Joel Waweru Mwangi was born on 4th October 1959 at Gakira Village in Kangema Division, Murang’ a. He is the 7th child and last born son of the late Bernard Mwangi and the late Ruth Wambui. He grew up as a friendly and
helpful child, assisting his parents in herding cattle at his father’s farm.
Joel together with his siblings was brought up in a Christian environment from a tender age, their parents being Christians and active members of the East African Revival fellowship (Tukutendereza). During his early life, young Joel referred to himself as a child of God (kana kaNgai).
Education in Mwangi’s family was a matter of priority and that is what saw him attend the nearby Muguru Primary School in 1966 1974. He was a hard-working boy who exuded calmness and joy. He sat for his certificate of Primary Examination and qualified to proceed to Kangema High School from 1975 1978 where he did his ’O’ levels examinations. It was during this period that Joel accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and personal Saviour on 3rd July He felt an intensely growing need to share with others around him the positive change he was experiencing by having a relationship with Christ.
One year later, Joel heeding to God’s call to mainstream ministry, joined the Church Army College (currently Carlile College) between 1980 and 1981 and obtained a Certificate which qualified him to be a Church Army Evangelist based at the St. James &All Martyrs Cathedral, Murang’ a. He expounded his training
in Theological Education by Extension (TEE~ over a four year period. His passion for people and dedication to God, two outstanding character traits in his life are what propelled to be promoted to the position of à Training College Officer at Church Army Africa before completing his TEE course. he later added a certificate in Religious Studies from Nairobi University to his steadfastly growing portfolio.
The year 1986 certainly had a great effect on the effectiveness of his ministry. it was the year he married the apple of his eye, Tabitha Muthoni Waweru on 2nd August 1986, a union that resulted in there being blessed with two daughters namely Leah Wambui and Loise Wanjiku. His family has been instrumental in his ministry through encouragement and even actively participating in direct ministry to him. He is quoted ". . . . You
may not believe it but my daughters lay their hands on me and pray for me •••.." He also joined East Africa School of Theology to undertake his first degree in Bachelor of Arts in Bible Theology, this exposure enhanced both his commitment to ministry and spiritual growth. It is also the same year that he became the Administrative Officer at Church Amy Africa.
Joel possesses a mind for excellence that will not be satisfied by average accomplishments in life, his desire for in-depth knowledge and insight to enrich his relationship with God and ministry are the drive behind his actions and achievements From 1992 to 1996, he became the Assistant General Secretary at Church Army Africa. Due to his integrity and knowledge, he was the Acting General Secretary from 1992 for two years awaiting the appointed General Secretary, Rev. Canon Stanley F. Dakin who was in the UK by then. His time at Church Army Africa saw him travel widely to represent the African institution abroad both as a leader and the main speaker in some conferences. These include Church Army Officers Conference in Toronto Canada, Church Army Officers meeting in Northam. Ireland, making presentations in various forums including Buckingham Palace (England) before Her Majesty the Queen and at Church Army World leaders conference in Bournemouth, England and at Church Army World leaders conference in Sydney, Australia. It was while serving the Lord at Church Army Africa that Joel was made a Deacon in 1993 and ordained as a Priest the next year at the All Saints Cathedral, the then Nairobi Diocese by the late Archbishop Manasses Kuria.
Over time, Joel attended various leadership courses and seminars in various institutions and forums such as Haggai Institute, Maui Hawaii, Daystar University Nairobi, and Marc Europe-London-UK. In 1995, while in Minnesota, USA, Joel served as a Part-time minister at St. Luke's Anglican Church Minnesota. He then moved with his family to the UK the following year to undertake his Master of Arts in Theology at the Hallam Pastoral Institute Sheffield (University of Leeds UK). He was also licensed to work as a priest in the Diocese of Sheffield, in the UK in the same year. While undertaking his Masters, he was posted to St. Mary's Bramall Lane, Sheffield (UK) as an assistant minister and in his final year 1999, he was stationed at St. Silas Parish - Broomhall, Sheffield (UK) as the presiding minister. Joel together with his family relocated back home (Kenya) in December 1999 where for three months he operated as the Diocesan Youth Organizer (DYO). He was later appointed as the Vicar at ACK St. Polycarp Mlango Kubwa from March to December 2000. On New Year’s Day of the year 2001 (01/01/01) in the morning Joel reported to a new posting ACK St. James Church Buru Buru as the Vicar, only to be welcomed with news of the demise of one of its notable members. He rolled up his sleeves and took it in stride to minister to the grieving family church, with God's comfort and love and has continued to do so for the past ten years. While serving at St. James, He was Collated and installed Canon and inducted as the Archdeacon with the Cathedral Archdeaconry. Aside from the diocesan promotions, in 2009, the Youth at St. James also gave him the honorary award, voted as the best "Pasii" in the world and appreciated for the immense contribution in their lives as pastor, mentor, friend and dad; a gesture that proves the relevance of his ministry as a spiritual father and mentor to many young people at the church. Joel has literarily grown together with St. James over the past ten years.
The Anglican Church is not the only place that he has served. Other institutions have recognized his potential and honoured him to serve in their boards and associations. He is the Board of Director's Chairman, Thangira Umoja Secondary School, Thika and while his daughter schooled at St. George's Secondary School, he was elected as the PTA board member for three consecutive years until she finished her 'O' levels. He also served as the Chairman House of Clergy and Provincial Synod representative in the Diocese of Nairobi.
The life and ministry of Joel aim to reflect what was said of the prophet Ezra;
A teacher, well versed in the Law which the Lord God of Israel had given.••
for he had devoted himself to the study and observance of the Law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws... (Ezra 7:6 & 1O)
When Joel was elected the ACK Nairobi Diocese' second Bishop, his response was "I accept to take up this responsibility with humility... ” A predictable response, for many who know him as one who does not to shy away from great responsibilities in humble reliance on the Holy Spirit to lead and guide him. This path, though few treads, has been taken by Joel and his family strengthened by the prayers and travails of many Christians. This path of life full of boulders and pits can only be conquered by the constant prayers and support of the saints. Joel will cherish every prayer uttered before the Lord on his behalf as he serves the Church and the Saints.
"A leader impresses on people when he succeeds,
But he impacts more when his followers succeed. "
To the Glory of GOD.