Reverend Joseph Oniyama, a native of Monrovia, Liberia, West Africa, accepted Christ’s offer of salvation in 1977. Soon after, he became actively involved in high school campus ministries.
In the early 1980’s, under the mentorship of Reverend Ralph Lampkins, he worked with Youth for Christ Liberia, serving in several capacities including: counselors’ coordinator, radio program producer and community club leader.
Reverend Oniyama received Christian Education training with the Child Evangelism Fellowship of Liberia (CEF), where he obtained certificates in basic and advanced Christian Education and served as: summer youth camp director, teaching five days club and Good News Club©.
In 1982, Reverend Oniyama was one of 12 young men trained by a team from the Dallas Theological Seminary in Church Planting that planted the Monrovia Evangelical Church, which grew from 12 to over 250 members within a year.
In 1988, Reverend Oniyama joined Calvary Baptist Church in East Orange, New Jersey, serving as Sunday school teacher, VBS director, deacon and youth minister, where he continued working with young people of the church and the community. In October 2001, Reverend Oniyama was called by Calvary Baptist Church to become their 8th Pastor.
Reverend Oniyama was recently appointed to a five-year term as a member of the executive committee of the Baptist World Alliance serving on the committees of Spirituality and Worship and Baptist World Aid. The Baptist World Alliance represents over 130 million Baptists worldwide. He has led several delegations of youth and adults on mission trips to China, England, Jamaica, Ghana and Liberia. He is also a member of the East Orange Clergy Association and a recipient of the prestigious Lily Endowment National Clergy Renewal Grant program in 2005.
He is a graduate of the New Brunswick Theological Seminary, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he received the Master of Divinity degree and the winner of Reverend Edward Lodwick Prize for Excellence in Preaching at the Seminary. Rev. Oniyama is married to Oretha Phelps, with two children, Varrita and Jonathan.