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The year was 1912 when a middle-aged man European man named David Sparrow trudged along a heavy ox-drawn wagon up the Nandi plateau to settle in the area which is today known as Burnt Forest. There was nothing extraordinary about this settler farmer. He was only one of hundreds seeking their fortune off the Plateau. He however, happened to be a Seventh-day Adventist – possibly the only settler farmer who practiced that faith in the whole of British East Africa. He then set out to share his faith with the Nandi on whose land he had settled. Two years later, he moved out to his own farm a short distance from Eldoret town and named it ‘Ndege Farm’ in Kipkenyo. David Sparrow and his wife Sallie led the first Nandi to the faith in 1916 and helped organize the first Adventist church at Kaigat in 1931. From that humble start, the Western Kenya region today has well over three thousand Churches and Sabbath-schools directly and in them hundreds of thousands of members.
This story captures the humble origins of Adventism at Sparrow’s Ndege Farm and how they met and overcame serious challenges and resistance to their faith. This story looks at the entry of Adventism from the four perspectives – the work of David Sparrow and his wife Sallie, the work of the early Nandi converts at Kaigat and the dispersal of 1941, the entry of Adventism to Luhya country and the Mt. Elgon / Kitale and the Northern rift region and the work among the Kipsigis. It centres mainly on individuals and the pioneers of the faith in various parts of the mentioned regions.