Rev Teresia Wairimu Biography
Rev Teresia Wairimu was born in 1957, she is the founder and director of Faith Evangelistic Ministry, that was founded in 1989. She is married and has two children.
Rev Teresia Wairimu Early Life
Rev Teresia Wairimu is the second born. Rev Teresia Wairimu attended Ngiriambu Girls high school with Hon. Martha Karua.She gave her life to Christ in 1977. Rev Teresia Wairimu got married in November 1978. She has two children, Robert and Catherine and one grandson. Her grandfather was Paramount Chief Kinyanjui, a Kikuyu colonial chief. Rev Teresia Wairimu story is captured in the 402-page autobiography which was recently launched. It is titled A Cactus in the Desert’ and is available in all the leading Christian bookshops and in the FEM offices in Ngara. Rev Teresia Wairimu mentor is Ev. Reinhard Bonnke
Rev Teresia Wairimu sat in 1988 heart broken in my meetings at Uhuru Park. She had just gone through an ugly divorce and suffered deep rejection. But it was right there that the Lord picked her and turned that broken vessel into a vessel of His great honor.
It was early morning on 21st July 1985 at 3:00 a.m. when God gave Rev Teresia Wairimu a life changing experience. Her room was filled with smoke and a loud voice called her name “Wairimu”. The glory of God filled the room and although she was fearful, she perceived that it was the Lord speaking. She sat up and the Lord spoke to her about her calling, her service to God, and what He was going to do in the church through her ministry. One week later, at a Sunday service, God manifested His power through Reverend Wairimu through the gift of prophecy and word of knowledge.
At the time in our country, we did not have great manifestations of miracles thus there were no mentors to look up to. However when Reverend Bonnke hosted a crusade in June 1988 in Kenya, and Reverend Wairimu witnessed the manifestation of God through Reverend Bonnke, it hit her hard as she identified with that. After her call, she had ministered in High Schools, Universities, small social gatherings, Bible studies etc, but her dream came to pass on 17th May 1992 in Oslo-Norway when she met Reverend Bonnke and he laid hands on her.
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Rev. Teresia Wairimu Prophecy
Coming back to Kenya she knew she had received something from God that money could not buy – she had been birthed into ministry on that day and there was an evident explosion in her ministry! Within no time the house fellowship swelled up and was moved to City hall then Kenyatta International Conference Centre (One of the largest auditoriums in the city) and it only took one meeting to move the fellowship to the open Uhuru Park, where Reverend Teresia has faithfully preached without failure, every second Sunday of the month for a consecutive 14 years.
Teresia Wairimu: Power in Humility
Adopted from the Daily Nation
He went down on his knees in prayer and then, like a fountain, tears welled up in his eyes and freely rolled down his cheeks.
This was no ordinary man and his bodyguard was probably at a loss as to how to handle such a deeply emotional situation — something he may not have been taught in the VIP protection training.
The man on his knees was Deputy President William Ruto. The place was a worship service at Faith Evangelistic Ministries (FEM) in Karen, Nairobi.
It was the Sunday following his election alongside President Uhuru Kenyatta.
The dramatic moment at the church was captured on camera.
The Deputy President, accompanied by his wife Rachael, was on his knees, heaving and weeping – his way of thanking God for the election victory. Social media was soon abuzz with comments and jokes, with newspaper cartoonists taking a cue.
Moments later when he had composed himself and taken to the platform, Mr Ruto broke down again and, between gasps, told the congregation that he had never shed tears in public and probably only his mother had seen him cry as a baby.
Next to the then newly sworn-in Deputy President was an unassuming Reverend Teresa Wairimu Kinyanjui, founder and director of FEM.
Last Sunday, it was President Uhuru Kenyatta who stood before hundreds of faithful at FEM alongside First Lady Margaret Kenyatta and Mrs Ruto.
For the last quarter of a century that FEM has existed, the Reverend Wairimu has grown to be one of the most influential religious leaders in Kenya, often attracting the rich and powerful to mingle with the lowly in her ministry.
To acknowledge the Reverend’s work, retired President Daniel Moi sent a message of goodwill through his daughter-in-law Zahra, wife of Baringo Senator Gideon Moi.
“The destiny of our great country hinges on the decisions the leaders make. If we truly believe in the word of God, He will stand by our side. When the burdens of office appear impossible to bear, or when despair looms around us, let us turn to prayer and God will faithfully be there for us,” said Mr Moi who, while still in office, was known to occasionally join the FEM congregation.
Rev Teresia Wairimu – Humble Beginning
“It is because of this belief that my government continually supported the work of Reverend Wairimu. I am proud to see that the humble journey she undertook with so much conviction 25 years ago is auspicious. May God continue to help her in her spiritual undertaking,” he added.
Even though the FEM Karen sanctuary is no more than a tented dome with the construction of a permanent structure still ongoing nearby, the number of politicians and senior government officials and private sector chiefs who arrive in their gleaming cars is hard to ignore.
Ms Beverly Wahome, who was the head of protocol at the celebrations, describes the Reverend Wairimu as a simple but glamorous woman who is a beacon to many.
“She gets straight to the point and manages to communicate to people of all walks of life,” said Ms Wahome.
FEM associate pastor George Mathu told Lifestyle that he had witnessed the Reverend changing lives and helping many people elevate themselves through faith.
“FEM integrates everyone and does not treat people according to class or status,” said Pastor Mathu.
The church’s head of security, Mr Michael Kinyanjui, has been a follower and partner of the Reverend Wairimu since her early days of preaching at Uhuru Park and in Dagoretti.
He said the Reverend Wairimu is a force that moves many and inspires positive change.
“I support her because I believe in what she believes in,” said Mr Kinyanjui.
Pastor Steve Gichuhi of Korogocho’s FEM Rescue Centre said that the centre’s programme has transformed many commercial sex workers by educating them on alternative and moral ways of making a living. Pastor Gichuhi says he is a former gangster, who reformed and confessed after listening to the Reverend Wairimu preaching at Uhuru Park. He now dedicates his life to changing wayward people.
“Korogocho is a slum and, if the youth are not given alternatives, they will turn to crime and immorality,” he said about the nature of his programme. “FEM is trying to change this cycle of poverty.”
It is unusual in Kenya for such high and mighty to stream through to an evangelical church every so often. The Rev Wairimu hardly makes any fuss about it.
She appears to wield soft power; and seemingly effortlessly attracts thousands to her church without shouting too loud, joining politics or stirring controversy.
When she spoke to Lifestyle, the Rev Wairimu did not seem keen on blowing her own trumpet. She said hers was a mission for God and His people and not about herself. She said she still sought advice from her mentor, world renowned televangelist Reinhard Bonnke.
“I am a servant of God and His people. No more no less,” said the Rev Wairimu. “As you are well aware, year after year, we have assembled every November to give thanks to God as we mark every anniversary. This year’s celebration is such a landmark as we attest to God’s great faithfulness for the 25 years of ministry; indeed He is Ebenezar – this far He has brought us.”
But who is the Rev Wairimu and just how has she managed to gain so much influence?
People admire this woman evangelist who attracts presidents – President Moi frequently attended her meetings and called her to State House for prayers – alongside those who are so poor that they can only walk to her church for lack of bus fare.
According to her profile available online, her life changed at 3 am on July 21, 1985, when God appeared to her in a vision.
“One week later, at a Sunday service, God manifested His power through the Rev Wairimu through the gift of prophecy and word of knowledge,” the short biography reads on the website of her mentor.
“When the Rev Bonnke hosted a crusade in June 1988 in Kenya, and the Rev Wairimu witnessed the manifestation of God through the Rev Bonnke, it hit her hard as she identified with that. After her call, she had ministered in high schools, universities, small social gatherings, Bible studies, etc, but her dream came to pass on May 17, 1992 in Oslo, Norway, when she met the Rev Bonnke and he laid hands on her,” the story goes.
She started out with a few people meeting in a house but, within no time, the fellowship swelled and was moved to City Hall, then Kenyatta International Conference Centre and later Uhuru Park.
At this famous open venue, the Rev Wairimu preached every second Sunday of the month for a consecutive 14 years without fail.
Rev Teresia Wairimu – Cactus In The Desert
The meetings then moved to the property in Karen that FEM had acquired over the time they were at Uhuru Park.
Her more elaborate story is told in her autobiography, Cactus in the Desert, where she narrates numerous miracles she says God performed through her and details numerous difficulties – in her marriage and in church – that she had to overcome to attain her goals.
The Rev Wairimu always speaks about pursuing and attaining excellence. And, in keeping with her oft spoken position, the Silver Jubilee celebrations were thorough and elaborate.
Apart from the red carpet to receive the VIPs, the white tents were decorated with silver embroidery.
Most of the women stepped out adorned in white and silver dresses.
The men wore black suits and white shirts and silver ties. Silver was clearly the theme of the day.
There was also a buffet lunch for all the guests, followed by gifts of plates and cutlery as mementos of the 25th anniversary.
The cake was a multi-layered affair, standing more than six feet high. It was decorated in many colours, but white for peace and silver for the anniversary were the dominant ones.
FEM was founded at a time when charismatic churches were sprouting for various reasons, with many of the founders often saying they were not comfortable with the kind of worship in mainstream denominations.
Some of those upstart churches have faded with time. But others have thrived.
“The growth of FEM through the years shows the strength of the Rev Wairimu’s resilience,” said Ms Margaret Nyambura, who is a member of the church.
Nashipie Kantai, an artiste who performed during the celebrations, was born five years after FEM was born, and has been a member since childhood.
“FEM, through its youth ministry, has defined the world view of many in my generation who are its members,” says Kantai.
The Rev Wairimu has grown the church through the support of a network of followers who have remained by her side through the years.
“Your steadfastness and self-sacrifice, which has seen you stand in strong support of the ministry, year after year, in season and out of season, has not passed the eye of God unnoticed and I pray and believe that my God who honours covenants will minister to you,” she said as she paid homage to her congregation.
Rev Teresia Wairimu – Trouble In Paradise
THE YEAR 1985 was annus horribilis (horrible year) for renowned Kenyan evangelist Teresa Wairimu.
“It was the year that saw my most valued and treasured dream shattered. My heart was broken. Deep down in my heart, I was bleeding,” she says. Tears became a constant part of her makeup.
Eight years before, she had met a man and fallen in love and, “like every little girl … I grew nurturing beautiful wishes and a strong desire for a happy and successful life,” she says in her autobiography, A Cactus in the Desert.
These emerging details contrast sharply with the character of the Reverend Wairimu, who followers at her Faith Evangelistic Ministries fondly call Mum. To them, the 55-year-old evangelist is the epitome of faith and strength.
After she has preached and taught, the spectacle of the “miracle service,” her most enduring trade mark, begins.
She calls out those who would wish to be saved and hundreds will walk from their seats for the spiritual rebirth that can only be experienced rather than explained.
Then she moves to call out people who are in all manner of difficult situations including the terminally ill.
The sceptics would never believe it. Politicians would envy her following. The critics say it’s all prearranged to hoodwink the gullible. But to the evangelist and the thousands who claim to have received their answers in her meetings, it is evidence that God works through those He chooses.
Yet there was a time she thought all was lost. Her marriage to the “prince” who she describes as a “handsome white man of medium height and build” ended bitterly and she was left hurt and with broken dreams.
Rev Teresia Wairimu – By Faith
Only her faith in God (she had gotten saved in 1977 – the same year she met her husband) kept her going.
She was locked out of her matrimonial home and left with nothing: “No dress to change, no money, no documents in my possession, no name – even his name, which many people knew me by.”
But the most painful loss, she says, was her son Robert, who had been taken away from her custody.
“Had it not been by the grace of God and my solid faith in Him, I would not have survived through the 80s,” she writes in the first chapter of the book.
Unknown to many of those who come seeking her ministry, the 55-year-old “Mum” has endured the most difficult of circumstances to build the glamorous Christian ministry that boasts properties in Karen and Ngara, state-of-the-art sound equipment, service to destitute children and a following that would be the envy of most of her contemporaries.
In the book, she explores the plight of single mothers through her own lens. “What chance did a divorced woman, a single mother to one and an estranged mother of another one have?” she writes.
She watched her hopes, a happy family, her kindergarten teaching career and dreams of a bright future collapse in a heap before her eyes.
She has endured rumours she candidly acknowledges had been spun and turned until they would produce “believable accounts of malicious untruths”.
The book features her early childhood, the darkest moments and the turnaround that helped her rebuild her life, work at her ministry and raise her daughter – the enduring faith that kept her going until the tearful reunion with her son, once painfully torn away and taken to the custody of his father.
Evangelist Teresia Wairimu Website, Facebook, Twitter