Ajayi Crowther’s hometown hosts Church of Nigeria’s training outlet
The memories of Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther and his landmark missionary footprint across West Africa came alive in his hometown, Osoogun, Iseyin in Oyo State recently, when Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev Henry Ndukuba, led other high-ranking officials of the church to dedicate Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther Mission Centre, which many have described as monumental for the church’s growth and immortalisation of the first African Bishop.
The commissioning is the first phase of the Centre consisting a church building and such other facilities as training hall, guesthouse, and Rectory. Library, museum and other facilities for effective training and utilisation of the training of mission workers constitute the second phase, upon which work will soon commence.
Primate Ndukuba commended the church’s immediate past Primate, the Most Rev Nicholas Okoh for the vision to establish the Centre in 2007.
In a sermon tagged: ‘Made great in Christ’, the Primate noted that every man is born to be great through Christ Jesus, and He is always there to take us through storms of life to the great agenda He has set for us. Noting that Bishop Crowther was targeted for destruction, but God had His great agenda for him and brought him out to fulfil His purpose. Hence, no one who is in Christ will be abandoned, as He has not called us to be abandoned.
“Church of Nigeria owes a great part of her historical origins, establishment, growth and expansion to Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther’s missionary expeditions,” he said.
He recalled that Bishop Ajayi Crowther, who was born and bred in Osoogun in 1809 and translated to glory in 1891, was the first black Anglican Bishop and though despised, has become a cornerstone for Christians globally. A missionary par excellence, he was humble, a teacher, linguist and historian, who served Jesus faithfully. He carried out missionary works in different parts of Nigeria and West Africa, a task he conscientiously pursued with godly zeal, against all odds, to the end that missionary presence was fully established in places he worked.
Ndukuba said coming to Osoogun was like going to Jerusalem and Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus.
“We now have Osoogun Mission Centre christened ‘Our Jerusalem,’ where we can come to worship, educate mission workers and also serve as pilgrimage for Christians,” he said.
He praised the efforts of Archbishop of Ibadan Province, Most Rev. Dr. Segun Okubadejo, who is Chairman of the building committee, and the untiring spirit of Bishop of the Missionary Diocese of Ajayi Crowther, Rt. Rev Olugbenga Olukemi Oduntan, the clergy and laity.
The Primate and his entourage also visited the over 200-year-old Baobab tree to which Bishop Ajayi Crowther was tied after being captured by slave traders. The host Archbishop, Okubadejo, who welcomed the Primate’s entourage to Bishop Ajayi Crowther’s birthplace, noted that the Church’s move was a great effort that will be sustained for the church’s growth and Osoogun’s development.
At the event were Dean of the Church, Most Rev. Buba Lamido; Archbishops Olushina Fape of Lagos, Cyril Odutemu of Bendel, Israel Amoo of Kwara, Bishops from various Dioceses, Registrar of the Church of Nigeria, Barr. Abraham Yisa, General Secretary, Director of Missions, Director of Communications and Chief Protocol Officer of the Church of Nigeria, Chancellor, Diocese of Ajayi Crowther, ACNN TV Board Chairman and General Manager, Vice Chancellor, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Registrar, Bursar, and Librarian of Ajayi Crowther University, Royal fathers and local government officials.
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