Started by missionaries from Scotland in the late 1800’s, the PCEA church is today led by Africans with its headqaurter in Nairobi, Kenya. PCEA has about 4 million members, over 1,500 congregations, 500 parishes, 55 presbyteries in Kenya and _ in Tanzania. The church envision starting presbyteries and congreagtions beyong east Africa.
Origin and Growth of PCEA.
1889: Sir William Mackinnon and Mr. Alexander low Bruce, made private plans for a Scottish Mission among the Kamba and Maasai and later Kikuyu people.
1891: At the invitation of the late Sir William Mackinnon, Mr. A.L. Bruce and other directors of the Imperial British East Africa chartered Company, a band of Missionaries left London for British East Africa. These were Mr. Thomas Watson, Evangelist Mr. John Greig, Mr. John Linton and Mr. C.M.A Rahman. The party was later in the year joined by Dr. James Stewart of Lovedale, South Africa, who became the leader of the Mission. The missionaries arrived in Kibwezi and established a mission under the name of the "East African Scottish Mission".
1892: The first temporary Church at Kibwezi was opened by Dr. James Stewart, and also the first School with two pupils.
1893: Mission work was strengthened by the arrival of Mr. John Paterson who introduced basic agriculture and the first coffee seeds.
1894: Owing to the infestation of Kibwezi by Malaria and the subsequent loss of life of Missionaries, Mr. Thomas Watson visited Dagoretti to explore possibilities of transferring the mission station.
1898: The missionaries moved from Kibwezi to Dagoretti where they constituted themselves as the "Church of Scotland Mission" (CMS).
1908: Mission builds believers among the Kikuyu people through the work of its stations at Kikuyu and Tumutumu
1915: Mission builds believers among the Meru people in Chuka, and Mwimbi, and of Imenti through work at Chogoria
1920: By the authority of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland of 1918, a form of Church government was set up and inaugurated by Very Reverend J.N. Ogilvie, Elders ordained, Parish Sessions formed for the Congregations of Kikuyu, Tumutumu and St. Andrew's, Nairobi. The Presbytery of British East Africa instituted, to exercise jurisdiction over these Congregations. Ordination of the first native elders took place in Kikuyu.
1926: Ordination of the First African Pastors, the Rev. Musa Gitau, the Rev. Benjamin Githieya and the Rev. Joshua Matenjwa, at Kikuyu.
1936: The separation of the overseas Presbytery of Kenya to cater for the colonial and continental work was done by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
1946: Gospel missionary society (GMS) an American oriented Church based at Kambui in Kiambu, joined the overseas Presbytery of Kenya. Merger acted as a catalyst for Church growth.
1952: Authority given to the overseas Presbytery of Kenya by the general assembly of the Church of Scotland to begin conversation with the synod of Presbyterian Church of East Africa with a view to seeking a basis for uniting the Presbyterian work in East Africa in one Church.
1956: Synod of the Presbyterian Church of East Africa and the overseas Presbytery of Kenya, declared the Congregations over which they had several jurisdiction united as one Church. Constitution adopted. General Assembly of the PCEA, taking in the overseas Presbytery of Kenya and the Synod of the African Church was formed. The very Rev. Dr. David Steel, Moderator of the overseas Presbytery was instrumental to a great extent, in bringing this union about. The Rev. Dr. Calerwood was elected its first Moderator and Secretary General combining those offices with that of the Principal Clerk.
P.C.E.A became a member of world council of churches and world Alliance of Reformed churches.
1958: General Assembly, the Rev. Robert Macpherson was elected Moderator/Secretary General. The first African minister went to study in Scotland - Rev. John G. Gatu accompanied by his wife.
1959: Relationship with United Presbyterian Church in U.S.A was established.
1961: The Rev. Charles M. Kareri was elected moderator of General Assembly, he held the office for two terms i.e until 1967.
1964: Rev. John G. Gatu appointed first African Secretary General which he held the position until April 1979.
1967: Rev. Chrispus Kiongo was elected moderator of General Assembly and served for two terms i.e until 1973.
1973-1979: Rev. Jeremiah K. Gitau became moderator of General Assemly for two terms (7th - 8th GA)
1979-1985: Rev. Dr. John Gatu served as the Moderator of the General Assembly for two terms (9th - 10th GA).
1985-1991: Rev.Dr.George Wanjau served as the Moderator of the General Assembly for two terms (11th - 12th GA).
1991-1997: Rev.Bernard Muindi served as the Moderator of the General Assembly for two terms (13th - 14th GA).
1997_2003: Rev.Dr.Jesse M. Kamau served as the Moderator of the General Assembly for two terms (15th - 16th GA).
2003_2009: Rev. Dr. David Githii served as the Moderator of the General Assembly for two terms (17th - 18th GA).
2009_2016: Rt. Rev. David R. Gathanju served as the Moderator of the General Assembly for two terms (19th - 20th GA)
2016_to date: Rt. Rev. Julius Mwamba the current Moderator of the 21st & 22nd General Assembly Moderator. Currently the church is in the 22th General Assembly.