Court restrains ex bishops, outsiders from interfering with Methodist Church and its properties

Methodist Church in Kenya Presiding bishop Joseph Ntombura and lawyer Danstan Omari (blue tie) addressing journalists at Methodist Church HQ in Nairobi at a past date. PHOTO/Suek.

It is a relief for the Methodist Church in Kenya after the court issued orders restraining some former bishops and outsiders from interfering with the church.

Principal Magistrate S. A. Opande ordered the status quo of the Church to be maintained as it is pending the hearing and determination of the application.

“Pending the hearing and determination of this application, an order be and is hereby issued that the status quo of the Methodist Church in Kenya be maintained as is,” the magistrate ruled.

Further, the magistrate issued a restraining order against the 17 respondents, their associates and affiliates from conducting the Transitional Connexional Ad Hoc Committee (TCAC) on 30th August 2022.

The magistrate also issued a penal notice saying that any disobedience or non-observance of these orders will result in penal consequences to any person doing so.

Methodist Church Bishop Joseph Ntombura and the Methodist Church in Kenya Trustees Registered moved to court seeking to bar the respondents from forcefully taking over the church.

Through lawyer Danstan Omari, the church argues that the TCAC committee was illegitimately and without colour of right formed by the respondents.

The TCAC committee is comprised of Bishop Lawi Imathiu, Bishop Johana Mbogori, Bishop Zablon Nthamburi, Bishop Stephen Kanyaru, Bishop Charles Makonde, Bishop Isaiah, Ndeye, Benjamin Nkungi, Erica Mutwiri and retired Justice Aaron Ringera.

The assets

The church claims that the new committee has unlawfully resolved that the conference office, accounts, conference institutions, estates, investments, properties, assets and liabilities shall be under them notwithstanding their cognition that the same are under the trustees in accordance with the governing codes of the Methodist Church in Kenya.

The respondents are alleged to have held a meeting dubbed “extraordinary Methodist members meeting” on 21st August 2022 at MCK Kaaga Church grounds without permission.

“The said illegal meeting ensued resolutions namely “Resolutions of the extraordinary methodist members meeting on 21/08/2022 held at MCK Kaaga Church grounds” which is the subject matter of this application and suit filed,” the applicants said.

According to the applicants, the respondents are select individuals and outsiders purporting to be MCK members whereas most are defrocked and not in good standing with the church having been excommunicated.

For the above, the court heard that the respondents have no locus standi and have not been authorised by the church to hold a meeting.

The applicants added that the respondents have in the impugned resolution resolved that the church shall not operate as a going concern in that the synods, circuits, churches and  institutions of the Methodist Church in Kenya shall not remit any funds or have activities or participate in any programs until further notice.

“Their resolution is intended to paralyse the 1st and 2nd applicants from discharging their mandates and duly operating and running the church without their compliance and adherence to due procedure and in total contravention of the governing codes of MCK,” the applicants added.

The court heard that the Annual Conference has the sole capacity to authorise such a meeting which is under the leadership of Bishop Ntombura being the only spokesperson of the church in accordance with the standing orders.


It is alleged that the respondents have formed online platforms to incite disharmony and spread lies to other innocent flock of the church, tainting the image of Bishop Ntombura and reputation of the church at large.

Furthermore, the court heard that the respondents have declared the office of the Bishop Ntombura vacant and intend to occupy the methodist premises by force on 30th August 2022.

The respondents further declared that they shall induct the TCAC into office at the Ministries’ Centre in Nairobi on 30th August is not only illegal, unprocedural and contrary to the governing codes of MCK but will potentially cause unrest and chaos since the larger members of the church do not condone not support the respondents’ illegal and barbaric intentions to overthrow Bishop Ntombura nor to alter the status quo of the trustees and MCK at large.

The court heard that the respondents have hired goons in large numbers to interrupt peace trying to find a loophole to take over the church on 30th August.

PM Opande directed the respondents to file their response within seven days. The case will be heard inter partes on 6th September 2022.

Some of the respondents include Dr Kobi Ataya, Misheck Kanake, Jacob Gituma, Jeremia Anondo, Emmanuel Maingi, Hellen Kamenchu, William Kilonzi, James Muriki, Gladys Mwiti among others.