Brother Godwin Kihuguru's Testimony
Oh, Lord Jesus! Cover this speaking. Lord, preserve the saints who receive this from any contamination, or even from any doctrinal debate. Lord, be supreme. May this fellowship be used for the building up of Your pure testimony on the earth. May Your children be preserved pure and single in purpose, with no sympathy for any kind of mixture. Shame Your enemy! Uproot and purge Your church from any mixture of the flesh or of Babylon. Lord, cover this fellowship.
My initial contact with saints from Midwest United States was through a personal visit by Keith Miller and his family. The Millers became acquainted with my wife Sarah while she was pursuing her Masters degree at the University of Cincinnati. She rented a room in their house in Cincinnati. It was during this time that Sarah came in touch with the Lord's recovery.
Later, another visit was arranged, and Keith came with a few others, including John Myer. During this visit they spent a lot of time with the saints in Kampala, who were meeting at that time as a home-cell fellowship group attached to a large denomination in Uganda that meets through various cells across the city of Kampala. These visiting brothers attached themselves to the saints and attended all the "cell group" gatherings, without pushing a specific agenda. We felt very comfortable having these brothers around during all the meetings.
After this visit, the brothers in the Midwest resolved to send two brothers to Kampala to stay. These brothers were Tim Knoppe and Steve Lietzau. Their wives joined them in Uganda not long after.
The Lord's Stirring
Unbeknownst to the brothers from the US, before they came to stay, the Lord had been taking some saints of the initial home-cell group (which had grown to over 30 members) through a shaking and cleansing process. Just before the brothers came, the parent Pentecostal denomination with which they were associated had been taking its congregation through a teaching on "sacrificial giving," which was really intended as a fund-raising drive for a massive and ambitious project upon which the denomination wanted to embark.
Interestingly, the Lord was stirring some of the saints up to seek guidance from the Word, only to find that there were major contradictions between what the denomination was promoting and the pure Word of God. After much seeking before the Lord, we eventually resolved that our way should be governed by the Word of God.
When our group convened to meet, we agreed that everything be according to the Word. With further fellowship, we agreed on reading the Bible together. It was agreed that we start with Galatians.
Two Brothers Lead Us into the Ministry
It was during our simplistic study of Galatians that brothers Tim Knoppe and Steve Lietzau arrived, and they joined the fellowship. We received a lot of help from these brothers in shedding light on the Word.
It became clear to us that the brothers had a lot of fresh light regarding the Word. With time, the Lord caused us to stop talking so much and to begin listening more. Brother Tim Knoppe took us through what remained of Galatians. By the time we finished the book of Galatians, many saints had lost the taste for the denominations and had taken a stand for the church without clearly even knowing what that was. What we knew for sure was that we did not want any more of the denominational pretences.
In our meetings with Tim Knoppe, we got so absorbed into the reading of the Bible with the help of the Life-study messages. The Bible was coming to life in a new way. There was such a hunger amongst the saints, so much so that we could sit for hours on end, being infused with the riches of Christ as the Word. After Galatians, we were led by Brother Tim through Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians, Romans, Genesis, the Epistles of John—and we just could not get enough.
A Clean Break from the Denominations
As it became more apparent that we were no longer attending denominational meetings, the leadership in the denomination became concerned. They were particularly concerned because they had been monitoring the fast pace of growth with our earlier home meetings, and they feared that we might draw many of "their flock" away from the denomination. As a stop tactic, they called to speak with me, as a former "cell-leader."
All I could tell them was that we were enjoying the Lord and growing in His life, and that we had discovered the Bible in a totally new way. I shared John 10 with them—about the fold and the green pastures, and of how the Lord was the door out of the fold into the pasture. I also shared that I was more for Christ than ever before, and that they should not be worried about my relationship with the Lord. They then asked me about their Mission Statement, to which I responded that I was now for the whole Body of Christ and had developed a love and desire to be joined with all of the Lord's children, irrespective of where they met. Their own Mission Statement truly exposed them, and I boldly told them that, if that was their guiding principle, then it was time for us to agree to part ways.
A team of senior pastors from this, the largest, denominational church in Kampala then arranged to meet with us, that is, with all the saints, who were now formally separating ourselves from their congregation. The meeting was highly charged, with the smallest of saints speaking up boldly and reciting Scriptures with deep understanding. The saints were telling the pastors that they had found the Lord and were not willing to let Him go. I remember one young sister telling these pastors that Saul of Tarsus thought he was working for the Lord but was surprised when the Lord confronted him and told him that he had indeed been persecuting the Lord.
The denomination then decided to make a public announcement in which they denounced us and advised their members not to associate with us, because we were "doing something opposed to the Lord." They used Sarah's and my names in this public announcement.
We continued, undeterred, pursuing after the Lord in His Word. We were spellbound. I remember one of the saints asking Tim how he was doing what he was doing. Brother Tim asked this saint what it was that he meant. This one responded that something would happen to us when Brother Tim spoke the Word—something that was beyond our control. There was such a pulling, openness, and hunger that only the Lord could cause. Now I know that Brother Tim was speaking directly to our spirits. The Lord was so intense during that time; we could sit through up to four five-hour sessions a week, without a break! Later on we realized that this time had been used by the Lord for our preparation.
Titus Chu Visits
Initially, we met at the flat the brothers were renting on the Lord's Day, and eventually we moved to a larger meeting hall, which was opened up to us and paid for by the saints from the Midwest. John Myer would visit from time to time, and on one occasion Titus Chu came. Suffice it to note that throughout this time, John Myer and Titus Chu were circulating books—which they had authored—to the saints individually.
I recall that during Titus' visit, he encouraged the saints to develop individual ministries, which he called "operations." He kept asking, "What is your operation?" and encouraging the saints to have "operations." This sounded so much like Pentecostalism, but we did not know then that this was a subtle poisoning. He told different saints what he "discerned" were their "operations." This damaging speaking has hindered the growth of some of these saints even to this day.
On one occasion, Titus Chu poisoned us by telling us that we will have read "all there is to read" and know "all there is to know" within three to four years, and that for this reason we needed to focus on developing our "operations." Being babes in the recovery, we looked up to this elderly man (with many years of experience in the recovery)—but we wondered secretly how anyone could know everything there is to know in such a short time! We had touched the Life-studies, and we had tasted Spirit and life! How can you ever "fully know" all there is to know?!
During Titus Chu's visit he suggested that I should drop my job and serve full-time. I clearly told him that I was not ready to serve full-time, having just received a contract to work in a neighboring country from a renowned international consulting company. I was not comfortable with receiving such a charge from or divulging details about my personal life to a brother I barely knew. Eventually, I did drop my job by the Lord's leading after the Lord dealt with me over a four-month period. When I gave everything up to serve the Lord, it was clear to me that I did so for the church and not for Titus and those with him. Looking back, I now see that the Lord was working behind the scenes to preserve His testimony in Kampala.
Another Worker Arrives and Problems Begin
After a period of about a year and a half, another family relocated to Kampala. This was the Millers. Keith Miller had just completed a training with Titus which we understood to be a ten-month labor.
As soon as Keith arrived, we noticed some sort of competition between him and the other brothers from the Midwest, especially Brother Tim. Although the brothers tried hard to cover this problem, it was noticeable to the saints. Keith was always visibly uncomfortable with Tim leading the brothers in speaking forth the Lord's word. He was always trying (in vain) to draw the saints towards himself, but this was not working. The saints knew that there was something precious that came out of Tim's speaking; it was from the Lord. Whenever Tim would open up the Word in such a precious way, others of Titus' workers would be quick to add an opinion that was usually quite off. The saints were frustrated by such interruptions, because they were hungry for more of the pure, unadulterated Word.
Campus Work Starts as a Private Work
When Keith failed to get his way with the saints in the initial group (in the Bugolobi district of Kampala), he diverted his attention to students in Uganda's main university in Makerere. After some fellowship, Tim suggested that some of the saints from Bugolobi join Keith in sharing the gospel on the main campus. Some saints who had a similar burden for the campuses joined Keith.
However it soon became evident that Keith had his own agenda for the campus. He took on some sort of air with regard to this new work and acted as if he was reporting directly to someone above him in these matters related to the campus. The saints who were going with Keith to the campuses noticed that there was a suspicious urgency and aggressiveness being manifested. They also noticed that there was a different way of doing things—one that had many similarities to the ways of religious denominations. Food, or more specifically "American cookies," were being used to lure the students to meetings. These saints even used secular movies and guitar music to attract students to the meetings. There was some formula that Keith kept repeating on how to contact as many people as possible—"If only 10% eventually came, then the targeted goal will be achieved." When asked as to where he got those formulas from, he referred to "world class Pentecostal preachers." At the campus meetings guitar music and short, simple gospel messages were emphasized. Most of the students only came for one meeting (probably out of curiosity) and never came back.
Witness Lee wrote in The Experience of Life (quoted in The Holy Word for Morning Revival entitled The Intrinsic Need in the Lord's Recovery, on the issue of purification) how we need to be before the Lord in our actions and speaking:
Whenever we are about to act or speak, not only do we need to inquire whether what we are about to do is right or wrong, good or bad, but we must also discern whether or not our inner intention is clean, our motive pure, and our aim wholly for God. Is there any selfish purpose behind our action? Is there any self-inclination? This kind of dealing is dealing with the spirit. ( The Experience of Life , p. 289)
Hebrews 4:12 illustrates this point well: "For the word of God is living and operative and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit and of joints and marrow, and able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart." In Life-study of Hebrews , we see that in order to reach the marrow in our bones, the joints have to be broken; in like manner, in order to have a good and pure spirit—one singly for the Lord to come forth from within us—our soul-life has to be broken.
Interestingly, as the campus work picked up, the rift between what Keith was doing and what had initially attracted us to the recovery became more evident. Keith's ways became more and more like the old Pentecostal ways. Many of us had come from well-established Pentecostal churches, with perfected and tested means of amassing numbers. Brother Keith was walking down this same path, albeit unprofessionally and without much success. A lot of students were passing through his hands, but he was plainly not producing any lasting fruit.
During this time, the students on campus, the saints in the Naguru Go-down area, and those who were from the Bugolobi area would meet together for the Lord's Day meeting in the hall. This afforded the saints an opportunity to fellowship and shepherd one another. At the same time the brothers from the U.S. met with the local leading brothers for fellowship twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday morning) for two hours.
Pushing to Separate the Campus Work from the Church Life
It was not long before Keith started pressuring the leading local saints and the co-workers to allow the students to meet separately on the main campus. Keith had been transporting these students to the meetings on the Lord's Day. When this issue of different meetings was brought up for fellowship, it was turned down in fellowship on the ground that there had to be one expression of the church within the city, and that the numbers did not justify a separate meeting. During that time, there was a regular attendance of about 65 saints for the Lord's Day meeting. The position taken by the church was strongly backed by Brother Tim Knoppe, and so the status quo was maintained.
Another battle was raging however. Brother Keith, who had up to that time been staying with the other brothers in a large flat along with his family, now felt that he wanted to stay in his own place and that it should be in the campus area. He pushed this agenda on the ground that the ones he was laboring with were on campus, and that it would make it easier for him to transport them from campus to the Lord's Day meetings and to take care of outreach and his home meetings. It made logical sense then. Little did we know that this was the beginning of a series of moves to split the church.
Shortly after Keith secured a place near the university campus, he then started pushing again for a separate Lord's Day meeting for the students. This was again resisted by the leading brothers in the church and the other co-workers.
When Keith did not have his way with the saints, he was not happy, and he often complained about not being afforded the same level of respect as that given to Brother Tim. Whenever he came to me with his issue concerning "respect," I told him that respect in the church was a matter of manifestation. No one is ever told to respect any other brother, and if Brother Tim was getting more respect, it was probably because there was a manifestation that led the saints in that way. I also told him that I could do nothing to cause the saints to respect him more; it had to come from him. Keith even suspected that Tim was telling the saints not to listen to him. This was a false accusation and a real shame.
Within a period of about four or five months from when Keith arrived, Tim had to attend his son's wedding. Tim was supposed to be away for one month, but his time away ended up stretching far beyond this. Titus Chu frustrated Tim's return to Kampala as a step in a larger design to get him out of the way, so that Titus and his group could move ahead with their own plan for Kampala.
Two weeks after Tim was supposed to have returned, and with the saints asking about him all the while, Keith announced during a Monday prayer meeting that Tim was not coming back to Uganda. The reason he gave was that Tim's wife's health was not good and that he had decided to stay and take care of her. The saints were very distressed to hear this. In fact, we learned later that this was not the reason the Knoppes did not return to Uganda. Rather, Tim had learned that the work being carried out there was not in oneness with the co-workers in the Lord's recovery.
The Workers Impose Changes on the Church
Before Tim Knoppe left, he had fellowshipped with Sam Mpuga, George Kiiza, and myself—as the leading brothers—to take care of the church affairs and the speaking for the weekly meetings and Lord's Day meeting using the Life-studies as a guide. We were also advised to seek guidance from Keith. During the span of time that followed, we met five times a week as follows:
- Monday evening - prayer meeting
- Wednesday evening - study of Gospel of Luke
- Friday evening -
Life-study of the Epistles of
- Saturday morning - cleaning and
Life-study of Genesis
- Lord's Day - mostly gospel preaching
On the Saturday immediately following the Knoppe's departure—a day when the saints came together to clean the hall and to read through the Life-study of Genesis —Keith came with work rosters for all the saints. He also suggested that there would be no time to read through the Life-study messages, as the cleaning would take up most of the time. There had been no fellowship regarding this matter, and the saints rejected the rosters. They did so without putting up a scene. They simply did not follow them. Needless to say, the reading from the Life-study of Genesis continued unabated. The saints made it clear that the Life-study messages were more important than the cleaning.
As the barriers to Titus' and his workers' designs for Kampala were being removed, Keith was more and more empowered to take action to divide the church and build up a work under their control. During the same Saturday meeting mentioned above, Keith broke the news that there were some financial difficulties that the saints in the Midwest were experiencing and that they would not be able to pay the rent due for the building (meeting place) for much longer. He told us that they actually might not even be able to meet the next month's rent.
On the other hand, there was money to pay for a meeting place for the students, enabling Keith to now have his own Lord's Day meeting. His justification for this was that some of the students who wanted to meet with us were not able to make the trip to the meeting hall, so a convenient alternative had to be worked out. I remember asking why those who couldn't make the meeting did not attend one of his weekly home meetings. But when he insisted, we let it go.
Many saints told Keith that the way he was going with the campus smelt very much like the former way of the denominations that many saints had left. He would always be offended by these remarks. Some saints even went as far as to tell him that his speaking lacked a life supply. As the saints got more and more troubled, they approached the local brothers who were taking the lead and asked them to set up a meeting to fellowship these matters. When we notified Keith of this request, we were met with resistance and even an outright disregard for the feelings of the saints. We asked him how he could serve saints to whom he was not willing to listen. He had no convincing response, but he continued in this way, unwilling to fellowship with the saints.
When Keith left for a vacation in November 2005, it was a relief for him and for us. Keith fellowshipped with us (George, Sam, and myself) and asked us to take care of the students during his absence. It was resolved in fellowship that we meet weekly with the leading ones on the campus to help them prepare for the Lord's Day meeting. Keith did not mention the other home meetings. When we met with the leading students, they informed us that Keith had put off all the home meetings until his return. He had also given each one of them written scripts from which they were to share in the Lord's Day meeting.
I recall the students preparing to share on the life and work of the Lord Jesus. This was during the traditional Christmas time (in November/December). We were excited that they had the diagram from The Mystery of Human Life booklets, and we were anxiously waiting to hear from them. When we asked them to share their enjoyment, they started reading from the texts prepared by Keith. It was very dry and uncoordinated. We then shared with them how the subject they were laboring on was very important but broad, and how it was even more important to share from an actual enjoyment of the Lord as the Word. We also shared that they needed to labor together and have an equal burden to share the message together (backing up one another).
We took just the first step of their long message and shared something on incarnation with them. It astounded them! We started to share (from our reading of the Life-study of John ) how the Creator became a creature—a part of His own creation—and how this One became flesh and tabernacled among us. We continued to speak how God came in Christ to redeem us, deal with the enemy, and be our enjoyment. After we had shared this, these leading students were able to fellowship over it and minister life to the ones who attended that Lord's Day meeting. We heard from them the following week that the meeting had been very lively.
For all the time that Keith was away, we continued to care for the leading ones on campus. When Keith came back, we shared what we had found with the students and how we had been going on. He was offended that we found the students lacking in constitution, and from then on he actively kept them away from us—running his own meetings and protecting them like his own private dynasty.
Splitting the Church
Upon Keith's return, he came with John Myer and another brother who was under Titus. They came to share messages on the seven golden lampstands, with a specific agenda to officially sanction a split. They shared with us how Titus and those with him were not able to meet the expenses of the hall, and how we needed to think of an alternative arrangement. They did, however, commit to continue funding the hall which Keith had gone out on his own to procure (without fellowship) for the students. On hearing this, we had no option but to agree, because it was their money, and they had the prerogative to decide how they used it. They advised that we split up into three groups— one on campus, one in the Naguru Go-down area, and another in Bugolobi.
Their strategy was to concentrate support to the campus group, build a cheap steel sheet structure for the poorer Naguru saints, and leave the Bugolobi saints to cater for themselves. As before, Keith was to take care of the campus, Steve Lietzau and his wife were to take care of the Naguru area, and Bugolobi was left to the local saints to handle. It seemed Titus's workers hoped that the Bugolobi saints, who were the most clear about the practice of the church life and were therefore not in agreement with the fragmenting of the church, would shrivel away and die.
The Bugolobi saints looked for a meeting place, which we paid for together out of the local saints' offerings and continued meeting there on the Lord's Day, while meeting in homes during the week and on Saturday morning. The intensity of these meetings went up markedly. We continued in the Epistles of John on Friday evenings, in the Gospel of John on the Lord's Day, and in the Life-study of Genesis on Saturday mornings. The Lord was so intense during this time. Everywhere we turned, the Lord continually impressed His words upon us: "I will build My church."
The local leading brothers and the leading ones from the now-divided groups did, however, continue to meet weekly on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Additionally, on Friday mornings some of us came together to read through ministry books by Watchman Nee and Witness Lee.
Resisting Efforts to Divide the Church
As the three groups started meeting separately, some of the saints were troubled by the fact that our living did not match the Bible, especially in terms of the proper ground of the church. We were troubled that there was no proper expression of the local church. Whenever this came up in the weekly meetings of the leading ones, the brothers sent by Titus argued that, in the first place, we (the local brothers) were not the elders of the church because they had not appointed us. They claimed that they were the proper authority and that we had to listen to them. Ironically, we had been reading the books, The Normal Christian Church Life and Further Talks on the Church Life by Watchman Nee during the Friday morning meetings. These books (which these brothers claiming to have authority had recommended to us) repeatedly exposed their own actions and motives. Yet they remained adamant in their stance.
The local leading brothers then suggested that the three groups meet together as the church in Kampala for the Lord's Day meeting, so that one local expression could be maintained. This was strongly rejected by Titus's workers. The local leading brothers then compromised to meeting together once every month. This too was resisted. The argument in opposition was that there was not a single way for the different groups to meet due to the poverty of the communities and coinciding transport difficulties. They suggested that we consider an arrangement where the groups meet once every three months. It was also during this time, at the instigation of John Myer, that they started promoting the case for districts within the city, wrongly considering Makerere (which is in the center of the city), Bugolobi, Naguru, Bukoto, and Kireka as separate districts. For clarity, all these areas are part of the city of Kampala.
John Myer also started writing to us promoting their concept of "The city church." In John's letter, he ridiculed the church and the saints and discouraged any reference to "life...", questioning what that "really means." He went on to declare that it is a very subjective matter that is probably a "misplaced feeling or emotion." He also tried to make the saints look like they were the divisive ones, exclusive and non-inclusive. This belittling was intended to mask what was going on with the campus work—an effort that was so different from the examples of the churches in the Bible.
The debate aimed at uniting the church and having a local expression in the city continued, with Titus' workers continuing to pour cold water over it. Strangely enough, the Lord did not allow us to rest our case. The Lord continued to strengthen us and to unite us in this one accord. A rift was clearly starting to emerge between Titus' workers and the saints in Kampala.
Two polar positions took root: one for the one local expression, and the other for "district congregations." Titus' co-workers started to use a political method of divide-and-conquer. They would invite individual saints to their homes for meals and poison them with puffed up stories of their natural abilities and capacities and with negative stories, purportedly spoken by the local brothers against them. This talk was intended to stir up division amongst the saints, while drawing some towards them. This was, however, largely unsuccessful, especially with those saints who had been enjoying the flow of life in the meetings. Nevertheless, this kind of poison caused some of the younger, weaker vessels to be damaged and even caused some to eventually turn away from the Lord altogether.
Meanwhile, the Lord was leading us through John's Epistles, where He was assuring us of how the Spirit was in us and of how "all of you know," and how "you have no need that anyone teach you." In John's Epistles we also saw the need for being properly aggressive toward those who bring in teaching that is not according to the New Testament economy of God. In John's Epistles the matter of the "cycle of life" was also expounded. After John's Epistles, the Lord took us to the book of Hebrews. "Oh, how we were elevated to the heavenlies to see the heavenly Christ!" In Hebrews, the Lord impressed us with the ever present, speaking Christ, and how the Lord in this age is moving through the Person of His Son. We were also encouraged to press forward and be diligent to enter into His rest. We saw how the Lord has three stages of "His rest": one being the spirit of man, the second being the Kingdom age, and the third being the New Jerusalem. We were impressed with the need to enter into the first two stages of His rest, because here there is a reward to be won, a crown to be earned! All the regenerated ones will be in the ultimate consummation, the New Jerusalem...the third rest, but not all believers will be in the first two. We need to be in the first rest in this age so that we may qualify, as overcomers, to be in the second rest, ruling and reigning with the Lord in the millennial kingdom!
As the rift between the church and Titus' workers became more evident, they decided to call back Tim Knoppe and requested that he fly to Kampala to tell the saints to start respecting and listening to Keith Miller. Tim refused to do that, and he told them that he trusted the Lord in the saints. As more of their divisive work was exposed to Tim, he resigned from working with Titus.
Titus's Workers Try to Subdue the Saints
For their part, Titus and his co-workers sent John Myer and others again to Kampala in order to quell the saints and to get them to "listen to Keith." That was a very detestable visit. Right from their arrival, these brothers were so exposed. They arrogantly under-estimated the ability of the saints to properly sense leaven; and they over-estimated their own ability to steer the saints into whichever direction they pleased. The saints did not receive them warmly, and every time they spoke, it was so clear that they had come to push an agenda and to convince us that there was something wrong with Tim Knoppe, Living Stream Ministry, Brother Witness Lee, and the brothers who were working with Tim. (Later we realized these were the blended brothers.) These matters were specifically discussed during an out-of-town retreat, arranged by Titus' workers as a meeting between the local leading brothers and themselves.
Their talk did not sit well with us, largely because we could not relate to what they were saying. We had touched the Lord in a real way through Brother Tim Knoppe and the ministry of Witness Lee and of the blended brothers. This had caused us to give up many things in pursuit of the Lord. Now, the taste had changed and something else was being brought in. We kept asking them what this new, bad-tasting thing was. To this they responded that nothing new had been brought in.
John Myer tried to poison our thoughts toward the co-workers, the churches, and the saints in the United States, saying that they overly appreciated Witness Lee. We responded that we did not want to know about any problems in the United States but that we were talking about the problems that existed in Kampala. When we touched the church-life and the recovery, Brother Tim did not emphasize Witness Lee. He used the ministry books and the Life-studies, and through these he helped open up the Word. His emphasis was not on the brothers—it was on the revelation of God's divine economy. When we discovered the treasures in the Life-studies and the ministry books, we acknowledged that indeed Brother Nee and Brother Lee were a gift to the Body. We were convinced of these facts without anyone having to shove them down our throats. We did not now need a sermon on whether we should follow Witness Lee or not. We asked these brothers pointed questions: "If we are to not follow after Witness Lee and the recovery, what do you recommend we do?" "Do you have any other books and teachings?" They had no answer to those questions. We also asked them to tell us more of this "other way." But our questions were met with silence or feigned ignorance.
During that meeting one of the visiting brothers told us that Titus Chu had done so many things for them as individuals, and that they would never let Titus down or abandon him. This truly sounded like "honey" and natural affection. We told them that we needed more convincing than that. We also asked them why it troubled them so much that the saints wanted to be one, joined to each other as the local expression of the Lord's testimony in the city.
A Pretence of Oneness
Shortly after John Myer and the brother who had spoken of his loyalty to Titus went back to the U.S., the ones under Titus who remained agreed to a compromise in which the church could come together one time and then agree on later meetings. The meeting that they put together was arranged in a fleshly way, mobilizing students from campus under the guise of free transport and some promised refreshments. Buses were sent to the poor neighborhoods of Naguru and Kireka, and people were told that there would be a free lunch and free transport. Transport was also sent to the campus. When the saints from Bugolobi saw the way the meeting was being manipulated, they decided not to attend. Ironically, a picture from this particular gathering is the one that was chosen to show on the church in Cleveland website depicting the church in Kampala. More than 85% of those who appeared at that meeting have never attended another church meeting.
After this pretence of a meeting, we decided to call another meeting of the ones who were meeting in the different groups. This suggestion was vehemently opposed by the brothers working for Titus, who started referring to the saints as "my [meaning their own] people." This kind of speaking was particularly damaging to one brother, who had previously been a pastor before leaving the denominations to serve with us and who had been taking care of the ones in the Naguru Go-down area.
We, however, insisted on holding this meeting and assured the brothers that all the saints belonged to the Lord and that we did not really need their permission, because we were calling the meeting as the church in Kampala. At this, they reminded us again that we had not been appointed by them. They also warned us that they were going to tell "their people" not to attend the meeting. Eventually, when they realized that they couldn't stop the meeting, they assured us that neither they nor "their people" would attend.
Nonetheless, on the day of the meeting all of them appeared. It was clear their reason for coming was to ensure that they protected "their people" from being told anything about the need for unity in order to have the local expression of the church. Although we had previously intended to rally the saints for the one testimony and expression, we eased off, deciding not to expose the saints to the imminent division that had started to show its ugly face.
The weekly fellowship meetings of the leading ones became shouting matches. Often times, Titus' workers would wait until I sat down and then start shouting in an effort to get me to back down. The Lord caused such a strengthening inside. It was during this time, as the heat was turned up, that the Lord caused Brother Sam Mpuga to take a strong stand for the church.
The Divisiveness of Titus Chu's Work Exposed
It was also around this time that Tim called and told us that the Lord had made a way for him to visit us. It was truly the Lord's provision. The back-and-forth struggles with Titus' workers had drained and discouraged many of us. I decided to inform the brothers working with Titus of Tim's arrival one week before Tim came. They were very disturbed.
When Tim came, everything got exposed! The brothers working with Titus panicked. Keith Miller even wrote a letter denouncing the church in Kampala! (The text of this letter is reproduced in "An Account of Events in Kampala," by Tim Knoppe in this book.) In his letter, Keith admits that they were doing another work, following a way different from the church. It amazes me how he can still claim to be the church in Kampala when taking directives from the Midwest and Canada. In Uganda, they are even using the name "Kampala Christian Assembly" and referring to themselves as a "non-denominational church" (refer to church in Columbus website). Whenever we refer to an assembly as non-denominational, by inference it is divisive. Such a gathering is also sectarian, because it only includes a part of the Lord's believers.
Titus and his co-workers in Uganda are being used by the enemy to divide the Body of Christ and to build up empires around themselves as individuals. They are not caring for the Lord's interest but are acting in rivalry out of selfish ambition. Even their gospel preaching is not out of a pure heart. They seek impressive numbers but do not take care of the nurturing, shepherding, and cherishing of these saints for the Lord's interest and for His building. May the Lord save all of us from the subtle scheming of the serpent of old!
I will leave the rest of this saga to Brother Tim's account. All I choose to add is that Titus' workers kept accusing us of being "tutored" by Tim and of saying things similar to what Tim was saying to them. The truth is that all Tim would tell me on the phone was, "I trust the Lord in you saints. Keep in the Life-studies and in life." The other thing is that after Tim came, we got in touch with Brother Dick Taylor and Brother James Lee and the saints in the churches of Nairobi, Kakamega, Matungo, and Mumias. We also met with Brother Christian Ni'i-Aryee from the church in Arlington, Texas, and Brother Paul Cooke from the church in London, England. It was during these meetings in Nairobi, Kenya, that we were told how the door in Kampala had been shut to the Body of Christ all this time. We were almost in tears as we announced on behalf of the church that the door is now open to the fellowship of the Body!
The Lord has been so faithful to us and continues to be. We owe our salvation to the Lord, but in no small measure are we indebted to Brother Tim Knoppe and his wife Donna. When the Lord sent those saints to Kampala, He knew what He was doing, and He also knew that it was He who was coming through them. The mysterious Lord, the hidden God, moving secretly to recover His testimony in Kampala.
Jesus is Lord!