A Kenyan pastor has killed himself after murdering his wife during church service over the ownership and leadership of the church.

Elijah Misiko, an assistant pastor with the Ground for God's Gospel Church in Mombasa, left his front row seat and approached his wife, senior pastor Ann Mughoi, on the pulpit and stabbed her with one of the knives he'd hidden in an envelope, CNN reports, quoting the police in Kenya.

"He walked up to his wife while the church was praying as if he wanted to whisper something to her," Mombasa sub-county police commander Julius Kiragu said. "Then he took one of the knives and stabbed her (wife) two times. He believed she was dead. He then stabbed himself three times in the stomach and slit his throat."

Misiko left a 17-page suicide note explaining that he killed his wife over church relations.

Kisauni Sub County Police Commander Julius Kiragu explains in a video that in the note Mikiko said he was frustrated with his wife and place in the church.

"The fact of the matter is the wife was a senior pastor in that church," says Kiragu. "That's why she was pushing away the husband."

The couple, which had four children, had lived apart since the dispute began two years ago, according to CNN.