ACK St. James Buruburu Parish has been in existence for the last 36 years. It had a humble beginning in 1983 with only 20 families as worshippers in the church. At the time, services were conducted in a makeshift mabati structure put up by the members. Currently, the congregation is one of the biggest in the wider Nairobi Eastlands and services are conducted in a colossal beautiful sanctuary. The church has continued to grow in structure, stature, programs, and congregation size, with great impact on the membership and surrounding community The impact can be seen in the quality of services and programs run by the church and the transformation in the lives of the people it serves.
ACK ST. JAMES CHURCH BURUBURU SINCE INCEPTION
The parish began as a constituent church of A.C.K. St. Phillips Jericho Parish. The decision to establish the church in Buruburu was influenced by the pressure of membership growth and congestion at St. Philips, following the rapid expansion of Buruburu Estate in the early 1980s and the emergence of other expansive residences in the Eastlands area including Kariobang South Umoja and Donholm estates. Migration to these areas by the Christian faithful offered an opportunity for ministry. Thus, Buruburu, being the fastest-growing estate at the time, was identified as a strategic location for planting the church.
The plot where the church is currently established was blessed and dedicated in February 1983 by the late Most Rev. Dr. Manasseh Kuria, who at the time, was the Archbishop of Kenya and also the Bishop of Nairobi Diocese. Through collective and innovative strategies, the congregation embarked on fundraising activities to construct a temporary mabati structure where they worshipped as they planned to put up a permanent church building. From then, the church has continued to grow in many dimensions, becoming a vibrant ministry impacting several lives with the Gospel of Christ. As part of the growth, the parish has supported the establishment of other churches in the surrounding estates. Among these are A.C.K. St. Luke’s Umoja, A.C.K. Kariobangi South, ACK Tena, and A.C.K. St. John the Baptist Mukuru Kwa Njenga.
COMMUNITY SERVED BY THE CHURCH
Although the church mainly serves residents of Buruburu and the surrounding estates, it attracts worshippers from other parts of Nairobi and the neighbouring Kiambu, Kajiado, and Machakos counties. In the immediate surroundings of the church, are social amenities such as primary and secondary schools, tertiary institutions, health facilities, community playgrounds and other recreational facilities, open-air markets, modern shopping centers, financial institutions, and several other formal and informal businesses. The church was inaugurated on 6th February 1983 and the first Parish Council was constituted.
ACK St. James Church Buruburu is celebrating 30 years since it became a parish in the Diocese of Nairobi. The church started from humble beginnings of a mabati (iron sheet) church, as a daughter church of ACK St. Phillips Jencho The founder members of the church were 20 families who opted to start a congregation at Buruburu to ease the pressure of crowding at St. Phillips Jericho. The plot was allocated by the City Council of Nairobi following an advertisement in the newspaper for a church plot in Buruburu Estate. The late Right Reverend Dr. Manasses Kuria, the Archbishop and the Bishop of Nairobi then, blessed and dedicated the ground on 8 February 1981.
Through collective and innovative strategies, the Anglican Congregation embarked on fundraising to construct a temporary mahati church where they worshipped as they planned to put up a permanent church. The first service in the temporary church was conducted in October 1982 by Reverend Jeremiah Taama. He was assisted by Reverend Elishaphan Wanderi who was a curate and later became the first Vicar when the mabati church was promoted to a parish on 1 January 1983.
During the first Parish Council Committee meeting held on 20 March 1983, a building committee was constituted to start planning on the modalities of building a permanent church. They were guided by God’s word in Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Fundraising to build the new church commenced immediately. The church used multiple strategies to raise the funds and solicit financial support from well-wishers. These strategies included selling tea and porridge, cooking food for sale, Soko Sundays, holding harambees, and sale of various items and designed booklets The congregation was so committed to the course that they used the members’ premises to cook the meals. Many of the women who were employed obtained off on Thursday afternoons to prepare the porridge that would be sold on Sundays. It is noteworthy that the congregation was the targeted source for the funds and also the customers for merchandise that was being sold. This was a clear demonstration of their desire and commitment to have a permanent church.