- It was the first Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church to be built in Kisii County and the second in the country after Gendia in Homa Bay County.
- Is there a site you want us to feature? Write an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Nyanchwa SDA Church still stands tall, over a century after its establishment in 1906, the same year Gendia was started.
Although the buildings have been modernised into a complex comprising a Level Four hospital, a primary school, a secondary school, a college and a big house of worship, the original building still sits on the more than 20-acre piece of land.
Retired pastor and South Kenya Conference Departmental Director Samson Kingoina Nyasae says the original church is now a monument that houses a library used by the primary, secondary and college students in the complex.
“However, there have been a few modifications, it now has an extension with a studio for the church,” says Mr Kingoina.
The library has small rooms from where pastors, elders and deacons planned church work.
Mr Kingoina says the initial church, built in 1906, was a temporary mud-and-thatch structure, but it was upgraded into a modern building in the 1960s.
“The hard-core building still stands strong. Pastor Fred Thomas personally contributed to its construction,” said Mr Kingoina. The 73-year-old pastor says Nyanchwa church bred missionaries.
“The Gusii were enticed with sweets and other goodies so as to join adventism. They took missionary work seriously and helped spread the gospel. White missionaries worked specifically with two Kisii leaders, Abraham Oirere and Paul Nyamweya,” said Mr Kingoina.
The duo spread the gospel to Kapkatet, now in Kericho County, and Lavington in Nairobi. Karura, Machakos, Kitui, Mombasa and Nakuru were among the first places to embrace the church. Pastor Lenard Aencha, the South Kenya Conference Executive Secretary, says church land is threatened by land grabbers.