Akinpelu, Davies extol virtues of past leaders of St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church, Aguda at 60
The labour of founding fathers of St. Bartholomew’s Anglican Church, Aguda, Surulere, Lagos, resonated penultimate Sunday, at the thanksgiving service to mark the church’s 60th anniversary.
The Diocesan Bishop of Ogori Magongo, Kogi State, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev. Festus Davies, who spoke at the event, commended the efforts and resilient attitude of all that laboured for the church’s progress and growth. He urged church members to emulate their good works.
While encouraging the congregation not to rest on their oars, the cleric said they should make preaching of the gospel their watchword. As for the youths, he urged them to shun laziness and remain focused in life.
Lamenting that the present day church has abandoned its first love, while preaching prosperity message, the Anglican Bishop said: “The challenges the church is facing today is that, while the 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th centuries stood for the undiluted word of God, the present generation of churches have diluted God’s word to the extent that everybody now preaches what he/she likes.
“Everybody says what suits them and not what Christ stood for. Healing and prosperity in the Bible are good, but that cannot be our major emphasis. Once they get the gospel right, healing, deliverance, and breakthrough will follow, but Christ must come first. So, the gospel first and all other material things will be added to you, and not the other way round. How can you talk about healing, when Christ has not being preached; where do you get the healing from? And not until we return to old time religion can we get ourselves right.”
He said the church has lost respect simply because preachers of the gospel now preach to please politicians because of what they would gain from them.
In his exhortation, the Diocesan Bishop, Lagos Mainland, Rt. Rev. Akinpelu Johnson, called on church members to continue the good work they have been known for, adding, “people know of St. Barths Aguda, and remember that Bartholomew was one of the disciples of Jesus, who went as far as India to preach the gospel. What we know of St. Barths is that they preached the gospel and evangelised. The church has faced challenges, including St. Barths Aguda, but we learn by the mistakes of others.”
The church also used the occasion to give awards to some deserving members for their selfless service.
The awardees include the longest serving Vicar and Archdeacon of the church, Ven. Ben Nwanekwu; Papa T. N. Njoku, and people’s warden, Sir Henry U. Oranusi, among others.