Rev. Francis Kinyua

Rev. Francis Kinyua is an Elder in the Methodist Church of Kenya who served in pastoral ministry for nine years in Kenya, including as Superintendent Minister, presiding over multiple congregations pastored by lay people, while continuing his lifelong practice of farming. He is a gifted developer of leaders, skilled in spiritual formation, pastoral care and counseling, and in helping communities work together collaboratively to find solutions to challenges. Rev. Kinyua is experienced in both rural and urban contexts of ministry, and has effectively combined agriculture with ministry in both contexts.

When Rev. Kinyua began his master’s degree at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, he quickly became involved in the community garden on campus started by Dr. Elaine Heath. Soon he became her research assistant and managed the garden, which was a learning site for a range of classes including eco-evangelism and forming missional communities around locally grown food. Rev. Kinyua’s master’s thesis focused on forming missional communities through community gardens.

In the United States, Rev. Kinyua has served Minneola United Methodist Church in Dodge City, Kansas, where he began a robust community garden program and an after-school program for children from underserved families; and since 2019 in Hillsborough, North Carolina, where he is planting a new faith community. The Church at Spring Forest is a decentralized United Methodist mission church anchored in a small farm and a growing network of neighborhood gardens. The community is guided by core values of creation care, welcoming immigrants, and working together to grow food, and a rule of life that includes prayer, work, table, and neighbor.

Rev. Kinyua is married and the father of three children.

Learning Materials:

Since moving to North Carolina in June of 2019, Rev. Francis Kinyua has been serving as the lead pastor of The Church at Spring Forest where Elaine A. Heath is the Abbess. In this article, "Show Up" by Elaine, she describes how through paying attention their efforts and slim resources were appropriately directed and are now paying off in the form of healthy food for their holistic community. These initial efforts have also brought to their community several people who are now helping in caring for the earth, production and distribution of health food. Francis is so grateful to God for leading his path to this community that loves to say, "Show up. Pay attention. Cooperate with God. Release the outcome."


In this video, Francis will introduce you to the sights and sounds surrounding The Church at Spring Forest. He shares about compost surprises and the value of microorganisms.  He also speaks about the need to approach the garden with humility, respect and care - all metaphors for life in community and life with God.