KAMPALA – Church of Uganda Archbishop Stanley Ntagali on Thursday received the completed 16-floor Church House from the contractors, Cementers.
Named Janani Luwum Church House by the 23rd Provincial Assembly held on August 25, 2016, the commercial office building located on Plot 34 on Kampala Road, directly opposite the Bank of Uganda, is in honour of the former Archbishop who embraced the concept during his three year tenure as Archbishop in the 1970s.
In 1965 when the concept was conceived, the original location was meant to be on Shimoni Road, but the Bank of Uganda proposed to take over this site, exchanging it for Plot 34 Kampala Road in 1972.
Receiving the building on Thursday, Archbishop Ntagali said: “He who began this good work is the One who has brought it to completion,” citing the Bible verse from Philippians 1:6.
Fundraising for Church House went to the grassroots of the church, including every primary and secondary school student making contributions.
Commenting on the completion of the project, Ms Patience Ahimbisibwe Asiimwe, a journalist, posted on her facebook page saying: “The story to have this Church House completed goes back to the 70s when churches would be asked to contribute. At least that is how far my Mother’s memory could recall as she told us our Christian history growing up. I remember schools I attended and churches where we prayed from would ask us that we report with something towards the construction of Church of Uganda, now re-baptised Janani Luwum House. Bravo to all who have stood with these Christians to have this a reality. It doesn’t matter how long the waiting as long as we all keep focused!”
In 2010, the Trustees of the Church of Uganda entered into a loan agreement with Equity Bank to fund the almost $17 million construction cost. The Church of Uganda agreed to raise 30% of the construction cost, and Equity Bank financed the balance through a $10 million loan and a Shs5 billion loan. The loan had a two-year grace period during which time the Church of Uganda paid only the interest on the loan.
Construction began in December 2010 with an estimated timeline for completion by December 2012. There were construction delays, as well as an 18-month conflict among service providers that stalled construction progress.
The conflict was resolved in July 2014. After the Church of Uganda Provincial Secretariat conducted a prayer walk through the building, construction resumed, albeit with further delays for unforeseen reasons.
Janani Luwum Church House will be officially launched on August 24,
during the 24th Provincial Assembly meeting of the Church of Uganda.
According toa statement issued by the Church of Uganda on their social media platforms, Equity Bank will move their head office operations to the first four floors and will be the anchor tenant in the building. Space is still available for lease and is being managed through Bageine & Company Limited, the Letting Agent.
Archbishop Stanley thanked Equity Bank, President Yoweri Museveni, Cementers, all of his predecessor Archbishops who carried the Church House baton, all the various Board members of the Church House Company and their CEOs over the years, Watoto Church, all Bishops, Dioceses, and Christians who contributed, with special appreciation given to Canon Joram Kahenano, the CEO of the Church Commissioners Holding Company Limited, who oversaw the final phase of construction.