Bishop Bernard Njoroge
I read a few days ago that my denomination’s senior bishop in Africa, The Most. Rev’d Bernard Njoroge is retiring. He will be stepping down as a member of the International Patriarch’s Council, as General Secretary of Kenya, and as the Bishop of Nairobi. The bishop shared that he would be entering into a deeper life of prayer and contemplation.
I first met Bishop Njoroge in late summer 1998. I was part of a mission trip that would take our team to both Kenya and Uganda for three weeks.
Father David Monroe of Marietta, Ga., and I flew to Kenya where we would meet up with the rest of the team. We were told that someone from the Kenyan church would meet us at the airport.
While we were expecting to meet a deacon, perhaps a priest, the man who met us was a man wearing the purple clerical shirt of the episcopacy — Bishop Njoroge.
After exchanging pleasantries at baggage claim, he bent down and grabbed our luggage. Horrified, Father Monroe and I both tried to lay hold of our bags.
The bishop refused to let go and said with a gracious smile, “When you are in my country, I am your servant.”
He took us to his home for a meal and then to the hotel. From that point on, Bishop Njoroge became my personal standard by which to measure bishops.
According to the news release on www.CEChome.com, Bishop Njoroge made a life-time commitment to Jesus Christ as his Lord on June 30, 1972.
After this, he began preaching in homes and in the market place. He was baptized and became a member of the Anglican Church in November of 1972 and was confirmed in 1973. He joined the Church Army (the Anglican version of the Salvation Army) and for two years studied and became an Evangelist in the Anglican Church.
In 1977, Bishop Njoroge enrolled in the Diploma/Certificate Course in Religious Studies at Cambridge University, U.K. The same year, he was married to Helen. They were blessed with two children named Joyce and Rachel. They now have one grandchild.
Njoroge was ordained a deacon in 1979 and a priest in 1980. After ordination he worked at the Muranga Cathedral. Shortly thereafter, he began his studies at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, graduating with a Bachelor of Theology Degree with Distinction. In 1985, he began attending Aberdeen University, Scotland and graduated with a Master of Theology Degree in 1988.
He returned to Kenya and served in various parishes. He was appointed Diocesan Coordinator for Development for the Anglican Diocese of Mt. Kenya. He served as the principal of the Bishop Kariuki Bible College for three years. He was a lecturer at St. Paul’s University for five years.
He was appointed by the Archbishop of Kenya to the Department of Justice and Peace and became its first executive director. This Department worked closely with the World Council of Churches in advocating for many of the reforms that are now enjoyed in Kenya.
Though elected Bishop of Kajiado, he did not serve. In 1996, Bishop Njoroge joined the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church (ICCEC) and was consecrated bishop in 1997. He is the senior bishop of the ICCEC in Africa. He served as Bishop of Nairobi and as the General Secretary and Assistant Patriarchal Legate to Africa.
Bishop Njoroge also studied at the University of London from 1995-1998 and obtained a Bachelor of Law degree. From 1998 to 1999, he did a post graduate diploma in law with the Kenya School of Law and in October of 1999 was admitted as Advocate of the High Court of Kenya.
Bishop Njoroge also sat on the Constitutional Review Process and was a part of writing the Constitution of Kenya. He is presently an attorney of the High Court of Kenya and former Commissioner of the Kenyan Constitutional Review.
Over the years, the more I learned about Bishop Njoroge, the more times I made his acquaintance, the more I respected and admired him.
I have always believed that a believer, a deacon, a priest, and a bishop should demonstrate the servant heart of Christ. If Jesus had met us at the airport in Nairobi that hot summer day, I have no doubt that he would have insisted on carrying our bags.
Jesus did show up that day — in the personage of Bishop Bernard Njoroge. May his retirement be fruitful, peaceful, and blessed.
[David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Sharpsburg, GA (www.ctkcec.org) . He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese which consists of Georgia and Tennessee (www.midsouthdiocese.org) and the Associate Endorser for the Department of the Armed Forces, U. S. Military Chaplains, ICCEC. He may contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.]