Stanley B. Kyambadde was a frontline pastor, church administrator, and exemplary Christian leader, as well as the first Ugandan to be president of Uganda Union.
Early Life, Education, and Marriage
Stanley B. Kyambadde was born in 1927 at Namulesa, Kyaggwe county in the present-day Mukono district of Buganda, Central Uganda. His father was Bulasiyo Bulime Zzungu and his mother was Dolosi Namakula. His parents were peasant farmers.1
Kyambadde received primary education at Ngogwe Beskerville Primary School in Namulesa in Mukono district and received junior secondary school education at Mengo in Kampala (1942-1945). In 1948 he attended a teacher training course at (Anglican) Bishop Tucker Teacher Training College in Mukono, 12 miles to the East of Kampala. He was baptized into the SDA Church in 1948 by Pastor Eriyasafu Mwanje.2
Beginning in 1960 he attended a two-year ministerial course at Bugema Missionary College under the tutorship for Pastor John Staples, from South Africa, and Ugandan Pastor Dennis Bazarra. In 1966, Kyambadde attended a one-year course on church leadership at Solusi College in Southern Rhodesia (now Solusi University in Zimbabwe).
Kyambadde married Edsa Nabunya on April 10, 1950, at Namulesa SDA Church. Their marriage was officiated at by Pastor Eriasafu Mwanje.2 The parents of Edsa Nabunya were Timutewo Mwebe Kaggwa and Jane Nakibuuka Sekiti, who lived in Kira, near Kampala. The family was blessed with six children: Samuel Lule, Eseza Nakazibwe, Daudi Kyeyune, Musa Semanda, Ruth Nalule, and Damali Mwebaza.3
Kyambadde’s first employment in the Adventist Church occurred in 1947 where he was appointed as teacher/evangelist at Kakoro SDA Primary School near Mbale in eastern Uganda. He soon became headmaster of the school. In 1953 he was transferred to Katikamu SDA Primary School as headmaster. Katikamu is located 30 miles north of Kampala. In 1962, after completing the ministerial course at Bugema Missionary College, he was transferred to Fort Portal to take charge of the Rwenzori Mission Station.4
In 1965 he was transferred from Fort Portal to become the district leader of Makerere SDA Church District in Kampala. It was while he was pastoring Makerere church that he was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1966 at Najjanankumbi church, located on Entebbe Road in Kampala. The key officiating clergy during the ordination ceremony were Pastors Dennis Bazzara and Robert Pifer, who were the president and treasurer of the Uganda Field, respectively.5
In the period between 1968 and 1980, Kyambadde was in charge of the largest urban church district in Uganda, namely, Najjanankumbi. He led this potentially difficult district with distinction.6
In 1980 he was elected executive director of the Central Uganda Field, a position which he held until 1991 when he was elected president of Uganda Union Mission, replacing Dr. Jack Bohannon, who had become president when the union was organized in 1987. Pastor Kyambadde led the union until he retired in 1995.7
According to Dr. Nathaniel Walemba, who worked very closely with him in the capacity of executive secretary of Uganda Union, Kyambadde was “A Christian leader with humility and empathy.”8 He was very hardworking and was a strong advocate of youth ministry.
He was an amicable administrator and handled controversial issues with tact. The Najjanankumbi church, which he pastored for more than a decade, had a number of influential members such as lawyers, doctors, engineers, royal princesses, and a future prime minister, but he was diplomatic enough to effectively lead what could have been a potentially difficult congregation.
Kyambadde was a hardworking and modest person who could be approached by all. He was a strong believer in personal ministry and travelled countless miles on his motorcycle (before obtaining a car very late in his ministry) to visit and extol church members in the districts under his leadership, which were often very expansive.
He was a strong believer in Christian education and played a key role in the establishment of Bugema University. As head of the church in Uganda at the time, he was the first chancellor (titular head) of the university in 1994, shortly before his retirement.
After his retirement in 1995, he personally built a church on a property he donated to the Central Uganda Conference. In making this donation he was being consistent with his character of sacrifice and commitment to the Master. Pastor Kyambadde died February 7, 2010, and was buried in his home village of Lukojo in the Mukono district of Buganda in Central Uganda.
S. B. Kyambadde Service Record, 1996. Uganda Union Mission archives, Kampala, Uganda.
Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1986, 1990. https://www.adventistyearbook.org/.
Mrs. E. Kakembo, interview with the author, Gayaza, March 25, 2020. Mrs. Kakembo is sister to Pastor Stanley Kyambadde.↩
Mrs. Edsa Kyambadde, Lukojo, March 26, 2020. Edsa Kyambadde is the widow of Pastor Kyambadde.↩
S. B. Kyambadde Service Record, 1996, Uganda Union Mission archives, Kampala, Uganda.↩
Edsa Kyambadde, interview with the author, Lukojo, March 25, 2020.↩
Yusufu Bukenya and Stephen Kabuye, Senior elders of Najjanankumbi SDA Church, interview with the author, April 11, 2020.↩
Seventh-day Adventist Yearbook, 1986, 1990.↩
Nathaniel Walemba, interview by the author, August 27, 2020.↩