By Carol Kasujja
On a small plot of land in the heart of Kampala, Gary Skinner and his wife Marylin Skinner set up Watoto Church formerly Kampala Pentecostal Church(KPC), an English speaking church.
Today Watoto church is celebrating 30 years of transforming lives in Uganda and South Sudan.
At the same time, the church marks 20 years of reaching Africa’s most vulnerable women and children through its community outreach arm, Watoto Child Care Ministries.
What started as a small church with 78 people on Sunday, April 22nd, 1984, today, more than 23,000 people attend one of the 26 weekend services at 10 campuses in Kampala and Gulu, Uganda, and Juba, South Sudan.
Watoto Church then Kampala Pentacostal Church on Bombo road Aug 16, 2007
“This is huge milestone for us and we are excited about what God will do in the next 30 years. We invite everyone, in Uganda and outside to see with their own eyes the impact of partnering with Watoto. All this is for the glory of God,” said Gary Skinner, the Watoto founder.
To date, Watoto Child Care Ministries has provided holistic, residential care for over 4,000 orphaned and vulnerable children (about 3,000 in current care).
This includes about 950 babies rescued from dire circumstances and former child soldiers and those born to rebel leaders during the civil war.
Some of these have already gone on to become lawyers, teachers, computer scientists, journalists, farmers, doctors, and are impacting society positively as a result.
On June 1st, Watoto church will officially celebrate 30 years of existence.
Starting this week, Watoto will hold a series of activities to commemorate the anniversaries, culminating in a week-long celebration from June 1st to 8th .
• Sunday, June 1st , Big Party Special Anniversary services at all Watoto Church Celebration Points in Kampala and Gulu, Uganda, and Juba, South Sudan.
• Tuesday, June 3: Super Cell Tuesday – small group parties hosted by Watoto Church members all over Kampala and Gulu, Uganda, and Juba, South Sudan.
• Wednesday, June 4th : Epic On-air Party – the celebration takes to the airwaves.
• Thursday, June 5th : Opening night with Watoto Choir, featuring guest artist Israel Houghton and New Breed (USA) and guest speakers, Brian & Bobbie Houston (Hillsong Church) at Watoto Church West, Kyengera. Gates open at 4pm.
• Saturday June 7th : Tour of Watoto Villages and projects in Mpigi and Wakiso, culminating in a cultural festival.
• Sunday 8th June: Grand 20th Anniversary Celebration with Watoto Choir, featuring guest speakers, Brian and Bobbie
Houston (Hill song Church) at Watoto Church West, Kyengera. Gates open at 10am.
About Watoto church
Watoto Church is an English-speaking cell based, community church established in Kampala, Uganda and positioned for influence in the rest of Africa and the world.
Watoto Church has become globally known for its focus on community relevance based on the key mandate to expedite love, justice and equity to a lost and dying world through holistic ministry.
Watoto Church is a cell-based community church.
KPC Pastor Gary Skinner (center) and his wife Marylin Skinner cut cake during the 20th Anniversary at Namboole Stadium