The Church in Kenya has been dealt a blow after a senior and renowned cleric passed away on Wednesday, August 25.
The death of Byrum Makokha, Archbishop and Founding member of the Church of God in East Africa was announced early Wednesday leading to a flood of condolence messages from political and religious circles.
Makokha's church boasts of at least 800,000 followers and has its headquarters in Kima area, Vihiga county.
Controversy surrounded his life when he married a woman aged 35, when he was 85 years old, shortly after his wife passed on.
Nonetheless, his immense contribution to the growth of the church was lauded by many who knew him.
Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) was among first institutions to mourn the death of Makokha.
"We have learned of the death of Bishop Byrum Makokha of Church of God of East Africa this morning. Bishop Makokha, a founder member of the Church has been the pillar behind the growth of the Church in the region. We pray for the fraternity of the Church during this time of grief," ODM tweeted.
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya with Byrum makokha in a past event. Photo: Wycliffe Oparanya/Twitter.
Amani National Congress Party leader Musalia Mudavadi also send messages of condolences to the family of Makokha and the church as a whole.
The church is common in Western Kenya and is known to have sponsored popular schools like Bunyore Girls High School, a national public secondary school in Vihiga county and and Ingotse High School in Kakamega.
"Archbishop (Dr)Byrum Makokha, the Founder of Church of God in East Africa is no more. He was truly a Spiritual Icon who touched many lives. My prayers are with his family, relatives,friends and the Christian fraternity," Musalia
Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya also expressed shock at the passing on of the cleric he had recently met.
The Church of God of East Africa has a huge following especially in Vihiga and Western Kenya. Photo: ANC/Twitter.
"I've learnt with shock and sadness the demise of Bishop Byrum Makokha, Head of Church of God in East Africa. The cruel hand of death has robbed us a steadfast bishop who build Church of God to international recognition, a church which is now synonymous with him. Go well Bishop," Oparanya said.
ODM leader Raila Odinga also sent in messages of condolences to the family of Makokha.
"My condolences go out to the family of Bishop Byrum Makokha and the congregation of the Church of God of East Africa. The church has lost an astute leader who ministered to many and oversaw its monumental growth. May God comfort his family and friends during this difficult moment," Raila tweeted.
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