Apostle François Nkurunziza was born on February 1, 1961, of Rwandan parents who had been exiled to Burundi due to the then political crisis in Rwanda. He is married to Bishop Therese Umugiraneza, and the couple is blessed with four children and a lovely granddaughter. He received Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour on 3rd of September 1983. Since then, he is committed to serving the Lord. Since he was a teenager, his life was often characterized by a sense of curiosity that has persisted until today. Moreover, that thirst for knowledge had prompted him to read a lot of literature, notably some renown philosophers. Eventually he confronted existentialistic philosophy, and thus the question of self-understanding, human origin, the meaning of life, and most crucially, the question of what happens after death would haunt him the most.
Seeking the truth about life, he committed himself to Roman Catholic religion as monk, with a purpose of pursuing clarity to all his unanswered questions. However, he could not find what he sought for, and left the monastery but still with an unsettled soul. It is in that doubtful life that he met the Lord and only when he could be answered to all puzzling questions. His ministry started earlier; firstly as an evangelist associated to deliverance ministry that remarkably impacted the youth of Bujumbura. He organized evangelical open-air crusades and thousands of lives were committed to Jesus. Thereafter, he served as a pastor and a teacher of God’s word. One may insinuate some of his teachings in Burundi as in Rwanda such as the book of Daniel and the book of revelation. Eventually, these teachings unveiled the mystery of the book of revelation to many and thus he was nicknamed after the same book as ‘’François Ibyahishuwe‘’ literally meaning “François -Revelation”
Naturally, Apostle François is not only a disciplined man but also an instructed one. He has always been eager to read every literature since his childhood up to date, indeed what nurtures his intellect and in spiritual realm. In this regard, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Law, not for profession but to acquire the concept of secular law approving the Lordship of God as an administrator by excellence. However, in 1993 he went to a missionary school in France for ministry reinforcement. Towards the closure of his studies in France, the Lord burdened him with Rwanda, his country, but that he had never known before. And after the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis, he repatriated to Rwanda.
Willing to contribute to the restoration of the nation, he started in 1995 the ministry called International Mission for Restoration of Nations by the Gospel (MIRNE, in French acronym). That ministry gave birth to Bethel church in 1998 and to various quarters later, in Rwanda and abroad. Apart from his compassion initiatives in the aftermath of the genocide 1994, François a pastor by then, also initiated and led the seminars of the servants of God at the national and international level. As he had been organizing the evangelical campaigns within which many committed their lives to Jesus.
So it was in need of assembling and following up the converted souls that Bethel church was born. With headquarters in Remera, Bethel church is built on biblical foundation and authentic word of God, with a slogan: “Jésus mérite l’excellence”, literally, “Jesus merits the excellence” hence its remarkable values evident in discipline and order. As the church was growing up, François Nkurunziza served by Faith in the ministry as an evangelist, a pastor and in apostleship, however, it was since 2006 that his apostleship was evidently unveiled. Since then, he has done several missionary voyages in Africa (Great Lakes region, East Africa and West Africa), in Europe and the United States of America.
The Lord has imparted in him a vision “Harvest Africa”, a spiritual movement aiming at regaining the light that Satan had stolen from the continent. One of the core values of “Harvest Africa”, is the call upon all servants of God from diverse walks of the Body of Christ with different anointings in order to create a synergy in the work of the ministry, because being our common heritage, Africa is our overall concern. Union makes stronger, Apostle recalls. It is said, he quotes “a horse can pull one ton but two can pull twenty four tons”.
Glory be to God!