News Story

Focus on Mbukoni - The Church Flourishes in Chyulu 

The fourth Church building in Chyulu, where Mbukoni congregations meet, held an open house to celebrate its readiness for Sunday services and other meetings. Chyulu is a rural area which straddles the Nairobi-Mombasa highway approximately halfway between Nairobi and Mombasa. However, these are not new congregations. The Mbukoni members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints can trace their Church origin back to 1979.  In that year Gideon Kasue was working at Hunters Lodge where he met American Church member, Dennis Child.  The Child family befriended the Kasue family and shared the Church teachings with them.  In 1980, Julius Kasue, son of Gideon, who was introduced to the gospel in the Child home returned to his home in the Chyulu area where he organized Sunday School groups and taught from Church literature that had been given to him. 

Julius Kasue and several family members waited patiently for five years for the Kenyan government to officially recognize the Church, and then they were able to be baptized.  The baptism happened in February, 1986, at the Tsavo East Game Park Lodge swimming pool.  Soon thereafter a small congregation was organized and meetings were held in Gideon Kasue’s home.  In 1986 Gideon’s other two sons, Nickson and Benson, were called to serve full time missions. They were the first full time missionaries from Kenya.  Benson went to the California Los Angles Mission and Nickson served in the Washington D.C. North Mission. 

From those humble beginnings, growth in the Chyulu District has been strong.  The Kasue family felt the winds of truth as they were introduced to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and became pioneers for the Church in the Chyulu area as well as in Kenya.  The District now has more than 2100 members in ten congregations.  471 reside in the two Mbukoni congregations. 

Shortly after the first congregation was organized in Chyulu, a severe drought struck the area.  The drought lasted two years.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints became aware of the situation which included and affected many people.  Food and water were shipped to the Chyulu area.  These supplies not only prevented many deaths but helped whole families to become more self reliant.  Since that time the Church has participated in the drilling of hundreds of bore holes, assisting in the digging of more than 500 wells and building more than twenty new cisterns.  Today as you drive around Chyulu you will find four beautiful garden spots that stand as testimonies of the Church’s growth.  These garden spots are the church properties in Chyulu. 

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.