The Africa Independent Pentecostal Churches of Africa (AIPCA) is a church never short of controversies. For a long time now in Kenya, the church has hit the headlines for all the bad reasons.
The church which traces its history to June 1937 was developed to fight for the independence of Kenya. Philip Kiande and Arthur Gatung’u, where the first priests to be ordained with Harrison Gachukia and Daudi Maina, as deacons.
Since then, the church has grown to spread its wings across many parts of Kenya. What has left many Kenyans worried though, is the numerous unending controversies associated with the church.
Despite the growth, the wrangles, in a church whose history is intertwined with Kenya’s own liberation struggle, have now sunk to new levels of anger.
Power struggles in African Independent Pentecostal Church of Africa (AIPCA) has refused to go away despite past interventions by President Uhuru Kenyatta. The fights in the church escalated in the year 2017
after a fresh petition was sent to the Attorney General.
The petition sought to annul the election of Bishop Julius Njoroge as Archbishop on January 9 2017 to replace Archbishop Amos Mathenge Kabuthu. This led to confrontations between the opposing and proposing sides in the church.
The church was further marred with financial mismanagement amounting to tens of millions collected from the various dioceses. As if that was not enough, in 2016, Four elderly women were physically assaulted by three priests of AIPCA church in Murang’a.
There was also a another splinter group led by Paul Gichu which declared it does not recognise Amos Mathenge Kabuthu as the Archbishop of the troubled church. The headship of Kabuthu which was expected to end in june 2018 generated mixed reactions, literally dividing the church on when he should retire.
On February this year, another wrangle emerged. One of the group’s leader most reverend arc Bishop Julius Njoroge declared having been duly registered as the legitimate bishop under the societies act.
The wrangles between Julius Njoroge, Fredrick Wang’ombe and Samuel Muthuri commenced after the retirement of Archbishop Amos Kabuthu who rose to the position in 2013 at a ceremony witnessed by former president Mwai Kibaki.
A dialogue between the three which lasted for five months was initiated in March 2017 with each side required to bring on the table their pressing issues in a bid to form a united front that will steer the church leadership.
As if that is not enough, the church hit the headlines once again on Sunday April 2019 after Chaos broke out in Ngucii AIPCA church in Mwea Constituency, Kirinyaga County.
This is after controversy on who was to lead the day’s service. The misunderstanding culminated into bitter exchanges that resulted in the two sides going physical with kicks and blows.
For a church that claims to be spreading the good news of christ andwaiting for a his 2nd coming a lot needs to be done to make the ‘waiting’ and Christ’s preparation worth having.