October 11, 1953 - January 16, 2019
LEADER, PEACEMAKER & OUR WHY
Pascal Kulungu was born in the village of Kambanguya in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to Kulungu Musehenu Kambanguya Balthazar and Mwanoka Nayilowa Jeanne. He was the eldest son in a family of three children.
At the center of Pascal’s life were family, education, friends, his Anabaptist-Mennonite faith community, and his deep desire to witness for peace.
In terms of education, Pascal was a lifelong learner. In 1965, he completed primary school in Kambangu. He attended junior high in Kajiji, a Mennonite Brethren mission station. In 1968, he went to Kikwit, 450 km from home, to pursue his high school studies at the American Mennonite Brethren mission school, now known as Congo Mennonite Brethren Mbandu Institute, where he graduated in 1973.
Following his desire to pursue excellence in his professional life, Pascal embarked on a long journey of academic preparation. He first earned an associate degree in English and African Cultures from the Institut Supérieur Pédagogique de Kikwit. Then, after working for several years in DR Congo as a secondary school teacher, later as a principal in MB church schools, and as a hospital administrator in Kajiji, he pursued studies at Fresno Pacific University in Fresno, California. There, he earned a BA in Business Administration and an MA in Peace and Leadership Studies.
With an excellent academic preparation, several employment options became available to Pascal in the US and in the international non-profit community. However, he was committed to returning home to serve among his people. As Pascal was finishing his studies in California, war and conflict broke out in the eastern region of DR Congo. After much reflection, he chose to go back with Therese and their two daughters, Christelle and Juliana. The decision was also influenced by the family’s desire to reconnect with their four sons who had remained in Kikwit with their maternal uncle.
After his return to DR Congo, Pascal served in many professional capacities between 1998 and 2019, including director of the Department of Health and Development of the Congolese MB Church; budget administrator for the Christian University of Kinshasa; founder and director of the Center for Peacebuilding, Leadership, and Good Governance; member of the Service Network of the Mennonite World Conference; member of the International Community of Mennonite Brethren commission that drafted the ICOMB Confession of Faith; professor of conflict resolution, leadership, and governance at the Christian University of Kinshasa; chair of MCC’s Congo Urgent Peace Project committee, training some 200,000 people in preparation for Congo’s first, post-independence election in 2005; mediator for several conflicts in churches; national coordinator of the Teach Beyond Program for DR Congo; and co-founder of the national political party, Alliance for Good Governance.
Pascal's positive impact inspired many, including his second eldest son, Doug Kulungu. To continue his father's legacy and desire to build a Better Congo, Doug founded Kulungu for Congo in honor of his father, Pascal. Since it's beginning in 2014, KFC has impacted the lives of thousands of Congolese through educational opportunities, food distribution, water wells, and the sharing of the gospel.
On January 16, 2019, the Honorable Pascal Kulungu passed away, less than a week after being elected to the Congolese National Parliament. Since his passing, Doug Kulungu has assumed his father's role in Parliament and has continued his work as Executive Director of Kulungu for Congo. He strives to improve the lives of the Congolese people and hopes to do so with the same tact and love as his father, Pascal Kulungu,
Tshimika,Pakisa K. “Pascal Tshisola Kulungu: Leader and Peacemaker”. Mennonite Brethren
Historical Commission. mbhistory.org/profiles/kulungu. Accessed 14 December 2020.
professor, former academic dean, and co-founder of the Center for Peacemaking and Conflict Studies
at Fresno Pacific University
Pascal was indeed a faithful one.
He is now with his Lord and Savior, who has welcomed him into his presence. While we grieve, we also remember Pascal’s work bringing peace on earth.
He lived life well in the context of continuing challenges.
His many contributions as teacher, headmaster, health administrator, leader, and peacemaker will be long remembered...
Those of us who knew him as a friend and spiritual brother will also remember his wise counsel, gracious spirit, many kindnesses, and good humor.