Karecu
The Watson-Scott Memorial Church was prefabricated in Scotland before being shipped to Kenya

The theme of this centennial celebration is “Bearing Lasting Fruits .” We acknowledge that church elders are commissioned to go out into the world to proclaim the saving power of Jesus Christ and his sufficiency for all human needs, starting from wherever they are and going out into whatever new areas the Lord may lead them. This mission must not be seen only in terms of expansion of the Church’s sphere but must be seen in terms of the church being fully involved in the affairs of mankind-to cry when the situation demands it, to comfort where necessary, to challenge and to build where duty calls.

As we commemorate this milestone, the formation of the first local Kirk session and ordination of first African Elders 100 years ago, we are indebted to the almighty God for endowing them with the spirit of humility and service. We celebrate the African church workers in various departments and missions that have sacrificed their time, energy, and resources for the sake of the church of Christ. Their families celebrate with us their rich heritage of the service to God and obvious blessings that the Lord has showered upon them. Their testimonies are witnesses to the promise that God never abandons his servants who have served him devotedly.

The challenges before us are many, the workers few, but the Master is still saying – “I shall not forsake you” as nothing is impossible with him. May God bless us all as we celebrate this great event, the pioneering work and dedication of Elders of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa. Let us therefore re-dedicate ourselves not only for the coming 100 years and respond to the command of Jesus Christ to go to all corners and continue bearing lasting fruits for our Master.

Leave your comment/feedback below:

Or comment using your email ac