Paul Nthenge Mackenzie the pastor of the Good News International Church in the country, a “Message” church based upon the teachings of William Branham.
Mackenzie brainwashed his congregants using William Branham’s End of Days theology, and convinced them that starvation could hasten their escape from this life to be with the lord.
Mackenzie was radicalized with the Latter Rain version of William Branham’s Message the same version that attracted Jim Jones of Peoples Temple who convinced over 900 followers to commit mass suicide in Jonestown, Guyana.
The Latter Rain had a fundamental doctrine of fasting to achieve “atomic power” as described in Franklin Hall’s book, Atomic Power With God through fasting and Prayer.
According to the doctrinal teaching, converts were instructed to fast for forty days.
Paul Mackenzie has been trendinng following what has been described as the worst cult in East Africa.
The Kenyan preacher compelled his followers to fast for 40 days in exchange for the promise of meeting Jesus. More church members have perished as a result of a hunger strike, and DCI officers are currently on the scene searchin and exhuming more bodies.
YEAR OF BIRTH
Paul Mackenzie was born in 1972 in Tennessee in the United States of America.
He attended High school in Tennessee after completing his high school education he joined Tennessee University where he graduated with a degree in Theology.
Pastor Paul Mackenzie had a passion to serve full time in ministry, he served as an associate in several churches before his ministry took him to Ohio.
When in Ohio he served as a senior pastor of a local church and he was instrumental in changing the church into a thriving community of believers.
Mackenzie dwelt on the uselessness of life and stressed on the afterlife. He preached about the second coming of Christ which according to him was so soon His timeline of the second coming was always less than a year. He also focused on the wrath that awaited those who would be alive by then.
Paul Mackenzie is married to Michelle Mackenzie and together they are blessed with four children. His wife serves together with him in ministry
Paul Mackenzie claimed to have received a prophetic word in 2001, that he would go back to Tennessee to start his own ministry/church.
Having heard the voice of God Paul and his family relocated to Chattanooga, Tennessee to start his own ministry.
The year 2002 Paul founded the City Church Chattanooga which grew fast to over 4,000 members.
City Church Chattanooga saw a tremendous growth which transformed into a vibrant ministry allegedly touching many lives.
City Church Chattanooga pioneered different programs which was aimed at feeding the homeless and providing them with shelter, while supporting missionaries locally and abroad.
Around 2016, Mackenzie acquired a TV station after one of his congregant Kennedy Mwacharo sold his property in Lamu at a throw away price of 20 Million Shillings and handed over all the money to him, abandoningy responsibilities and family.
The property was valued over 100 Million back then. The man would die two months later in unclear circumstance.
In 2018 Ezekiel Mutua through KFCB ordered for the immediate closure of the TV station, this was a year after Mackenzie and his wife had been arraigned in court for religious radicalisation.
Knowing and unlawfully promoting extreme belief system for the purpose of facilitating ideologies to advance religious and social change.
It is unclear how the case ended and despite the orders to shut down the TV station, Mackenzie continued with it something that showed how connected he was.
PAUL MACKENZIE AND AISHA JUMWA
Remember at a point, he threatened the then Kilifi Women and Current CAS Aisha Jumwa when she questioned some of his teachings and why he kept sick people in his compound instead of taking them to hospital.
In 2019, Mackenzie again hit headlines when four siblings from Mumias left home for his church and went missing, three of them would later resurface.
According to Aisha Jumwa, Pastor Mackenzie bribed police officers who were supposed to do the investigation.
This, plus the pressure put on him to close unregistered school he operated in his compound prompted him to move from Migingo to Shakaola.
He closed the church, sold some his vehicles then bought the Shakaola land in the name of starting a farming venture.
It is claimed that while leaving Migingo and closing his church, he sold the TV station ( equipment) and one of his vehicle to Pastor Ezekiel of New Life and even some of his evangelization tools.
It is worth Noting Pastor Mackenzie is not living with his family in Shakaola, the family lives in Migingo village in a gated compound where he had his church and he has been putting up another beautiful family home few distance from Malindi town.
Paul Mackenzie Church has been proven to be a cult religion by Homicide Officers after it was found out that he was misleading his followers.
Paul advised his congregation to fast to see heaven, this has led to his followers’ deaths due to starvation.
Several cases of people selling their properties and giving Mackenzie as they await to meet Jesus would then follow, the recent one being Betty, a air hostess who quit her 11 year job, left her husband and sold her lifelong investments at a throw away price of 7 million, heading with the money to Mackenzie’s Shakaola church.
Betty is reported to be among the dead bodies retrieved in graves in Shakahola.
It is claimed that Mackenzie used the money that Kennedy Mwacharo gave him to buy pieces of land in Malindi and Mombasa , two vehicles and started the TV station.
Through his TV station, Mackenzie reached so many people and his teachings were basically on end times, evilness of western ways of life like medical services, education, food, sports, music etc.
People who went to visit him at where his previous church used to be in Migingo were referred to his Shakaola farm and according to neighbours, a lot of people went there but few left.
Mackenzie had fasting supervisors who would monitor the poor souls in the bush as they starved to death. These are believed to be the same people who work as undertakers for him.
Many graves have been discovered allegedly believed to be buried with bodies of believers who might have perished due to starvation.
Homicide Detectives have camped in Shakahola Forest in Malindi to rescue followers of Paul Mackenzie as well as Exhume buried bodies.
Some of the rescued followers even refused to be rescued claiming they wanted to go to heaven as their preacher had promised.
This has raised tension in country with religious leaders from other churches condemning Paul Mackenzie and even the president William Ruto called upon investigation to churches preaching the wrong gospel.
Three Suspects believed to be collaborating with the controversial pastor Paul Mackenzie were arrested on Tuesday while trying to escape from the Shakahola forest.
Those people, two of whom are men and one is a woman, have been arrested by police officers who are continuing the operation to hunt them down and rescue the survivors of the complex sect in the forest. They attempted to run away to avoid being caught by the police.
Minister of Internal Security Kithure Kindiki said that the government will face the controversial pastor Paul Mackenzie due to allegations of causing disaster.
Kindiki has strongly condemned Mackenzie’s action for using religion as a criterion to mislead people and even contribute to the disaster.
“We will not tolerate anyone who abuses freedom of worship to mislead people. Whoever is found deceiving people under the pretext of religion, we will deal with him properly,” said Prof Kindiki.
Prof. Kithure Kindiki has suggested Pastor Paul Mackenzie of the Good News International Church in Malindi charged with terrorism and genocide following his controversial teachings that caused his followers to fast to death.
The minister spoke when he visited the Shakahola forest on Tuesday to assess the situation as the operation to exhume the bodies of Mackenzie’s ‘disturbed’ supporters continued until the fifth day.
The minister also indicated that the government will take strict legal action against people who collaborated with Mackenzie to carry out the evil in which many people perished.
At the same time, Kindiki announced a strong search for the remaining survivors in the Shakahola forest in collaboration with various stakeholders.
“Starting tomorrow, Wednesday, we will add more officers to ensure that all the people who are hiding in this forest are found,” said the minister
This is happening while the number of confirmed dead reaches 90 after 17 more bodies were found.
Police officers in the crime scene suspect that there are some followers of Mackenzie who are probably excavating the graves to move the bodies and take them to another place with the aim of disrupting evidence.
Six more people have been saved. so far the number of people rescued since the start of the operation has reached 34.
Mackenzie family Defending their Son?
The family of controversial preacher Paul Mackenzie has come out to defend him as exhumed bodies increase every day.
His younger brother, Robert Mackenzie, speaking to Citizen TV reporters says Paul stopped preaching in 2019, and started farming, and therefore is not involved in Shakahola’s death.
“He started as a taxi operator in Malindi; a job he did for several years before receiving his spiritual calling,” Robert said.
He added that he saw Paul trying to serve in different churches in Malindi but the differences between him and the founders of those churches seemed to be many and thus he was expelled from three churches.
He was able to establish the Good News International (GNI) church.
Elder Mackenzie’s ministry at GNI soon grew in numbers and in controversy, through his teachings which encouraged members among other things to abandon modern education and seek health.
His family says carrying out those teachings was never necessary.
“My children go to school and they go to hospital and Mackenzie has never forced me to do otherwise,” said Robert.
Despite the large number of bodies found in the fields in the past few days, the pastor’s family is convinced that their brother is the target of evil.
They say Paul was a model child who grew up, kind to a fault and incapable of the crime he is now accused of.
“I do not agree with those accusations, I know my brother well; there is no way he would kill and bury someone,” added Robert.