You don’t go for a sermon at the Jerusalem Church of Christ in Kawangware ‘after hours.’ The church, led by self-proclaimed prophetess Mary Sinaida Akatsa does not tolerate late comers.
They are locked out. Like the 20 youthful, middle-aged and the old faithful accompanied by several children The Nairobian found seated on the sides of dusty Gatina Road in Kawangware 56 at 5pm.
At Jerusalem Church, service begins at 10am. Anyone who arrives from 10.05am is locked out until the service ends at around 8pm. “I arrived here at 10.30, just 30 minutes late and have to remain out till end of the service,” said a worshiper.
A number of local faithful travel every evening from Mombasa to attend her church service. Some cannot change churches despite the rules. One latecomer explained that, “This is the best church l have ever come across and where most of us belong.”
A tall perimeter wall surrounds the church where worshipers; women, men and children were clapping and singing at the top of their voices, accompanied by guitars and the beat of drums.