The concept for Church House as a commercial real estate enterprise began in 1965
The Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Rev. Stanley Ntagali, has today received the completed Church House from its contractor.
Church House is a 16-floor commercial office building located on Plot 34 on Kampala Road, directly opposite the Bank of Uganda. Equity Bank will move their head office operations to the first four floors and will be the anchor tenant in the building.
Construction began in December 2010 with an estimated timeline for completion by December 2012 but, construction delays, as well as an 18-month conflict among service providers stalled construction progress. The conflict was however resolved in July 2014 and construction resumed.
"He who began this good work is the One who has brought it to completion," Ntagali said during the during the handover ceremony, citing Philippians 1.6 in his remarks.
Ntagali thanked Equity Bank, President Yoweri Museveni, all of his predecessors who carried the baton and Christians who contributed to its construction, with special appreciation given to Canon Joram Kahenano who oversaw the final phase of construction.
The concept for Church House as a commercial real estate enterprise began in 1965 and was originally to be built on Shimoni Road.
When the Bank of Uganda proposed to take over the Shimoni Road site, that property was exchanged for Plot 34 on Kampala Road in 1972.
Fundraising for Church House went to the grassroots of the church, including every primary and secondary school student making contributions.
During the 23rd Provincial Assembly in August 2016, the Church of Uganda resolved to name the building Janani Luwum Church House, in honour of Archbishop Janani Luwum who whole-heartedly embraced the project during his three-year tenure as Archbishop in the early 1970's.
The building will be officially launched on August 24 during the 24th Provincial Assembly meeting of the Church of Uganda.
Following media reports indicating that Church House was to be auctioned off by a bank so as to recover a loan advanced to the church, Ntagali dismissed the reports.
The property was allegedly at risk of being auctioned off by Equity that extended a sh43b loan towards the construction of the 16 storey building over non-payment.
Addressing pilgrims on Martyrs’ Day, Museveni who contributed sh300m towards its construction, said the building would not be sold off.
“Worry not, it won’t happen as long as I am still here. We started this job with the Archbishop; there is no way this house can be taken by business people. We shall sort all the other issues,” he said.
In 2010, the trustees of the Church of Uganda entered into a loan agreement with Equity Bank to fund most of the $17m construction cost.
The Church of Uganda agreed to raise 30% of the construction cost, and Equity Bank financed the rest through a $10m loan and a sh5b loan.
The loan had a two-year grace period during which time the Church of Uganda paid only the interest on the loan.