Paulo araap Siele was the first ordained minister from the Kipsigis people of Kenya.
Paul araap Siele was one of those who joined the faith through the preaching of Johana Telo.1 Paul Siele was born in Sokohuru near Kericho town. He began first as a member of the World Gospel Mission (later to change its name to Africa Gospel Church). He went to local schools and trained to become a teacher in a school run by the Brooke Bond Tea Company at Chagaik near Kericho. In 1954 Telo’s explanation of Bible principles and prophecy made lots of sense to Siele who immediately became an Adventist. Telo also convinced him to leave his teaching job at Chagaik to become a teacher at Kabokyek Adventist School. Paul Siele taught at Kabokyek for a while before he got the call to become a minister.
Siele received his ministerial training at Kamagambo in western Kenya and later returned to Kabokyek where he settled his family, serving at the Kipsigis Mission. In 1964 the Kipsigis Mission based at Kabokyek was dissolved and it became a church district. Siele, who had been ordained by then, worked hard among the Kipsigis and helped expand the work of the church. The foundational companies of the Kabokyek church were Borborwet, Nyaberi, Baregeywet, and Kapkatet. Today these are fully-fledged churches with more companies operating under them. From the combined work of Pastor Siele and John Telo and others, there are more than 35 churches that have been organized from Kabokyek and in them several thousand Adventists worship. Kabokyek Primary School and the Kabokyek Adventist Secondary School continue to thrive. The dispensary also continues to serve the community.
Sang, Godfrey K. and Hosea K. Kili, On the Wings of a Sparrow: How the Seventh-day Adventist Church Came to Western Kenya. Nairobi, Kenya: Gapman Publications Ltd., 2017.
Information in this article has been adapted from the following book coauthored by the author of this article: Godfrey K. Sang, and Hosea K. Kili, On the Wings of a Sparrow: How the Seventh-day Adventist Church Came to Western Kenya (Nairobi, Kenya: Gapman Publications Ltd., 2017), 200-202.↩