Walter Obare Omwanza is the presiding bishop (in apostolic succession) of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya, which is a member of the Lutheran World Federation. On 5 February 2005 he consecrated a Swedish pastor Arne Olsson as bishop for a conservative group called the Mission Province, which opposes the Church of Sweden policy of ordaining women into the ordained ministry based on supposed biblical teachings about gender[1]. After this, the Council of the Lutheran World Federation terminated a leadership position Obare held within the LWF on 1 September 2005 [2].

Concordia Theological Seminary, of the U.S. Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, awarded Obare with an honorary Doctor of Divinity (Honoris Causa) in 2006.

Childhood and Family life

He was born in Misambi village on the 10th May 1947 in Nyamira District of Kenya. He married in 1976 and has had ten (10) children and four grandchildren.

Schooling and service

Obare studied at Matongo Lutheran Theological College (MLTC) and graduated with General Certificate in Theology in 1978.

He was Ordained as a pastor in 1982, after which he served as a parish pastor in nine congregations simultaneously. In 1985 he was appointed by his church to be Pastor for Schools, a churchwide position. In 1991 he again studied at MLTC where he received a Higher Diploma in Theology, graduating in 1993. In the same year he took a teaching career at MLTC.

He was awarded a Masters Degree from Concordia Seminary St Louis (of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod) where he earned MA degree. He came back to Kenya and continued at MLTC until August 2002 when he was called into the office of the Presiding Bishop of ELCK. He was consecrated a bishop on the 24th of Nov. 2002.


  1. Relevant exegetical and theological studies can be found at: Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Commission on Theology and Church Relations.
  2. "LWF Council Terminates Tenure of Bishop Walter E. Obare as Adviser". August 2007. 

External links

sv:Walter Obare

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