Analysis of Missionary activities in Kenya from the 19th century

Analysis of Missionary activities in Kenya from the 19th century

Missionary activities in Kenya from the 19th century

  • Various missionary societies merged to form the alliance of Missionary societies in British east Africa.




  • Missionary work in Kenya started in 1844 with the arrival of Johann Ludwig Krapf from Germany. Krapf was sent by the Church Missionary Society of England. He began his work among the coastal people before advancing into the interior.
  • Together with Johannes Rebmann, Krapf started and established a mission base at Rabai near Mombasa in 1846. In 1849, they were accompanied by Jacob Erhardt. They unsuccessfully tried to preach to the Akamba and Taita. Krapf encouraged other Christian societies to help in spreading Christianity.
  • In 1862, Thomas Wakefield and members of the United Methodist Church from Britain arrived and opened mission stations at Ribe, Jomvu and in Lamu. The CMS opened stations at Sagalla in Taita and at Taveta.




  • Initially, it was dangerous to start mission stations far inland. E.G. Krapf tried but did not manage to start a mission station at Kitui due to Akamba anger when Chief Kivoi was killed while traveling with him. However, in late 19th and early 20th century, the interior became more peaceful and safer for missionaries to move about spreading Christianity.
  • In 1891, the Church of Scotland Mission began work at Kibwezi in what is now Makueni, but they later moved to Kikuyu in Central Province after several missionaries died at Kibwezi. Members of the Africa Inland Mission from the United States of America opened their first station at Nzaui in the then Machakos district. They later extended to Kijabe, Nandi, Kabarnet and Nyakach.
  • In 1899, some French Catholic missionaries opened Saint Austin‟s Mission station near Nairobi.




  • In 1902-1903, the Church Missionary Society from England and the Consolata opened Mission stations in Nyeri. They worked in Meru and Central Kenya.
  • By 1914, the Church Of God mission, The Seventh Day Adventists, the Friends Mission and other Christian societies had reached western Kenya.

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