Onye, 52, founded several ministries

Anthonia Onye Anthonia Onye

Anthonia Chibuzo Onye, regional minister for Southern California for Pacific Southwest Conference of Mennonite Church USA and associate pastor at Wholicare Community Missionary Church in Los Angeles, died Jan. 12. She was 52.

Onye had been appointed recently to the Mennonite Mission Network board of directors. She had been a columnist for Anabaptist World and previously for The Mennonite.

She was the founder of several ministries, including In the Loving Arms Ministries, Groaners and Overcomers Prayer Group and In the Loving Arms Lending Hands. These initiatives serve communities by bringing peace, hope, joy, comfort and purpose to orphans, widows and the destitute in areas affected by war, incarceration, hunger and injustice.

“The common thread that runs through the mind, soul and spirit of any Anabaptist believer is the commitment to peace, justice, reconciliation and service in the name of Christ,” she wrote in 2020 in an MC USA Menno Snapshots blog.

Stanley Green, Pacific Southwest executive conference minister for California and Arizona, said Onye demonstrated this commitment in her work as a conference leader. He worked beside her as regional conference minister for Southern California for six years.

“Anthonia was so invigorated by encouraging others,” he said. “She did so very effectively as a mentor helping others to find and give of their best, as a networker who connected people making greater outcomes possible and as a spiritual companion. She augmented these ministries through her inspiring writings and her beautiful singing. Together we empowered and unleashed into leadership those who said yes to God’s call. This gave her enormous delight, which made my heart glad to observe.”

Onye was previously an assistant pastor, deaconess and member of Los Angeles Faith Chapel.

She earned an associate degree in communication from Calabar Polythenic Nigeria, a bachelor’s degree in communication from OKO Polythenic Nigeria and an associate degree in child development from West Los Angeles College. She attended the School of Urban Missions in Pasadena and took several courses at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary.

Onye is survived by her son, Chibike Anubalu, and extended family.

Los Angeles Faith Chapel will host a homecoming memorial service Feb. 24 at Family Mennonite Church.

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