Bishop Stephen Angel couldn’t reconcile the gun with the word and opted to spread the gospel
Meet Kajiado’s youngest controversial Bishop: Stephen Angel, 47, a former serviceman with the National Youth Service, Anti Stock Theft Unit elite officer, and a senior chief.
After completing his form four schooling in 1989, Bishop Angel was inspired by the uniforms won by NYS servicemen and immediately applied to be enlisted.
He joined NYS in 1990 and later qualified with an artisan certificate, using his skills to serve in building the nation for two years before quitting.
Bishop Angel says he felt that he had done his part in building the nation at NYS and wanted to do something more engaging, like fighting crime.
That is what drove the youthful Angel into joining the Kenya Police Service in 1992 after training at Kiganjo Police Training College.
On graduation, Angel was posted to the dreaded ASTU and was posted to the former North Eastern Province.
“We could walk for weeks following stolen livestock in the rugged wilderness of the northern frontier district that is infested with all manner of bandits,” says Angel, who at his time of joining the police force had no idea that there was a special unit that deals with rustlers.
He went on: “At ASTU, we used to carry all manner of crude weapons for use on rustlers. I can remember one time when we arrested suspects of cattle rustling and had to work on them until they were ready to provide all the needed tips.”
While at the police service, Angel was not comfortable with his work and gave himself two years before quitting to seek greener pastures elsewhere.
“In 1994, I told myself it was time to quit. My heart revolted against what I was doing at the police department. It kept reminding me that some of the duties we were carrying out were ungodly. I quit on completing two years,” says Angel.
Bishop Angel landed a job at Neighbours Initiative Alliance in Kajiado. It is a non-governmental organisation which works with pastoral communities in Kenya.
He served at the NGO for five years before moving to the Kajiado Urban Council, where he served for two years, and from 2011 to 2017, he joined the provincial administration as a chief.
He says he wanted to serve his people in Namanga for two years and later resign to join the church, but his desire was not received well by his clan members.
“They told me that as a chief I was a leader and that cannot be equated to any other job. I attempted several times to resign as a chief but they blocked me. I became weary, and planned a forced exit without involving any of my family members,” says Bishop Angel.
But before he could resign, two years earlier in 2015, Angel and other chiefs from Kajiado Central had received communication from the Office of the President, through the County Commissioner, that owing to an impending by-election in the area, they were supposed to support and campaign for a government “project”.
The project here was Patrick Tutui, who had won a TNA ticket and was going to face Elijah Kanchory of the Orange Democratic Movement.
The area MP was the late General (Rtd) Joseph Nkaissery, who had resigned to join President Uhuru Kenyatta’s Cabinet. His exit occasioned a by-election.
At the time, before the TNA nominations, Kanchory was still in TNA but had been rigged out in favour of Tutui.
Kanchory immediately sought a nomination ticket to vie for the Kajiado Central parliamentary seat on an ODM ticket. He was granted the ticket.
His popularity on the ground had given President Kenyatta sleepless nights, hence forcing all the chiefs to campaign for Tutui, who had been rejected by the people.
President Kenyatta, towards the final days to the by-election, had planned to visit Kajiado Central to meet the people. That is the day Angel had been invited to Tanzania for a church function.
On coming back from Tanzania, Angel had many questions to answer from the County Commissioner
Inside Angel’s heart, he had no love left with the provincial administration. Although he had been invited to officiate over some church function in Tanzania, Angel had no business with the TNA candidate in the by-election.
He was a staunch supporter of ODM and had no obligation campaigning for what his heart had rejected.
Kanchory won the by-election, and two years later, Angel resigned from the provincial administration to form his Christian movement, Nativity Pentecostal Church (NPC), which has now grown beyond Kenya to Uganda, Tanzania, Congo, and Botswana.
In Kenya alone, Bishop Angel leads 68 churches. He has eight in Tanzania, six in Uganda, two in Congo, and one in Botswana.
One year after quitting the provincial administration, Angel was ordained Bishop by his spiritual father from Korea. The Korean missionary has a working relationship with NPC.
Today, Bishop Angel commands an empire of his own. He says he feels at home serving God away from guns and bullets.
“My heart was heavy while I served at the police force and later at the Office of the President. In the Church, we do not arrest criminals but mentor them to be good people,” says the retired chief.
Jokingly, he says: “People still address me as their chief, but I do not fault them because I know they respect me as a Church leader.”
Bishop Angel travels out of the country to overseas countries more than 5 times a year, a feat he could not have achieved as a chief.
He uses the money he raises abroad to sink boreholes for the various communities across the country.
Bishop Angel further says he has no regrets to make in life because whatever he chose to do in life could have been an idea from God.