African Israel Nineveh Church

The African Israel Nineveh Church was founded in 1942 by David Zakayo Kivuli, who received his education at the mission of the Pentecostal Assemblies of Canada (now Pentecostal Assemblies of God) in western Kenya. Ten years earlier he had a conversion experience, began to prophesy and speak in tongues and performed miraculous cures. Many signs and wonders occurred, and his confession of sins and worship in public places which contradicted the teachings of the missionaries made it clear that he was not operating under the Pentecostal Church. He was allowed to leave and start his own ministry known as Nineveh Ministry, which later became the Africa Israel Nineveh Church. Today the AINC followers are found in every large town in Kenya. Though the majority are members from two tribes, the Luhya and the Luo, the church has spread among many other tribes in the country. It has communities in the USA and the UK (London). The spiritual head of the church resides at Nineveh headquarters where a large church was built in 1958, called "The Ark". When David Kivuli died in 1974 he was succeeded as spiritual head by the high priestess Mama Rebecca Kivuli, who retired in 1983. In the AINC the spouse of every church leader is co-leader and the two are ordained together. The administrative and spiritual line begins with the church elder in every local church, a pastor in charge of a pastorate, a senior minister in charge of a centre, a chief minister in charge of a region or division, a moderator or missionary bishop in charge of a central regional office or province, a national bishop in charge of a country and the archbishop as the spiritual head.

The AINC holds the Trinitarian doctrine, and believes in the second coming of Jesus Christ and his final judgment. The church does not practise infant baptism. Infants are dedicated on their eighth day by the local pastor and given Christian names by their parents or guardians. Adult baptism is done after attending baptism classes for three months. It is considered as baptism of the Spirit and is done without water. This does not imply that water as a means of baptism is bad or prohibited. The AINC offers opportunities for water baptism to any member who asks for it. In the tradition of the AINC, Friday is the day for repentance and is also celebrated as the holy day when the church remembers the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and his forgiveness of sins. Long sessions of prayer and meditation take place on this day. Sunday is also a holy day, mostly celebrated by processions. In the realm of Christian ethics, all members are expected to practice monogamy, abstinence from alcohol and tobacco, and adopt simple styles of dress.

At the beginning, the AINC faced many difficulties as an independent church in Kenya. Now it operates more than thirty primary schools and sixty nursery schools. Various women's groups are responsible for education in home economics and handicraft. The church has various departments and programmes catering for the needs of the youth, recreational activities, women, men, small-scale businesses, mission, evangelism, health, development, legal and human resources, HIV/AIDS programmes, education, counselling services, etc.