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Family battles high cost of repatriating Pastor’s body after death abroad

Charles Bagenda passed away on Saturday February 24 at the West Houston Medical Center, USA but his body has not yet returned to Uganda.

The family of Ugandan born Pastor Charles Bagenda who passed away on Saturday February 24 at the West Houston Medical Center, USA has over the last 2 weeks appealed to the public for financial support to repatriate the remains of the fallen preacher to Uganda and cover the outstanding expenses including the travel of his 3 children and an adult to attend the burial in Iganga district.

Processing the necessary documents at the Ugandan Embassy in Washington DC for the preparation and repatriation of Pr Bagenda’s remains has also taken the family longer than they anticipated. This website has however reliably been informed that the entire process is likely to be sealed off this week.

On behalf of the funeral organizing committee, the president of the Uganda community in Houston Mr. Joseph Muwonge said they initially had a $7000 budget deficit.

Pastor Charles Bagenda’s death came as a heavy blow to the Ugandan community in Houston and to the global faithful.

He returned from a church minister’s conference in Uganda and was hospitalized after 6 days. But his condition worsened and died on Saturday February 24 at the West Houston Medical Center.

Bagenda, 53, is survived by a widow, Betty Bagenda, 3 young children; Aaron, 16, Anne, 14, and Amazing, 10, and his mother, Mrs. Bagenda.

Meanwhile, viewing the remains of the fallen man of God and the memorial service were held on Saturday March 3, 2018 at the Carl Barnes Funeral Home located at 746 W 22nd St. Houston, TX 77008.

The sermon at the service was delivered by Rev. Pastor John Baker Katende of Global Evangelical Church in Boston, Massachusetts.

Pr Katende advised mourners to turn their lives to God as they await the inevitability of death and in preparation for the gift of eternal life.

“Death is part of our lives and inescapable,” Rev. JB Katende said, adding, “Be prepared, surrender your lives to Jesus, and do not let death take you unawares.” Secondly, “do not ask why death happens because we are all God’s creations and through death, we return where we came from,” he said with a degree of conclusiveness.

Pastor Samuel Walton, who was the Master of Ceremony at the memorial service briefly, highlighted events in the life of the fallen Pastor Bagenda. The Houston Praise Community Church choir led and performed praise songs and worship hymns.

President of the Uganda community in Houston Mr. Joseph Muwonge said since the late Charles Bagenda arrived in Houston, USA in 1995, he became an instrumental figure in bringing together and nurturing the Houston-Uganda Community.

“Since he was around during its inception in 1995, he immediately became both a leader and part and parcel of the community,” Mr. Muwonge said.

Beyond his pastoral duties, Pastor Bagenda has been a participatory figure in organizing community events, the president said.

“He not only mobilized and encouraged members to attend community events but also took part in all activities, a truly hands-on individual who worked tirelessly to protect and preserve our Ugandan cultural values and instilled them to the young generation,” Mr. Muwonge recalled.

He disclosed that Pastor Bagenda purposely opened the Houston Praise Community Church (HPCC) to give the Ugandan descendants both a church home and a cultural point of reference; a hall in which all community activities were held.

Born on October 8, 1965 in Iganga District, Pastor Charles Bagenda lived most of his childhood and part of his adult life in Kampala.

He started his pastoral ministry in the late 1980s with the Redeemed Church near Makerere after meeting his Lord and savior at the Prayer Palace Church in Kibuye-then under the leadership of the late Pastor Balabyekubo.

When he moved to the USA on May 20, 1995 he joined Christ United Pentecostal Ministries (CUPM) where he served as a minister for seven years.  He later founded Houston Praise Community Church in 2009 where he has been serving as the senior resident pastor until his maker called him home.

Meanwhile, in Uganda, A-Plus Funeral Management will conduct all the funeral-related activities from the time the body arrives to the burial at his ancestral home in Bulyansiime village, Iganga district.

By Staff Writer.

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