The growing interest by scholars on the role of the Church in the transformation of the society prompted this study to investigate the contribution of the National Independent Church of Africa (NICA) to socio-economic development in Kibugu Parish, Embu County, Kenya. Specifically, the study discussed the Biblical and pastoral basis guiding involvement in socio-economic development besides examining how NICA carries out socio-economic activities in the study area. Further, the study identified the challenges and the strategies adopted by NICA to overcome them. The study was justified by the need to find out how NICA fulfils Jesus’ mission of being the healer, comforter and feeder of the hungry by contributing to their social and economic development. It is hoped that the study findings will assist faith-based non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other religious groups whose aim is to engage in sustainable community development in rural areas. The study’s conceptual framework was drawn from the Structural Functionalism Theory of Religion. This theory holds that society is composed of various institutions such as religion which play the role of social control, cohesion, provide meaning and purpose to life. In this respect, the study used the theory to look at how NICA contributes to transforming the lives of Christians from a state of disempowerment to socio-economic empowerment. The researcher used the descriptive case study design because it intensively and exhaustively investigates the social unit. Purposive and simple random sampling methods were used to select a sample size of 124 respondents from a target population of 371. Qualitative data from the respondents was obtained using focused group discussions (FGD) and interview schedules while questionnaires were used in gathering quantitative information. The researcher adhered to ethical considerations while gathering responses from the informants. Collected data was analysed using descriptive statistics, narratives, and verbatim responses. Then it was coded and processed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS). From the obtained data, the findings of this study revealed that NICA Parish engages in socio-economic development through sponsoring education, nurturing talents, extending love as well as praying and paying medical bills for the sick in hospital. Furthermore, the study revealed that NICA has no schools, vocational training institutions and hospitals in the area of study. Lack of adequate funds and long period of stay of a pastor in one Parish were among the challenges facing the Parish. The findings further suggests that NICA lacked a clear strategic plan that is critical in outlining her vision and goals. Despite the challenges, NICA’s efforts and commitment to changing the socio-economic welfare of people in the study area is commendable. This study recommended that the Church should formulate a clear strategic plan and have a long-term plan of establishing its own educational and health institutions. The strategic plan will enable the Church to understand her weaknesses, strengths, area where it has potential and the threats to its socio-economic development. Besides, NICA should organise seminars and workshops to educate the believers on better and modern farming practices as a way of economically empowering them.
M’ARIMI, W (2021). Contributions Of The National Independent Church Of Africa To Socioeconomic Development In Kibugu Parish, Embu County, Kenya. Afribary. Retrieved from https://afribary.com/works/contributions-of-the-national-independent-church-of-africa-to-socioeconomic-development-in-kibugu-parish-embu-county-kenya
M’ARIMI, WILFRED "Contributions Of The National Independent Church Of Africa To Socioeconomic Development In Kibugu Parish, Embu County, Kenya" Afribary. Afribary, 28 May. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/contributions-of-the-national-independent-church-of-africa-to-socioeconomic-development-in-kibugu-parish-embu-county-kenya. Accessed 08 Dec. 2023.
M’ARIMI, WILFRED . "Contributions Of The National Independent Church Of Africa To Socioeconomic Development In Kibugu Parish, Embu County, Kenya". Afribary, Afribary, 28 May. 2021. Web. 08 Dec. 2023. < https://afribary.com/works/contributions-of-the-national-independent-church-of-africa-to-socioeconomic-development-in-kibugu-parish-embu-county-kenya >.
M’ARIMI, WILFRED . "Contributions Of The National Independent Church Of Africa To Socioeconomic Development In Kibugu Parish, Embu County, Kenya" Afribary (2021). Accessed December 08, 2023. https://afribary.com/works/contributions-of-the-national-independent-church-of-africa-to-socioeconomic-development-in-kibugu-parish-embu-county-kenya