The Anglican church leadership in Kenya

ACK Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit (centre) has urged all arms of government to work together
ACK Archbishop Jackson Ole Sapit (centre) has urged all arms of government to work together


The Anglican church was founded originally as the diocese of Eastern Equatorial Africa which includes Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania) in 1884.

James Huntington was the the first bishop; however, Anglican missionary activities had been present in the countries since 1844, when a missionary by the name Johann Ludwig Krapf landed in Mombasa.

The first Africans were ordained to the priesthood in 1885.

In 1898, the diocese was split into two, with the new diocese of Mombasa governing Kenya and northern Tanzania (the other diocese later became the Church of Uganda); northern Tanzania was separated from the diocese in 1927.

Mass conversions of Africans began as early as 1910.

In 1955, the diocese’s first African bishops, Festo Olang’ and Obadiah Kariuki, were consecrated by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, in Uganda.

In 1960, the province of East Africa, comprising Kenya and Tanzania, was formed with Leonard James Beecher as archbishop.

The province was divided into two, with Festo Olang’ being the first African archbishop of the new province of Kenya in 1970.

Manasseh Kuria was the Archbishop of Kenya from 1980 to 1994.

The out gone archbishop Eliud Wabukala has been in the office since 2009 and he announced officially his retirement.


The church structure.

The polity of the Anglican Church of Kenya is Episcopal Church governance, which is the same as other Anglican churches. That is, headed by bishops

From the Greek word, “episcopos,” means overseer or superintendent.

The church maintains a system of geographical parishes organized into dioceses. There are 33 of these, each headed by a Bishop.

The Anglican Church of Kenya has been active throughout its history. As the official church of the colonial power, the Anglican missions enjoyed a privileged position, and Anglican preachers sharply denounced the Mau Mau rebellion in the 1950’s.

Thus the church has ever stood firm when it comes to the politics of Kenya.

The Primate of the Church is the Archbishop of All Kenya. That is fixed at Nairobi. He was previously styled “Archbishop of Kenya and Bishop of Nairobi”, but the Diocese of Nairobi has now been divided into two.

The Bishop of Nairobi has the geographically larger diocese, while there is a separate Diocese of All Saints, based around All Saints’ Cathedral.

The Primate’s official title is now “Primate and Archbishop of All Kenya”. The current Archbishop is the sixth since the Province of East Africa was divided into the Provinces of Kenya and Tanzania.

The leadership of the ACK church.

  1. Festo olang’ was in power from 1970-1980
  2. Manasseh Kuria was in power from 1980-1994
  3. David Gitari, was in power from 1997-2002
  4. Benjamin Nzimbi was in power from 2002-2009
  5. Eliud Wabukala, was in power from 2009–2016

Jackson Ole Sapit has taken over as the sixth after an election that was done Friday 20th May that involved 5 contestants.