By Jeckonia Otieno
Inside the stone building are artefacts and photos of old showing some of the early Christians in Kenya. ?Actually, many people mistake that the big Anglican Church building at Rabai is the first church; this, however, is not true because the very first church that Krapf built stands small in a corner, dwarfed by the main church building used for worship.
In the words of Chrispus Chondo the church is closely tied to the history of Dr Ludwig Krapf himself.
Krapf who was born in Germany to a peasant family, was a full protestant – the name used at the time to describe those who were seen to have rebelled from the Roman Catholic Church.
After his schooling, he joined Basil College in Switzerland after which he went back home only to go back again to Basil in 1835 to graduate.
In 1836, Krapf was employed by the Church Missionary Society (CMS) as a missionary and posted to Africa in 1837.
His first stop was in Abyssinia (present day Ethiopia) where he did his missionary work but encountered a lot of opposition from the French Catholic missionaries and Ethiopian Orthodox Church.
In 1838, Krapf thought of venturing into the east coast of Africa but first went into Egypt where he met his wife. The wife, however, passed on in Egypt and was buried beside a road.
In 1843, saw Krapf set sail for East Africa from Egypt and stopped at Takaunga in December 1843. He not only wanted to convert the Wagalla to Christianity but also to establish if slave trade was still going on.
Krapf arrived in Mombasa in 1844 and met Ali Bin Nasri, the Swahili representative of the Sultan of Zanzibar. He wanted to get permission to spread the Christian faith but he was advised to go and see Sultan Seyyid Said himself for such permission.
He went to Zanzibar and met Said who granted permission to evangelise in the interior. When he came back, he stayed at Old Town in Mombasa, at Leven House.