Thomas Muthee

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Thomas Muthee (born c. 1955)[1] is a Kenyan preacher and bishop. During the 2008 United States Presidential campaign, his visit to the Wasilla, Alaska Assembly of God in 2005, including a blessing that he gave Sarah Palin, was widely discussed. His prior claims of successful spiritual warfare in Kiambu, Kenya involving an alleged witch known as "Mama Jane" also came under specific scrutiny. In addition to his Alaskan visits, Muthee has spoken to churches in multiple European countries and is involved in humanitarian work in Africa.

Background[edit]

Thomas Muthee's church website states that he holds a Master's degree in practical ministry and founded the Word of Faith Church in February 1989 in the town of Kiambu, Kenya (near Nairobi) before going on to found approximately 400 churches in the nearby regions of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Sudan, and Gisenyi in Rwanda.[1] The original church is also known as the "Prayer Cave" because meetings were originally held in a grocery basement.[2] Muthee's late wife, Margaret Muthee, was a teacher,[3] and they had two children: Joshua and Ann.[1] Joshua, a student at Sacramento State University in Sacramento, CA, resides with a pastor of his father's local financial supporter, Radiant Life Church.[4] As of 2008, Thomas served as the East African director of the International Spiritual Warfare Network.[5]

Mama Jane[edit]

Muthee and his wife returned home to Kenya from Scotland, where he had finished his graduate studies, in 1988.[3] They soon felt that they were "called by God to Kiambu" and after six months of prayer, research, and "spiritual mapping," they came to believe that a woman known as "Mama Jane" was a witch, and thereby caused traffic fatalities, traffic accidents, crime, and spiritual oppression in the area.[2][6] Muthee alleged that "top government and business leaders [were] afraid to do anything without her approval," that at least one person per month would die in a car accident in front of her "divination house"[3] and that she weekly "went to Thomas' church site, performed magic, and cast her spells and curses."[5] Muthee publicly declared, “Mama Jane either gets saved and serves the Lord, or she leaves town! There is no longer room in Kiambu for both of us!"[5] Soon after his followers began to pray that God would either save or oust Mama Jane, three young people died in another apparent accident in front of Mama Jane's house, according to Muthee's account.[3] Angry townsfolk wanted to stone Mama Jane in retaliation for the traffic accidents. When the police entered Mama Jane's home to intervene, they were allegedly startled by what they believed to be a demon and shot her pet python to death.[3][6] Mama Jane was then questioned by police, after which she left town, according to some accounts.[3]

Muthee has frequently referred to the Mama Jane event as an example of successful “spiritual mapping," which includes locating specific witches by research and prayer,[7] and spiritual warfare, claiming that crime and traffic accidents were reduced as a result of chasing Mama Jane out of town.[2][5][6] Others have referred to the event as an example of the power of prayer.[8][9] The event was depicted in two videos by George Otis, Jr.,[10][11] in which Muthee claimed that the crime and traffic accident rate in Kiambu dropped drastically after Mama Jane left, and that he is responsible for positive social change in the town.[2][5][12]

Workgroup "Back to the Bible," headed by Pastor Rien van de Kraats of Kamperland, Netherlands, found no police reports or any other sources that backed up Muthee’s claims.[13] Investigators have asserted that "Mama Jane" is Jane Njenga, a local pastor who never left Kiambu.[14]

Wasilla Assembly of God[edit]

Bishop Muthee visited the Wasilla Assembly of God in 2005, delivering several guest sermons.[15] During one sermon, Muthee covered seven areas of society that he said Christians should control, including the economic area:

The Bible says that the wealth of the wicked is stored up for the righteous. It is high time that we have top Christian businessmen, businesswomen, bankers, you know, who are men and women of integrity, running the economics of our nations. That’s what we are waiting for. That’s part and parcel of transformation. If you look at the Israelites, you know, that’s how they won. And that’s how they are, even today. When we will see that, you know, the talk transport us in the lands. We see, you know, the bankers. We see the people holding the paths. They are believers. We will not have the kind of corruption that we are hearing in our societies.[16][17]

There has been debate over the meaning of his comments, with some interpreting them to be antisemitic, while others believe that Muthee sees Jews as role models for Christians.[18][19][20]

Muthee also said that he believed that Christians should influence education, stating, "If we have that in our schools we will not have kids being taught how to worship Buddha, how to worship (Prophet) Mohammed. We will not have in the curriculum, witchcraft and sorcery."[21]

During the same sermon, Muthee prayed over Sarah Palin, who was then campaigning for Alaska governor, asking God to "bring finances her way even for the campaign in the name of Jesus... Use her to turn this nation the other way around and to keep her safe from every form of witchcraft."[22] When Palin spoke to missionaries at the church in June 2008, she referenced the blessing, saying, "Pastor Muthee was here and he was praying over me, and you know how he speaks and he's so bold. And he was praying 'Lord make a way, Lord make a way'... He said, 'Lord make a way and let her do this next step.' And that's exactly what happened."[23][24] On Sept. 25, 2008, during the United States presidential election, an Associated Press article on the blessing was published in international news.[25] Some sources compared the story to the Jeremiah Wright controversy,[19][23] but The Boston Herald described it as "all smoke and no fire," [26] pointing out that some religious experts believed that, in light of Muthee's cultural background, there was nothing strange about the prayer.[27]

Muthee returned to the Wasilla church as a guest speaker for the weekend of September 20–22, 2008.[28] He spoke there again in October 2010,[29] with video footage available on the church's website.[30]

Other appearances and projects[edit]

Muthee has traveled extensively as an international guest speaker and pastor. He and his wife were guest speakers of a Greenville, PA church in December 2002.[31] In 2004, Muthee delivered two sermons as a guest pastor at the Kingsgate Community Church in the United Kingdom, recorded and posted at its web site.[32] The following month, in May 2004, Muthee reprised his role as a guest speaker at an international prayer conference organized by the International Christian Chamber of Commerce in Örebro, Sweden.[33][34][35] In 2008, Muthee was also a speaker[36] at the Exchange Africa-Australia Summit.[37] In addition, Bishop Muthee has a "strategic partnership" with Yarra Plenty Church of Victoria, Australia,[38] with an October 2008 sermon by Muthee available on their website.[39]

Churches in Finland have donated funds to Muthee's congregation to build and support projects including a vocational center to provide training in tailoring, dressmaking, and fashion design; hairdressing and beauty therapy; computer studies; catering; plumbing; motor vehicle mechanics; and welding and metal works.[40][41][42] As of June 2009, Word of Faith Community College has been completed and is training students in some of the planned professions.[43][44] The computer studies program has been accredited by the Computer Society of Kenya.[45]

Beginning in January 2008, the Word of Faith Church in Limuru cooperated with the Kenya Red Cross and UNICEF to house internally displaced persons.[43][46][47] Kenya's Daily Nation reported in October 2008 that some families were still being sheltered there.[48]

Members of the children's ministry group, Kids Works™ International, visited Muthee's congregation in late 2008.[49]

Muthee's recent ventures include plans to provide a pastor for the Maasai in Kenya as part of a project with Eagle Rock Covenant Network to help the tribe dig a well and build a village.[50][51] Muthee was also involved with Restoration Alliance in providing potable water to Kenya.[52] Restoration Alliance is affiliated with Radiant Life Church [4] in Sacramento where Thomas Muthee has been a frequent speaker and personal friend of Pastor Tony Cunningham.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Bishop Biography". Word of Faith Church. 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-11. 
  2. ^ a b c d Lampman, Jane (1999-09-23). "Targeting cities with 'spiritual mapping,' prayer". The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Otis, Jr., George (1997). Twilight Labyrinth, The: Why Does Spiritual Darkness Linger Where It Does?. Chosen. pp. 295–298. ISBN 0-8007-9255-6. 
  4. ^ a b "Radiant Life Church". Retrieved 2009-05-12. [dead link] dead link
  5. ^ a b c d e Wagner, C. Peter (2008). Praying with Power. Destiny Image Publishers. pp. 15–34. ISBN 0-7684-2653-7. 
  6. ^ a b c Thompson, Paul (2008-09-18). "Palin under fire over African pastor friend who waged witch-hunt against woman he believed caused car crashes". TheDailyMail.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  7. ^ Holvast, René (2008). "Spiritual Mapping: The Turbulent Career of a Contested American Missionary Paradigm, 1989-2005" (PDF). Utrecht University. pp. 98–99. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  8. ^ Bramlett, Jim. "The power of prayer over witchcraft". ChoicesForLiving.com. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  9. ^ Copeland, J. Mark (2001). "Question 3". Questions & Answers Regarding Prayer. PrayerLinks Ministries. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  10. ^ George Otis, Jr. (Host) (1999-02-01). Transformations: A Documentary (DVD). The Sentinel Group. ISBN 1-930612-08-7. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  11. ^ George Otis, Jr. (Host) (2003-06-01). The Quickening: Entering into the Firestorm of God's Grace (DVD). The Sentinel Group. ISBN 1-930612-16-8. Retrieved 2008-09-24. 
  12. ^ Gaines, Adrienne S. (January 2001). "Praying Down God's Power". Charisma Magazine. Strang Communications. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  13. ^ "Translation Dutch letter nr. 24" (PDF). Workgroup "Back to the Bible". April 8, 2002. Retrieved 2008-09-22. 
  14. ^ Wadhams, Nick (2008-10-15). "False Claims Exposed of Kenyan Pastor who Protected Sarah Palin from Witches". London: The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  15. ^ "Bishop Thomas Muthee from Kenya". Guest Speakers. Wasilla Assembly of God. 2005. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  16. ^ "VIDEO: Palin Pastor: ‘Israelites’ run the economy". The Jewish Journal (Nexcess.net). 2008-10-01. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  17. ^ "Palin pastor: 'Israelites' run economy". JTA - Jewish & Israel News (JTA.org). 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2008-10-25. [dead link]
  18. ^ Tapper, Jake (2008-09-25). "Pastor Muthee and Mayor Palin". Political Punch. ABC News Blogs. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  19. ^ a b Fingerhut, Eric (2008-10-10). "Palin plays Wright card, but Dems say she has her own pastor issues". The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  20. ^ Goldberg, Michelle (2008-09-26). "Palin's preacher problem". Comment is free (London: Guardian.co.uk). Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  21. ^ "Kenyan witch-hunter blesses Palin in new Internet video". AFP.com. 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  22. ^ Burke, Garance (2008-09-25). "Palin Once Blessed Against 'Witchcraft'". Associated Press (AOLNews.com). Retrieved 2008-09-27. 
  23. ^ a b Jamieson, Alastair (2008-09-26). "Sarah Palin in witchcraft prayer on video clip". Telegraph.co.uk (London: Telegraph Media Group Ltd). Retrieved 2008-03-11. 
  24. ^ Naughton, Philippe (2008-09-25). "Video shows Sarah Palin being blessed 'against witchcraft'". The Sunday Times (London: Times Newspapers Ltd 2010). Retrieved 2011-03-11. 
  25. ^ "Palin once blessed to be free from 'witchcraft'". Arab Times Online: Kuwait. 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2008-10-25. "Sarah Palin: Beten gegen Hexen". Tages-Anzeiger (in German) (Tamedia AG). 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2008-10-21. "Kenyan pastor prayed for Palin’s political future". Daily Dispatch Online (Avusa Media Ltd). 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2008-10-23. "Sarah Palin blessed against 'witchcraft'". News.com.au (News Limited). 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2008-10-22. [dead link]"Film na YouTube: Palin chroni się przed magią". AOL wiadomości (in Polish) (AOL.com). 2008-09-25. Retrieved 2008-10-25. [dead link]"When Sarah sought divine cover from 'witchcraft'". The Times of India (Times Internet Ltd). 2008-09-26. Retrieved 2008-10-24. 
  26. ^ Fargen, Jessica (2008-09-26). "Sarah Palin ‘witchcraft’ flap all smoke and no fire". Boston Herald. Retrieved 2008-10-18. 
  27. ^ Barr, Andy (2008-09-29). "Experts: Palin's religion misunderstood". Politico.com (Capitol News Company LLC). Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  28. ^ "Events". Wasilla Assembly of God. 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  29. ^ "Events". Wasilla Assembly of God. 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  30. ^ "Wasilla Assembly of God Church Alaska - Streaming Audio and Video Sermon Server- Pastor Ed Kalnins - Live Services Online - Masters Commission". Wasilla Assembly of God. 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-13. 
  31. ^ "Council officers to be installed". Vindy.com. The Vindicator Printing Company. 2002-12-07. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  32. ^ "Speaker Thomas Muthee". Kingsgate Community Church Media. ChurchInsight. 2004-03-14. Retrieved 2008-10-23. 
  33. ^ Caruel, Jacques (2003-06-12). "Christianisme: Compte-rendu de la conférence internationale ICCC à Orebro". Portail chrétien bethel-fr (in French). voxdei. Retrieved 2008-10-26. [dead link] Neill, Dale (June 2003). "President's Letter" (PDF). International Christian Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  34. ^ Hillman, Os. "Church Leaders and Workplace Leaders Hold Historic Transformation Conference in Orebro. Sweden" (Press release). International Coalition of Workplace Ministries. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  35. ^ Olson, J. Gunnar (June 2004). "Sweden Prayer Conference" (PDF). The Market Calling (International Christian Chamber of Commerce): 6. Retrieved 2008-10-26. [dead link]Olson, J. Gunnar (September 2004). "Conference Reviews ICCC" (PDF). The Market Calling (International Christian Chamber of Commerce): 2. Retrieved 2008-10-26. 
  36. ^ "Exchange Summit Tuesday PM - Bishop Thomas Muthee - Stay in Ephesus" (xml). ImagineArts.com.au. Studio. 2008-04-29. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  37. ^ "Exchange Africa-Australia Summit". Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  38. ^ "Mission". Yarra Plenty Church. Discovery Systems. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  39. ^ "Handling Pressure". Yarra Plenty Church. Discovery Systems. 2008-10-19. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 
  40. ^ "Sätt stopp för den fattigdom som ärvs från generation till generation!" (PDF). Missionstandaret (in Swedish) 8 (118). 2005-08-26. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  41. ^ "Kenya" (in Swedish). 2010-10-17. Retrieved 2011-03-11. 
  42. ^ Ekman-Niemi-Kaija, Catarina (2010-02-01). "Community Center i Kiambu" (in Swedish). Retrieved 2011-03-11. 
  43. ^ a b "Word of Faith Community College". Word of Faith Church. 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-11. 
  44. ^ "Utbildning av fattiga i Kiambu, Kenya". Projektet: Församlingen Trons Ords yrkesskola i Kiambu, Kenya (in Swedish). Frikyrklig Samverkan FS. 2008-09-19. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  45. ^ "Accredited Computer Training Colleges". 
  46. ^ "Kenya: Electoral Violence" (PDF). Operations Update. Kenya Red Cross Society. 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2008-11-03. [dead link]
  47. ^ "Post-Election Violence Situation Report No. 19" (PDF). UNICEF Kenya. ReliefWeb. 2008-10-29. Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  48. ^ Waithaka, Casper; John Njagi (2008-10-29). "Woman’s big heart gives rays of hope". Daily Nation (Nation Media Group). Retrieved 2008-11-03. 
  49. ^ "Kenya". Kids Works International. WordPress. 2009-02-19. Retrieved 2011-03-11. 
  50. ^ "Kenya Missions Update". Eagle Rock Covenant Network. 2008. Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  51. ^ Bowling, Les (February 2008). "Kenya Missions Update" (PDF). Eagle Rock Covenant Network Newsletter 1 (1). Retrieved 2008-10-25. 
  52. ^ Dan Flory. "Demographics/Kenya". Restoration Alliance. Retrieved 2009-05-12. 

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