The anglican church of Rwanda raised Rwf31 million in cash and pledges for the construction of new Gahini Cathedral, its historical home.
The money was raised at a fundraising dinner in Kigali under the theme, “Let us rebuild the walls of Jerusalem and end this disgrace–Nehemaiah2:17.”
Presided over by the Archbishop of the Anglican Church, Onesphore Rwaje, the dinner was also attended by the Nigerian High Commissioner to Rwanda, Ayibakuro Peter Ogide-Ok, senior government officials, clerics among others.
Archbishop Rwaje said Gahini being a “birthplace of Anglican Church in Rwanda and Burundi” it should be reflected in its structures.
He commended Gahini Anglican Church for its role in the history of Rwanda and the country’s development.
The archbishop said Gahini Church played an important role in fighting illiteracy and spreading Christianity which was embraced by many Rwandans, noting that “rebuilding the cathedral pleases and glorifies God.”
Alexis Birindabagabo, the bishop of Gahini Diocese, said Gahini is the origin of Pentecostal movement in the region, and has produced missionaries that moved to many parts of the world.
“Fundraising is majorly aimed at constructing a diocese that extends its borders beyond Gahini and Rwanda to the international boundaries,” Bishop Birindabagabo said.
Denis Karera, the chairperson of the cathedral construction committee, said a dedicated team of Christians who prefer calling themselves ‘Gahinians’ because of their historical affiliations to the Anglican mission movement is committed to the cause.
A fully furnished Gahini Cathedral construction is budgeted to cost Rwf2 billion and the new cathedral is expected to be ready by 2016, said Karera.
Rwanda Anglican Mission movement established its first station at Gahini hill in 1925 and grew through the revival of the 1930s and 1940s.
Patrick Mpazimhaka, who attended Gahini Primary School in the 1950s, said the place’s name is “bigger than its appearance.”
“People from all over the world have travelled to Gahini only to find there these old small premises and they wonder what is so special about what they heard about for years,” he said.