Odede takes over as Citam’s new bishop

His consecration on December 5 was graced by President Uhuru Kenyatta, governors, Members of Parliament, church leaders and members

Rev Calisto Odede has taken over as the presiding bishop of Christ is the Answer Ministries (Citam), ending a six-month wait occasioned by coronavirus disruptions.

Odede, 57, was consecrated and installed on December 5 at Citam Karen, in a three-and-a-half hour ceremony graced by President Uhuru Kenyatta, governors, Members of Parliament, church leaders and members.

He becomes the third bishop to head the giant Pentecostal ministry since the church, started 61 years ago and which was formerly known as Nairobi Pentecostal Church, changed from missionary leadership to Kenyan leadership in 1999. The first was Bishop Bonifes Adoyo, who was followed by Odede’s predecessor, David Oginde.

In his maiden speech, Odede acknowledged the huge task ahead of him during these uncertain times, saying like the biblical Paul, he might be weak, fearful and trembling (1 Corinthians 2:3), but he will move on unmoved by relying on God’s wisdom and power.

“I’m not bringing God into Citam because He has been here all along. I am just joining Him in His vineyard to serve in this great ministry,” he said.

Bishop Oginde handed over to him the church’s constitution and bylaws, list of all Citam churches and their pastors, record of all employees and what the top leadership says about them, financial records, development projects and future plans, a pen, a Bible and a torch.

Odede served as the senior pastor of Nairobi Baptist Church for six years following a mutual agreement between the two ministries. Before his stint at Baptist, he was the senior pastor of Citam Valley Road in Nairobi.

His installation had earlier been scheduled for June 6 but it was postponed due to Covid-19, which led to a government ban on large gatherings.