The church had remained fairly stable until 2015, when Ntombura, two years into his 10-year term, changed its constitution and established new rules. He has been accused of defrocking more than 100 clergy, selling church property without approval and using other properties as security for loans.
But now, clerics and lay Methodists in Kenya hope the new leader can breathe new life into the church and unite and heal it following the bitter wrangles under Ntombura’s leadership.
“The Methodist Church in Kenya is at the verge of bouncing back,” former Bishop Paul Matumbi Muthuri told Religion News Service. “We came bleeding but the Lord has spoken. Brethren are now reconciled to each other. And moving forward we see a church that is one, embracing and in mission.”
Mischek Kobia Michubu, a steward of the Kawangware Circuit in Nairobi, said he hoped Deye would begin a process of healing and reconciliation and bring members who had left the church in the past decade back to the fold.
“I think he can easily unite the church,” said Michubu. “He has overwhelming support for strongholds. All the way to the grassroots, the church members are extremely happy about this election.”