On Sunday 21st May 2023, members and friends celebrated the 39th anniversary of Deliverance Church (DC) Umoja. The event doubled as a celebration for the founder Bishop J.B. Masinde who turned 70 years.
The celebration was graced by the first lady H.E. Rachel Ruto, second lady Pastor Dorcas Rigathi, Nairobi governor Johnson Sakaja, Bishop Mark Kariuki and church leaders from Kenya, Africa and beyond.
Deliverance Church Umoja was born out of Deliverance Church Eastleigh where Masinde started as a choir master. In May 1984, DC Umoja started in a tent next to Umoja market. In 1987, the church moved to Umoja Innercore and since then new campuses have been commissioned on Kangundo Road and in Umoja 3.
At least 150 churches around the world have been planted out of DC Umoja. In Zambia alone, there are 51 churches and about 10 in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Bishop Fortune Mwiza leads Deliverance Church in Zambia. During the celebration he honored Bishop Masinde saying, “This man is a pastor indeed, we are many here (pastors under him). You would think that this man is a distance from us. He is not.”
He recounted how in 2019 when he lost his son to cancer. Bishop Masinde traveled to Zambia to be with him. “He was seated next to me. He never spoke a word. Just sat with me and that left marks in my heart that will never leave me. He’s a pastor indeed,” he remembered.
Bishop Calisto Odede celebrated Bishop Masinde as one of his role models in ministry among other ministers present at the celebration. “You are the people we looked up to when we were young. You upheld the gospel of Jesus Christ and we bless you for that.”
Second lady Dorcas Rigathi described Masinde as a pillar in the body of Christ and lauded him for mentoring many spiritual daughters and sons in faith and sending them to spread the gospel across the world. “He has mentored many of us as a loving and caring father in faith. Bishop Masinde has maintained his connection to the family of God and he continues to grow with faith,” she said.
In the sermon of the day, Bishop Ngwiza Mnkandla of Overseer for Faith Ministries Worldwide challenged the congregation to walk in such a way that the manifest presence of God is felt. “David became known as the man after God’s own heart because he learnt to practice the presence of God. He yearned and longed to be in the company of God.”
The First Lady Rachel Ruto hailed Masinde for his work, saying it is not easy to grow a church from a tent to opening 150 branches across the country, with 51 churches in Zambia and 10 others in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
‘‘Kenya is blessed to have you as a leader. You have interest in young people, what you are doing in the transformation of the lives of many youths is recommended. When churches come to partner with the government is a great step and pillar,’’ she said.
“The growth experienced in Deliverance Church Umoja through Bishop Masinde is a testament to hard work and the blessing of God that adds no sorrow. The Journey of Bishop Masinde encourages us as a nation to work hard, have resilience, and expand our capacity because the unlimited blessing of the Lord is coming our way. We have faith that plenty will be found within our borders,” she added.
While lauding Masinde for the transformation, the First Lady said it is in bad taste to generalize the conduct of church leaders since some of them are the epitome of development.