Classic DACB Collection

All articles created or submitted in the first twenty years of the project, from 1995 to 2015.

Kivuli, David Zakayo (A)

African Israel Church Nineveh

Educated in a mission school in western Kenya, he then worked as a migrant labourer. In 1925 he returned to school and was baptized by the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada Mission, in which he served as a preacher and schools supervisor for over twelve years. In 1932 he started speaking in ‘tongues’ and became a popular faith-healer. His personal following grew until he clashed with his mission leaders over his personal role in the church. Finally, in 1942, he broke from the mission and founded the African Israel Church Nineveh. His church grew rapidly among the Luo and Luyia of western Kenya and spread into neighboring Tanzania and Uganda. By 1970 he led perhaps 100,000 followers; his church had one hundred branches and was accepted as a probationary member of the National Christian Council of Kenya. He died in 1974; in 1975 the Africa Israel Church Nineveh became an associate member church of the World Council of Churches.

Mark R. Lipschutz and R. Kent Rasmussen.


Barrett, David B. Schism and renewal in Africa. Nairobi: Oxford University Press, 1968.

——–. “Who’s Who of African Independent Church Leaders.” Risk (Geneva, W.C.C.) 7(3) (1971): 23-34.

Welbourn, F.B. and B.A. Ogot. A place to feel at home: a study of two independent churches in western Kenya. London: Oxford University Press, 1966.

This article is reproduced, with permission, from Dictionary of African Historical Biography, 2nd edition, copyright © 1986, by Mark R. Lipschutz and R. Kent Rasmussen, University of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California. All rights reserved.