Samuel Kefas Sarpiya
Founding Pastor, Rockford Community Church, co-founder Center for Nonviolence and Conflict Transformation, Rockford Illinois www.nonviolencect.org. A Nigerian born, Samuel is married to Gretchen Sarpiya, South African, together they are blessed with three beautiful girls, Anna 13, Ella Joy 11, and Deborah 9.
Passionate about the connection between peacemaking and the gospels as taught by Jesus Christ. Samuel received early training in the principles of Kingian nonviolence of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s commitment to nonviolence that instilled in him a conviction for practical peacemaking form the University of Rhode Island.
Samuel is making his pastoral presence by impacting the Rockford school systems, by training the local Rockford police department’s command staff and management in nonviolent principles, and by partnering with Nigerian Brethren in developing mobile libraries which are being use among several camps hosting internally displaced persons across Nigeria affected by Boko Haram’s atrocities, and the Mobile Lab Tech Lab in Rockford IL, http://mobilelabrockford.com/
Since 1994, Samuel has worked with Urban Frontiers Mission (UFM), Youth with a Mission (YWAM) serving as a missionary around the world. Samuel is currently the lead Pastor of Rockford Community Church of the Brethren (COB) in Rockford IL in IL/WI District where he and his family leaves. A graduate of the University of Jos, Nigeria, in Social Work. Also, Samuel graduated with MDiv in Conflict Transformation from Bethany Theological Seminary, and he is currently a Doctoral candidate in Semiotics and Future Studies at George Fox University, in Portland Oregon.
A 2016 recipient of Jane Addams Peace award from the Rockford Housing Authority and continue to work for Peace and Conflict Transformation in Rockford and around the world.