On March 17, 2018, Pastor Leonard passed away from stomach cancer. Before he joined his heavenly Father, he was starting new churches in Uganda. His story is the testimony of a local champion who cared greatly for his community and his country.
Kampala, the capital of Uganda, has many slums. Katanga, a large slum near the city centre, is the place that Pastor Leonard and some of his current church congregation felt called to start a new church. The Katanga community is made up of two parts: the slum itself, and student hostels. There are those with education and those with no education at all living next to each other.
“After attending the church starting program, we felt that the Lord was leading us to plant a new church,” said Leonard. Leonard and his congregation prayed and sought the Lord’s will. Soon, Leonard met a brother in Christ who offered his building freely for them to use for services and outreach.
“The church is called Christ Our Sure Foundation,” he said. “We felt that the foundation of the Church in Uganda has grown weak so we want to reach out and disciple people, and put people back on the right footing, the right foundation.”
Leonard saw God beginning to transform the community. The university students have been especially impacted by the Gospel. Before Leonard and his church reached out to them they were going to nightclubs and partying. Now, some are attending church and changing their lifestyles.
The families in Katanga have also been impacted. Husbands have come back to their wives, children are coming to the Lord, and some families have even been able to take their children to school.
“When we first began the outreach to the community we got so many children,” said Leonard. Many of these children and their families were malnourished and went hungry. With the money they had, Leonard and his congregation opened up their kitchen and offered food to the people. Each day, much of the community comes to eat and fellowship with the congregation.
To Leonard, the most memorable part of starting a new church was the idea of planting a living church in the community. “A living church!” he exclaimed. “This means that this church must impact the community where they are. The living church is the solution, because when we go back to the book of Acts, we see a church which was living.”
Even though Pastor Leonard recently passed away, his congregation presses forward, emulating the living church of the book of Acts. The early church came into the communities and used the little they had to create an impact. Starting a new, living church in Katanga has equipped, empowered, and strengthened the community. We praise the Lord for the life and legacy of local champions like Pastor Leonard!