Just like Jonah, Edwin Ogola attempted to ignore God’s call, but Mungu ni nani.
In 2002, Edwin Ogola was appointed a church teacher at one of the congregations of the Church of Christ in Africa (CCA).
He served for barely one month, and quit, claiming he was too young for the responsibility.
One year later, he was appointed an Evangelist to work with a local pastor in another congregation.
Here too, he worked for one month and quit, still arguing that he was not well prepared for the ministry task.
But on Sunday, January 16, 2022 , Ogola accepted the calling to the consecration as one of the bishops of the church, likening his story to that of the Bible’s Jonah who tried to resist God’s calling to deliver his message, but all in vain.
“I got salvation at an early age, and the responsibilities begun knocking. I am glad that I am now ready for the task,” Ogola told Lake Region Bulletin during an exclusive interview.
The Church of Christ in Africa members opted out of the main stream Anglican Church in the late 1950s following ideological differences with regards to the understanding and practical application of God’s Agape Love. They were nicknamed “Johera” (the people of love), because they loved all people without discrimination.
Ogola, the last born in a family of 10 was born on July 7, 1973 in a strict Christian family.
He was born in Nairobi, but the family relocated back to their rural home in Siaya, where he was raised, and schooled.
“Ours was a strict Christian family, and I remember, by the time I was in Standard Six, I became a Sunday School teacher, teaching the children the Lord’s Prayer and Apostles Creed, songs and memory verses, and people nicknamed me Pastor,” he said.
On February 22, 1989, while he was in high school, Ogola was born again, and became a strong member of the Sawagongo High school’s Christian Union (CU).
Working in the Children Ministry
And after high school, Ogola who had developed interest in working with children in church joined the children ministry.
“I even went on to become the Chair of Youth department in the entire CCA Siaya Diocese,” he said, adding that he would help his parents with household chores and income generation through menial jobs.
It was during this period that Ogola got a job as a salesperson for an international insurance company for three years.
But it seems God was not done with him yet. He quit the job and landed a Child Evangelism Fellowship.
“This was an opportunity which was floated to the church, and the church leadership recommended me for the course titled ‘Teaching Children Effectively (TCE) Level One’ which I gladly accepted,” he said.
He went for a diploma course offered at CEF, a Bible Centered Worldwide Organization, which the church thought had prepared him for the missionary work.
And in 2002, he was appointed a church teacher at his local church in Siaya, which he quit after one month.
In 2003, he was appointed Evangelist, a job which involved supporting the pastor, and he again quit after one month, claiming he was not ripe for it.
Road to Bishop
It was until 2005 that he was recommended for Clergy Ordination course, and he accepted an appointment as a Lay Reader, which he served for four years.
He then went for another course, which saw him appointed a Deacon upon completion. Here too, he served for three years.
His path was becoming clear, and he enrolled for a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies and Counseling.
He was then appointed a priest, and then Arch Deacon (Assistant to a Bishop) which he had been serving until August 2021 when he was appointed Bishop – Designate.
“This is a noble chance for me, and when I look back at where it all started, I do not regret,” said the father of four.
Bishop Ogola’s mission is now to champion for children issues in the church, having grown in the church as a leader in the Children Ministry.
Until when he was being ordained as the Bishop, he was the Director of Children Ministry at the church with 14 dioceses and over 900 churches across Kenya and East Africa and also the General Secretary of CCA