Bileya Received a Scholarship to Attend Calvin Seminary
A 2014 article published in the Banner Magazine (a publication of the Christian Reformed Church in North America) told the story of how Bileya received a scholarship to attend Calvin Seminary. The pastor was so grateful to be able to earn his Th.M. degree in Worship from the school that he expressed his thanks by washing all the school’s windows. According to The Banner, Bileya’s act of gratitude was “no small gesture” as there are many windows on the campus. Bileya’s purpose of study at the seminary was “to learn more about worship practices and resources, especially the Lectionary of weekly Scripture readings for sermons and observance of the seasons of the church year.”
According to Witvliet, Bileya wrote his thesis on “The Liturgical Use of Spiritual Gifts: Discerning Next Steps in Contextual Nigerian Practice.” Witvliet remembers his former student as being a lover of books. “He was also very interested in analyzing the similarities and differences in ministry contexts in various places around the world, insisting that he needed to learn from as many different contexts as possible in order to discern what faithful ministry should look like in his context,” Witvliet wrote.
Last year, Juliana Bileya submitted a video to Banner Magazine’s open mic contest. In the video, Juliana sings a song she wrote titled “Nina Yesu” (I Belong to Jesus).
Another friend of Bileya’s is Mika Edmondson, a pastor at Christ Presbyterian in Nashville, Tennessee. Edmondson wrote a tribute to Bileya and Juliana on his Twitter account.
As we pray & advocate for justice, please pray for the global church. My dear friend Pastor Emmanuel Bileya & his wife Juliana were murdered yesterday by militants while serving in Nigeria. They leave behind 8 precious children & a devastated congregation. “How long O Lord?” 😢😭 pic.twitter.com/9Gzu4izOCE
— Mika Edmondson (@mika_edmondson) June 2, 2020
The ongoing conflict in Nigeria appears to have no end in sight. Please continue to pray for the people involved and for those who have lost loved ones. Do keep Emmanuel’s and Juliana’s eight children in your prayers as well.