By Austine Oduor

The Nairobi Christian Church hosted disciples from East Africa and beyond who congregated at the Umoja Hall for the 4th Ministry Training Academy (MTA) on 16-17 January 2015, titled, ‘Church History’. Prior to the class the students were expected to have read the book, ‘Church History in Plain Language’, by Bruce L. Shelley. Thus far the Church has gone through three MTA’s — Biblical Interpretation, New Testament Survey, and Old Testament Survey.

Jeremy Lefler from the Chicago Church of Christ and a teacher in God’s Kingdom was the main facilitator for the training on Church History. Jeremy was baptized at the age of 15 years old knowing full well he wanted Jesus to be Lord of his life. He has served in the full time ministry for the past 22 years and is a teacher in the International Churches of Christ. Jeremy has a Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in English, and a Masters in Divinity from Harding School of Theology.God has used him powerfully to teach the Church History module of the Ministry Training Academy Curricula. His passion and zeal for the subject is obvious. He took what could easily be a difficult and tedious class and made it simple, interactive and exciting! Jeremy could not hide his joy at being in Kenya. ”It’s fun to be here in Kenya and I am really enjoying the time with the disciples and the hospitality they are showing me.“Jeremy is married to a Kenyan, MwendeLefler and they have two daughters, ages 8 and 10.


He took the disciples through the different periods and events which have shaped the church to be what it is today. He also assisted the students to realize what the saints before us went through to preserve the conviction of Christ.

The topics he covered were The Good Confession, The Divine Library, The Christian Empire, the Council of Nicaea and the Trinity, the Rise of Monasticism, The Middle Ages, Martin Luther and The Protestant Reformation, The Bible in the Reformation, The Anabaptists and The Radical Reformation and finally the Churches of Christ.

As the class progressed the students learned about the journey of Christianity over the years, the intense challenges the believers went through under different leaders and during different times, and came to the realization that this journey is still far from over.

We need to continuously be learning and allowing God to shape and change what needs changing. As Christians we are urged to draw closer to God and not let disputable matters get in the way of our walk with God and our journey to heaven.


At the end of the two days the students had a greater appreciation of the history of the church and its value for leadership, theology and ministry. Everyone had a better working knowledge of the major events and people in church history. The classes provided insight into the importance of knowing more about the history of the church and how we have come to where we are today.

The students are getting an opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of the historical material and to grow in the depth of their own understanding of church history and approach to ministry through the final project that they will submit in March.

As Jeremy wound up the class he stated, “I love the Spirit of the students and they have shown lots of interest in the material and made our learning to be great.

Evangelist John Maleya pointed out that church history is a very important topic as it helps us to see what the church has gone through since the resurrection of Christ and subsequent ascension to heaven.


Deacon Oscar Ondatto points out that he has been able to understand the history of the church and how Christianity has spread over the years.

Evangelist Samson Monda felt that the early Christians laboured for their faith and he is humbled because something better came out of their struggles to firmly remain in Christ.

Harold Mucunguzi from Kampala Church of Christ points out that he has learned to be humble and love God with all his heart, soul and strength and not to teach from a position of judgment.

Moses Okalebo said he has no excuse not to profess his faith in Jesus because people have suffered for the name! “The church has come from far and people have always brought glory to Christ so I stand challenged.”

Christine Munene points out that MTA has enabled her to have a more meaningful interaction with scriptures and with God. God is gracious and patient with mankind, allowing us to figure things out until we find the truth in Him.


Christine Achieng learnt that she needs to take her Bible seriously because people paid with their blood to have it translated. She now wants to work out her salvation with fear and trembling sticking to God’s words as her guide. Patrick Kulubi points out that Church History has opened his eyes to help people see who God is.

With 115 students drawn from the International Churches of Christ movement in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Sweden, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Somalia, Burundi and the United States of America (USA), the 2 days of MTA turned out to be an exciting, refreshing and timely experience in learning about Church History.

The writer can be reached at

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CategoryKenya, Nairobi
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