In Summary
  • Fr Scheffer, later named Odero Wuon Got, sailed across Lake Victoria from Ojola Catholic Station in Kisumu to set up the church in 1912.
  • With the help of local believers, the missionaries made thousands of bricks between 1922 and 1923.

Every Sunday the bell at St Teresa’s Asumbi Catholic Church in Homa Bay County rings repeatedly calling the faithful to worship.

The ringing can be heard many kilometres away. Every Sunday, hundreds of believers from Asumbi town and beyond walk into the brownish church with colourful windows.

They pass a graveyard where Catholic priests and nuns who served the church rest in peace, with crosses bearing their identities placed atop their resting places.

At the gate are messages of hope that inspire the faithful to live a pious life.

A picture of the first missionary at the church is painted on the gate and captioned: "Father Philip Scheffer Odero, the founding father of the church."

Another message reads: "My God, you know that the only thing we ever wanted is to love you. I have no ambition for any glory except that." Next to the message is a picture of Mary, mother of Jesus.

JOURNEY TO ASUMBI

The church has red steel doors with white crosses painted on them. On top of the door is written AD 1928, the year the church was opened.

Inside are statues of Mary and Jesus. The church still stands strong despite being over 90 years old.

However, vegetation growing out of its walls, old benches and a leaky roof betray its age. It is one of the oldest buildings in Nyanza.

Fr Scheffer, later named Odero Wuon Got, sailed across Lake Victoria from Ojola Catholic Station, in Kisumu County, to set up the church in 1912.

On the way, Fr Scheffer, accompanied by Ft Hotsman, passed through Kendu Bay, Homa Bay and Mbita towns. They travelled across the land to Gem in Homa Bay.

They met paramount chief Okello Moraganga who directed them to buidt a church at Nyahobe.

The place was full of wild animals and magicians who kept snakes in small pots called Asumbi. The area was later renamed Asumbi.

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