A key Church of God of Prophecy leader has died in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Bishop Ntambwe Beya, 57, passed away on June 18 of natural causes. Beya had served as the COGP's national bishop in the DRC since 1998. He was involved in leadership on a national level in the Congo for more than 25 years.
According to the COGP's Global Outreach Ministries, Beya had been struggling over the past several months with health issues—mainly diabetes. In mid-June he became very ill and developed a high fever. He was admitted to the hospital on June 16 and passed away two days later.
"Bishop Ntambwe Beya has born the burden of leading in the great harvest environment of the Democratic Republic of Congo while trying to plant churches, train and equip new and emerging pastors, structure and organize in a time of colossal growth and colossal in flow into our ministries and many other ministries. In the midst of that we are so grieved that he has passed away," Bishop Randall Howard, general overseer of the Church of God of Prophecy, told Charisma News.
Diminutive in stature, Beya was the COPG's first native national bishop of the DRC, taking the baton of leadership from Bishop Levi Clarke and expanding the work into the surrounding nations of Angola, Chad, Congo Brazzaville and the Central African Republic. Under his tenure the gospel work of the COPG exploded in the Congo from 12,000 to more than 650,000 and spread to almost every corner of this impoverished nation.
Despite the difficult economic and political conditions in this nation, Beya led resourcefully and organized new churches into new districts. His aggressive spirit is evident in a 2001 report which began, "We are living in the last days during which the devil holds an ace up his sleeves, trying to touch any level so that people could declare he is powerful and witty. "Our God never falls into sleep. " Even though we do not know what can happen to us in the future, we do know that our God is already there."
This intrepid leader traveled many miles across his nation by car, bus and on foot, visiting cities and remote areas carrying the gospel. He noted the qualities of others and placed them in leadership roles. In one report on the various districts into which he had divided the work for more effective administration, he noted regarding one superintendent: "[he] is [an] incredibly worthy one in God's affairs. A tender man, calm, and above all spiritual his ears are always turned to God's voice."
"Bishop Beya was a marvelous man. There is no doubt that part of the reason for his death is sacrificial giving, living and going to extend the gospel into the Congo," Howard says. "The Church of God of Prophecy honors the memory of Bishop Ntambwe Beya and the ministry of leadership that he has contributed to our ministries and the kingdom of God and the Democratic Republic of Congo and we mourn his loss and pray for his family."
Beya's passing leaves a tremendous void not only in his family but in the ranks of Africa's leadership, since he served on the Africa Administrative Committee, working closely with Bishop Sherman O. Allen, General Presbyter for Africa. Beya is survived by his wife, Mputu, their children, family members and co-laborers in the Lord.
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