First African Church Mission Inaugurates Diocese, Consecrates Bishops
Five clergymen Ñ Ven. Andrew Isola Owoyemi, Ven. E. O. Bajomo, Mr. Oluwafemi Ayodeji Ola, Ven. Akurqsemieka Israel Tamunoibiyemieari and Ven. Dr. Paul Akindeko Ñ were elevated to the status of Bishop. Also, Reverends Napoleon E. Frank and S. O. Ohunba were ordained as Canons, while Reverends Nathan Joshua, Sampson O. Ugele, Amos Okai and Ekwem Onyebuchi were ordained Priests.
Those who became Deacons are John Obinna Ake, Timothy S. Nyekpeye, Gospel N. Frank, Kenned Happy Onyiri, Thomas Onyebuchi Agile, Promise Ochueja and Lugard E. A. Akiri. Others are Sunny Onyeije, Benjamin O. J. Udor, Ugochukwu Fred and Philip Ekiye.
Addressing the congregation, General Secretary of the Parish, Shola Taylor, urged the newly ordained to be worthy ambassadors. “I congratulate you all. I know this is a special day in your lives; I rejoice with you. At the same time, the task before you is daunting. My prayer is that God, who has himself ordained you today, will lead you, so that you can lead your people well,” he said.
One of the men, Bishop Andrew Owoyemi, immediately began his responsibilities.
In his sermon, which he titled The Laodicean Church, he warned the congregation of the danger of living sinful lives. “The Laodicean Church means the church of the people’ Ñ one that passes through the world and also allows the passage of the world through it. We are currently in the seventh church, which is the last before the Second Coming of the Lord. This is the reason why I am giving you a warning to be ready for the Second Coming of Jesus. It will be a very great tragedy for someone to be in the church without making the Rapture.”
He spoke on the problems facing the church, saying that, although they would someday be surmounted, it was important for members of the clergy to recognise their culpabilities.
His words: “The clergy is responsible for the problems of today’s church. The clergy wants to control everything in the churchÑmoney, administration, leadership, decision-making, and so on. That is why so many pastors don’t stay in a church for long. Someone who calls himself a man of God will quickly run away from his original church to establish his, where he would be the presiding officer, his wife would be the treasurer and his son the choirmaster. But God wants you to know that reprieve is on the way. We will overcome these trying times.”
Other highlights of the service were the proclamation of St. Peter’s Parish as Lagos West Diocesan Cathedral and Headquarters, and the collation of Archdeacons.