Dr. Sylvanus Ukafia was born on the 18th of April 1960 to the royal family of Ede in Okorete, Eastern Obolo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. He began his educational career at St. Silas Anglican Primary School, Okorete and completed it at Government Primary School, Atu Street in Calabar, Cross River State. On completing primary education, Sylvanus gained admission into the prestigious Hope Waddell Training Institute, Calabar. He was admitted into the University of Calabar to study Medicine and Surgery in 1979, from where he graduated with MB, BCh in 1985. Determined to improve his professional standing, Dr. Ukafia returned to the same institution in 1991 and in 1993 obtained Master’s of Science degree in Human Anatomy.
Dr. Ukafia has had a rather tortuous career in medical practice, largely because of an irrepressible sense of divine call to ministry that he perceived quite early in life. During his National Youth Service year (1986-87), he served at Rural Health Center in Sabon Birni and General Hospital, Isa both in Sokoto State. After the Service year, Dr. Ukafia stayed back in Sokoto for a short while and practiced at Muhammadiya Medical Clinic, Talata Mafara and at the same time pastoring. In 1988 he relocated to Port Harcourt and took up appointment with Mile One Clinic, Ikwere Road. About a year after, he was offered an appointment as a lecturer in the Department of Anatomy, College of Medicine, University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), from where he resigned to answer God’s call to the ministry.
Led by God’s Spirit, Dr. Ukafia joined Revival Valley Ministries International, and in July 1992 he was posted to Uyo. He served there (and in Calabar in 1996) until in obedience to God’s call he was released to start Insight Bible Church in April 1997 with a mission to empower people with accurate insight of God’s word for excellence in life and ministry. Insight has grown tremendously over the past 19 years, and few branch churches have sprung up under Dr. Ukafia’s leadership.
Dr. Sylvanus Ukafia is a simple, pragmatic and humorous Bible teacher. He has served in numerous leadership positions and is at the vanguard of Christian leadership development in Nigeria, and indeed, Africa. In pursuit of God’s mandate to raise credible leaders, he started Insight Christian Leadership School (ICLS) in 1997, through which many pastors and market-place leaders have been trained, equipped and released to fulfill God’s call for their lives. ICLS runs basic leadership courses twice a year (March and September), with a growing number of students enrolling each semester. Dr. Ukafia also pivots Pastoral Leadership Advancement Program (PLAP), which includes an annual Pastors Conference devoted to equipping pastors with skills to enhance their work and a series of pastors’ training sessions which holds in different parts of the country and beyond.
Dr. Ukafia is an author of 2 books and an accomplished medical scholar with many citable publications in reputable journals to his credit. He is a member of many professional associations including the Anatomical Society of Nigeria (AAN), the Anatomical Society of West Africa (AAWA) and the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA). He is married to Pst. Erikan and they both make their home in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. They are blessed with three children; Joy, Victory and Ujiokong.