(Continued from Sandra)
“Hello, Bishop,” Sandra says with a sly smile on her face. “I have come to see if you are ready for the evening session or if there is anything you need.”
Bishop Gitonga looks up with a puzzled expression on his face.
“Aren’t you supposed to be getting ready for the session yourself?” he asks.
Sandra can see his eyes feeding on her body, so she smacks her lips and touches a gold pendant that is on her chest. That single act guides his eyes to her chest, and she unbuttons two of the top buttons of her blouse to give him a glimpse of her cleavage.
Sandra has done her research. She knows he has a weakness with women. She knows that the current mama kanisa is his third official wife, in addition to a string of mistresses. He is handsome and has an air of mature authority. Unlike most of his age mates who are fat with large pot bellies, Bishop Gitonga is very fit and wears classy, fitting suits. All his suits are navy blue, black, grey or a dark shade of brown. He does not wear the shiny suits that some Pentecostal pastors prefer. She hardly listens to his sermons on Sundays, because she is usually busy stripping him naked in her mind. That happens with Titus seated by her side.
Sandra has always wondered how difficult it would be to get the Bishop to dump his wife Jessica and marry her. That is her fantasy. Sleeping with him will not be a problem. That she will do easily. She is usually able to get most men she fancies to sleep with her; getting any of them to marry her is usually the problem. Titus is by far the most gullible, but even with him she knows she cannot mess up this time because that girl Elizabeth is waiting in the wings to snap him up should he be heartbroken. The good thing is that it is only one month to the wedding. Maybe she should wait until she is married before she seduces the Bishop. But then again, that will take away the challenge of trying to make him marry her. She will sleep with the Bishop, but she cannot let Titus find out. Chances are high that the Bishop will sleep with her but stick to Jessica. She needs a husband, and Titus is the only choice she has.
“I am ready Bishop, but Titus is not here yet. He said he will be late.”
Premarital counseling sessions are usually conducted by the Family Life Pastor at the church, but Titus is a prominent member of the church and so his sessions are conducted by the Bishop and his wife, right here in the Bishop’s office. Titus was appointed by the Bishop to sit in the church’s Deacon’s Board two years ago. Appointments in the church are not made on the basis of any spiritual criterion. If you are male, you need to have some wealth that can benefit the Bishop beyond the ordinary tithes and offerings. If you are female, it is usually enough to have a body that the Bishop can desire, and be willing to offer it discreetly. But if you are a woman of significant wealth, you will be accommodated even if you do not parade your body.
These are unspoken rules, of course, and the larger portion of the congregation has no idea. To them, their Bishop is a saint, and anyone who says otherwise is an agent of Satan, sent to bring down the servant of the Lord. Titus himself has no idea that he was appointed to the Board because of his increasing wealth. He has always imagined that it was God who called him, through the Bishop, and so he has always felt greatly honored by his appointment.
That is why he feels guilty about sleeping with Sandra before they are officially married, and the main reason he is getting married so quickly. Since he is unable to resist her, then he might as well legitimize their bedroom activities by marrying her.
“By the way that is a nice tie, Bishop,” Sandra now says. “But it is slightly off the mark. Let me fix it for you,”
Before he can respond, she moves to his side of the desk and starts fumbling with the tie, which was just fine, to begin with. In the process, she allows him to inhale her perfume until he is intoxicated with lust. She abandons the tie project and strokes his face with her right hand, the left holding the back of his neck.
“Sandra,” he whispers. “This is a bad idea,”
“Are you sure?” she asks, sitting on his lap.
“Doing what I think we are about to do is not the bad idea. Doing it here and now is the problem. My wife and your fiancée will be here any moment now,”
“I didn’t know that you are afraid of your wives,” she coos. She says “wives” to let him know that she is aware that he has been previously married and also suggest that she knows he has mistresses.
“Jessica is not one to mess with. She can destroy you in minutes and bring down my ministry in a week. She has gotten herself many connected friends. I am figuring out a way of getting rid of her, but before then I have to be careful,”
“Get rid of her as in kill her?” Sandra asks, suddenly intrigued. She likes the hint of violence in his voice.
He does not answer but instead tries to push her away.
“Let us do this tomorrow. You will accompany to a meeting in Nairobi and there we will find a hotel,”
“You don’t want to get an idea of what you will be getting?” she insists, planting a kiss on his lips.
The Spring of Life Ministries is headed by Bishop William Gitonga, a 52-year-old former veterinary officer. Like most small-time veterinary officers in rural areas, his work constituted mainly of treating East Coast Fever (ECF) in cows, and a myriad of other cow diseases that even he had no idea about. Some cows lived, others died. Sometimes he was called to help cows that were having trouble giving birth. He moved around in an old Yamaha Motorcycle, one of the only two motorcycles in Kigumo. The other was owned by a local businessman who owned a bar and a hardware store in Kigumo market. That was before the Chinese motorcycles flooded the country.
The young William was restless, tired of birthing calves. But he did not know what else to do. Then his girlfriend, Milkah, invited him to a church conference in Nairobi. It was hosted by Pastor Elijah Mbiti of Ezekiel’s Valley of Dry Bones Church. Milkah was a local girl but she was working as a secretary in Nairobi. At first he was reluctant to go. He wasn’t religious per se, and rarely went to church. But Milkah didn’t know that, otherwise she wouldn’t have given him a chance. Besides, he knew his scriptures well thanks to a strict Christian upbringing.
Milkah said the conference would go on for seven days and that made William interested in going. Milkah was a saved girl, so they had not been having sex. But if they left the conference at night and he had nowhere to spend the night…
His plan did not work out because Milkah had told her pastor that her boyfriend was coming all the way from Kigumo, and the pastor opened up his house to him. William was astounded at how wealthy the pastor was. By the time the seven days were over, he was persuaded that he had found his calling. He not only befriended the pastor, he also impressed him with his “fire” for the gospel. He convinced the pastor that the church needed a branch in Kigumo. He, William, would build it on the land he inherited from his father. What he needed Pastor Elijah to do was to buy the furniture and the public address system and also to hold a three-day open-air crusade culminating in the church launch on a Sunday.
Pastor Elijah agreed, and Ezekiel’s Valley of Dry Bones Church-Kigumo was birthed. William was, and still is, a charismatic man, and soon his church was so full that he had to expand it. In the early days, he used to faithfully send half all the tithes and offerings to Pastor Elijah. But as the church grew, and his confidence as a clergyman soared, he stopped sending the money. His relationship with Pastor Elijah deteriorated, and the older pastor threatened to close down the church. But the church was built on William’s inherited land so William simply registered a new name and rebranded the church, calling it the Spring of Life Ministries.
The Spring of Life Ministries now has seventeen branches under it, spread out across Central and Eastern Kenya. William monitors all the churches closely to ensure none of the pastors plays a number on him the way he did to Pastor Elijah.
The Spring of Life Tabernacle is the Headquarters, and it is located just outside Murang’a town on a prime piece of land next to Murang’a University. William’s two children with his first wife Milkah are now grown up and hold leadership positions at the church. Sadly Milkah died due to complications of her third pregnancy. Martin, the Bishop’s firstborn, is the senior pastor of the Kigumo church, while his younger sister Mariam is a youth pastor at the Tabernacle, as the headquarters church is called.
William married Celestine two years after Milkah’s death. She had been his mistress while Milkah was alive, but Milkah had no idea. Four years after their wedding, Celestine caught him cheating and divorced him thinking she would get alimony and child support. But with a powerful legal machine that may or may not have bribed a judge, William got full custody of his son and Celestine was hung to dry. She did not get any alimony, and the Bishop’s social media team paid bloggers to spread rumors that she had been having an affair and that it was the Bishop who divorced her, not the other way round.
After the divorce, the Bishop stayed single for many years, although he kept several mistresses. He finally tied the knot again when he met Jessica. She has proved to be just as cunning and ruthless as he is, nothing like the docile Milkah or the naïve Celestine.
The Spring of Life Tabernacle sits on four acres of land. The main sanctuary is housed in a beautiful four-story complex and occupies the ground and first floors. The second and third floors are offices. There are two other structures on the campus. One houses the conference halls, two of which are used by the teens and the youth for their Sunday services. The same building also has Sunday school classes. The children are categorized according to their ages and placed in different classes. The third building is the cafeteria.
The parking area is behind the cafeteria. Titus quickly parks the Toyota Harrier next to the Bishop’s Lexus. He had mentioned to Sandra earlier that he would be late, but he was able to wrap up his work earlier and is right on time. But he hurries anyway because he is excited. It is not the premarital session he is excited about. What he is looking forward to is his meeting with Sandra later on in her apartment, and the carnal activity they will engage in then.
There are just a few other cars in the parking areas, mainly belonging to the staff, especially the cafeteria staff. Most of the church offices are closed for the day, but the cafeteria closes at 7.30 pm. There may be one or two congregants praying in the main sanctuary.
Titus takes the lift to the third floor, where the Bishop’s office is.
The kiss sends electricity flashing through the Bishop’s body. This woman is beautiful and sensual. He has lusted over her ever since she started volunteering at the church and has always known that he will sleep with her sooner or later. Now she has brought herself. And if her fiancé is running late, then perhaps they have time for a quick carnal session. The church staff have all left and Jessica has just texted him telling him that she will not be attending today’s session because their son is unwell.
He pulls Sandra close to himself and kisses her back. But just as things are getting heated up between them, there is a knock and the door opens.
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