Boaz Otuoma was a lay evangelist, colporteur, and church minister in Kenya.
Boaz Otuoma Owiti was born in 1933 in Kano Kochogo, Kisumu County, Kenya.1 Between 1943 and 1951, he attended Onjiko Primary School. After this, he served as an untrained teacher at Kagimba Primary School for five years until 1957. He then got a job in Kericho as a clerk at the tea estates.
In 1960, he married Ruth Aoko while still working in Kericho. He then left this job to join the colporteur ministry as a literature evangelist, serving from 1966 to end of 1969. By this time, the Apondo Church had been established, and he was elected head elder in 1969. In 1970, he was appointed to serve the Church as the Kenya Lake Field’s lay representative to the East Africa Union. But his star in church leadership was rising fast. He never did serve in that capacity. Instead, during their first meeting, he was appointed district leader of the Sanda District in Siaya County.
Between December 1972 and 1974, Otuoma took a health course at the Heri Mission Hospital in Tanzania. While still undergoing training there, he was suspended from ministry by the field for championing the creation of the Central Nyanza Field although he was still allowed to complete his course. The suspension was later lifted in 1976, and he was posted to Uholo District as a pastor.
All this while, Pastor Otuoma had not finished his formal ministerial training. In 1979, he enrolled in the Kamagambo College Ministerial Course, and he completed it in 1981. The following year, 1982, he was ordained into the Gospel ministry. Even then, he had not relented in his desire to have Central Nyanza Field severed from the larger Kenya Lake Field. Although he had been earlier suspended for championing the same cause, Pastor Otuoma still hosted a big team of likeminded stakeholders in 1990 at Muhanda, where he was serving, to chart ways of making this happen. The meeting culminated with what would later be called “The Muhanda Declaration,” an action plan that saw the birth of North Nyanza Field that same year.2 It was later renamed the Central Nyanza Field.3
Boaz Otuoma continued serving with high contentment in the new territory until his retirement in 2001. He led a generally active life in retirement up to the last few years of his life when he became ill. He passed away on December 9, 2015. He has been survived by his wife Ruth, two daughters, and three sons.
Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook. Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association. Various years. https://www.adventistyearbook.org/.
Unless stated otherwise, this article is based on the author’s personal knowledge as the son of Boaz Otuoma.↩
“Central Nyanza Field,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1991), 62.↩
“North Nyanza Field,” Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook (Washington, D.C.: Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1996), 105.↩