Upendo Means Love in Swahili.God's love for us is the center of gospel message. God has seen fit to assemble us...a diverse people as a body of believers to exalt His son, Jesus Christ. Love is the common thread that runs through every ministry and expression of worship here.
We trust you'll discover God's Love among us.
Upendo Church was started in May of 1998 through the vision and work of Pastor Shadrack Ruto, a graduate of Dallas theological seminary (DTS). After graduating in 1996, Pastor Ruto served in various ministries in the Dallas Metro. However, it was not until mid 1998 that God impressed upon Shadrack's heart the need to reach out to the Kenyan community.
For a while it was more of evangelism, but after doing some research, shadrack realized that there were more than 7,000 Kenyans living in the Dallas metro area, most of whom were not members of any church. The call was clear: They needed not only salvation, but also a church in which to grow through worship, fellowship, and service.
God led Pastor Ruto to 14 people who were very interested in starting a ministry of this nature in the Dallas area. Together they started to pray and meet in a home for several weeks. As the number of persons attending grew, they realized that it would be difficult to continue meeting in a home due to space constraints.
Pastor Ruto approached the Dallas Baptist Association (DBA) for help in locating a church that would be willing to accommodate the mission group in the afternoons. Through the help of the DBA, Gaston Oaks Baptist Church agreed to host them.
Within a short period of time, God blessed the mission church with numerical growth creating the need to incorporate the group into a church. It was agreed upon that the church would be called Upendo Church. Upendo is a Swahili word meaning Love.
More Help Needed
At that point, Pastor Ruto invited Pastor Richard Munala, a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary to assist in establishing a discipleship program for the church. He also invited Pastor Jackson Kingori, who had worked for many years in Kenya as an evangelist and elder of a local church, to assist in the Administration and Outreach Ministries of the church.
The initial vision of the church was to reach out to the Kenyan community. However, it has become clear that God has a wider vision for Upendo Baptist Church. We have seen people from all walks of life join our services every Sunday. We continue to have a great passion for reaching international communities in the Dallas metro.
Our mission is to reach the many international peoples living in the metro and to help them grow in their walk with Christ. In addition, we intend to provide a stepping-stone for missionaries and evangelists who have been called to do God's work in Africa.