Rev. James Okalo Ekwang

COTN–Uganda Country Director

Rev. James Okalo Ekwang ("Pastor James") was born in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda. James excelled at school—he attended secondary school in Lira, Uganda, and was later accepted to Makerere University in Kampala, receiving a government-sponsored scholarship based on marks. In 1998, James graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, majoring in geography and world history.

In 1998 he accepted a teaching position at a secondary school in Kampala and went on to teach at various colleges there. God continued to call James into ministry and in 2002 James was obedient—he founded Truth Evangelistic Fountain Church in Lira. The following year he left teaching behind and entered ministry full-time.

Pastor James first became acquainted with Children of the Nations in January 2005 when Chris Clark came through Lira on his way to Gulu. At the time, Gulu was a rebel-war hotspot where most NGOs were going. In talking with Chris, Pastor James shared that all the problems that were in Gulu (traumatized and orphaned children, displacement camps, and immense need) were present right there in Lira. “Why not stay here in Lira?” asked Pastor James. The next day, at James’ request, Chris toured the displacement camps with him and witnessed for himself the horrible conditions and immense need. As Chris and his team prepared to depart for Gulu he told Pastor James, “Pray and perhaps we will return.” Chris left, and James didn’t know if he’d ever hear from him again. He prayed fervently nonetheless. The following year, in an answer to that prayer, Children of the Nations returned and began ministry in Lira.

Today, Pastor James oversees COTNUganda staff, continues his role as senior pastor at Truth Evangelistic Fountain, and also oversees ten Truth Evangelistic Fountain churches planted throughout Uganda.