‘the Lord can lift you from nothing to something’
Originally posted at: https://www.ugandapartners.org/2022/02/the-lord-can-lift-you-from-nothing-to-something/
By Gloria Katya
Gulumaire Andrew was not the kind of person whose company many of his peers wanted to keep. Not that he was a bad man. His demeanour and being a stickler for rules was a turnoff – especially for students who were accustomed to breaking rules. Many called him “pastor.”
He says the title meant that he tried to keep students away from anything dubious. And it was prophesied by his parents. Thirty-five years ago, when he was born on November 30, a day marked as St. Andrew’s Day, Gulumaire Andrew’s parents said their son would be called to ministry, just like Andrew the Apostle was called by Jesus to be a fisher of men.
In late January 2022, the former reporter for the Daily Monitor and Uganda Christian University (UCU) first-class degree divinity graduate was ordained as reverend at Christ Cathedral, Bugembe in Jinja City.The now father of three credits his mother for imparting in him Christian virtues.
Gulumaire, whose 4.56 of 5.0 Grade-Point Average garnered him the first-class rating during UCU’s Oct. 22, 2021, graduation, started out in Christian youth ministry. He served as a youth chairperson, from a small church, then later rose to the level of a diocese. His friends noticed his commitment and, in a sense, foresaw his eventual pursuit of full-time ministry.
“Pursuing divinity to me was a calling,” Gulumaire says.
The feat did not come smoothly for him, though. He had a family, including his wife, Brenda Nankwanga. He had to reside at his home in Jinja, more than 35 miles away from the Mukono campus of UCU. He commuted to university whenever he had lectures.
Several times, the thought of relocating to the university so he could concentrate on his studies better came to Gulumaire, but he could not actualize it. It would not be easy for him to relocate, and he was committed to ministry in his hometown, Jinja, which is near his birthplace in Luuka district, eastern Uganda.
He says at some point, he “tried dodging the call to full-time ministry” but that God’s hand “drew him back” leading to his submission to full-time ministry and that that is how he ended up at UCU, to pursue the Bachelor of Divinity course. For his earlier years of school, Gulumaire studied at Gwase Primary School for his early education and later went to Kiyunga Secondary School and Budini Secondary School.
Gulumaire says he draws inspiration from the testimony of the Anglican Bishop of Busoga Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Samson Naimanye, who, just like him, embraced adult education.
“He is a man of a humble background. He was a school dropout, but slowly upgraded and worked hard in ministry, and is now a bishop,” Gulumaire says.
“It shows how the Lord can lift you from nothing to something,” the son of the late Jehoram Namundere and Aidah Tibaaga Bakulimya emphasises.
The alumnus lauds UCU for what he calls “quality theological training.” He says he could not have made a better choice of the institution to pursue his studies from. While at UCU he served as a student leader in various offices.
“UCU is a unique place for interaction, learning and development of leadership skills,” he says, noting that spiritual development through fellowships and mentorship programs, especially for the theology department, were enriching.
For his course, Gulumaire was sponsored by his Diocese of Busoga and also benefited from a partial scholarship by UCU. He hopes to return to school for graduate studies in theology to enable him become a “powerful, passionate minister” of God’s word.
To support Uganda Christian University programs, students, activities and services, go to www.ugandapartners.org and click on the “donate” button, or contact UCU Partners Executive Director, Mark Bartels, at firstname.lastname@example.org.