Contribution of East African Revival Movement to Evangelism in the Anglican Church of Kenya, Kisumu Central Archdeaconry, Maseno South Diocese, 1930 -1970
Omer, Elizabeth Akinyi
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The East Africa Revival Movement (EARM) has had a great impact on many of the protestant churches in Eastern Africa for many years, renewing their life and offering to individuals the challenge of a deeper experience of salvation in Christ and more radical commitment to Christian discipleship and evangelism. The Revival Movement is considered to have contributed significantly to the growth of the church in East Africa, despite having other revivals that emerged in the region. However, Christian discipleship and evangelistic activities in the ACK Churches in Kisumu Central Archdeaconry is in great danger of decline. ACK is currently struggling with massive controversies, wrangles and conflicts resulting to estranged relationship among EARM members and ACK leadership. There is limited research to explain this phenomenon especially in Maseno South Diocese, and specifically in Kisumu Central Archdeaconry. This study aimed at investigating the spread of EARM between 1930-1970 and the contribution of EARM teachings, beliefs and practices to the evangelism among the Anglican Churches in Kisumu Central Archdeaconry. It further aimed at investigating the challenges facing the spread of EARM among ACK churches in Kisumu Central Archdeaconry. The study employed a mixed research methodology with a descriptive cross sectional survey research design to collect quantitative data, while Focus Group Discuss and key informant interviews were used to collect qualitative data. The area of study has got nine parishes, out of which three parishes were sampled to represent the entire Kisumu Central Archdeaconry. Multistage sampling technique was used to sample the three parishes. A sample size of 143 respondents was used to obtain data. Key informant interviews and focus group discussions were used to obtain qualitative data from the church members, church vicars and EARM leaders. Primary and secondary data, both published and unpublished literature relevant to the subject was consulted and reviewed. The qualitative data was analyzed using thematic content analysis. The study found that historical background of EARM was anchored on revival of the gospel that factored in the African values and ideas and because it got spread majorly through conventions, this could influence the spread of the word of God, given that through these conventions, major components of EARM, which was evangelism was championed. The spread of EARM was based on revival of gospel that was to be led in African way with responsibility of reaching out to the Africans and spreading the gospel to them. Further, it was noted that the historical background of EARM as a lay movement encouraged the importance of lay leadership and responsibility that encouraged evangelism in the church. It was also found that EARM taught about salvation of Jesus Christ and also emphasized the commitment to the Christian discipleship and centrality of Jesus Christ. EARM teachings and practices emphasized the conversion of sinners, spreading of the gospel from one nation to another. Although EARM influenced positively the spread of the gospel, it also encountered certain challenges such as corruption, gospel of prosperity and doctrinal conflict in the church. The study concluded that the Revival movements were mainly ignited following spiritual reflection, fervor and calling to repentance of sins and to preach the word of God to win the souls for Christ. The study recommends that there is need to bridge the doctrinal gap between EARM and ACK. All preaching and teachings within the fellowship should conform to its formularies like the historic creed. It also recommends that the church should take a firmer control of the Revival Movement.