Mavuno Church was founded in 2005, but our history dates back to 1952. We believe your story is important, because if you don’t know where you’ve come from, then you’ll never know where you’re meant to be going. Here are some important dates in our story so far.
1952 - A small group of British settlers, mostly from the Brethren tradition, had a vision to start a church that would be strong in evangelism & teaching and open to people from all denominations! They began meeting @ the Girl Guides HQ next to the Nairobi Arboretum and they went by the name ‘Nairobi Undenominational Church’ because they were the first non-denominational church here!
They soon began to be referred to as Nairobi Chapel. After just 3 years, they got a prime property next to the governor’s mansion that is now Mamlaka Hill Chapel. They had radio services called ‘Gospel Hour’ that were broadcast live across the whole nation. Through them, they reached many of the British troops who were in the country fighting against the Mau Mau. Services were full to overflowing – soon expanded and doubled the size of the original building.
1963 - Independence came to our country, and most of the soldiers were recalled back home. One by one, many of the members began to move back to England. At the same time, the University of Nairobi, formerly known as the Royal College, began buying up the land around the church & building up student housing, so that with time, the church building became surrounded by thousands of university students. But few of them were interested in coming through doors as it was still seen as a church for ‘mzungus’ or British settlers.
1988 - The church dwindled, and with less than 20 adults left, it seemed inevitable that they would have to close the church down. They prayed desperately to God for help. After around 6 months of prayer and fasting, they felt led by God to approach an African led church and ask for help. Humbling! But in 1989, Rev Mutava Musyimi and the elders of Nbi Baptist Church agreed to send over one of their interns and also to ask some of their families to move and help. That’s when Pastor Muriithi Wanjau, Mavunos current senior pastor, then a first year university student moved.
God began to do a new thing. The little church began to grow. From 20 adults in 1989, the church grew to 3000 adults (and many children) by 2004.
1998 - God began to speak to the elders of the church about the need to expand so that we could reach the needs of the society better. After prayer, the decision was made to buy 14 acres of land on Ngong Rd that would cost Ksh. 40M.
2002 - This year, the Kanu era ended and the Narc government came into power. One of their first acts was to freeze development of all land near forests. A frustrating two year period followed.
Yet as the church prayed over the next two years, we felt God asking us not to move to one location but to start five different churches at the same time! That’s how Mavuno Church came to be.
2005 - We started our first service at the South C Sports Club on Aug 7th 2005. It was an exciting day - 398 adults + kids attended that first service. Pst. Oscar Muriu of Nairobi Chapel preached, and we cut cake and took a group picture.
The ministry thrived, but the club proved to be a difficult venue. It was soon clear that we would need to find another venue.
2009 - On the last Sunday of May 2009, we had our first service at Bellevue. In that first month alone, the church grew from 400 to 1600 people!
This season also saw Mavunos vision for church plants across Africa and the gateway cities of the world, begin to kick-start. To date, there are ten Mavuno Churches, five in Kenya, four across other African nations, and one in Berlin, Germany.
2014 - In February 2014, Mavuno moved its central campus from its Bellevue location to Athi River, and renamed it the Hill City Campus.
Right from the beginning, the emphasis of the church has been on being a loving community that shares the life-changing message of Jesus in ways that are relevant, practical and meaningful to today’s generation. We desire to be a church that reaches urban young adults who would typically not attend church, and help them discover a life-changing relationship with God.
Mavuno Church is led by a pastoral team, under the oversight of its lead pastor, Muriithi Wanjau. Pastor Muriithi reports to the elder’s board of the Nairobi Chapel churches, led by senior pastor Oscar Muriu.