The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, the Most Rev Dr. Stephen Samuel Kaziimba Mugalu has announced the full payment of the Church House building debt.

Kaziimba revealed this while delivering his speech at the Uganda Martyr’s celebration at Namugongo.

“I have good news to share with you. Thank you Church for prayers, participation and perseverance to secure Janan Luwum Church House. The debt is fully paid! Hallelujah. We thank Equity bank limited for their patience and partnership. I want to appreciate all my predecessors for this vision and support, His Excellency the President of Uganda, Bishops and Christians of all dioceses all God’s people who may not necessarily be Anglicans, Institutions and individuals who have supported us to complete this debt. I appreciate Equity bank for renting now 8 floors and the 13th floor is hosting our Own Church of Uganda Family TV,” the Archbishop said.

This announcement was welcomed with great joy by hundreds of pilgrims who converged at Namugongo to celebrate the day. On 6th June 2021, Kaziimba launched a fundraising drive under the theme “Yes, We Can!” to clear the Church debt with Equity bank and fulfill the building’s original purpose of raising funds for the church’s ministry and clergy pensions.

He then asked Christians to each contribute at least 60,000 Shillings towards the Church House. The Church House was built with a loan from Equity Bank and the fundraising drive followed threats of auctioning the 16-storey building located along Kampala Road.

Under the leadership of former Archbishop Henry Luke Orombi, the Church of Uganda borrowed US Dollars 17 million (62 billion Shillings) from Equity Bank to construct the structure. In the project budget, the Church contributed 30 percent, while Equity Bank provided for 70 percent of the building costs.

In 2017, Equity Bank threatened to take over the structure which was valued at 58.8 Billion Shillings upon completion. In 2018, the Bank again threatened to auction the building after the Church failed to service its loan and accumulated arrears.

To construct the building, Christians and well-wishers contributed about 10.8 billion Shillings through fundraising but since the money was inadequate, the Church acquired a loan from Equity Bank through its business arm, the Church Commissioners Holding Company Limited in 2010.Church House was built in fulfillment of late Archbishop Janani Luwum’s vision in 1977.

Meanwhile, the Archbishop said that the Church of Uganda is focusing on discipleship and self-sustainability.

“We are focused on growing our roots in Christ and his love, mission and improving the welfare of the church.Since 1880’s, the Church in Uganda has experienced great moments of revival under stressful circumstances but God’s Grace has sustained her. It is His, He will always defend it like He stood with the 45 people who were killed for their faith. Like our Father Tertulian said ” The blood of the Martyrs’ is the seed for the church”. The Church of Uganda’s strength is embedded in that faith of the young people who never conformed to the patterns of this world,” he said.

At the Anglican site in Namugongo, the martyr’s day celebrations were held under the theme: “Conforming to the Truth of God’s Word and not the patterns of the World.” The theme is derived from Romans 12:1-2.

The Service was animated by the Mid Western Uganda Cluster that is composed of six dioceses of Ruwenzori including Ruwenzori Diocese, South Ruwenzori Diocese, East Ruwenzori, West Ruwenzori, Masindi-Kitara and Bunyoro- Kitara.

A total of 45 young Christian converts were burned alive at Namugongo 138 years ago.

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