US/Eastern=>November 17, 2017, 2:35pm
Register
login
Stay Connected, Know What's Going On!
Subscribe Your Email here
 
Photo Gallery
Event Schedule
Opinions
Ajabu TV
Ajabu Market
 
HEADLINE NEWS..:
BREAKING SCANDAL: Another Kenyan Pastor, Samuel Kimohu, Defrocked in Boston for Insubordination and Gross Negligence
Pastor Kimohu
PHOTO:Venerable Rev. Samuel Kimohu, former pastor of the St. Stephens church, a Kenyan community church in Lowell, near Boston. PIC BY H.MAINA/AJABU AFRICA MEDIA
 

By:
HARRISON MAINA

Posted:
Sep,14-2017 22:05:59
 
Updated 9/8/2017

LOWELL, Mass.,_
_A Long time clergyman within the Kenyan community in Boston, Rev. Samuel Kimohu has been defrocked and his license to preach under the American Anglican church revoked forthwith for resisting directions from his presiding bishop, breaking State law while conducting church weddings as well as negligence in conducting marital counseling and other pastoral responsibilities.

According to Bishop, The Most Reverend John A. Herzog, Primus of the American Anglican Church, Order of Saint Andrew based in New York, Pastor Kimohu was terminated Sunday night after 15 years of vain efforts to correct his shortcomings as a priest at the St. Stephens church in Lowell, one of the oldest Kenyan community churches in the Boston region.

Kimohu becomes the second Kenyan pastor in Boston to be dethroned from the American Anglican church after Peter Kiama, former pastor of the St. John's Anglican Church in Sutton near Worcester was terminated and his license to practice as a priest permanently revoked. Kiama was also dethroned for various counts of gross insubordination and marital impropriety with one of his parishioner's wife. (Recap Here:
Kenyan Pastor in Boston suspended over gross insubordination and misconduct)

In the termination letter obtained by Ajabu Media, Kimohu was cited for "breaking Massachusetts Law" by negligently conducting a recent wedding in his church without doing due diligence to ensure that the couple was properly divorced from their previous marriages after the groom's wife contacted the church leadership from Kenya complaining that her husband has never divorced her, and yet he was about to marry another woman in a church wedding.

"This email is your official notice that your license to operate as a priest in the American Anglican Church has been revoked by order of the House of Bishops. This has been the result of your continued violations and disregard in disobeying the direction of the Bishop and the Chancellor. You broke the laws of the commonwealth of Massachusetts by not acquiring a license to officiate at weddings. You have been insubordinate to the Bishop by performing the wedding of a divorced man when directed not to do so. This has brought disgrace to the American Anglican Church," read part of the suspension letter served to pastor Kimohu.

"You interfered in the marriage of a priest and divulged confidential information to others. In direct disobedience to the Bishop's long standing rule against clergy from other jurisdictions preaching at the church. You had a Bishop from another church preaching at St Stephen's today. It is sad that the direction and friendship offered to you has been rejected by following your own agenda and not the direction of your Bishop.You are not to operate in the church in any manner, shape, or form,"
continued the letter written by Bishop Peter Roberts, OSA of the American Anglican church

Speaking to Ajabu Media Bishop Herzog said that when information from the wife in Kenya who had contacted Ajabu Media seeking help to reach the bishop after Kimohu allegedly snubbed her multiple requests over the phone to stop the wedding phone, he got alarmed.

"I called Rev. Samuel right away an hour before the wedding took place. I told him about the new concerns from the groom's wife in Kenya. I advised to put the wedding on hold until all the issues were cleared. Samuel said he had received all the necessary paperwork and divorce decrees but that he had forgotten to send them to me as required by our church policy. He assured me that he will send me the documents for my records the next morning, and that I why I agreed for the wedding to continue."


Venerable Rev. Samuel Kimohu, left, with Rev. Peter Kiama, former pastor of the St. John's Anglican church in Sutton, MA during a meeting at the St. John's church soon after Kiama was defrocked this past summer. AJABU MEDIA PIC/H.MAINA

However, unfortunately, Kimuhu emailed the wrong documents to Bishop Herzog, and frantic efforts to have him send a divorce decree to prove the dissolution of the marriage in Kenya remained fruitless, even after one week since the wedding.

"I was shocked he sent me documents completely unrelated from the marriage in Kenya while he knew very well that our agreement was to send a divorce decree showing dissolution of the marriage in Kenya. This was very unfortunate and it is a failure to follow clear directions from the bishop," Herzog added.

The bishop further said that it is unfortunate that pastor Kimuhu would deliberately or negligently mislead parishioners as per the procedure of conducting a valid marriage in the State of Massachusetts.

"You can't have a wedding ceremony conducted in a church before you provide proof of dissolution of any previous marriages, if you had been married before. And even if you have the proof, that proof needs to be provided to the Bishop of a church ahead of time so as to clear any last minute issues that may pop up to mar a wedding."

He added that in addition to providing proper documents, any valid wedding conducted in the state of Massachusetts has first and foremost be registered at a City Hall before approaching the church for a wedding ceremony.

"The church does not marry people but the State does. Any couple wishing to be married must first apply a wedding license at City Hall which is then provided within 3 days or so. After this, you have 60 days to conduct a religious ceremony to bless the wedding then go back to City Hall for the actual marriage licence. This couple did not follow the procedures at all and it was Samuel's responsibility to guide them the right way or hold off the wedding until the procedures were completed," Herzog clarified.

"As far as I am concerned, this couple is not even married yet," he added.

Herzog added that Kimohu was found by the House of Bishops of the American Anglican church to be in violation of several church procedures when he took several trips to Dallas Texas to conduct marital counseling to another Kenyan pastor and his wife who were going through marital problems, which he ( Kimohu) did not have a license to conduct counseling services, and without notifying the bishop of the effort.

The bishop said that after attending the initial "counseling" Kimohu then violated the confidentiality of the couple when he informed another Kenyan pastor in Dallas, Solomon Waigwa about the couple's issues, then brought him along to a second counseling session without the knowledge of the husband.

He said that the wife's husband called and wrote a letter to him lamenting Kimohu's unwelcome moves that left the couple worse off, hurting more than ever before as they have already separated.

"This is completely unacceptable. He interfered in another couple's marriage against my advice and made it worse. He went back to Dallas four times behind the husbands back and against my advice. Samuel is not licensed to conduct marital counseling and should not be doing this," the bishop lamented.

Herzog said that Kimohu contacted the couple from an online radio that he runs weekly, offering listeners marital counseling services.

"There has been a lot of infighting and disputes between father Samuel and many parishioners going back 15 years with parishioners that have been giving him many chances to fix to no avail."

He said that on many occasions, Kimuhu picks out any parishioner from the pews and would ask them to conduct a Sunday service sermon, even while such parishioners have no theological training, putting the correct scriptural and spiritual nourishing of the flock in peril.

"It looks like Samuel is more of a politician than a priest. He tries to please some people in the church to gain favors while also alienating others. In the process, there have been a lot of disputes for many years."

Herzog said that Kimuhu has 3 days to appeal the suspension to the House of Bishops and explain in detail all pertinent issues that led to dis defrocking.

"If the House of Bishops is satisfied with his answers, they could reinstate him. If they are not, he would be permanently defrocked to preach at any of the American Anglican churches across the USA."

Herzog added that due to the turmoil engulfing the church, he has immediately cancelled elections for the new church Vestry (a council of parishioners who manage the church affairs) slated for September 24.

The bishop also disbanded the current Vestry and appointed a temporary committee that will oversee the church under the stewardship of Rev. Leonard Ngarama until things cool down at the Kenyan community church.

Rev. Ngarama has been serving at the church for a long time as an assistant to Rev. Kimuhu.

Reached for comments, Kimuhu denied any wrong doing and insisted that Bishop Herzog was being misled by people who did not want to see him serve at St. Stephens anymore.

He said that he had nothing to do with the wedding in Kenya which he is being accused of ignoring the alleged dissolution since he was provided with a divorce certificate for another wedding in USA by the bridegroom.

Kimohu admitted that the ex-wife of the groom contacted him over the phone from Kenya objecting to the marriage being conducted, but since she did not provide him with a marriage or divorce certificate, then he decided her concerns were not enough to stop the new wedding he was about to officiate.

He said that he took the bridegroom's word of mouth that he had divorced his wife in Kenya as true, and therefore decided to proceed.

However, Kimohu did not indicate why he promised to send his bishop the divorce decree from the groom related to the previous marriage in Kenya as he had promised. He said that he even had held a thirty minute meeting with the couple together with the church council where they were grilled before the wedding.

"The Church Council did not find anything wrong with the couple's situation so they approved the wedding to proceed. If I did something wrong in conducting that wedding, then the couple can go back and fix the problems," he told Ajabu Media during a telephone conference.

Pastor Kimuhu added that it was not a secret that he runs a marriage counseling show on Jambo Radio Network, a Kenyan online Radio show couples resolve their marriage issues.

However, he said that his services did not require a license as they are pastoral in nature, not professional.

He admitted that he visited the other pastor's wife in Dallas for counseling services together with Solomon Waigwa without the presence of her husband. He denied he is the one who informed Waigwa about the couple's problems, but that he showed up at the invitation of the wife.

"If someone calls me on the phone and says they want marital counseling, I have to go and help them. I pray for them. Some call me on the phone and we pray together. The wife decided to call me and not Herzog for counseling, so I went there. As for Waigwa, it is the wife who invited him," he told Ajabu.

However, Kimuhu did not deny or confirm the other four visits he allegedly took to the pastor's wife in Dallas for more counseling services.

"I don't want to say yes or no. I was doing things on a pastoral level. Herzog has a license for counseling, I don't have. I just do pastoral counseling and I don't ask for money from anyone."

 

He added that the woman in question contacted him back in 2016 for help through his program titled "Gukwamurana"(Setting each other free from bondages) and prayed together on the phone. He then visited her for counseling when he went to Dallas to attend a seminar, Kimuhu added.

Responding to the allegations, Dr. Waigwa said that he accompanied Kimohu to the Dallas couple's house at the invitation of the wife and pastor Kimohu. He revealed that in the past, he had been invited by the same couple to preach and speak to the men fellowship at their church on many occasions so when he received a call to go and help them resolve some domestic issues, he saw no reason not to help.

"We went there as elders, not as counselors. In our African culture, elders, regardless of their church denomination, always heed the call to help out in any domestic situation to the extent they can."

The couple's church, St. Mathew's church in Irvin near Dallas, is also affiliated to the American Anglican church under Bishop Herzog.

Waigwa added that it was unfortunate the pastor's wife is attempting to implicate him in any wrong doing while he and his family has been supporting the pastor in the past in many ways, including helping fundraise to get funds to bail him out of an immigration jail.

Many members of the St. Stephens church hailed Kimuhu's suspension as long overdue, vowing that the church will continue to operate unabated.

"We are very happy that Bishop Herzog and the House of Bishops of the American Anglican church have taken quick measures to save our church from total collapse. St. Stephens used to have about 200 members by majority of them have left the church to avoid the endless disputes caused by pastor Kimuhu. With Kimuhu's exit, we are assuring the members who left to come back so we can restore the church to it's former glory," said David Ikanyi, a founding member, but who has been embroiled is disputes with Kimuhu.

Ikanyi said that it was unfortunate that Kimuhu used the pulpit many times to attack him and others who questioned some of the policies instituted at St. Stephen's.


Bishop Herzog, left, consults with vestry members at St. Johns Anglican church in Sutton during an open court hearing to save the church following the defrocking of former pastor, Peter Kiama. PIC BY H.MAINA, AJABU AFRICAN NEWS

"Some members have been brainwashed by Kimuhu with lies and they have been spreading the rumors which have only made things at the church worse. I am happy the truth is now coming out in the open," he added.

Having served the church since inception 16 years ago, Rev. Kimohu has always been stoking and batting away controversies, both at the church and in the Kenyan community in Lowell.

Kitengela plot and Financial Scandals

Many church members accused him of using cunning strategies to manipulate things at the church for his own benefit.

Recently, Kimuhu was accused of having worked with the people's warden at the church to inflate the cost of a fence tenfold more than what would have cost, thus misappropriating the church finances.

"That fence had been estimated to cost $2,500 but we were charged $10,000. This was a bad idea and misuse of the church funds," said James Kimani the former chair of the Men's ministry.

Kimani added that there has been a lot of other financial rot in the church which has been swept under the rug.

He lamented that a lot of suspicious business deals have been conducted in the church with little transparency.

Kimani added that recently, a real estate agent from Kenya who sought the church platform to market the plots donated to the church a plot located in the Kitengela region of Nairobi, but efforts to trace the title and details of the plot have been stonewalled by Kimohu and Phares Kimungu, the church's chairman and senior warden.

Reached for comment about the alleged Kitengela plot, Kimungu declined to divulge any information.

"I will not say yes or no. If you want any information about this, you need to give me time to do the proper research and get back to you," he told Ajabu Media.

Rev. Kimohu declined to address any issues related to funds, saying he does not deal with church finances at all.

Around 2011, Rev. Kimuhu was in the news when he kicked out three pastors from St. Stephens's church in what the pastors alleged to be an effort to keep them from sharing in church preaching stipend due to serving clergymen.

Kimohu was also accused of running a merry-go-round self-help savings scheme in the church office where members would contribute funds to help boost each other. For decades, the church has also hosted a tax preparer from Georgia every tax season using the church venue for his business.

According to reliable sources, before immigrating to the USA, Rev. Kimuhu had been defrocked from the Anglican Church of Kenya, Kajiado diocese for similar insubordination issues and church leadership wrangles.

He later joined the Anglican Charismatic church that was launched by another Anglican priest who had been kicked of the ACK together with Kimohu.

In the early 2000's, Kimuhu relocated to the USA where he was appointed pastor of the St. Stephens church affiliated to the American Anglican church that oversees many other Kenyan community Anglican churches in USA under bishop Herzog.

Herzog revealed to Ajabu Media that despite the problems at St. Stephens, the issues at St. John's Anglican in Sutton have stabilized with the defrocking of former pastor Kiama and that the church is doing great.

He said that most members of St. John's decided to remain in the church and strengthen it.

"We are also very proud to have started a new Kenyan church in Seattle Washington within the Federal Way area under the leadership of Father Michael Mbugua. We just had a big ceremony there last Sunday with about 90 Kenyans coming as members of the new St. Mark's Anglican Church," Herzog told Ajabu Media.

He urged members of St. Stephens's church in Lowell will find courage to do the right thing guided by the Lord's wisdom to support their church at this hour of need.

Kimohu said that he is yet to figure out what to do now that his license to preach has been taken away.

Source:
AJABU AFRICAN NEWS

 
 
 
Kenyan Groceries Sale