A US-based Kenyan pastor has been defrocked after allegations of infidelity with a member of his church emerged on social media.
The pastor of United Central SDA Church in Brooklyn Park, Minneapolis, Minnesotta, was forced to resign after he confirmed that the voice on a clip circulating on social media was his. The pastor is heard asking for sexual favours from a female church member.
In a letter to members of the church’s governing board, the pastor admitted that the person whose voice is on the clip is him, and that he had allegedly fallen into temptation leading to his downfall as a “dedicated servant of God.”
In a long and detailed text message he shared on the Mwanyagetinge Community forum, the pastor said, “Dear Elders, board members and church family brothers and sisters. Let me begin by stating that I am so sorry for letting you through this painful process of hearing me fall.”
Mwanyagetinge is a WhatsApp group for Kisiis in the diaspora.
The pastor, who was known as the ‘go-to-person’ whenever problems befell Kenyan immigrant communities in Minneapolis, declared, “As your pastor I will be the first person to admit that I have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God! I can’t hide from you nor can I hide anything from God. I have hurt you and my family and many people who have trusted me through the years…”
The pastor was a popular man of the cloth among immigrants from Western Kenya, specifically, Kenyans of Kisii origin.
His fall from grace took many Kenyan immigrants by surprise, given the respect he commands in the community.
Announcing his resignation
The pastor, who has a PhD in theology, is married with young children and an expectant wife.
In his text message to the Mwanyagetinge Community WhatsApp forum, the pastor observed: “It has been an eventful three plus years with you. I have laughed and cried with you. I have served you to the best of my ability. I have made friends for life along the way that I will cherish forever. I have watched people accept Jesus. I have run my race. I walk down that pulpit happy that the days God wanted me here are done.”
The pastor expressed his gratitude to the congregation for the support he had enjoyed during his tenure.
“I thank you for your support, for your prayers, for your care and for your love. I may be down now but I will be fine. My wife and I and our children are fine with this decision. Pray for us pray for me,” he wrote.
“I have cleared the matter with God and I pray you find it in your heart to forgive me. Pastoral ministry is a very lonely journey. I will rise again yes I will and yes we will because God is gracious I pray I make it to heaven and see my savior face to face. I pray you make it to heaven too.”
After pouring out his heart to the community, the pastor wrote an official letter dated October 11, 2021, addressed to the president of the United Central SDA Church, announcing his resignation.
“Please accept this letter as a formal notice of my resignation as pastor of United Central and Mountain Experience SDA Churches effective immediately,” said the disgraced pastor.
Hypocrisy and corruption
“After a period of deep prayer and consideration, I have decided to resign on personal grounds. I truly enjoyed working with our flock preaching and teaching the word of God…”
The pastor’s communication triggered instantaneous reaction from Kenyan immigrants, with many accusing church leaders of hypocrisy and corruption in the eyes of God.
The apparently forced resignation came hot on the heels of a clip shared by a woman with whom the disgraced pastor was flirting, and who recorded him as he asked her out.
The clip, whose contents cannot be published, was lurid and graphic. The woman on the other end of the telephone conversation sounded stunned by the pastor’s amorous manner.
US society has demonstrated zero tolerance for sex scandals, especially in the church. A Catholic bishop in Kansas City was forced to resign after it emerged that he did not crack the whip on errant priests who allegedly molested children serving as altar boys.
Several church leaders have faced trouble with the authorities after it emerged they abused their privileges as men of the cloth to sexually prey on vulnerable members of the church.
The resignation of the pastor is significant because Kenyan public figures generally do not embrace such a decision on moral and ethical problems.
But with an enlightened society in the US, the pastor knew his goose was cooked as soon as the clip started trending on social media where he was caught demanding sex from a woman who was apparently in a divorce process.