Church Planter – Kampala, Uganda
Bill is the pastor of Reconciliation Baptist Church in Kampala, Uganda's capital city, where he resides with his wife and five children. Bill is fluent in five languages and holds a B.A. in Bible and Theology from Pan Africa Christian University. He is working in close association with HeartCry's partners in Kenya.
Testimony of Conversion
My mother divorced my father when I was only four years old. Because of my tender age, my mother decided to take me with her to her hometown of Kigoma, Tanzania. Once there, my mother started doing some business between Kigoma and Baraka, a small town across the border in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). During one of her trips there, she met a Muslim Congolese man. They became friends and eventually were married.
Soon after, my mother and I moved from Kigoma to the DRC in order to live with my stepfather. My mother and stepfather had other children, and we all grew up being trained in the Islamic faith. In 1983, we moved again to a town called Goma, DRC.
My mother had decided to hide the truth about my biological father from me. I could by no means tell that my stepfather was not my biological father, for he treated me very well, just as he treated his other children. The problem between my parents and me occurred only when I received Christ to be my Lord and Savior.
In November of 1986, there was a preacher from South Africa who came to Goma for a large, three-day Gospel crusade. My friends and I decided to attend the crusade, but not in order to hear to the Gospel; rather, we were hoping to seduce girls who were at the crusade. But whenever the word of God was being preached, I could feel myself drawn to the stories of the Bible; therefore, I attempted to both listen to the preaching and fulfill my original goal. However, the words of the preacher pierced my heart. I could hear him speak against the exact things that my friends and I had gone there to do. I could hear him talk about the wickedness of the very thoughts and plans that I had in my heart. As he was preaching, I wondered, “Who told this man all these things about me?” I was confused, but I pushed these thoughts out of my mind.
On the second day, it was the same story, except this time I started to feel a certain fear within me. Whenever I wanted to pay more attention to the preaching, my friends would come and make fun of me. But at that moment, I was no longer concerned about girls. My heart was now full of many unanswered questions. At the end of the day, we returned to our respective homes, but I could hear a voice saying to me, “I am calling you. Why don’t you want to respond? I am the One who died for you. The time has come for you to glorify Me in your life.” This voice only served to increase the fear inside of me. But I was afraid to share this experience with anyone, so I kept it to myself.
On the third and final day, we returned with the same purpose in mind. By then, all of my friends had gotten girlfriends, and they were making fun of me because no girl had fallen in love with me. They didn’t realize that, instead, my heart was falling in love with my Creator. On that day, I listened to the preaching more attentively than before. The preacher was explaining several Scriptures, among them John 3:16, John 10:9-16, and Romans 3:23.
At that point I could hear two voices preaching to me at the same time: one voice from without and another voice from within. The preacher continued, “Come and make your final decision today. Your time is now! Don’t wait for tomorrow, for you may never reach tomorrow!” At that moment, I found myself in tears, and my body was shaking with fear. By the end of the sermon, I was more than ready to go and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of my life. After prayer, I was led into a room, where I found myself repenting of all my sins that I could remember. I did so with many tears.
Afterwards, my friends could not believe what had happened to me. They tried to persuade me to abandon my new faith in Christ; but their efforts were in vain.
After what happened to me at the Gospel crusade, one of my friends, who was also a Muslim, went and reported me to my parents. They then confronted me one night and asked me whether what was being said about me was true. I feared to give them any answer at first.
My parents gave me one week to make up my mind and repent of my newfound faith. After that one week, I was asked whether I had renounced my “evil” plans of trying to quit Islam for Christianity; but this time I was courageous enough to announce that I had discovered the truth in Christianity – I could therefore never abandon it! This was the beginning of my persecution.
At that point, my parents denied me as their child and ordered me to leave their home, believing that suffering would force me to renounce my faith. Close friends and extended family also rejected me. I encountered much hardship during this time, but eventually I found a safe haven at the home of a Christian friend I met after my conversion. After seeing that I was refusing to abandon my new Christian faith, my own family started looking for opportunities to take my life. They would rather have me dead than allow me to continue putting their family to shame.
They used many methods in their attempts to kill me, but the Lord was merciful and protected me. A few years later, my mother divorced my stepfather and returned to Tanzania. I remained with my Christian friends in the DRC.
In 1995, I received a letter from my mother, who was then living in Dar es Salaam. In the letter, my mother informed me that she had been converted to Christianity in Tanzania and that she wanted me to go there so that we might reconcile. At first, I feared to go, thinking that this was a trick to catch and kill me. But some brethren advised me to go and see what was happening with my mother. When I reached Dar es Salaam, I found that she had indeed been born again! I was delighted with the change.
My mother apologized to me for all the wrong she had done me when I had first been saved. She also revealed to me the secret that the Muslim man was only my stepfather and that my biological father was actually a Ugandan man from Kasese.
At this revelation, I decided to move to Uganda as soon as I was able in order to search for my biological father. I was initially very upset and angry with my mother for having hidden such important information from me for so long. When I left Tanzania in 1996, I was still resentful toward her, and I did not tell her of my plans. However, I eventually realized my need to forgive her, and I wrote her a letter of apology for harboring bitterness against her and keeping my intentions from her.
I finally found my father in 1998. Because of our reunion, I decided then to remain in Uganda and have been here ever since.
Call to Ministry
Soon after the Lord saved me in 1986, I became a member of a Free Methodist church in Goma, where I first became interested in ministry. I felt the urge to leave everything else and live to serve Christ alone in my life. For some time, the extent of my ministry was singing in the choir and, eventually, preaching in the streets.
Then in 1997, after I had moved to Kampala, Uganda, a friend of mine invited me to a Pentecostal church, where I soon became a member. After a short time, I began serving there as an evangelist, and later I became an associate pastor until 2008.
It was during this time that I met and spent time with Priscilla, a former Roman Catholic who had been disowned by her family because of her abandonment of Catholicism and her faith in Christ alone as Savior and King. I was impressed with the character of this young lady compared with some of the others in the church. In 1998, I sought her hand in marriage, and she accepted.
In 2008, our family relocated to another part of Kampala, and we joined the church, Shalom Christian Outreach. After three months, the pastor of this church recognized my gift in preaching and decided to make me his associate pastor. In 2009, our church organized an ordination ceremony, and three people (including myself) were officially set apart as pastors in the presence of many.
Providentially, when I first learned how to study the Scriptures on my own, the doctrines of grace became very evident to me on the pages of the Word of God. Many years later, when I started preaching, I found myself proclaiming these doctrines; but I was unaware that they were called “doctrines of grace,” for I had had no theological training up to that point. However, my senior pastor, a former trained theologian, recognized these doctrines.
After some time, the pastor started fighting me openly, saying that my teachings were in contrast with his and that they were going to break “his” church. He continued to demean my teaching until he finally decided to officially kick me out of the church, accusing me of being a heretic.
I was spiritually tormented by this act; but the Lord used even this to prompt me to go into full-time ministry and to plant a church that would proclaim the Bible and the Bible alone. I started meeting with my family members in our house for Bible study. That was the beginning of Reconciliation Baptist Church.
In order to prepare myself better for ministry, I joined a Bible college in 2010 and began studying for my B.A. in Bible and Theology. It was during my theological studies that I came to understand the main reason behind the doctrinal differences between my former pastor and me: I was more Calvinistic in my teachings, while he held to a more Arminian approach.
I am grateful to the Lord that He has set us apart for missions work in Uganda and that He has provided partnership with HeartCry and with Grace Baptist Church of Kisumu, Kenya. I consider Kampala to be a strategic location for true Gospel missions, as it is the capital and largest city in Uganda and has been exposed mostly to the improper doctrines of Roman Catholicism and the “prosperity gospel” and to the Muslim faith.