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The Presbyterian Church in Kibera began in the early 1950s, and for the next twenty years moved from one temporary building to another. On the 18th of February 1971 the first of Kibera’s two Presbyterian Churches, Silanga, was established, and was officially opened on 5th February 1972 by the Rev. G. Gikanga.

The second Presbyterian Church to be established in Kibera started out in 1974 as an outreach centre for the main Presbyterian Church in Nairobi - St. Andrews. They called this new centre Emmanuel. After several years of hard work enhancing spiritual growth and improving the required infrastructures of the outreach centre by local Church members, the Presbytery of Millimani approved a request to upgrade the Emmanuel Centre to full parish status. This was made official on 13th March 2005 when Rev. Samuel Machugu Kariuki became its first session moderator.

Both congregations of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) in Kibera currently serve a total congregation of 600 adults, 80 youths, and also 150 children in their Sunday schools. These congregations include some of the neediest people living in the slums of Kibera.  More than 80% of Church members are unemployed. Those who are employed earn between 1500 and 3000 Kenyan shillings a month (£11- £22).

Due to these low-income levels, the congregations have not been able to actively thrive, as they face a daily struggle to even feed their families.   Most of the young people of the Church are affected by the lack of employment opportunities and many are out of work, making them a liability rather than an asset to their already poverty stricken families.  

Although the Church in Kibera has many diverse needs and wants, they are spiritually rich, and if their needs were met it would be possible for them to achieve their vision of growth and development, for their Church and community.


Kibera Parish