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Dr. Jacob Bawa

Jacob Bawa
  • Title Honorary Visiting Professor
  • Work Phone
  • Office 1001 Bethel Circle Mishawaka IN 46545 USA EST

Dr. Jacob Bawa Salka was born in Salka, Niger State, Nigeria, November 11, 1938. He is a Missionary Church minister, an educator and diplomat. From the Kamberi tribe, his status as an orphan led to providential opportunities for formal education. During school days he turned from tribal animism to Islam, then to Christianity. Early adult years were spent as a teacher, then as a pastor and the first Nigerian principal of Hausa Bible School in Salka. Theological Studies in Nigeria (Ilorin) and North America (Bethel, Ind.; Emmanuel Bible, Ont.; Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) prepared him for twin roles as president of the United Missionary Church Theological College in Ilorin, Nigeria and senior pastor of thousands at College Chapel. Further studies at Michigan State (M.A., Ph.D.) preceded his presidency of the United Missionary Church of Africa and other major appointments, including superintendent of the Niger State public schools, chairman of the Niger State board of education, various university posts, director of the United Bank of Africa, and Nigerian ambassador to Spain, the Vatican, and the Republic of Chad.

While in Spain, Dr. Bawa hosted Elizabeth II, Queen of England. The Nigerian government and Pope John Paul II awarded him special honors, and Bethel College selected Dr. Bawa as its Alumnus of the Year in 1994. In 1996 he quietly declined nomination to become Secretary General of the United Nations. He served as Visiting Professor of Religion at Bethel College, Mishawaka, Indiana (1994-2003), and in 2003 was named Senior Professor of the Year, then Honorary Visiting Professor (2003- ). Dr. Bawa and his wife, Rose, have six children. His life, ministry, and leadership are marked by humility, integrity, piety, and enthusiasm for Christian mission.

A biography of Dr. Bawa, Death to Life, by Lisa Tuttle, was published by Bethel College in 2005, and may be ordered through the Bethel Bookstore.