Martin Ssempa

Rick Warren's Ugandan Sidekick
January 07, 2009

Martin Ssempa, Rick Warren's "sidekick" in Uganda, is no stranger to zealotry and extremism, as this 2004 TNR piece makes clear. In "Enemy's Enemy," Andrew Rice looks at the Ugandan pastor's role in the country's ongoing evangelicals-versus-Muslims culture war: Ssempa claims his church, though it is just eight years old, has more than 5,000 members. "These are going to be the future lawyers, these are going to be the future corporate leaders, these are going to be the future writers," he said.

Enemy's Enemy
August 04, 2004

KAMPALA, UGANDA--On a steamy Sunday morning, several hundred students are dancing in the aisles of a dilapidated college lecture hall. Dressed in shabby, secondhand sport coats, the men pivot their hips, flinging their elbows back and forth to a lively gospel tune. The women's cornrows bounce up and down. With a showman's sense of timing, Pastor Martin Ssempa sidles slowly onto the stage, grooving to the beat. "Thank you, God!" shouts the bespectacled, 36-year-old evangelist. He has unbuttoned the top button of his natty, cream-colored shirt, and his blue tie hangs loose. "Can you feel it?