A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY OF BISHOP EDWIN RIAZ
Rev. Edwin Riaz is the Bishop-in-Charge of the Diocese of the United Apostolic Church, Canada & USA. He is a Canadian citizen of Pakistani origin and is one of the five children born to Revd. & Mrs. Anwar Riaz in the city of Lahore – Pakistan.
Bp. Riaz completed his Bachelor’s degree courses at the famous Forman Christian College, Lahore in 1976. In the years 1982 – 2000 he attended a series of seminars, at various seminaries of Europe and Canada, as part of his studies in the field of Theology. He was ordained at Zurich, Switzerland to serve as an Apostle in the Diocese of the New Apostolic Church of Pakistan. During his administrative duties and Spiritual leadership (1989 to 2000), the New Apostolic Church, Pakistan progressed enormously and also became one of the main stream churches in Pakistan. He played an active role in church planting and development, building community centers and educational institutions of elementary and high school levels.
In December, 2012, in Mackay Australia, Revd. Riaz was ordained as Bishop for the Diocese of the United Apostolic Church of Canada and USA.
Bishop Riaz has worked in various areas of church development and growth such as spiritual and administrative program management, administrative leadership and organizational partnerships. He addressed very effectively the issues of youth development, education and rehabilitation of marginalized members of Pakistani Christian community.
Construction of church buildings as well as development and growth of church congregations has also been an outstanding feature of the church activities of Bishop Riaz. As a church leader and a devoted disciple of Jesus Christ, Bp. Riaz never missed any opportunity to share the Gospel with fellow workers, colleagues and members of community, he served.
Bishop Riaz has also worked as a youth counselor and coordinator. His target always remained the youth-at-risks and this youth ministry helped several youngsters to lead a normal, productive and socially approved life.
Currently based in Toronto, Ontario Bishop Riaz has established the Church in a rental but beautifully located, appropriate and consecrated Church building. His vision and long term goal is the construction of a church building that would be used as the Diocesan Centre of the United Apostolic Church of Canada. The Centre would have facilities for theological education and training, conferences and seminars, prayer therapy & counseling. The building would be used not only as a permanent and suitable house of worship for English and South-Asian Christian communities but also a place where people could really feel the presence of the Lord and get healing of their spiritual wounds. The Parish Council of the Church, with the support of the Church congregation, is keeping all these projects in prayer. A very positive characteristic of Bishop Riaz is his belief in democratic values which is reflected in the role and supremacy of the Parish Council of the Church as the supreme executive body in all administrative matters. Nevertheless, he believes very firmly, together with the Parish Council, that Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Heavenly Father, is the Supreme Authority of the Church.
A very significant aspect of Bishop Riaz’s vision is to be a Church where children would receive superior quality religious education. His prayers have been answered and the Lord has helped him achieve this part of the vision. The Church Sunday School has started functioning under the care of a very highly qualified teacher with vast experience of teaching children.
Rev. Riaz is happily married to Elma Ruby and has three sons named Sharjeel, Oneel and Sosheel. All his children have attended Christian missionary educational institutions in Pakistan & Canada and are assisting their father in serving the Lord.