Christ Army Church, Lagos west diocese marks 10th anniversary
Honours Priests, Others
Bishop of the Christ Army Church of Nigeria, Lagos West Diocese, Ijanikin, Lagos, His Lordship, Bishop Japhet Iheanyichukwu Oparah has enjoined Christian leaders and Christians across the country to do more in nation building by preaching the gospel of Christ that will revive Nigeria.
Giving the admonition during the diocese’s 10th anniversary, which comprised archdeaconries of Ajangbadi, Badagry, Ejigbo, Ijanikin and Jakande, the Bishop said the church should be more daring in taking the gospel to the remotest parts, so that the unreached would have the opportunity to hear God’s word.
He said: “As Christian leaders, we may have not been doing enough, but we are trying our best in the field of evangelism. Our best may not be enough; even Jesus Christ said in the scripture, ‘without me you can do nothing.’ That is why we rely on Him, so we will continue to do our best.
“As a church, we have been doing our best to ensure that the flocks under the diocese and the church generally live uprightly by the word we are teaching. So, the moment they are able to live Godly lifestyle, and every one of us as citizens follow the tenets of Christianity, there will be peace.
“We are having problem in Nigeria, today, because the country has not been adequately evangelised with God’s word, as it ought to be. There are some parts of the country, where if you mention anything about church or Jesus Christ, there will be trouble. But by God’s grace, the gospel will go round and once this happens, there will be peace.”
While urging Christians to actively participate in politics, Oparah stressed that without doing so, they would have left the decision making process in the hands of heathen.
Quoting Psalm 2:1-2, which says, ‘Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the Lord, and against his anointed,’ the cleric said the devil is doing what he’s doing today in the country because politicians have not imbibed the Godly principle of leadership. He stated that, during Jesus Christ’s earthly ministry, He exemplified what Godly leadership is all about.
Enjoining politicians to imbibe that leadership style, Bishop Oparah noted that Nigeria is still an infant, as far as democracy is concerned and when compared to such developed countries as Europe and America, where democracy have existed for centuries.He said: “We wouldn’t say the democracy or elections we have had so far is perfect. It is far from being perfect, but we shall gradually improve.”
Speaking on the journey so far, the man of God said: “It has not been easy, but God has kept us going because the church belongs to Him and the work is His. I would say we have been living up to expectation and our branch network has been increasing, as well as the church’s population. In all, we are grateful to God for His grace, mercy and power upon us to propagate the gospel of salvation.”
On the church’s history, the Bishop stated that it was started by the late Prophet Garrick Sokari Idaketima Braide, as a prophetic ministry in Bakana, Rivers State in 1916. “He was a church warden in the Anglican Church, and when God called him, he started as a mobile prophet while still in Anglican,” he explained. “The leadership of the Anglican hierarchy opposed him, as they became uncomfortable with his prophetic dimension and urged him to stop, because they did not believe in prophecy.
“He was imprisoned by the then Colonial government because he was condemning some of the things they were doing, such as importation of alcohol, which earned them foreign exchange.”Highlights of the celebration included awards to some deserving priests identified as church planters, as well as individuals that committed their personal resources to the diocese’s growth and development.
Among those honoured in church planters’ category were Venerable P.U. Uche of Ejigbo Archdeaconry, and Senior Prophet E. Nwadike of Afromedia Archdeaconry. A posthumous award was given to Venerable E.U.L Obialo of Ajangbandi Archdeaconry, who died in November 2015.
Other individuals awarded for building and developing the diocese with their personal resources included Engr. George Irechukwu, Managing Partner, George & Associates and two-time Commissioner in Imo State — Finance and Economic Planning, and Works, Housing and Transport. Also honoured was Elder Alphons Opor, former MD/CEO African Alliance Insurance Plc., and chairman, Nobel & Lesley Insurance Brokers.