Nairobi Christian Church/Richard Alawaye press release – Jan 3 1998
THE NAIROBI CHRISTIAN CONGREGATION THE NAIROBI CHRISTIAN CHURCH (Press Release) January 3rd 1998 Over the last few several articles have appeared in the Kenyan Press concerning the Nairobi Christian Church. As Lead Evangelist of the Nairobi Christian Church, I am writing this article to set the records straight and to spell-out what the church believes and practises. I am aware that many people in Nairobi have heard all kinds of rumours about our church and over the years we have been called all kinds of names and even accused of being a "cult". I simply ask you to put aside whatever preconceived ideas you may have hear our side of the story. WHO WE ARE The Nairobi Christian Church is a bible-believing church affliated with the International Churches of Christ. For the record we are NOT a "cult". (The name-calling and false accusations are however not surprising as our brothers and sisters in the 1st century church were also accused on many things that were totally untrue). The Nairobi branch of the church began in August 1989 and started with 9 people. Presently we average 1,300 at our Sunday services. We have other churches in Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Uganda and Eritea (All these churches were planted from the Nairobi congregation). On the continent of Africa, our church exists in 40 countries. WHAT WE BELIEVE 1) That Jesus is our ONE and ONLY Lord, resurrected from the dead on the third day. 1 Cor 15:3-4 2) The Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. 1 John 5:1-12, 2 Cor 13:14 3) That the Bible is the ONLY inspired and inerrant word of God. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 4) That one must be a baptised disciple to be saved. Mathhew 28:18-20, Mark 16:16, 1 Peter 3:12, etc 5) That only baptised disciples are members of the true church of Jesus Christ. Gal 3:26-29 6) That every disciple must be committed to the vision of building churches of disciples in every nation within this generation. Matthew 28:18-20. Mark 1:16-18, etc. RECENT DEVELOPMENTS In the recent past, several disgruntled former members of our church have used the press to help them print their lies and half-truths. It is unfortunate that the reporters who have printed these stories did so without digging deeper and find out the truth. We have kept silent. However we feel it is time to speak in light of the continued accusations and slander. TITHING We encourage and recommend that our members tithe just like many other churches in Kenya and the world at large. The Bible teaches that we give sacrificially. Moreover it teaches each member should give in accordance with their means. In the Old Testament the Jews were commmanded to give a tenth of their income. In the New Testament what your find stressed is "the heart behind giving:. the THE BLATANT LIES Some of the articles claim I entered Kenya on a Students' Visa. That is simple untrue. I have 3 (three) University Degrees. A BSc. in Accounting (1983, USA): an MBA (1985, USA): a Doctor of jurisprodence i.e a Law degree (1988, USA). I mention them not to boast but to show when I entered Kenya, I had no intentions of going to school but only to preach the gospel. I went into the full-time ministry January of 1989 and it has been a most rewarding experience. For the record, my salary and that of my wife is paid entirely by our sister congregation in New York. I have never earned a single shilling from the Nairobi congregation. Indeed I contribute generously to the Nairobi church. Money has never motivated men anr unlike so many. I do not peddle the word of God for profit. When I read in some of the press that I drive a Mercedes Limousine I chuckled. Nothing could be farthest form the truth. I actually drive a second-hand Nissan Bluebird. My wife and I gave-up very lucrative careers to serve God in full-time ministry and we are happy to have done so. If making money was my object in life, believe me I would be in the United States practising corporate Law. The church has been accused of financial mismanagement. This is also untrue. Our books and finance are audited every year by Delloitte and Touche (one of the largest and distinguished accounting firms in the world). We have passed every audit with flying colours. If I have stolen 1 shilling when and where did that happen? If our critics have evidence to he contrary why don't they bring criminal charges against me? For the record, the KSH. 120,000 that was raised to help our AIDS work in December 1996 can be accounted for with documentation in its entirety. We have put up a Counseling Center for AIDS on a plot in Reuben Village. The foundation and officeshave cost Kshs. 80,000 and the remaining 40,000 is still in the bank. (The receipts and accounting for the project are all available). The project can be verified and can be inspected. After all you cannot hid a piece of land and the structure on it. insinuating that I have stolen money is baseless and irresponsible. It has been alleged that money collected from the Nairobi congrgation is sent out to other branches outside. This is ridiculous and laughable. Money to help start and support our church plantings comes from our 1st and 2nd world sister churches like New York and members is used to pay the expenses of Nairobi church cannot even meet its own operating expenses. The money given by the Nairobi very grateful and appreciative for their assistance. We have been accused of deciding for our members whom to marry. This is simply absurb. Obviously each member decides for themselves who they will marry. Again it is claimed the church controls the finances of the members. We simply do not do so. this also is avicious lie. My advice to those who continue to slander us and spread rumours about us is to heed the warning of Christ in Matthew 12:36-37. "But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgement for every careless word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted and by your words be condmned. THE ALLEGED "EXCOMMUNICATIONS" Earlier in 1997 several former members were involved in slander, gossip and divisiveness. These men and women were asked to take time-off from the church to think about their lives and decide if the wanted to be part of the church. They were given three months to repent. To no one's surprise, none of them repented. Instead they continued their slander and attacks against me and the leadership of the church. These are the same people that are now on TV calling us a "cult" and accusing us of all sorts of rubbish. (Obviously, when we used monies from our benevolent fund to help-out some of these disgruntled lot when they were in financial need, they weren't accusing us of being a cult). We were not going to tolerate their sins any longer and our church has never been happier and more vibrant since their departure. They tried to divide and take control of our churhc and failed. Those who want to slander, gossip and divide, will have to do so elsewhere. It will not tolerated in the Nairobi Christian Church. WHY THE ATTACKS Let me begin by saying that the Bible guarantees persecuation and opposition for those who are lving as true disciples of Christ. (12 Timothy 3:12, etc) These rumours and lies do not surprise me. If they persecuted our Lord Jesus, we as his disciples will experience the same treatment (John 15:18-23). We praise God that we are counted worthy to suffer for the cause. We consider it a tremedous compliment from God. Some of these former members probably thought the church would "die" without them being in it. To their amazement the church has continued to thrive and grow. this must bother their egos. Perhaps it surprises them that God is no respecter of persons. As an evangelist I feel it is my duty to call all men, mkubwa or mdogo, to repent of slander and divisiveness inthe church. And although some were angered when confronted, slander and tribalism will not be tolerated into church. God expects all men to live by His standards. If any man does not want to live according to the standards taught by this church, they can go and join one of the hundreds of other denominations here in Kenya. This is a free country. If Alawaye is too blunt for your liking, you can always go somewhere else or better yet, start your own church. Many of these critics are bothered by the fact that I am a foreigner. Their stories always stress that I am Nigerian. I am Nigerian and proud to be one. I love Kenya and I have here since 1989. I love and respect this country. The question of my nationality has nothing to do with us all living our lives according to the bible. Kenya has treated hosted me so well and I will not allow the prejucides and tribalist attitudes of a few change my love and vision for this country. If they have a problem with me being Nigerian, too bad! They should take it up with God because He made me such. Anyone can observe that these attacks are very personal and quite honestly, very petty and childish. WHERE WE ARE GOING "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations" (Matt 28:19) As true disciples of Christ, our lives are totally committed to bringing His church to every nation within this generation. Though we started as one congregation of 30 members in Lexington Massachusetts, God has multiplied us to 312 churches in 124 countries in just 18 years. TIME Magazine describes the International Churches of Christ as "One of Protestantism's hottest churches. One of the world's fastest growing and most innovative... unbesmirched by financial and sexual scandals". Dr. Donald McGavran, Professor of Church Growth Fuller nation of the world in one generation". Quite frankly I don't understand what the hoopla is all about. Our critics should heed Gamaliels' advice to the Sanhedrin in Arcts chapter 5, leave these men along!.... For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail, But if it is from God you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find ourselves fighting against God" CONCLUSION I thank you for taking the time to hear our side of things and I invite you to come and see the church for yourself first hand. We meet at the Nyayo National Stadium every Sunday at 10 a.m. I believe there is a big difference between simple being religious and true about. Our prayer and goal is that every human being will get a chance to hear the true gospel of Jesus Christ according to the bible in this lifetime, and to Almight God be the Glory! SIGNED Richard Alawaye LEAD EVANGELIST.
Now read this response.