Ambode urges religious bodies to lead by example
• As Cathedral Church Of Saint Jude, Ebute Meta Celebrates 150 Years
Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode, has urged religious bodies in the country to lead by example, especially now that honesty, integrity and perseverance have been thrown overboard in pursuit of material possession.
Ambode said this at a recent concert in Lagos organised by the Cathedral Church of Saint Jude, Ebute Meta Diocese of Lagos Mainland, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, as part of activities marking its 150 years of existence.
In his speech as guest of honour, the governor, represented by the Commissioner for Special Duties and Intergovernmental Relations, Hon. Seye Oladejo, eulogised the Church for the role it played and still playing in moulding lives of many families.
Ambode, who was a student at Saint Jude’s Primary School, Ebute Meta, said the cathedral should be celebrated for many reasons, as it started as a refuge to embattled Christians, who remained steadfast in their faith despite persecution.
While praising the church for serving as a launch pad for many destinies that have contributed immensely to the socio-economic and political development of the society, the governor noted: “I’m always delighted to tell people about Cathedral Church of St. Jude’s influence in nurturing my life as a young child. This 150 years of anniversary tagged: “The service of hymns, songs and praise” is indeed very appropriate for this occasion. Looking back, the Almighty God has been good to the church and its members. Nothing can be more appropriate than to reciprocate His kindness and mercies over the entire members of the congregation. Let me seize this opportunity to appreciate the Cathedral’s leadership for the dedication and commitment shown towards the propagation of Christianity and the service of God over the years.”
Narrating how the Cathedral Church came into existence, the Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Rev. Akinpelu Johnson, in an interview with The Guardian said: “The beginning of our celebration of 150 years of St. Jude’s church now Cathedral was done in conjunction with Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos, because they are in the process of rounding off their own celebrations. So, what we are doing today is simply recognising the fact that the church has been in existence for 150 years from the time we started here in Ebute Meta. But the story of this place goes beyond Ebute Meta, because the foundation members were Egba refugees.
“There was persecution of Egba Christians in 1867, and when they left Abeokuta, they came to Lagos and joined St. John Aroloya. That same year, CMS decided to use the refugees to start a church here, under Rev. Forkman, whose wife was buried outside the church. They came here in 1867 to start the church. So, from that group of refugees over 150 years ago, the church still remains. In fairness, the church goes beyond Egba people, because there were also the Ijebus and all that. But it was fondly referred to as Ago-egba because of the way it started.”
The Bishop, who appreciated the efforts of those who had, in one way or the other, contributed to the Cathedral’s success, called on Nigerians to trust in God, as the economic recession will soon pass away.
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