History ECSS Kajo-Keji

History of Episcopal Church of South Sudan in Kajo-Keji

CMS Missionaries 1929-1945
(0) The mission station in Kajo-Keji was opened by Rev. Paul O’Bryan GIBSON who was based in Yei. This happen as a result of an invitation from Busu, who was one of the chiefs of the area. This chief had requested the District Commissioner of Yei to send a missionary to Kajo-Keji to open schools there. Gibson came to open Kajo-Keji Station in February 1929. Two teachers from the Nugent School in Loka were left in charge.

(1) In December 1929, Rev. William Lee Mather GIFF (with his wife Agnes) was the first CMS missionary posted in Kajo-Keji. He left in December 1931 to fill a vacancy at the Nugent school in Loka.

In February 1931 teacher Paulo Laka was appointed to the school in Kajo-Keji (minutes of Education Committee).

(2) Then followed Rev. Herbert Gordon SELWYN with his family in 1931. They left because of medical reasons in November 1932.

(3) Rev. Frederick James FINCH (DoB: 27 January 1901) was the third missionary. He came in January 1933. Their daughter Sheila Ann died of malaria in 1939. The Finch family left Kajo-Keji in December 1939.

Rev. Finch trained the first Kuku students who became teachers. These were Elia Mononyi Mulukwat, Lazaro Tongu Kajonyiri, Yosepa Kiri Abe, Solomona Kenyi Monojasuk and Daudi Lodiong.

(4) The last missionary who live in Kajo-Keji was William Dermot KERR (1907-1975). He was in Kajo-Keji from 1940 to 1945.

The following teachers had become lay-readers: Lazaro Tongu Kajonyiri, Yosepa Kiri Abe, Solomona Monojasuk; Yoane Ka’de Soma. Rev. Kerr developed the Romogi Mission and the CMS work expanded rapidly and village churches were opened in Mosiko, Kinyiba, Kudaji, Munuje (Pamoju), Lire, Godoru, Rodo, Leikor, Liwolo, Loggu, Longira, Tuko (Kala).

The Diocese of Kajo-Keji was established on 24 September 1986. The diocese has 8 archdeaconries, 17 deaneries and 57 parishes. Out of a population of about 197,000 (2008 census), over 75% are estimated to be ECS members (Source: Diocese Kajo-Keji, 2011).

Sources:
* Own research in CMS archives (June-July 2016)
* Samuel E. Kayanga, and Andrew Wheeler (eds.), But God Is Not Defeated, Celebrating the Centenary of The Episcopal Church of The Sudan, 1899 – 1999, Nairobi, Kenya: Pauline Publications Africa, 1999.
* Rev. Canon Dr. Oliver M. Duku, A History of the Church in Kajo-Keji, The Gospel comes to the ‘Dreamland’, Khartoum, New Day Publishers, 2001.
* Church and Growth in Kajo-Kaji since the coming of the missionaries (Historical Documentation), unpublished report, Juba, 1987.

[This is a work in progress]

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