The preacher, counsellor, and role model to many in the Anglican fraternity who retired from his leadership on June 4, was gifted with a brand new Toyota Fortuner 2023 as a sign of gratitude from Christians for his devoted work to God and the church in general.

He isn’t the only reverend who has retired recently, but people’s love for him has exceedingly overflowed, and his gift was based on a number of lessons Christians learned from his leadership, and the church’s positive changes.

According to Sam Nkurunziza, the parish council chairman at St. Peter’s Remera Parish, Rev. Rutayisire’s main principle was to spread the gospel and message of Jesus Christ, which he did marvelously and brought many people to Christ.

“During his time, the church grew in numbers and in spirit. He was adept at caring for his followers, as he followed up and supported Christians in diverse ways, particularly spiritually and morally,” Nkurunziza noted.

He added that many Christians were in church, but were oppressed by family trials, financial issues, and other problems. However, Rutayisire counselled and mentored them, which kept them hopeful.

Nkurunziza said that Rutayisire trained Christians at church to become evangelists, and offered them a platform to practice, and most importantly, he practiced excessively in his role as a pastor.

“Rev. Rutayisire also reunited families that were on the verge of breaking and spearheaded infrastructural developments in Giporoso. When he joined St Peter’s Remera Parish, the area was underdeveloped as the buildings around were old, and the church was very small. He took the lead as a senior pastor and engaged Christians to transform the area,” Nkurunziza said.

Nkurunziza further explained that the new church that was recently inaugurated can accommodate 2,100 people with enough offices for the pastors and other staff.

He also pointed out that Rutayisire left the church in a condition that everyone was proud to be a member.

The Christians who were able and gratified to contribute to the fundraising for his gift came to the conclusion of buying a brand new car, as they were certain that Rutayisire would still move around serving God, yet his car had become old.

Fundraising the money took his followers about three months, though they decided not to reveal how much the car cost.

“We kept the fundraising process to ourselves as the parish, but it went public, and other people who love him joined us to celebrate him. It has been a full week of Christians honouring and applauding Rev. Rutayisire’s good work,” Nkurunziza said.

While delivering a message from Christians during his retirement ceremony at St. Peter’s Anglican Church of Rwanda, Janet Nkubana, the chief fundraiser of the car, said Rev. Rutayisire served the Lord and the church above himself, gladly, tirelessly, and faithfully and with a great passion for his congregation.

She also noted that he planted seeds of hope, love, and faithfulness in their lives, and truly made a difference in many lives, adding that he showed hospitality, and offered encouragement to many without discrimination.

“As the story of your life opens to its next chapter, may the Almighty God bless you and watch over you. May God grant you peace always, and may the God of abundant joy shower you daily with great appreciation from all of us,” the Christians’ message, read by Nkubana, concluded.

His car is expected to be in Rwanda, from Dubai, in about three weeks.