David Mukuba Gitari, first Bishop of the Diocese of Mount Kenya East (1975-1997) and Archbishop of Kenya (1997-2002), died in hospital in Nairobi on 30 September, 2013 aged 76. David Gitari was one of the first post-colonial global African Christian leaders. He was born to Samuel and Jesse Mukuba in 1937. Samuel was the first person to evangelise the area where his fifth child would be bishop decades later. David as a child was too small to be allowed to enrol at school at the age of 6. He was also sent home from teachers training college at the age of 17 because he could not reach the blackboard. He was a leader in the Kenya Students Christian Fellowship and, encouraged by the late Oliver Barclay, trained in theology through IFES at Tyndale Hall, Bristol, in 1965. He became a travelling secretary for the Pan African Fellowship of Evangelical Students in East and Central Africa. In 1971 he became General Secretary of the Bible Society of Kenya. He came to prominence in Kenya in 1975 when he gave a series of six Bible expositions on the State-run Voice of Kenya radio in the five-minute “Lift up your hearts” slot before the 7am news. A leading member of Parliament, JM Kariuki had been found murdered in a thicket in the Ngong Hills. Gitari expounded Genesis 4 on Cain’s murder of Abel.
He was ”˜carpeted’ by VoK and told his sermons had been disturbing. Gitari replied that the gospel of Jesus Christ is very disturbing, especially to sinners. Biblical Exposition Biblical exposition set the pattern for his preaching, proclaiming orthodox Christian faith to the whole of society and the powers that be.
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