STARVING SERVANTS OF GOD

Fifty pastors survive on food aid, stipends after churches close due to Covid-19

Clerics who depended solely on worshppers' donations find themselves without a livelihood after churches closed

In Summary

• Chairman of the Bishops and Pastors in the North Rift Bishop Wilson Kurui says many church leaders are desperate and have lost their livelihoods because churches closed.

 •Most pastors depended on support from their congregations, which collapsed when churches were closed. Many congregants lack money to donate or tithe.

Pastors and political leaders pray for residential hopeful Baringo Senator Gideon Moi in Eldoret on July 26.
POOR PASTORS: Pastors and political leaders pray for residential hopeful Baringo Senator Gideon Moi in Eldoret on July 26.
Image: MATHEWS NDANYI

More than 50 pastors and other church leaders in Eldoret have been surviving on food aid and stipends from well wishers after churches closed to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Chairman of Bishops and Pastors in the North Rift Bishop Wilson Kurui said on Sunday many church leaders are desperate because they have lost their livelihoods.

He was speaking in Kenmosa in Eldoret during an interdenominational prayer service and endorsement of Baringo Senator Gideon Moi to be president.

Churches that observe social distancing and all Covid-19 protocols have been allowed to reopen, though many people do not attend for fear of contracting the virus. Churches also complain that barring very young and older people means pastors themselves cannot attend. 

Kurui said he witnessed pastors shedding tears while receiving food aid for their families.

“We were forced to set up a store in town and seek assistance from well wishers and some church members to support pastors badly affected by the pandemic," Kirui said.

He said most of the pastors depended on support or tithes from their congregations, but that stopped and many congregants are unable to suppor their own families, let alone pastors.

He said the pastors are human beings with families like any other Kenyans and they too have been suffering from the effects of Covid over more than four months.

“We have assured them that when they toil preaching the word of God, then God will work for them to be well always. That is why we are giving support to those who are unable to provide their own basic needs," Karui said.

(Edited by V. Graham)