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The Presbyterian Church of East Africa

An Account of Its Gospel Missionary Society Origins, 1895-1946


Evanson N. Wamagatta

With over four million members, the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA) is one of the major denominations in Kenya. It was established in 1946 after the Gospel Missionary Society (GMS) from the United States of America and the Church of Scotland Mission (CSM) from Scotland merged. The two missionary societies had been working independently in central Kenya since 1898. Consequently the GMS became the only mission in Kenya that failed to leave behind its own functioning self-propagating, self-governing, and self-supporting church with links to its American mother church. The Presbyterian Church of East Africa is, therefore, a study of the missionary work of the GMS from its inception in 1895 to 1946 when it merged with the CSM in order to establish why the mission gave up the struggle to establish its own church when victory seemed imminent. The book also uses the GMS as a case study to analyze not only how Christian missions in colonial Africa struggled to win souls for Jesus Christ, but also some of the major problems that they encountered and how they tried to solve them.