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KENYA: New Worship Facility Doubles as Community Outreach Space

Completed Project

Project Overview

Growing population will benefit from a new church building and earn rental income

Timeline: 1 year

 Anticipated Lives Impacted: 1,750

Total Amount Requested: $476,330

In their own words:

“St. Elizabeth Church Munami has been a pillar for ministry and evangelism of our area since 1948. I am in ministry today because of this church. [I became] a Christian at a young age. As we develop [the] new sanctuary, children and future generations will continue to grow in their knowledge of God by the ministries provided by this church.” — evangelist William Muruka, Munami, Kenya


St. Elizabeth Anglican Church of Kenya, part of Mumias Diocese in Kakamega County, is located in Western Kenya. Despite Kakamega County’s natural resources, more than 60 percent of the people
live in poverty, which is 8 percent higher than the national average of 52 percent. People living there face high unemployment, few commercial enterprises, low agricultural productivity, high rates of child labor and school dropouts, strong population growth and a high youth-to-adult ratio.


St. Elizabeth’s Anglican Church has long played a central role in mobilizing and uniting the rural community of Munami Parish through its worship services, Bible studies, classes for women and events for children. The current church building is 50 years old, with cracks in the walls. Those who worship there fear that the structure might collapse. To continue its programs and help the community rediscover its life in God, the parish needs to rebuild its worship and community facilities.


Through this project, St. Elizabeth Church will be rebuilt and equipped so it can once again provide vital programs that benefit the community, particularly women and children. With an ever-growing membership, opportunity for church growth is high. This construction project will offer St. Elizabeth Church the opportunity to house its members and serve its community with a reliable, decent and safe worship site. The parish will also rent the multipurpose hall for meetings and events, which will generate a source of income to maintain the multipurpose hall, provide clergy training and offer parish outreach programs.

Life Impact

This project benefits at least 1,750 people, some through multiple impacts:

  • 1,500 people will grow in their faith by attending weekly services at the new church, with expected growth
  • 250 people will be empowered by participating in church outreach events, such as agriculture training each year

Project Design

This project includes the construction of a new worship facility for St. Elizabeth Church that will also serve as a multipurpose conference center. Income generated by the conference center and worship site will help pay the facility’s operational expenses and meet the ministerial needs of the parish. The church will hire an architect to design the building, which will be approved by the church development committee and county government engineers. An itemized list of materials, parts and labor costs will be produced, enabling the church and contractor to estimate overall costs. A qualified engineer will oversee the construction.

To control costs, the church will adopt a “force account” method of construction, in which small, local vendors bid to supply materials at specifications set by the supervising engineer. The church will contract with various skilled artisans for specific tasks. Community members will be asked to contribute to the construction process by providing additional construction materials and free labor during all stages of construction. Local government inspectors will help ensure the construction complies with building codes.

This multipurpose space will hold at least 750 people for worship services. Construction is expected to take 12 to 15 months, at which point ministry programs can move forward. The new center will be rented out for meetings, seminars and weddings. Rental income is conservatively estimated at $650 a month ($7,800 annually). Income will be used to maintain the multipurpose hall, provide clergy training and offer parish outreach programs.

Measuring impact: A development committee, comprised of the vicar and eight parishioners, will oversee the construction project and file quarterly progress and cost reports. The committee will meet monthly to evaluate construction progress and, after completion, to evaluate how effectively the center is being used.

Track Record

St. Elizabeth Church was established in 1948 by the Church Missionary Society. The first church building was made of grass and mud. In 1964, following a period of church growth, a second church was constructed. Currently, 1,500 people attend services at the church.

Project Budget

Walls, plastering and painting 1$20,528 (Funding also provided locally: $1,500)

Labor, supervision 2$11,283 (Funding also provided locally: $2,700)

Roofing, windows and doors: $10,426

Land, site preparation, foundation: $8,587 (Funding also provided locally: $5,600)

Office furniture and pews: $8,200

Research and evaluation: $8,178

Flooring, ceiling, electrical system: $4,648

Administration: $2,400

Water tank installation and fittings: $2,080

Total: $76,330 (Additional funding provided locally: $9,800 3)

1 covers the cost of construction-related items includes purchase and transportation of building materials (including cement, sand, ballast, hardcore, timber, nails, etc.)
2 covers the salaries of skilled laborers, project coordinator, project accountant and procurement officer
3 funds raised locally

Risk Analysis

Low: 1, Low/Medium: 2, Medium: 3, Medium/High: 4, High: 5

Concept: Risk Level 1

Construction of the multipurpose hall is essential for continued church growth and empowering affiliated parishes to advance their missions. This project is part of the Anglican Diocese of Mumias’ long-term plan to encourage churches to develop income-generating initiatives that help fund their mission and outreach efforts. This project is timely and relevant as it responds to the financial needs and challenges facing many churches today.

Program Design and Experience: Risk Level 1

St. Elizabeth Church has a detailed list of project materials and costs, and the expected time of construction. Local involvement is strong, with the new building designed by a local architect and local vendors invited to bid to supply materials for the project. The supervising engineer has successfully overseen the construction of similar projects. Also, this project has been endorsed by the diocesan bishop and synod.

Leadership: Risk Level 1

The leadership of St. Elizabeth Church has the skills and experience necessary to manage this project. It is committed to nurturing and integrating local community into this program to help ensure community ownership and long-term sustainability of the church’s ministry and evangelism programs.

Financial Control: Risk Level 2

The Anglican Diocese of Mumias has stable management, secure financial transfer methods and externally audited financial statements. It lacks independent governance. St. Elizabeth Church maintains a separate bank account for the construction project with three account signatories: the development committee chairman, the secretary and the treasurer.

Sustainability: Risk Level 1

While the project has strong diocesan and community support, it lacks adequate financial resources. External funding is necessary for the construction to be completed. However, once the facility is completed, rental income from the multipurpose hall will be used to maintain the multipurpose hall, provide clergy training and offer parish outreach programs.. The church has developed a strong track record of initiating development projects like the recent water project that benefits thousands of people.

External: Risk Level 2

The area is peaceful, but dependent upon cash crops and little in the way of subsistence farming. The local economy is depressed and often severely affected by changes in farming and rain patterns.

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