The Presbyterian Church of East Africa dates back in 1891 when directors of Imperial British East Africa Chartered Company, among them Sir William Mackinon and Mr. A. L. Bruce, invited a group of missionaries who came to Kenya and founded a mission among the Kamba and Maasai at Kibwezi under the name of “The East African Scottish Mission”
The PCEA has since grown steadily and is currently found in many parts of Kenya. Furthermore, it has its presence in Tanzania, Uganda and is also spreading to Burundi, Rwanda and Southern Sudan among other countries, far and near, where there is a large number of expatriate and diaspora members.
The mission was later transferred and established at Kikuyu in 1898, from where it started spreading to Tumu Tumu and Chogoria among other places. In 1902 another missionary group from The Gospel Missionary Society of USA arrived in Kambui. These two mission groups merged in 1945 to form The Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA).
Currently the total membership of PCEA is in excess of 3 million. As at the end of March 2012, the Church had grown to 49 Presbyteries with 320 Parishes, 48 Nendeni areas and 24 Outreaches.
The PCEA has been playing an important role in Kenya. It pioneered in education and medical work. It founded the first hospital in the country. It now maintains three hospitals and several health centres, two schools for deaf children, a home for old people and a home for destitute children.
Schools and Community Role
It sponsors 700 schools, both primary and secondary. The church participates in nation-building and operates several projects such as community centres, rural development projects, centres for weaving, homecraft, secretarial training for girls, HIV/AIDS control programmes, relief efforts and refugees.