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    Watoto Church Celebrates 40 Years of Service with "Big40" Anniversary Event

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    Watoto Church Celebrates 40 Years of Service with
    • June 24, 2024 • 28 days ago
    in summary
    Hundreds gathered at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds to mark Watoto Church's 40th anniversary, themed

    At Kololo Ceremonial Grounds, hundreds of congregants gathered to celebrate Watoto Church's 40th anniversary, themed "Awesome God." The event, known as "Big40," was meticulously organized, featuring checkpoints managed by ushers and soldiers, and walkways lined with more ushers cheerfully welcoming attendees. The main area, accessible through a bustling dome, was set for an 11am service followed by an afternoon praise rally.

    The church had advised attendees to wear comfortable shoes and outfits, a suggestion they took to heart. Regardless of the weather, the faithful came prepared with umbrellas. Early arrivals found seats on arranged chairs, while those without umbrellas or who came later were seated in the pavilion or on mats, especially children. With extensive experience in organizing large events like the Christmas Cantata and Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames, Watoto Church ensured everything was well-prepared, from stage setups and seating arrangements to crowd control and children's play areas.

    By 8pm, the energy was still high as attendees were reluctant to leave even after the praise rally, which featured guest ministers like Bethany Music and Brian Lubega. However, they were reminded to head home safely in preparation for the week ahead.

    The service's chief guest, First Lady Janet Museveni, praised Watoto Church for its impact since 1984 in spreading the Gospel and supporting orphans and the underprivileged. She highlighted the church's accomplishments, noting, "You have rescued and cared for more than 5,500 orphans, raising them in a family setting and teaching them to be Godly and productive citizens." These children thrive in three Watoto villages, located in Bbira, Suubi, and Laminadera, where they receive food, clothing, medical care, and education.

    Ms. Museveni also commended the church for empowering over 6,500 vulnerable women with vocational and entrepreneurial skills, start-up capital, and Godly values, indirectly benefiting countless children. She emphasized the significant improvement in women's lives due to these efforts.

    Retired Archbishop Rt Rev Henry Luke Orombi praised Watoto founders Gary and Marilyn Skinner for their exemplary leadership and integrity, especially in a country struggling with corruption. He lauded their decision to pass leadership to Pastors Julius and Vernita Rwotlonyo, highlighting this smooth transition as a model for Uganda.

    Former Watoto Senior Pastor Chris Komagum recalled Gary Skinner's humble leadership, recounting how he once cleaned toilets at the new Watoto Downtown location despite being the senior pastor. This act exemplified that true leadership is rooted in humility, not position or prestige.

    Marilyn Skinner expressed her hope to be remembered for serving her generation and inspiring the next. Gary Skinner concluded by affirming that despite their retirement, the future of Watoto Church remains bright.

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