The Diocese of Butere was created in January 1993 as a sub-division of the former Diocese of Maseno North. It covers the geographical area in Western Kenya that used to be known as North Kavirondo. This was originally part of Uganda and therefore under Mukono Diocese.
Archdeacon Walter Chadwick son of Bishop Alexander Chadwick of present day Diocese of Derry & Raphoe was the first missionary to Butere, arriving in 1912 from Entebbe. He was sent by Church Missionary Society and started evangelism through itineration in the area, through schools and dispensaries. The missionary task was not an easy one because the locals were deeply immersed in cultural practices, so much so that it took them time to understand the concept of salvation through Christ.
Today, the Anglican Church in Butere has about 22,000 registered members spread across Butere and Khwisero sub counties as well as 103 church founded educational institutions and 5 health centres.
From the CMS Butere station, western Anglican Christianity was born along with six dioceses; Maseno North (and Maseno South), Nambale, Katakwa, Bungoma, Mumias and Butere itself.
Second Bishop: The Rt Revd Michael Joshua Sande (2003 – 2013)
Michael Sande (Bishop Canon Commissary) was the second Bishop of the Diocese of Butere. Before joining ministry, he had a professional background in Science and the Pharmaceutical Industry in addition to his theological training and experience. He served as the Managing Director of Faizal International Pharmaceutical Company before his ordination as a clergy. Now retired, he lives in Mwihila where he serves in his local church. He is also the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Christian Health Association in Kenya (CHAK).
First Bishop: Rt Revd Horace Shitandi Etemesi (1993- 2003)
Horace Etemesi (Bishop Emeritus) was the first Bishop of Butere Diocese . He trained at St Paul’s United Theological College, Limuru , before becoming manager of Uzima Press, Nairobi (1975-88) and served as chairman of the Kenya Publishers’ Association (1978-88) and of the Bible Society of Kenya (1987-89). He was a member of WACC’s Central Committee (1979-88) before joining its staff as regional coordinator for Africa and Latin America (1989-94). In 1994 he was elected diocesan bishop. Now retired, he lives in Shikoti, Kakamega on his farm where, he has built an interdenominational chapel for a congregation of around 60 members. He is the author of The Birth of Christ (Let’s talk about).