November 24th 2019, will go down in history as one of the most remarkable day in the Community of Kenyan Christian Community of Faith in Greater Atlanta. It became the inception of other future Great thanksgiving Event (GTE). It was the day that brought together many Kenyans living in Georgia, which is something that has never been witnessed before.
The fact that many Kenyans came together in large numbers for the purpose of THANKING GOD ONLY, made a significant memorable impact. This day was graced by 3 famous community bishops that included Rev. Bishop. Don Mwawasi of Believers Cerebration Center (BCC), Rev. Bishop Ibrahim Mwangi, of Faith Center Ministry International and Rev. Bishop Dr. GG Gitahi the Senior Pastor of Kenyan American Community Church (KACC). Absent with apology was Rev. Bishop Joe Wamutitu of Bethesda Empowerment International Center (BEIC) but was represented by his wife, Pastor Antoninah Wamutitu. Also in Attendance was a big group of Pastors and Ministers of the Gospels plus their spouses. All of these were accompanied by several of their church members. Over 400 people were in attendance excluding the children and youth. Also in attendance were people from other countries like Uganda, Rwanda, Congo, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Jamaica, Vietnam and our host country USA. The church was full to capacity.
Another group that graced the event was “Atlanta Gospel Artists“. It was a great honor to have them be in the event and participate in presentations.
Additionary, three famous Choirs in town attended including: Upendo SDA Choir; Elim Church Choir; & Tina K Base from Congo. Violin Concerto was played by Hope Maryann Ndirangu representing the youth.
The third Group in attendance were Business men and women, CEOs of nonprofit organizations/ministries, and leaders of different professions.
The event was well announced through social media including; Whatsapp groups, Twitter, Facebook, Word of mouth, and mails. KENYAN PARENTS IN USA (KPIUSA) https://kenyanparentsinusa.com, Ksnmedia, Mykenyanlik, played a vital role of publicizing the day. By 3:00 pm, the church parking lot was already full. People arrived on good time and had enough time fellowship with one another before the event began.
Presentations The event was full of songs of praise and worship led by, ICOC praise and worship team Jenifer & Benji, Lady Z. and Paul Sifa. The presentations of praise songs to God brought such sweet atmosphere, filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit. The violin instrument played by Hope MaryAnn brought the beauty of angelic melodies.
Ministers of the Gospel Introduction There was a moment of appreciating and introducing the servants of God to the public which was done by Apostle Zephaniah Muturi who is the co-coordinator of the Atlanta Pastors and Ministers fellowship, which meets every second Saturday of the month at River Stone Church, Kennesaw GA. Pastoral speech was given by Rev. Bishop Dr. G.G. Gitahi on behalf of all ministers.
Closing the Gap: Is a team of pastors wives that was recently began by Mrs. Antoninah Wamutitu which serves as a support system for pastors’ wives. They meet on monthly basis at their houses for fellowship and social welfare. All pastors’ wives are encouraged to join.
Business, Charitable organizations, and Groups introductions.
Leaders of these category business and Christian organizations presented what they do and they were appreciated. We thanked God for what they do. Sister Jemimah Wachira introduced this group and their respective entities. Those who were in attendance got an opportunity to at least introduce themselves and tell what they do to the community. Through social media, and banner printing, the advertisements were done for free by ICOC Church as a way of acknowledging and supporting groups these individuals represent as well as for the accomplishments they have in the community. However, we were not able to reach out to all individuals with different organizations. We hope that in future we will get their attention to make sure that each and every Kenyan in Georgia is aware of them.
Gospel Artists. They were introduced by Mrs. Jerioth Ndirangu. Atlanta has a good number of Gospel artists who came to thank God with us for their music. This was a time of acknowledging them and letting them know that the Kenyan community support them. We will continue do this future. Also a Kenyan visiting Gospel Artist Phyllis Mbuthia was in attendance, and they gave her an honor of singing her song in unison.
ICOC church leadership that planned the hosting of this event was introduced by the senior Pastor Rev. John Macere. During the speeches the church leadership was represented by Rev. Dr. William Theuri, Church Secretary, and the Church mother Ms. Lucy Gitundu.
Key Thanksgiving Activities: Intercessory prayer was led by Rev. Bishop Ibrahim Mwangi. Utterance of thanksgiving prayers was done by Bishop Don Mwawasi. The word of exaltation was shared by Rev. Dr. Joe Njoroge who spoke on “Ebenezer: Thus far the Lord has helped us”. Ushering of our thanksgiving offering was done by Rev. Gideon Robi, but in unison of faith the offering was received by three community bishops where the congregants in attendance had a blessed moment of shaking their hands as they gave the offering, and the words of blessings were pronounced upon them by the bishops. More so, the three bishops held the offertory baskets and waved the offering before the lord. This offering will be used to build an altar for God in His sanctuary at Grayson GA. The ministers in attendance promised to return sometimes next year to dedicate the altar once it is completed. Benediction was offered by Pastor Edward Karanja.
Food: There was plenty of delicious food that was prepared by ICOC hosting ministry. This type of event will always be marked by a time of sharing hearty Thanksgiving Meal
The Conception and Birth of the Event: The idea of this event was conceived and spearheaded by Pastor Macere. Heexpressed his desire to unite all Kenyans in expressing their thanks to God as a revival of the body of Christ. After some arrangements with his local Church to host the event, he then sought the goodwill and support of the Atlanta pastors and Ministers fellowship. Through the leadership of Rev. Dr. Joe Njoroge & Apostle Zephaniah Muturi, a 5-people- committee was formed to support him. We do Appreciate the rest of committee members including: Ev. Caroline Njoki, Rev. Wambui Njoroge, and Sister Jemimah Wachira of Royal Pal event Planners.
The purpose of Great Thanksgiving Event (GTE) and future prospect
The purpose of this event is to bring together the Christian Community of Faith to Worship God by thanking Him for who Heis, for our accomplishments, and for a year full of His blessings.This event will be occurring once a year in Georgia within the thanksgiving season as a Holy Convocation. The event will seek to bring all Kenyans in Diaspora together especially those in Greater Atlanta, to utter their thanks to God verbally through corporate prayers, songs of praise and worship, testimonies, hearing the word of God, and sharing a fellowship meal. It will seek to bring churches, and all the ministers of the Gospel together to focus on what makes us one. Moreover, GTE will seek support from leaders of different business entities.
By thanking God for all the things He has done, GTE will seek to identify, acknowledge, appreciate, support/promote individuals or corporate businesses, ministries, non-profit organizations, academic achievements, talents & gifts that glorifies God. While we realize that Kenyans in Atlanta have different groups for support system, GTE will become a place where such can meet under one roof irrespective of our different cultural background. GTE will be seeking to help all Kenyans be a brother to a brother, sister to sister celebrating our successes together as a family.
Without forgetting different challenges that we go through in Diaspora, there will also be a moment of intercessory prayer.
Many thanks to all people who did anything however small it may seem, to make this day possible. I want to express my sincere appreciation for your support and efforts to bring together our Christian community to celebrate thanksgiving as we build an Altar for the ICOC church. I appreciate your effort to personally come and grace this event. Your time, prayers, your thoughtful gifts and enthusiasm made this occasion special. Through your support and that of the Greater Atlanta community and all our guests; we were able to give sufficient funds to build God’s Altar in our church.
We are grateful to the many calls, texts and emails we have received as a testimonial of how this event was well appreciated and people requested we keep this banner going in the future for the community of faith truly needs this kind of an event.
Again, I thank you for your time and efforts to support me and our ICOC family. We will remain forever grateful.
To God be the glory. Great things He has done.
Yours in Christ Service
Pastor John Macere
PICTURES OF THE OCCASION
Dr. D.K. GITAU
PRESIDENT KENYAN PARENTS IN USA
BOARD MEMBER CODU
CHAIRMAN UNIFIED CHANGE PARTY(UCP)