News Story

Mormon Meetinghouse To Be Built On Hill Facing Mount Elgon

"Love will flourish in this area because of this good work," remarked John Musakali, Ndivisi County Representative

Latter-day Saints have often been counseled to ‘pitch their tents facing the mountain’. This is in relation to the Old Testament custom whereby mountains were revered as holy places. On 4th October 2013, the membership of the Church in Misikhu in western Kenya had a glimpse of this custom as they were joined by community members and leaders to break ground for the construction on a Mormon meetinghouse (also referred to as a chapel) in the area.

This meetinghouse will be constructed on a property on the Webuye-Kitale highway. The property provides a good viewpoint of Mount Elgon which is located on the Kenya-Uganda border. Mt Elgon is the 17th highest mountain of Africa and the third in Kenya. This property was selected by the late Ephraim Wanyama who was a pioneer member in the area. The Church had been looking for a property to construct the meetinghouse for several years and President Dominic Kogo, who is the senior ecclesiastical leader in the wider Eldoret and Kitale area had gone to look at several proposed properties. However on being directed to this property by Brother Wanyama, he recounted during the ground breaking ceremony that he stated, “This is it!”

About 90 members of the Church and those from the community attended the ground breaking ceremony. The Area County Representative, John Musakali, and the Personal Assistant, Lincoln Baraza, to the area Member of Parliament, Hon. Alfred Sambu, were the highest local leaders who attended this function. They joined President Kogo and several Branch Presidents from the Eldoret and Kitale area in the ground breaking. There was also a delegation of ten teachers from Bungoma who attended.

The Area County Representative expressed his gratitude for the honor of participating in the ground breaking and stated that, “love will flourish in this area because of this good work.”

President Dominic Kogo, Eldoret District President (a District is similar to a Catholic Diocese) also stated, “Members of the Church have sacrificed through tithing to bring about this good work. Mt. Elgon will smile at the new Chapel that will be built. This Chapel will help strengthen families in Misikhu”.

More Church meetinghouses will continue to be built in the area as the Church continues to grow and bless lives. There are now two such meetinghouses in Eldoret town. However the whole area has nine branches (congregations) with the others meeting in rented facilities.

Meetinghouses for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are different from those used by many other religions.  They include a chapel, classrooms, offices, a font for baptisms, a kitchen, and in many cases a cultural hall with an indoor basketball court. The chapel is a large room that seats 200 to 300 people and is used for Sunday worship services.  But the word “chapel” is also sometimes used by Mormons to describe the whole building or meetinghouse. Cultural halls in Mormon buildings usually also have a stage, for dramatic and musical productions. And the basketball court doubles for a dance floor or dining area, among other uses.

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