Pastor Ezra Mpyisi passes on

On 27 January 2024 at 04:51

Renowned pastor Ezra Mpyisi, who held the esteemed position of being Rwanda’s oldest pastor, passed away on Friday, January 27, 2024, at the age of 102. His close relatives have announced that he died due to old age.

Born in Mataba in 1922, Mpyisi spent his formative years in Gitwe, where he initially worked before embarking on a journey that led him into exile across various countries, including Burundi, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Kenya.

Mpyisi’s educational journey began at Rwamwata Adventists School for primary education, followed by secondary school at Gitwe Missionary School.

Remarkably, he learned to read, write, and speak French by the age of 12. In 1935, at the age of 18, he pursued higher education, culminating in his graduation.

Continuing his academic pursuits, Mpyisi studied at the University in Zimbabwe, ultimately becoming a pastor in 1951. His missionary endeavors took him to Kasai in the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1953, where he dedicated three years of his life before returning to Rwanda.

Motivated by encounters with American and South African missionaries, Mpyisi ventured abroad to teach in rural areas, spreading the gospel.

Post-graduation, he found employment in a white man’s office in Nyanza, adhering to teaching requirements. His commitment was evident, even enduring corporal punishment, receiving eight lashes for exceeding given timelines.

Reflecting on his journey, Mpyisi once shared with IGIHE, "I went to Zimbabwe as a refugee, then I went abroad. I graduated in 1964, and I returned to Rwanda in 1997. I went to university with three children; in the past, people used to pursue education while having children."

A distinguished scholar from Rwanda, Burundi, and Congo, Mpyisi was among the early individuals to acquire a bachelor’s degree in the field of Theology.

Post-qualification, he not only served as a pastor but also took on the role of educating and mentoring other pastors. He was ordained as a pastor in 1951.

Becoming an advisor to King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa, this seasoned clergyman found himself compelled to flee the country in 1961, prompted by the 1959 revolution that ousted the monarchy.

In September 2022, Mpyisi celebrated his centenarian birthday, surrounded by the warmth of family and friends.

Renowned for his impactful preaching style, a unique blend of brutality and humor, Mpyisi carved out a reputation as a straightforward preacher.

His distinctive approach involved skillfully juxtaposing real-life situations with spiritual insights, creating a powerful and engaging connection between the tangible and the divine.

Pastor Ezra Mpyisi leaves behind a rich legacy as a trailblazer in the field of theology, a dedicated missionary, and an influential figure in Rwanda’s spiritual landscape.

Pastor Ezra Mpyisi has passed on at the age of 92.