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D. Kimathi Nelson aka Jaramogi Menelik Kimathi
Presiding Bishop and Holy Patriarch of the
Pan African Orthodox Christian Church
In the Pan African Orthodox Christian Church, we celebrate our trans-generational legacy of struggle, faith, vision, and leadership. A legacy is something transmitted or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past. A successful legacy yields fruit in the form of institutions that carry the work and vision forward. Just as the legacy of Abraham’s family was institutionalized in the biblical nation, Israel, the revolutionary legacy of our founder’s family has been institutionalized in the Pan African Orthodox Christian Church. This legacy has left an indelible imprint on Black people by raising our collective consciousness and establishing tangible institutions that give concrete expression to our struggle for power and self-determination.
The Jaramogi Abebe Legacy continues to ripple outward like a pebble dropped in a lake, influencing things far beyond its original place and time. Each generation touched by this ripple is given the opportunity to give it even greater expression in their own time. If each successive generation does their part, the ripple builds into a tidal wave that transforms the landscape. Those of us who have embraced this legacy are its spiritual descendants. We have inherited the duty to keep it alive, expand its vision and share its revelations with the world. Embedded within our enduring legacy is the divine promise of a new life in a kingdom of God on earth. As we sow seeds toward this reality, we constitute our peoples’ greatest hope to be restored to our original place of power and dignity in the world.
Today, we are forced by historical circumstance to accept collective self-reliance and self-determination as our only hope for an acceptable future. We must promote these virtues by audaciously endeavoring to thrive collectively in the “new normal.” We must set an example that enlightens Black people that our legacy provides the answer. The PAOCC is blessed with a rich self-determination tradition, visionary faith, and significant land and property holdings that can enable us to thrive and prosper if we have a mind to. It is the sacred obligation of every generation to hand a legacy on in better shape than they found it. We celebrate the spiritual gift of the Jaramogi Abebe Legacy and reaffirm our commitment to the realization of its goals. In doing so, we will also reaffirm our pledge to God and our people that “We share a sacred trust between those who have gone before and those who will come after.” AMEN!