Condolence to the Family of The Very Rev Gatu
May 16, 2017
The Very Reverend Dr. John Gachango Gatu
To the Family and Friends
RE: MESSAGE OF CONDOLENCE FOLLOWING THE PROMOTION TO GLORY OF THE VERY REV. JOHN G. GATU
We send you Christian greetings from the National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK).
On my own behalf and that of the entire NCCK fraternity, I wish to join you as I bring our heartfelt condolences and special tribute following the promotion to glory of our dear brother in Christ the Very Rev. Dr. John G. Gatu.
The Council was saddened by the tragic loss of this father figure, who has been a great pillar and inspiration for many, given his immense contribution in all spheres of the Kenyan society. NCCK shares the Very Rev. Dr. Gatu’s rich history and takes pride in his achievements as aptly captured in his very own autobiography, “Fan into Flame” and other documented literature. Indeed we at the Council acknowledge the fact that Dr. Gatu’s tenure as the Chairman of the NCCK in 1960’s and member of the Executive Committee for many years, is one of the most decorated chapters in the NCCK history.
We do not take for granted that it was through the ingenuity and sheer determination of Dr. Gatu and others, that the African Church leaders asserted their authority in the socio-political affairs of the country in readiness for a new political dispensation at the dawn of independence in 1963.
Those who have keenly followed the history of the church in Kenya, vividly remember the pivotal meetings that were held at the Limuru Conference and Training Center, now renamed, Jumuia Conference and Country Home.
Being a former military man, Dr. Gatu was a disciplined, assertive and yet very humane and fatherly as with others, they zealously guarded the space of the clergy in Kenya specially during the turbulent times of clamour for a new constitutionalism in late 1980’s and early 90s.
It is this engagement that continues to inspire us to date, and shall forever be used as a point of reference, providing vital lessons for the future generations of church leaders. In this regard, I wish to observe that the Council remains indebted to the Gatu family for the years he spent working with us and laying a firm foundation for NCCK.
As we join you in paying homage to our beloved father, we are well aware of his personal sacrifices for the Council, the church and indeed the nation as evidenced by his achievements in the positions he served. I urge all of us to emulate the life and times of Dr. Gatu and endeavor to fulfill his aspirations in building a strong character of Christians in the church through the revival brethren fellowship while at the same time confronting the problems that face the family, the church and the nation today.
We pray that God will give the family the strength and comfort needed at this difficult time as well as the gratitude to God for the many years he lived and served.
May God bless you all.
Rev. Canon Peter Karanja