Covenant Church of Kenya Leader Murdered

KITENGALA, KENYA (January 7, 2013) – Mathew Mchana Tumu, who served as the national treasurer of the Covenant Church of Kenya, was murdered Friday by thieves who stole two goats.

Tumu’s daughter had called him to let him know the thieves were taking the animals. He went searching for the thieves.

Villagers found his mutilated body in an open field near his home on Saturday. Tumu, 55, leaves behind six girls and two boys. Six of the children are school age.

In addition to serving as national treasurer, he was pastor of Hongwe Covenant Church Mpeketoni.

He was one of the founding members of the Covenant church in Kenya and had a long-standing Christian witness in his community, says Lisa Zepeda, a former Covenant missionary to Kenya.

“He was an extremely humble man and minister, content with his life and dearly loved,” she tells Covenant News Service in an email Monday. “He worked tirelessly to see the work of God move forward in his area and in the greater country of Kenya. He was dedicated to doing the best he could to help those in his circle of influence, and not once in the year we spent with him did I ever hear him complain about any sacrifice he made to see Jesus proclaimed. Many times the sacrifices were huge.

“His tragic death protecting his livelihood – his few livestock – will be felt very deeply in the community he served as well as in the greater context of the Covenant in Kenya. The greater Covenant has lost a true brother in Christ.”

Editor’s note: the accompanying photo is believed to be that of Pastor Mathew taken by David Husby during a 2007 visit.

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  1. May the Lord be with the family of covenant church of kenya and the family of mchana tumu.

  2. My heart goes out to this family for their loss! The violence in our world is tragic and leaves countless numbers of innocent people impacted for life. May God grant peace and miracles to come out of this horrific crime. Although I did not know Pastor Tumu it is my prayer that the Covenant Church of Kenya remains strong and encouraged.

  3. My wife Lynda and I (Ed Delgado) wish to send our condolences Mathew Mchana Tumu family. I did not know Mathew or the Tumu family but having lived in Kenya for four years and having read this story brings much sadness to our heart. The loss of even one animal is as if a life savings had been stolen from a bank. We also send our condolences to the Covenant Church of Kenya.

  4. Pastor Matthew was one of the founding members of the Covenant church in Kenya and had a long standing good Christian witness in his community. He was an extremely humble man and minister, content with his life and dearly loved. He worked tirelessly to see the work of God move forward in his area and in the greater country of Kenya. He was dedicated to doing the best he could to help those in his circle of influence and not once in the year we spent with him did I ever hear him complain about any sacrifice he made to see Jesus proclaimed. Many times the personal sacrifices were overwhelming.

    When he and his wife had their last child unexpectedly his only concern was to how he would be able to educate his children. He nearly lost his wife during the days after their last child was born and Pastor Matthew only wanted prayer for her, refusing to let us bring him a doctor so we could see the miracle that God would do for them. God did do that miracle and his wife recovered after many days of prayer.

    Pastor Matthew was humble servant of Christ, father, friend, farmer and community leader. His tragic death protecting his livelihood – his few livestock, will be felt very deeply in the community he served as well as in the greater context of the Covenant in Kenya. The Covenant family has lost a true brother in Christ.

  5. Pastor Matthew was a man of vibrant faith and one of the earliest members of the Evangelical Covenant Church in Kenya. I met him in 1998 when the the Covenant first came to Kenya as a result of a mission trip. He will be greatly missed! We who live in North America really do not understand life in places like Kenya where pastors serve faithfully with little or no compensation. God Bless the Evangelical Covenant Church of Kenya.

  6. This is heartbreaking news. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Tumu family, the Covenant Church of Kenya, and the Hongwe Covenant Church of Mpeketoni. May the light of Christ which shined so brightly in Pastor Tumu continue to shine through our sisters and brothers in Kenya. Peace be to the loving memory of Mathew Mchana Tumu.
    Rev. Douglas Fondell
    Immanuel International Church
    Stockholm, Sweden

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