12 March 2024

Young people dance at the centenary celebration

In a jubilant spectacle of faith and dedication, General Lyndon Buckingham and Commissioner Bronwyn Buckingham, international leaders of The Salvation Army, embarked on a historic journey to Kenya to commemorate a century of Salvation Army service in the country.

Touching down at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on 20 February 2024, their arrival ignited a wave of excitement and anticipation across the nation.

Their visit wasn’t merely ceremonial; it was a testament to the enduring partnership between The Salvation Army and Kenya. From the bustling streets of Nairobi to the serene landscapes of the western region, the international leaders immersed themselves in a whirlwind of worship, prayer and fellowship – all resonating with the palpable spirit of God.

Moments of reflection and gratitude

In the Kenya West Territory, where echoes of hymns mingled with the rustle of leaves, General Buckingham and Commissioner Bronwyn Buckingham (World President of Women’s Ministries) witnessed first-hand the transformative impact of The Salvation Army’s century-long presence. Their journey was punctuated by moments of reflection and gratitude, as they communed with believers and expressed profound appreciation for God’s grace.

Returning to Nairobi on 26 February, the international leaders continued the centenary celebrations in Kenya East territory. Their itinerary included visits to special needs schools in Thika town, officers’ councils and rallies and celebration meetings at Ulinzi Sports Complex.

The World President of Women's Ministries addresses the crowd
The World President of Women's Ministries addresses a rally

A highlight of their visit was the Centennial Women’s Ministries Rally on 2 March. Led by Colonel Anne Kiama (Territorial President of Women’s Ministries), the rally was a vibrant tapestry of music, prayer and empowerment. Distinguished guests, including the First Lady of the Republic of Kenya, Rachel Ruto, joined hands with Salvation Army women from across Kenya to celebrate a legacy of service and sisterhood.

Simultaneously, the men’s rally echoed with fervent prayers and impassioned calls to action by Territorial Commander Colonel Daniel Kiama. Dressed in vibrant blue shirts emblazoned with the message ‘God Bless Kenya’, men from diverse backgrounds converged to reaffirm their commitment to faith and service.

Hope and renewal

Thousands gathered for the holiness meeting, march-past and celebration on 3 March, the pinnacle of the centenary celebrations. Amidst a sea of white Salvation Army uniforms, General Lyndon Buckingham enrolled close to 250 new soldiers and then delivered a stirring message of hope and renewal, inspiring believers to carry forth the torch of salvation with unwavering dedication.

The international leaders salute Kenyan Salvationists
The international leaders salute Kenyan Salvationists

The presence of esteemed guests, including Kenyan President Dr William Ruto and Nairobi Governor Johnson Sakaja, underscored the significance of the occasion. President Ruto’s heartfelt address resonated with themes of unity, compassion and service, reaffirming the government’s commitment to supporting organisations like The Salvation Army in its mission to uplift the nation.

As the echoes of jubilation faded and the sun dipped below the horizon, the legacy of The Salvation Army’s centenary celebrations lingered in the hearts and minds of all who bore witness. For a century, through trials and triumphs, The Salvation Army has remained a beacon of hope, illuminating the path to a brighter, more compassionate world.

Baraka Mutisya
Assistant Editor, War Cry, Kenya East Territory

Tags: Africa, The General, News