Citam to restart process of installing new bishop

The next two months could be busy as final plans are put in place to install bishop-elect, Calisto Odede

Christ is the Answer Ministries (Citam) is set restart the process of installing of Rev Calisto Odede (pictured) as its presiding bishop next month, an inside source has said.

Odede, 57, has been the bishop-designate since February 28 when he was selected by the seven-member Council of Elders to succeed Bishop David Oginde. He was supposed to have been consecrated and installed on June 6 but that did not happen because the church’s Annual Delegates Conference (ADC), slated for April 25 to ratify his selection, was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic disruptions.

The source, who is not authorised to address the media about Citam’s official matters, told the SHEPHERD that August and September may be busy months for the church as it seeks to finalise the leadership transition process.

“There were supposed to be three regional meetings before the ADC. Only one was held; the others were postponed. One meeting could now take place in early August and another one after two weeks. If all goes well, the ADC will then meet by the end of August or early September,” said the source, who is a pastor of one of the Citam churches in Nairobi. All the meetings will be held via Zoom.

The source added that thereafter, a date would be set for the handover ceremony, which could be conducted virtually or physically.

“I don’t see the ADC failing to ratify Rev Odede’s selection. And unless the top church leaders announce a change of plans, the whole process should end in less than two months or at most three.”

Contacted for comment, Citam Corporate Affairs and Communications Manager Rogers Wambua said he was not sure when the installation ceremony would take place because the Registrar of Societies must give the go-ahead first.

“Once we get that approval, which we expect soon, and fulfil all the requirements, dates for the meetings that will culminate in the installation will be set. For now, I don’t have any substantial information,” he told the SHEPHERD on phone.

As the church prepares to restart the process, Odede says he is just waiting for communication from Citam on the way forward.

“The Nairobi Baptist side is already sorted out. We held an online AGM two weeks ago where a decision was reached that I should continue serving in my capacity as their senior pastor until September 30, after which they will let me go,” he told the SHEPHERD.

Once installed, Odede will be the chief executive officer of the giant Pentecostal ministry and preside over all church affairs, including chairing the ADC, the Deacon Board, the Council of Elders and the Fellowship of Elders. He will also be the church spokesman and representative at national and international forums.