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Bishop Deye elected the 7th presiding Bishop of Methodist Church

Methodist Church in Kenya acting Bishop Isaiah Deye was on Thursday elected the 7th Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church marking a new beginning for a church that has been troubled for 10 years.

Bishop Deye, who has been acting since April, following the ouster of his predecessor Joseph Ntombura garnered 281 votes against his closest challenger Bishop Dr. Catherine Mutua who garnered 35 votes while Bishop Bundi Miriti had 26 votes and Harrison Mwiti got 24 votes.

The Church had split into regional conferences during the tenure of former Presiding Bishop Joseph Ntombura and it is anticipated that Deye will do everything possible to unite the flock.

Ntombura was installed as the presiding bishop of the church in 2013.

Ntombura was ousted from the leadership and Deye had taken over in an acting capacity since April this year.

On December 3, a proclamation was done by more than 200 delegates from various synods to the effect that an interim leadership be instituted to run the affairs of the church.

The interim leadership consisting of Bishop Stephen Kanyaru, Isaiah Deye (secretary), Dr. Gerishon Mwiti (treasurer), and a caretaker committee took over office.

Ntombura’s tenure was marred with allegations of mismanagement of the Kenya Methodist University center, disposing of church property illegally, and corruption among other scandals.

These led to several Synods rejecting Ntombura’s leadership and embracing Deye who comes from the Coastal region.

Delegates will now proceed and elect Synod Bishops, Conference Secretary, and Conference Honorary Treasurer.

Bishop Deye had said Ntombura’s term ended on August 4 last year and that it was against the church’s Constitution where any Presiding Bishop can only lead for two terms of five years each.

Ntombura was accused of changing the church constitution where he added two more years to continue leading the church.

Bishop Ntombura had hinted at leaving the Church in April before the end of his two years term ends to save the church from further problems.

“I am cutting short my term. I will leave before 2024. I will ensure the process of getting a new presiding bishop can start this year and elections can be held. No one is above me in the church’s hierarchy, meaning there is nobody I can handover over my resignation to now,” Ntombura said.

Bishop Deye takes over a church that has faced intense leadership wrangles and divisions and is expected to unite the flock.

He becomes the second clergyman from the coast region to lead the Methodist Church in Kenya since it became autonomous from the Church of Britain in 1967.

Despite many Synods having embraced the removal of Rev Ntombura, some have sustained a dissenting voice with a section of Singwaya Synod leaders vowing not to support the changes.

However, many Methodists have welcomed the election of Bishop Deye saying they expect the new leader to reunite the church.

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