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Ndukuba re-dedicates cathedral in Iseyin

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Members of the Diocese of Ajayi Crowther Iseyin of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) recently rolled out the drums to welcome the Primate of the Church Nigeria, Most Rev Henry Ndukuba and his wife, Angela, for the re-dedication of their multi-million naira Cathedral Church of St Paul at Oke-Igbagbo, Iseyin in Oyo State.

During the visit, Ndukuba also performed other activities including the dedication of Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther Mission Centre in Osoogun. He also visited the former Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Most Rev. Peter Akinola in his country home in Abeokuta.

The re-dedication service, witnessed by Archbishops, Bishops, Priests and Laity was a watershed event in the Missionary Diocese of Ajayi Crowther’s history, which started when Henry Townsend visited Iseyin on September 13, 1853 with the intention of extending the successful Christian mission in Abeokuta to other Yoruba towns, especially Oke-Ogun. He, however, discovered that Islam had been widely embraced by a vast number of Iseyin people. Thus, he was disappointed and remarked that he doubted if Christian faith could ever thrive in Iseyin.

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The Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Rev Oduntan Olukemi, while giving a vote of thanks, narrated how the Ajayi Crowther Missionary Diocese was inaugurated on March 11, 2007, with him doubling as the Bishop and priest, together with a supporting priest till 2010. He spoke of how the Anglican Church’s mission paved way for Western civilisation.

He said the Church, which was being re-dedicated was conceived and its foundation laid in 1974 by the late Most Rev. Timothy Omotayo Olufosoye, then Bishop of Ibadan Diocese and Archbishop of Nigeria. He noted that the Church grew with amazing rapidity that soon called for a bigger structure. The Church building was officially opened and dedicated on May 18, 1985. Coincidentally, the daughter of Archbishop Olufosoye, Justice Tayo Osoba is the current Chancellor of the Diocese.

Oduntan recalled the disaster that struck in January 2017, when the Church’s roof caved in, while repair work became difficult as a result of the Diocese’s poor finances. But miraculously, the Lord raised people within and outside the Diocese to suggest the pulling down of major part of the old structure and fortifying the existing one. This, he said, was accomplished in a record time “and here we are, today, re-dedicating a brand new Cathedral.”

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