Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bishop Lawi Imathui

Bishop Lawi Imathiu receive the World Methodist Peace Award in a January 29 ceremony at Kenya Methodist University in Meru, Kenya.

Bishop Imathiu was president of the World Methodist Council from 1986 to 1991, the first African to serve in this capacity.

His father became a Christian as a boy in 1910, one of the first Christians among the Meru tribe.

The bishop himself attended Methodist mission schools for primary, secondary and teacher college training. After serving as a teacher for a year, he accepted the call to ministry and studied at St. Paul's Theological College in Nairobi. He completed studies at London University and in Limuru, Kenya. He also studied at Epworth College in Zimbabwe and received a master of divinity degree from Claremont (Calif.) Theological Seminary. Emory University honored him with a doctor of divinity degree in 1990.

He was the first bishop elected to serve the Methodist Church in Kenya, which became autonomous in January 1967.

During his tenure, the Methodist Church in Kenya grew from 8,000 members in 1970 to more than 225,000 in 2000. The denomination also developed mission outreach to the nomadic Boran, Kisii and Masai people in Kenya and started Methodist work in Uganda and Tanzania.

The bishop was instrumental in founding Kenya Methodist University, which trains Christian leaders in business, agriculture, politics and economics as well as theology.
Currently, he and other national leaders are working to develop a new constitution for Kenya.

story from www.eastandard.net/.../ news.php?articleid=35743 :

Rev Dr Lawi Imathiu of the Methodist Church has been awarded an International Peace Award.
Bishop Lawi Imathiu (right) receives World Methodist Peace Award from the World Methodist Council President, His Eminence Sunday Mbang, at the Kenya Methodist University on Sunday.

More than 2,000 faithful, among them Finance minister David Mwiraria, MPs Peter Munya, Maoka Maore and Kirugi M’Mukindia, witnessed Imathiu being presented with the World Methodist Peace Award in Meru on Sunday.

The ceremony, held at the Kenya Methodist University (Kemu), attracted top clergymen from around the world and local church leaders led by the National Council of Churches of Kenya Secretary-General, Rev Mutava Musyimi.

Bishop Imathiu, a one time President of the Methodist Church worldwide, was presented with the award by the current President, His Eminence Sunday Mbang and the World Secretary, Rev George Freeman.

The World Methodist Council created the peace award 30 years ago to be awarded to individuals or groups that have contributed to peace, justice and reconciliation.

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