Kamawe, Wanyoike wa
Kenyan church pioneer and educator.
Wanyoike was born at Kimathi in central Kenya. As a shepherd boy he came into contact with John E. Henderson, a Baptist missionary doctor at the Kambui mission of the Gospel Missionary Society (GMS), based in Connecticut. In 1906 he became one of the first Kikuyu Christian converts to be baptized. After schooling at the mission, he became a teacher and missionary to his people as well as a Kikuyu language teacher of missionaries in the Kambui area. After training under Henderson between 1926 and 1929, Wanyoike was ordained in June 1930 at Kambui Church by Henderson and by W. P. Knapp. In the late 1930s, GMS churches in Connecticut were unable to continue their support of the work in Kenya. Wanyoike then helped negotiate an agreement turning GMS work over to the Church of Scotland Mission, incorporating it into the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) in 1945. Wanyoike continued to work within the PCEA until he retired in 1959. He died in Komothai near Kambui.
Gerishon M. Kirika
R. Macpherson, The Presbyterian Church in Kenya (1970); E. N. Wanyoike, An African Pastor (1974).
This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.