PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS DELIVERED TO THE SECOND SESSION OF THE EIGHT SYNOD OF THE DIOCESE OF IDEATO HELD AT THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF ST. PETER, NDIAWA ARONDIZUOGU ON FRIDAY, 30TH APRIL 2021

           

GRATITUDE TO GOD

We are indebted to God for the privilege to serve our people as Bishop and wife, and the opportunity to be part of the building of His kingdom in this part of the world. This is exactly seven months since our enthronement as the third Bishop of Ideato Diocese. We are eternally grateful to God for His presence with us as a family and as a diocese these eventful months. We surrender all praises and glory at His feet.

 

WELCOME

May I on your behalf happily welcome our spiritual fathers - the Archbishops, Bishops and brethren of the Clergy, who for our sake adjusted to be here today to encourage us. We welcome our revered traditional rulers led by our well- respected hosting monarch, HRH Eze Oliver Dike, Ozumba of Awa Kingdom.

We are delighted at the presence of our distinguished guests who have left many engagements to honour us. May the Lord whom you have honoured also honour you.

 

In a very special way we acknowledge the presence of the Diocesan President of the Mothers’ Union, Women’s Guild and Girls’ Guild, Mrs. Julie Mgbechikwere Okeke (Nneife), my friend and mother of our children whose love for her husband, the home and the ministry has brought us thus far. We appreciate her dynamism, undaunted passion for the development of the women, girls and children. God bless you ma.

 

The Diocese of Ideato gladly welcomes His Excellency Senator Hope Uzodimma, the Executive Governor of Imo State. Thank you very much indeed our dear Governor for your support and partnership with the Church in building our dear state. May God’s wisdom and grace be sufficient to you as you lead ndi Imo at this critical time. Be assured of our prayers. We receive with joy the former Governor of Anambra State, Chief Sir Peter Gregory Obi, who is here today on a dual capacity: first as the keynote speaker in this Synod, and second, as a member of Ideato Diocese. He will be addressing the Synod on: “The New Nigeria of my Dream: The unquenchable thirst of the Nigerian Youth”.

 

 

RESOURCE PERSONS

THE RT. REV ALOYSIOUS EZE AGBO (JP)

The Rt. Rev Aloysious Eze Agbo comes to us from the Diocese of Nsukka in Enugu State where he is serving as the second bishop of the see. He is our Sunday thanksgiving Guest preacher. Bishop Agbo is a man with a burning passion for soul wining and discipleship and has done great work in that area. He was born on 15th September, 1967 to the Family of Mr. Odo Nwa Agbo Nwodo (Igwe na ezoro Oha) and Mrs. Agnes Agbo Nwodo (Nee Nnamuchi Okwor). He hails from Umunzu clan in Akpani Village, Neke in isi-Uzo LGA of Enugu State.

 

His Education

Aloysious had his primary education at Community Primary School Neke in Isi Uzo LGA. from 1975-1981. He did his Secondary education at Community Secondary School, Imilike Agu in Udenu Local Government Area of Enugu State from 1981-1986. He got his National Diploma in Computer Science from the Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Enugu in 1996. He was admitted into Trinity Theological College Umuahia in 1996, where he obtained Diploma in theology (Dip Theo), and Bachelor of Arts (B.A. Hons) in Religion in 2000. Aloysious Agbo went for missionary training in December 2007 at the Nigerian Intercultural College of Mission Ibadan (an affiliate of Bethany International University, Singapore), where he obtained his Post Graduate Diploma in intercultural Studies (PGDIS). In 2008 he had his Masters Degree (M.A) in Religion from University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

 

Ordination

Bishop Agbo was made a Deacon on Sunday 9th July, 2000, and ordained a priest on 13th July 2001. On 5th March, 2006, he was collated a Canon; collated instituted and installed the Archdeacon of Enugu Ezike Missionary Archdeaconry on Sunday 6th April, 2008.

 

His Election as Bishop

His election as Bishop of Nsukka Diocese to succeed the pioneer Bishop, the Rt. Rev Dr. Jonah C. Ilonuba, was on March 26, 2008, at St. Mary’s Pro-Cathedral Uruagu, Nnewi in Anambra State during the Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion). On 14th May 2008, he was consecrated at the Cathedral Church of St. James the Great, Oke Bola, Ibadan, and enthroned on Sunday July 6th 2008 at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Nsukka.

 

Appointments:

On Friday 26TH May, Aloysius was appointed as Justice of Peace (JP) by the Chief Judge of Enugu State. He co-ordinated the Mission Partners in the Diocese which also reached to Idah Diocese. Until his election as Bishop, he was the coordinator of the Nsukka Diocesan Clergy Monthly Prayer Retreat and also the Diocesan Prayer Chaplain. On Wednesday 13th September, 2020, the Primate Most Rev Henry Ndukuba appointed him Co-ordinator of the Taskforce on Children and youth Mission, which birthed the first Joshua Generation International Youth Conference (JGIYC). He is happily married with four Children, Gift, Marvellous and the miraculous twins who came in 2019, Emmanuel and Elijah. We say to him welcome!

 

RT. REV PROF DAPO F. ASAJU

The Rt. Rev Prof Dapo Asaju is the Bishop theologian of Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion overseeing the theologies and doctrines of the Church. He was the Rector of Crowther Graduate Seminary Abeokuta from 2010-2015, and the Vice Chancellor of Ajayi Crowther University Oyo from 2015-2020. Born on 16th November 1961 Dapo is from the Royal family of Asaju in Iyara Ijumu, Kogi State.  He comes from a strong Anglican Family. His Primary and Secondary school education were all in reputable schools in Kwara State.

He had a brief work experience as a journalist with Radio Kwara in 1979. He started his academic career as a lecturer in Department of Religious Studies, University of Ilorin in 1983. He was the first to deliver the University of Ilorin Alumni Lecture in 1985.

 

He obtained his Bachelors, Masters and PhD degrees from University of Ilorin, Nigeria. He joined the staff of the Department of religious studies of Lagos State University in 1984 (37years ago) and rose to become a professor of Christian Studies since 2004. He delivered his Professorial Inaugural Lecture at Lagos State University in 2005. His area of specialization is New Testament Studies and Theology. He was variously Ag. Head of Department, Ag. Dean of Faculty of arts, Director of Centre for General Studies, Chairman of Academic Staff Union of Universities (1988-1993), member of Governing Council, member of advisory council of the military government of Admiral Akhigbe regime in Lagos, Chaplain of Chapel of Light and Ag. Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) of Lagos State University.

 

He served as external Examiner to University of Birmingham, UK., Universities of Lagos, Ibadan, Jos, Benin, Portharcourt, Obafemi Awolowo, Ilorin etc.

 

He was priested in the Diocese of Lagos in 1998, became a Canon in 2006 and an Archdeacon in 2008 in the Diocese of Lagos West. He obtained the License of the Archbishop of Canterbury to function in the Church of England, Diocese of Birmingham in 2003. He was elected Bishop Theologian in 2009 and consecrated in January 2010.

 

He is married to Barrister Harriet Dapo-Asaju and they are blessed with three children and three grandchildren.

 

VEN. OLIVER OZOEKWE OFOEGBU

We welcome Ven. Oliver Ofoegbu from the Primate’s Office, Abuja; a committed and dedicated Evangelist, Missionary and Pastor. He was born on 16th October 1971 to the family of Late Chief Harold Nwabuwanne & Mrs Gladys Ofoegbu of Okpuru village in Umudioka, Dunukofia LGA of Anambra State.

 

Oliver studied at Dennis Memorial Grammar School (DMGS), Onitsha, St. Charles’ Special Science School, Onitsha, Nnamdi  Azikiwe University, Awka and Paul University, Awka. He was made Deacon in 2002 and ordained a priest in 2003. Preferred Canon in 2014 and an Archdeacon in 2016. He has served in different churches within Nigeria and outside Nigeria where he pioneered Church plantings, Schools and Clinics.

 

Presently, he is the Director of Missions and Evangelism in Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion.  Before his appointment as Director of Missions and Evangelism in 2020, he was the Pioneer Director of Togo missions, covering Togo, Burkina Faso, Mali, Senegal, with 23 Clergy and 24 lay Missionaries. He co-ordinated the first Anglican churches planted in Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal. He was born again in the Secondary school and has been involved in missions and discipleship as a student. He has gone for trainings in Global mission, Church planting, leadership development and discipleship within and outside Nigeria.

He is an author and co-author of more than 20 books on Global Mission, leadership, marriage, Faith etc, and a consultant to different institutions, Governments and Churches on leadership and development. He is currently the Secretary to the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) Mission Board. He has a mandate in global missions – reaching the unreached with the gospel of Jesus Christ and revival of the Church.

 

HIS EXCELLENCY, CHIEF SIR PETER GREGORY OBI

Peter Obi, as he is popularly called is a household name in Nigeria, so diversified that there is hardly any sector where he has not registered his magnetic relevance - in politics, governance, business, philanthropy, development, education, finance, Church mission, public speech, family initiatives, health, child care etc. He has partnered with us in mission and rural development for thirteen years, and willing to do more with us in Ideato Diocese. Today in this Synod he will be delivering the keynote address.

 

Peter Gregory Obi is an accomplished and widely acknowledged thought leader in public policy, public service, good governance, international business, 21st century leadership and human capital development. He has held executive positions in the banking and financial sectors with resounding success and international acclaim. He has the record of the youngest Chairman of a very successful bank and also has held leading positions in several successful businesses.

He was elected Governor of Anambra State in 2006 and he deployed the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) as state policy during his eight-year tenure. His state became number one in academic performance at the secondary level, with a record improvement in male-child enrolment; which was a major problem before his tenure. He was also the only state governor among his peers, and till date, who left substantial savings in Naira and Dollars for his successor. He has never had any run-ins with the anti-corruption or security agencies, before, during or since after his involvement in business and, public service and government.

Though still currently a practicing politician focused on advocacy for responsible leadership, prudent national resource management and human capital, he spends his time on nationwide advocacy for capacity building and sustainable development, through sound policies and prudent management of national resources. As a knowledgeable entrepreneur, with wide interests covering support for secondary schools and other institutions of learning all over the country and beyond, Peter Gregory Obi is well known for his strident mantra on why and how Nigeria should bring down the total overhead cost for maintaining people in public office.

Educational Institutions Attended

      Cambridge University, UK: George Business School (Advanced Leadership   Program);

      Institute for Management Development, Switzerland (Break-Thro, Prog for CEOs);

      Harvard Business School, Boston, U.S.A. (Mid to Mid Marketing);

      Harvard Business School, Boston, U.S.A. (Changing the Game);

      London School of Economics (Financial Mgmt/Business Policy);

      Columbia Business School, New York, U.S.A. (Marketing Mgmt);

   Institute for Management Development, Switzerland (Senior Executive Program);

      Kellogg School of Management, USA (Kellogg Executive Scholar);

      Kellogg School of Management, U.S.A. (Corporate Governance);

      Kellogg School of Management, U.S.A. (Advanced Executive Program);

      Kellogg School of Management U.S.A. (Global Advanced Mgt Program);

     Oxford University, UK: Said Business School, (Advanced Mgt and Leadership Prog);

      INSEAD, France (Leading from the Chair);

      Lagos Business School, Nigeria (Chief Executive Program);

      University of Nigeria, Nsukka (B.A. Philosophy);

      Christ the King College, Onitsha (W.A.S.C.)

 

Previous Positions Held

      Chairman: Board of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC);

      Chairman: Fidelity Bank Plc.;

      Chairman: Guardian Express Mortgage Bank, Ltd.;

      Chairman: Future Views Securities, Ltd.;

      Chairman: Paymaster Nigeria Plc.;

      Chairman: Next International (Nigeria) Ltd

      Director: Guardian Express Bank Plc.;

      Director: Chams Nigeria Plc.;

      Director: Emerging Capital Ltd;

      Director: Card Centre Plc

      Governor, Anambra State of Nigeria;

      Special Adviser to the President on Finance;

      Member, Presidential Economic Management Team;

      Vice-Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (2008-2014);

      Chairman, South-East Governors’ Forum (2006-2014);

 

Membership of Federal Government Committees

      Federal Government Committee on Minimum Wage;

      Federal Government Committee on Negotiation with Labour on Subsidy;

      Federal Government Committee on Mass Transit;

      Federal Government Committee on Natural Resource;

      National Economic Council Committee on Power Sector Reform;

      National Economic Council Committee on Sharing of MDGs Funds;

   National Economic Council Committee on Accurate Data on Nigeria’s Oil Import and Export;

      Agricultural Transformation Implementation Council;

      Sub-Committee on Needs Analysis of Public Universities in Nigeria;

      National Economic Council Review Committee on the Power Sector

Some Awards & Recognitions

      2020 This day Newspapers Governor of the Decade Award;

    Nigeria MDGs Office/UNDP Best Governor in the Implementation of the MDGs;

  2015: Golden Jubilee Award from Catholic Diocese of Onitsha for outstanding contribution to quality healthcare delivery in St. Charles Borromeo Hospital in particular and Anambra State in general, on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee celebration of the hospital.;

      2014: Nigerian Library Association Golden Merit Award for remarkable improvement of libraries in Anambra State, exemplified by our Government's construction of the Kenneth Dike Digital State Library, remarkable upgrade of the Onitsha Divisional Library, and provision of library facilities in secondary schools across the State;

      2014: Champion Newspaper Most Outstanding Igbo Man of the Decade.;

   2014 The Voice Newspaper (Holland) Achievers Award for Outstanding Example in Leadership and Governance;

      2013: Silver Bird Man of the Year (with Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State);

    2012: Best Performing Governor on Immunization in South-East Nigeria – by Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation;

      2011: Zik Leadership Prize;

   2010: ICT Governor of the Year – by the West Africa ICT Development Award;

      2009: Champion Newspaper Nigeria’s Most Trustworthy Governor Award;

      2009: This day Newspaper Most Prudent Governor in Nigeria;

   2007: The Sun Newspaper Man of the Year Award, as the youngest Chairman of a very successful bank

Membership of Professional Associations

Member, Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG)

Member, Nigerian Chartered Institute of Bankers

Member, British Institute of Directors (IOD)

 

VENUE OF THE SYNOD

We are grateful to Arondizuogu Archdeaconry for hosting the 2nd session of the 8th Synod. We appreciate all the weight thrown into the preparations for this synod. We commend the Cathedral Administrator Ven. Dr. CSO Ukachukwu and his dear wife, Kosarachi, the team of Clergy in the Archdeaconry and their wives, the Local Organising Committee ably led by Barr. Sir Oluchukwu Nnabugwu, and the entire people of Arondizuogu, including non- Anglicans who supported their brethren in this hosting. May the Lord reward them all.

The Birth

Reflecting on how Christianity journeyed to Arondizuogu, and the spread to what we know today as the old Okigwe/ Orlu Diocese. A blind man by name Abraham Imo Okike, travelled to CMS Hospital Iyi-enu, Ogidi in Anambra State in 1908, to receive treatment for his eyes. At Iyienu, he received double sight: healed of his blindness and also given the gospel which when he accepted gave him spiritual sight (conversion). Upon return to Arondizuogu, he shared the testimony of his life. Through his testimony, converts were made and a Church started in Ugwuorima, Ndiawa, Arondizuogu, which later grew as St. Peter’s Church Ndiawa, now the Cathedral Church of St. Peter, Ndiawa Arondizuogu. With the growth of the Church then, Arondizuogu was given a Priest in 1918, by name, Rev. James Ibeneme. His administration covered what is today known as Orlu, Isi Mbano, Okigwe, Okigwe South, Oru and Ideato Dioceses. 

The Church under Arondizuogu went through severe apposition due to crisis with the culture and tradition of the Land. In one occasion in 1921 there was a conflict with the traditionalist who employed masquerade in their fight against the Church. This turbulence within the Church premises forced Rev. Ibeneme out of Arondizuogu, to Nkwerre where the new Administrative headquarters was located. Thus, Arondizuogu lost the chance of leadership. However those who had received the gospel continued vigorously, undistracted in their religious activities and expansion. The progress attracted the attention of the then Bishop on the Niger, The Rt. Rev C.J Paterson, who constituted Ndizuogu area as a district, on January 21, 1949, with the following member Churches:

1.              St. Peter’s Church Ndizuogu

2.              St. Peter’s Akokwa

3.              St. Paul’s Church Urualla

4.              St, John’s Osina

5.              St. Mark’s Ndizuogu

6.              St. Paul’s Church Nduiche

7.              St. Stephen’s Ndizuogu (Now Uwakonye)

8.              St. Andrew’s  Ndizuogu

9.              Emmanuel Church Akpulu

10.        St. Paul’s Church Umuobom I

11.        St. Thomas Isiokpo (Now Umualoma)

12.        Emmanuel Church Umuobom II Now (Umucheke)

13.        St. Stephen’s Uzii

14.        St. Luke’s Obodo (Now Obodoukwu)

15.        St. James Okwe (now in Okigwe)

16.        St. Philip’s Umuduruegbeagulu( Now in Okigwe)

Following the creation of Okigwe/Orlu Diocese in 1984, Ndizuogu district was constituted an Archdeaconry with Ven. M.U. Okpara as the First Archdeacon, followed by Ven. Godwin N. Ugokwe. The rest of the Story shall be documented and presented by the Diocesan history Committee at the right time.

Today we celebrate the seed that was sown by a healed blind Abraham Imo Okike, which on July 12, 1999, became the headquarters of the Diocese of Ideato having regained a lost mandate of 78years.

Transfer to the Present Site

With growth in membership, the need for a bigger Church building became obvious. A site made up of dreaded thick forest was shown to the Church. The new site called, “Nkpuru be Onwuchekwa” was an evil forest where lepers and people whose death were considered a taboo were thrown into. In 1917, after Rev A.C Onyeabo inspected the proposed new site for the mission compound, clearing and construction work followed immediately with much enthusiasm. While adults contributed money and labour, the young people carried the building materials on their heads from Okigwe and Umuahia to Ndiawa, Arondizuogu. According to Mazi Engr. Moses Irono, “the Church was built of burnt bricks and heavy corrugated galvanized iron sheets, while the parsonage was built of mud blocks and corrugated galvanized iron sheets. The parsonage served until 1964 when it was pulled down and replaced with the first storey parsonage building in St. Peter’s premises.  

 

By the end of 1918, the members joyfully moved into the first Church building on the present site though not fully completed until 1926. With the new Church building and fresh zeal of the members, the mission work assumed a greater speed as volunteers from St Peter’s Church helped the early missionaries to take the gospel to other areas. The first baptism took place on November 23, 1913, with the following as first set of candidates:

 

1.           Abraham Imo Okike

2.           John Okeke Eni

3.           Alfred Ogbonaya Okeke

4.           Aaron Egwuatuonwu Igwilo

5.           Gabriel Okoli Okeke

6.           Jacob Egbemba Okonkwo

7.           Samuel Nwankwo

8.           Jeremiah Ezuma Okike

9.           Hezekiah Nwankwo Oti

10.     John Abanogu Ojike

11.     Patrick Ezenwobi Igwilo

12.     Paul Obioha Ajenu

13.     James Ezuma Nwosu

14.     Israel Uwanu Orji

15.     Israel Mbaebie Ezuma

16.     David O. Abili

17.     Daniel Obiagwu Egbeagu

18.     Stephen Omenukwa Okoli

19.     Isaiah Okoli Okafor

20.     Thomas Nwafor Irono

21.     Andrew Okoli Nwankwo

22.     Joseph Nwedo Amazu

 

The first confirmation took place in 1916 by the Rt. Rev. Herbert Tugwell, the Bishop in charge of West Africa, and on 27th August of the same year, the first Holy Communion was administered to the newly confirmed members by Rev A. Onyeabo, along with the blessing of the marriage of Paul and Selina Ajenu. Twenty members received the first Holy Communion.

It is on record that the following converts played significant roles at the early stage at Arondizuogu: Julius Okeke Eni, Elizabeth Eni, Paul Obioha Ajenu, Jeremiah Ezuma Okeke, Daniel Egbeagu, and few others who were the first set of volunteers. Others who followed later were: Alfred Okeke, Joseph Amazu, Stephen Okoli, John Jike, David Abili, John Ozowara, Mgbafor Nwosu, Thomas Irono, James Uko Okeke, Isaiah Okafor, Peter Orji, Joshua Igbo, and others. Among the children who were given to Abraham Imo Okike for training were: John Nwosu, Okeke Obioha, Sylvanus Obiaguru, Patrick Nnubia, Chibueze Ikoro, Wilfred Ikoro, Jeremiah Ikoro, Abel Nwosu, Ezekiel Okafor, Philemon Obiagwu, Simeon Obiagwu, Simeon Iloanofe, Israel Udenueze Nwankwo, Obinani Nwokeji James Uche, Moses Igwilo, Ukiwe Igwilo and very many others.

 

The list of some workers who have served in this Cathedral Church of St. Peter Ndiawa is here under presented:

 

 

THE LIST OF CLERGY AND CHURCH TEACHERS 1908-2021

 

S/N

NAME

TITLE

PERIOD

NATIVITY

1.

Abraham Imo Okike

Church Teacher

1908-1911

Ndizuogu

2.

Timothy O. Anuebunwa

Church Teacher

1912-1913

Ojoto

3.

Isaiah Edegan

Church Teacher

1914-Dec.1914

DumujuUgboko

4.

Daniel Nwufo

Church Teacher

1915-1916

Ogidi

5.

Andrew Iloabachie

Church Teacher

1917-1919

Ogidi

6.

Rev. J.E. Ibeneme

Pastor

1918-1922

Onitsha

7.

Mr. J.E. Mojekwu

Church Teacher

1920-1921

Nnewi

8.

Mr. J.U. Ugbaja

Church Teacher

1922-1923

Ndizuogu

9.

Rev. S.A. Okechukwu

Pastor

1923-1931

Obosi

10.

Joseph O. Onwuegbuzie

Church Teacher

1924-Dec.1924

Asaba

11.

Mr. E.U. Udoye

Church Teacher

1925-Dec.1925

Nnewi

12.

Rev. S.A. Ajuluchi

Church Teacher

1926-1927

Ogwa

13.

Mr. D.A. Onumonu

Church Teacher

1928-June1929

Oguta

14.

Mr. S.B. Ojukwu

Church Teacher

1929-1934

Nnewi

15.

Mr. G.E. Ekwoanya

Church Teacher

1935-1937

Abagana

16.

Mr. T.C. Nwosu

Catechist

1938-1939

Umuokoukpara

17.

Rev. A.N. Eluogu

Pastor

1931-1940

Ogbunike

18.

Rev. H.E. Oriaku

Pastor

1931-1941

Rivers

19.

Mr. B.O. Alio

Catechist

1941-1948

Udi

20.

Mr. J.N. Osakwe

Catechist

1940-Dec.1940

Ogidi

21.

Rev. J.B. Ikuru

Pastor

1942-1944

Okirika

22.

Rev. L.A. Dike

Pastor

1945-Dec.1945

Nnewi

23.

Rev. H.O. Nwigwe

Pastor

1946-1947

Nneokwa

24.

Rev. D.O. Emeruem

Pastor

1948-1949

Ezeoke

25.

Mr. S.I. Ukonu

Church Teacher

1949-1951

Amaimo

26.

Rev. O.D.C. Brown

Pastor

1949-1951

Okirika

27.

Mr. Peter U. Orji

Church Teacher

1952-Dec.1953

Ndizuogu

28.

Rev. S.I. Nwabuoku

Pastor

1952-1953

Okpanam

29.

Rev. H.L. Okechukwu

Pastor

1953-1959

Obosi

30.

Mr. J.U. Nwokeogu

Church Teacher

1953-Dec.1953

Amainyi

31.

Mr. D.C. Ene

Catechist

1954-1958

Udi

32.

Rev. W.N. Mbonu

Pastor

1959-1963

Ndikelionwu

33.

Mr. G.C. Echefu

Catechist

1959-1961

Nkwerre

34.

Mr. L.E. Njoku

Catechist

1962-1963

Atta

35.

Mr. Philemon O. Obiagwu

Catechist

1964-1967

Ndizuogu

36.

Rev. L.I. Unegbu

Pastor

1964-1966

Ihiagwa

37.

Rev. C.O. Ukpabia

Pastor

1967-1969

Mbaise

38.

Mr. J.U. Nwambaekwe

Catechist

1968-1969

Urualla

39.

Rev. G.A. Anusiem

Pastor

1970-1973

ObazuMbieri

40.

Mr. A.E. Udeagha

Church Teacher

1970-June1971

Umuobom

41.

Mr. M.U Ikpa

Catechist

1972-Dec.1972

Umudi

42.

Mr. N.L.A. Ekenwa

Church Teacher

1973-Dec.1973

Dikenafai

43.

Mr. A.O. Ibeakanma

Catechist

1974-1976

Ihite Owerri

44.

Rev. G.C. Asiegbu

Pastor

1974-1978

Uzii

45.

Rev. J.A. Ihim

Pastor

1977-1979

Nkwerre

46.

Mr. M.C. Ezeala

Church Teacher

1977-1979

UmuduruEgbeaguru

47.

Rev. J.E. Nduka

Pastor

1979-1983

Ezeoke

48.

Mr. G.U. Ozoemena

Catechist

1980-1985

Umueshi

49.

Mr. S.I. Udensi

C. Teacher

1980-1982

Nkwerre

50.

Mr. Ephraim Echefu

Church Teacher

1983-1985

Nkwere

51.

Rev. Canon G.N. Ugokwe

Canon

1984-1986

Uzii

52.

Ven. M.U. Opara

Archdeacon

1986-1989

Irete

53.

Mr. Godwin Anyanwu

Catechist

1987-1987

Orji Umuduru

54.

Mr. Alexander Nwosu

Catechist

1987-1987

Umueze II Mbano

55.

Mr. Ishmael Agwonesi

Church Teacher

1986-1986

AboekeIhite

56.

Rev. S.I. Ezeogu

Pastor

1987-1988

Umuogu-Isu

57.

Mr. Abraham C. Okorie

Church Teacher

1987-1987

UmuezealaNsu

58.

Mr. Cyril C.B. Okorie

Church Teacher

1988-1988

Amaokpara

59.

Mr. Rufus O. Obi

Catechist

1988-1989

Ndizuogu

60.

Rev. Canon G.C. Asiegbu

Canon

1989-1989

Uzii

61.

Ven. G.N. Ugokwe

Archdeacon

1990-1991

Uzii

62.

Rev. H.O. Orji

Pastor

1990-1991

Ikperejere

63.

Mr. Reuben Nwachukwu

Church Teacher

1991-1992

Ikeduru

64.

Rev. Canon J.N. Anyanwu

Canon

1992-1992

Obowo

65.

Ven. H.C. Akaniro

Archdeacon

1992-1999

Obowo

66.

Rt. Rev. G.C. Echefu

Lord Bishop

July 1999

Nkwerre

67.

Ven. Godwin Ugokwe

Archdeacon

2000-Dec.2000

Uzii

68.

Rev. Canon E.C. Maduagwu

Canon

2001-2002

Obinetiti

69.

Rev. Canon Edwin Uzoechi

Canon

2002-2004

Okwe

70.

Rev. Canon O.J. Dimobika

Canon

2004-2005

AbohIhite Owerri

71.

Most Rev. Dr. C.A. Maduoma

Lord Bishop

2004-2020

Awalla

72.

Ven. E.O.  Udeoji

Archdeacon

2005-2007

Ndizuogu

73.

Ven. J.C. Ihekwoaba

Archdeacon

2007-2009

Nkwerre

74.

Ven. Clifford Nwigwe

Archdeacon

2009-2014

Isi Mbano

75.

Ven. Stanley U.C. Ugochukwu

Archdeacon

2015-Dec.2019

Agbobu

76.

Ven. C.S.O. Ukachukwu

Archdeacon

2020 –

Akokwa

77.

Rt. Rev. Henry O. Okeke

Lord Bishop

Sept. 2020 –

Ndizuogu

 

 

THE VENUE OF SYNODS FOR THE NEXT FIVE YEARS

1.     2022 – ISIEKENESI ARCHDEACONRY

2.     2023 – AKOKWA                  

3.     2024 – OSINA                         

4.     2025 – UMUESHI                   ‘’

5.      2026 – NNEATO                     ‘’

 

 

APPRECIATIONS

·              To the Clergy and wives of Ideato Diocese, serving and retired, for their labour towards building a dynamic Diocese. We cherish the workforce and pray that we shall all finish strong and well. We appreciate the clergy brethren in diaspora for the fellowship and ministry opportunities we share.

·              To the entire laity of Ideato Diocese for the right hand of fellowship and warm embrace which we have received since September 2020. Your partnership in various ways have spurred us to do more. Thank you immensely.

·              To the Roman Catholic family of Mazi Reginand Obasi, from Obiuno in Ndiejezie who donated 5 plots of land to us, for the new Church planted in their community.

·              To the family of Ezeanyim in Ikpa Umuturu who provided a temporary place of worship for the new Church planted in their Community.

·              To Barr. Benbella Anachebe SAN (Obiekunie) who, out of passion for the development of his home town, Arondizuogu, built a Police Station, Resort centre, hospital, event centre, and St. Mary’s Catholic Church all at Ndianiche uno.

 

CONGRATULATIONS

1.           His Grace The Most Rev Henry & Mrs Angela Ndukuba on their election, presentation and thanksgiving as the Primate of All Nigeria.

2.           His Grace, The Most Rev Dr. David & Mrs Blessing Onuoha on their election, presentation and thanksgiving as the Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Owerri.

3.           The Most Rev Dr. Caleb & Mrs Onyinyechi Maduoma on the successful retirement from active service on 22nd September 2020.

4.           Rt. Rev Benjamin & Mrs Uloma Okeke on their thanksgiving as the Bishop of Orlu Diocese.

5.           Mazi Peter & Mrs Amaka Obiagwu on their election as President General (PG) of Arondizuogu Patriotic Union (APU).

6.           Chief Innocent Ikeh on his appointment as the Managing Director, Polaris Bank PLC.

7.           Rt. Rev Dr. Godson & Mrs Godiva Ukanwa on the wedding of their daughter and the dedication of their Cathedral.

8.           Rev. Clinton Okorie on the completion of his PhD programme.

9.           To the following Church workers who were blessed with new babies :

§   Ven  & Mrs. Kelechi Chimara – girl

§   Rev & Mrs Loveday Amanum – girl

§   Rev Canon & Mrs Eleazar Okereke – boy

§   Rev & Mrs Chibuzor Igboh – girl

§   Rev & Mrs Ikenna Enwerem – girl

§   Rev &Mrs Kingsley Ikejiaku – boy

§   Rev Canon & Mrs Ebenezar Igboanugo – girl

§   Rev Canon & Mrs. Okechukwu Udegbe – boy

§   Rev & Mrs Nkemjika Ijeoma – girl

§   Rev & Mrs Sopuruchukwu Okwarajiaku – girl

§   Rev & Mrs Kosarachi Agu – boy

§   Rev Cyril & Mrs Gloria Oguike – boy

§   Rev & Mrs Ndubuisi Amakaru – boy

§   Rev & Mrs Chukwuma Otti – girl

§   Rev & Mrs Nathaniel C. Osunwa – girl

§   Evang. Mrs Chidiebere Ibeagha – boy

 

DIOCESAN MATTERS

Mission

It is our joy to be part of the fulfilment of the great commission, particularly as we see souls turning to the Lord, and new Churches planted. The following are some of the mission programs carried out:

·                    Three reconciliatory pastoral visits to the family of our pioneer Bishop. The Rt. Rev Godson C. Echefu on 5th October 2020, 22nd October 2020 and 12th November 2020. These were before the home call of Bishop Echefu.

·                    December to Remember outreach – 1st December 2020.

·                    Methuselah Conference - A Special outreach to the aged members of our Diocese, from age 70 and above held on 20th December 2020 at St. John’s Church Osina. About 850 elderly men and women were in attendance. It was an opportunity to fellowship with and minister to the senior citizens of our Church. Thanks to all the sponsors.

 

·                    City Wide Crusade – The Ideato City wide crusade with Rev Dr. Uma Ukpai held from 26th – 28th February 2021 at the Cathedral field witnessed a great move of revival in Ideato. The Theme was, “Lift Up Your Heads O Ye Gates “(Ps 24:7). May the fruit of the outreach continue to endure.

·                    Prayer Summit – The maiden Diocesan Prayer Summit  was held in three parishes namely, Ntueke Parish (27th Jan 2021)  Osina Parish (28th January 2021), and Akokwa Parish (29th Jan 2021). The theme was, “Help from Above “ (IIKings 8:24).

 

·                    New Churches Planted-

 

As a result of the aggressive mission outreach, the following congregations emerged:

              i.                  Anglican Church Ikpa Umuturu Ezemazu in Urualla Parish 25-27th December, 2020.

           ii.                  Anglican Church Ndiadimoha in Cathedral Parish, Arondizuogu 22nd – 24th January, 2021.

         iii.                  Anglican Church Ndiejezie in Ndiejezie Parish 19th – 21st February, 2021.

         iv.                  Anglican Church Umuezeagbala in Amanator Parish 5th – 7th February, 2021.

           v.                  Anglican Church Umuagbo Ikpa Umukegwu 23rd – 25th October, 2020.

Mission Prospects

·        Planting of 26 more Churches within the Vision 2025 window.

·        Procurement of mission equipment, buses, truck, public address system, musical equipment etc.

·        Equipping the discipleship program with regular trainings and materials.

·        Building of mission fund.

Kudos to the Mission & Prayer team headed by Ven. Kelechi Chimara for great exploits. May God bless them.

 

VISION 2025

The mandate to serve the good people of Ideato was given to us by the House of Bishops and the Primate of All Nigeria on Wednesday 22nd July, 2020, at the Basilica of Grace, Gudu Abuja, and confirmed by our enthronement on Tuesday the 29th of September, 2020 (St. Michael and All Angels day), in the Cathedral Church of St. Peter, Ndiawa, Arondizuogu.

 

The Journey

With the burden in our heart to seek and to do the will of God in this new assignment, we began to pray earnestly and to listen to God for what He has package for His people in Ideato. He spoke expressly, and has continued to speak and give directions on some specific areas, namely:

 

*          Mission and Discipleship                      *          Diocesan Cathedral

*          Finance and Investment                                    *          Music

*          Women Ministry                                      *          Agriculture

*          Youth Ministry                                          *          Media

*          Children’s Ministry                                 *          Politics

*          Clergy Welfare                                          *          Security

*          Theological Training                               *          Diocesan Lands

*          Health                                                           *          Social Welfare (Christian Care)

*          Education                                                    *          History

*          Community Development                    *          Inter-link

*          Diocesan Projects

*          Empowerment

*          Capacity Building

 

 The following steps were taken in line with the vision:

 

1.        11th October 2020:        Vision Casting I, with the Archdeacons and

                                                            Canons/selection of vision committee.

2.        12th October 2020:        Vision Casting II, with the 92 member, House of

                                                            Clergy/more on selection of vision committee.

3.        31st October 2020:         Vision Casting III, with the Diocesan Board/

                                                            rectifying of vision committee members.

4.        2nd November 2020:    Meeting with the Archdeacons to constitute

                                                            the Think-tank group for the vision committee.

5.        14th November 2020:   Think-tank met for brainstorming on the vision

                                                            as delivered by the Diocesan Bishop.

6.        26th November 2020:   Think-tank Secretaries met for collation.

7.        28th November 2020:   Inauguration of vision committee and group

                                                            deliberations.

8.        4th December 2020:      Archdeacons and vision committee secretaries

                                                            met for final input.

9.        8th-9th December 2020:          Proof-reading and editing by the Central

Administration of the Bishop’s office, and delivering for printing.

10.      12th December 2020:    ONE DAY SYNOD/ Presentation of Ideato Vision

                                                            2025 for approval and adoption (10.00am).      

11.      12th December 2020:    Diocesan Harvest/Launching of Vision 2025

                                                            (12.00noon).

12.      13th December 2020-   Implementation window -13th December 2025:

 

The Committee

A total number of 251 members classified into 23 departments worked on the vision to produce the road map we have in this document. Those who were not physically present contributed from Diaspora. It is interesting to note that at the end of the painstaking exercise, it became “Our Vision” (Ohazurume). Ideato people have risen to chart their way forward and nothing can stop them. To God be the glory!

 

Endowment

The Vision Committee and the Diocesan Synod have so resolved that the drive of this vision in order to hit our target by the year 2025 shall be the instrument of ENDOWMENT, which shall be, “the voluntary freewill seed fund” invested into the life of the vision within five years (2021-2025). The amount so prayerful decided was N1,000, 000,000.00 (One billion naira only).

 

We are glad to report that Umu Ideato have shown that this is their vision. The pledges and cash commitments already realised in three separate meetings are here under stated:

 

Ø Maiden Lunching on 12th Dec 2020                                     -           56,205,000.00

Ø Executive Breakfast meetings on 3oth Dec 2020            -           56,000,000.00

Ø Bishop’s visit to Ideato Anglicans in Onitsha         -           7,740,000.00

Ø Council of Knights Retreat                                             -          1,000,000.00

Ø Individual Responses                                                     -           18,870,500            .00     

Total –      139,815,500.00

(One hundred and thirty nine million, eight hundred and fifteen thousand, five hundred naira only.)

The Lord who has given His people the will to make these commitments will open doors for us.

We appreciate in no small measure the Chairman of the Vision Committee, Sir Arc. Chidi Okoli for his passion towards the actualization of this vision, and the different departments of the Vision Committee for a job well done. Kudos to our Archdeacons and Canons for their eagle eye on this task, coupled with their mobilization strategies to ensure success.

 

Jesus said, “Walk while you have the light, lest, darkness overtake you; he who walks in darkness does not know where he is going” (John 12:35). Indeed we are products of His mercy, privileged to encounter the power of vision. With this clear road map, we can never shoot aimlessly; we can never walk in darkness; we can never lack direction to greatness.

 

Ideato sons and daughters, here comes the way forward, as I call for your joyful participation in actualizing the Ideato of our dream.

 

 

2021 Budget/ Assessment

In consideration of the effect of Covid-19 on our members and the need to interpret the reality of our times, the Diocesan Board in her meeting of Saturday December 12, 2020, dropped the total budget of 2021 by eleven million naira (N11, 000,000.00). Also on 20th March 2021, at the meeting at St. Paul’s Church Urualla, the board resolved to cancel all Assessment debts owed to the Diocese up to year 2020, to the tune of about two hundred and five million naira (N205, 000,000.00). All necessary cautions regarding this have been given through the Parish priests, and we hope that every Parish will key into the new spirit.  We must commend the churches for amazing results in the payment of this year’s Assessment. As at the time of this charge (April 30, 2021), four Parishes have cleared their 2021 Assessments namely: Umunkwukwa, Umuopia, Uzii and New Bethel. May this fresh baptism come upon every parish!

 

 

Retirement and Enthronement

We congratulate the Most Revd. Dr. Caleb & Mrs. Onyinyechi Maduoma and their family for successful retirement thanksgiving services at the Cathedral on 20th September 2020, and at St. Stephen’s Church Awalla on 27th September 2020. May the Lord reward them for the services rendered in this Church and continue to give our Archbishop and his wife strength and peace to enjoy their retirement period. We congratulate Ideato Diocese on the completion of the retirement house and successful send-off program. Special thanks to the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma, Chief Ebere Uzozie, and some others for the outstanding role they played in the retirement house project.

 

The enthronement service of the Rt. Rev Henry Okechukwu Okeke was held on Tuesday 29th September 2020 at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter, Ndiawa Arondizuogu. It was well organised and attended. We thank immensely the transition Committee led by the Deputy Chancellor, Sir Barr. Paul Umensofor, for a task well delivered. Their detailed report has been submitted for discussion at the plenary.

 

The Rt. Rev Godson Chinyere Echefu

The pioneer Bishop of Ideato, The Rt. Rev Godson C. Echefu was called to glory on 28th November 2020. It was a moment of grief for the Diocese, considering the selfless labour of Bishop Echefu. A committee headed by Diocesan Registrar Barr. Sir Joseph Ezeh was set up to plan the burial which took place on Monday 15th February 2021, at St. Paul’s Church Nkwere. We appreciate the Bishop of Orlu, The Rt. Rev Benjamin Okeke and the people of Orlu Diocese for the great role they played in conjunction with Ideato Diocese, to give Baba Echefu a befitting burial. Thanks to the action committee and the good people of Ideato for shouldering that responsibility and for coming out en mass to honour a servant of God. May the Lord continue to comfort his wife, Evelyn, and her children.

 

Organizations

On a general note, we wish to recognize the efforts of the organizations in promoting God’s Kingdom in our Diocese. We appreciate the visions and motivations of their leaders as no dull moments were observed. We shall report on their activities in details at next Synod.

 

Ideato Youth Convention (IYC)

This was a special convention for all our youths across the organizations in our Diocese. Held from 8th – 11th April 2021, with the theme, “The Purpose Driven Youth”. It was an explosive Conference, capturing the essence of the vision. We had The Diocesan Bishop, Henry O. Okeke, Rt. Rev Prof. Dapo Asaju, Ven. Justice Okoronkwo, Evang. Nnamdi Ezeh, Dr. Timothy Okoli among other speakers.

 

Advent & St. Mathias Collections.

We commend our Churches for their loyalty to the national Church through an honest remittance of the Advent and St. Mathias Collections. We are aware that the three years advent collections of all the Dioceses produced the glorious Church of Nigeria Centre otherwise called, “St. Mathias House” in Gudu, Abuja. The same is being repeated for Church of Nigeria National Camp. The St. Mathias fund over the years has supported weak Dioceses and other institutions of our Church and we are encouraged to sacrifice more.

 

The Primate of All Nigeria, His Grace, The Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba appreciated the Diocese of Ideato for collecting N1,409,485.00 for Advent, and N1,309,110.00 for St. Mathias, totalling  N2,718,595.00. May the Lord bless us all for contributing to identify with the vision of our leaders.

 

Familiarization /Pastoral visit

Within the period of our administration, we have been able to visit and interact with some of our parishes. We appreciate the warm hospitality of our people and the useful suggestions on the way forward. All Observations and issues arising from the pastoral visits have been discussed with the workers.  

The table below shows the candidates confirmed:

 

CONFIRMATION

 

PARISH

DATE

MALE

FEMALE

TOTAL

1.

All Saints Uzii

01-11-2021

5

15

20

2.

All Saints Akokwa

11-11-2021

14

14

28

3.

Uzii Parish

06-02-2021

9

24

33

4.

Osina Parish

21-02-2021

16

9

25

5.

Ejezie Parish

22-02-2021

9

6

15

6.

Obinetiti Parish

24-02-2021

24

26

50

7.

Umuopia Parish

21-03-2021

15

17

32

8.

Isiekenesi Parish

28-03-2021

9

11

20

9.

Umueshi

01-04-2021

11

17

28

10.

Cathedral

18-04-2021

17

19

35

 

TOTAL

 

129

158

287

 

 

Women’s Ministries

 We congratulate the President of the women’s ministries, Mrs. Julie Mgbechikwere Okeke, the Vice Presidents, and the women of our Diocese on their soul enriching programs carried out within the period being reviewed. An outstanding program carried out recently was their outreach to five baby churches. A total of N2,200,000.00 (Two million two hundred naira only) was donated to support them.

 

IDWIC water factory continues to be a resourceful Investment for women. The appointment of a Business Manager, Rev Samuel Otti has given a boost to the factory resulting to the plans for expansion. Other activities and achievements of the women are found in their report for plenary.

 

 

Diocesan Church Centre (DCC)

We are glad to report that the Diocesan Church centre is getting livelier. It has hosted five sets of guests between December 2020 and April 2021. Thanks to the Clergy and wives and the Diocesan Council of knights for handsome donations to equip the centre. We have directed that all retreats or set-aparts be conducted there so as to open up the Centre.

 

Music School

As part of vision 2025 package, the Diocesan Music School commenced lessons on 13th of March 2021 at Philemon Obiagwu Hall, Cathedral premises Arondizuogu. A total of 35 registered students are in session. We thank immensely Ven.  & Mrs. Aaron Ajoku of the Crown Music School for providing the staff and even supporting with some musical instruments. We appreciate the instructors for job well done. From July to September 2021, a second session will run at St. John’s Church Osina, and from October to December 2021, the last session for the year will run at St. Luke’s Church Umueshi. We shall appreciate donations for more musical instruments.

 

 

 

Mary Elizabeth Sumner Convent Akokwa (MESCA)

This is our prestigious girls only institution where our daughters are molded to take their place in the society. We thank the Bishop’s, wife Mrs. Julie Okeke (Nneife), and her team for laudable steps being taken to encourage quality. We commend the staff for a great work in the Convent, and applaud the chaplain, Rev. Godsent Nwosu and his wife, for injecting life into the convent community.

 

Trinity Ordination

The following servants of God were ordained on June 7th 2020 at St. Paul’s Church Umuobom:

Deacons

1.                 Uzoma Madukankpa Chuwuma

2.                 Henry Chinyeaka Onyeneke

3.                 Nzubechukwu Emmauel Asara

4.                 Raphael Onyedikachi Ononiwu

5.                 Godsent Chukwualuka Nwosu

6.                 Kosarachukwu Isaac Agu

7.        Elvis Okwudiri Agochukwu

 

Priests

1.        Rev Ezekiel Izuchukwu Igbokwe

2.        Rev Kingsley Chibuike Ikejiaku

3.        Rev Clifford Chidozie Ebelunor

4.        Rev Elisha Chigozie Ezemonye

5.        Rev Eugene Ekelekamchukwu Eze

 

May the Lord who has called them equip them for His service.

 

OUR SORROWS/ CONDOLENCES

We commiserate with the families of the following friends and dear ones who have joined the Church triumphant since the last Synod.

1.           The Most Rev. Henry C. Ndukuba, on the demise of his mother.

2.           Mrs. Evelyn Echefu & Children, on the home call of dear husband and father, our pioneer Bishop, Rt. Rev. Godson C. Echefu.

3.           Mrs. Esther Onwuabiauka -      Mother of Mama on the lake

4.           Most Rev. Rev Dr. David Onuoha on the death of the mother.

5.           Rt. Rev Prof Austine Iwuagwu (Rtd) on the death of his wife, Grace.

6.           Diocese of Oke-Osun, on the death of their Bishop, Rt. Rev. Taiwo Folunso.

7.           Diocese of Ibadan South on the demise of their retired Bishop, Jacob Ajetumobi.

8.            Rt. Rev& Mrs Chidi Oparaojiaku on the loss of their mother.

9.           Mrs. Florence Ike & Children, on the home call of their Husband and father, our beloved Archdeacon, Ven. Frank Ekene Ike.

10.     Mrs. Amarachi Okpara, on the home call of her husband, our dear Canon Godwin Opara.

11.     To all our dear members who lost their beloved ones within the period. Unto God’s comforting hand we commit you.

New Archdeaconry

Appreciating the Hill top geographical locations of:

*          St. Mark’s Church, Ndiakeme.

*          All Saints Church, Aniche Uno

*          Anglican Church (Extension), Aniche Uno

*          St. Andrew’s Church, Ndiokereke

*          Holy Trinity Church, Ndiakunwanta

*          St. Thomas Church, Umualaoma

*          Church of Divine Grace, Umualaoma, we wish to constitute them as Ascension Archdeaconry. Consequently, the Rev. Canon Eleazar Maduakonam Okereke is preferred an Archdeacon, to head the new Archdeaconry.

 

We wish the new Archdeaconry a speedy growth through intense revival and discipleship.

 

Diocesan Link

As a way of promoting fellowship and collegiality in our communion, the standing committee which held at All Saints Cathedral Onitsha in February 2021 linked Dioceses of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion. We receive with joy the Diocese of Igbomina West as our link Diocese.

 

About The Diocese

Igbomina West Diocese is in the Province of kwara in Kwara State. It was inaugurated on 14th January 2010 with the Rt. Rev James Olaoti Akinola as the pioneer Bishop. He retired on 28th January 2016 and was succeeded by the Rt. Rev. Olajide Adebayo. Bishop Olajide is married to Mrs. Foluke Yetunde  Adebayo and they are blessed with three children.

Number of Clergy: 29

Number of Church Teachers 4

Number of Churches: 32

May the Lord strengthen this link as we look forward to a friendship that will expand His kingdom.

 

PROVINCIAL MATTERS

Council Meetings

The Province held two council meetings at the Diocese of Isi-Mbano on Wednesday August 5th and Thursday August 6th, 2020, and the Diocese of Okigwe South hosted the Episcopal Synod and Provincial Council meeting on Wednesday February 3 and Thursday February 4, 2021.

 

Note: Imo Prays - A prayer rally of Province of Owerri comes up on Saturday 20th November 2021.

 

Thanksgiving service of the Archbishop

The Thanksgiving of the family of the Provincial Archbishop, The Most Rev Dr. David Onuoha took place on Saturday 12thDecember 2020 at The Cathedral Church of St. Paul, Ezeoke Nsu.

 

Joint Provincial Council (East)

The meeting of the Joint Provinces of the East of the Niger comprising of the Niger, Niger Delta, Owerri, Enugu and Aba was held at the Cathedral of Transfiguration of our Lord (CATOL), Owerri on Wednesday March 17 for Episcopal Synod, and Thursday March 18, 2021 for Council meeting.

 

CHURCH OF NIGERIA MATTERS

Bishops’ Retreat

The 2021 Annual Bishops Retreat was held from Monday January 4 to Friday January 8, 2021 at the Ibru Centre, Agbarha-Otor. The Theme was, “Servant Leadership: The Imperative of Jesus Christ”. It was a time of Spiritual and physical refreshment.

 

Standing Committee Meetings

The General Synod of Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion was held at the Diocese of Abuja from September 21 to September 25, 2020. The Theme was, “The priority of God”. The Standing Committee meeting was held in the Diocese On The Niger from February 8-12 2021, with the theme, “Costly Commitment: The imperative of following Christ”.

 

Strategic Mission & Empowerment Training.

An Episcopal strategic Mission & empowerment training program was held in the Diocese of Lagos West with Faith Plaza Bariga, as the venue, from Tuesday 20th – Friday 23rd April 2021. It was a rich, motivating training program on missions and economic empowerment. We appreciate the Primate of All Nigeria for the well packaged outing.

 

Joshua Generation International Youth Conference (JGIYC)

The highest ever organized youth gathering in Church of Nigeria was held from 5th -9th April 2021 at the University of Nigeria Nsukka. The Theme was, “Living With Purpose”. It was attended by over 21,000 youths. We are convinced that with the glory that was poured out on the Nigerian youths, this beacon has come to stay. The Primate announced the 2022 edition to be from April 18-22.

 

Divine Common Wealth Conference (DVCCON)

The eighth Divine Commonwealth Conference (DIVCCON) was held at the National Christian Centre Abuja from November 16 – 20, 2020 with over five thousand participants from Nigeria and beyond in attendance. The theme was, “We Are More Than Conquerors”. It featured talks, seminars, workshops and prayer sessions. Our Diocese was represented by the Bishop and wife, Clergymen and laity of the Diocese.

 

Retirements

The following Bishops and Archbishops retired from active Episcopal duties during the year under review:

1.              The Most Rev Tunde Adeleye – Diocese of Calabar.

2.              The Most Rev Caleb Maduoma – Diocese of Ideato

3.              The Most Rev Friday Imekhai – Diocese of Esan.

4.              The Rt. Rev Robinson Abere – Diocese of Okirika.

5.              The Rt. Rev Amos Fagbamiye – Diocese of the Trinity, USA

We wish them good health and blissful retirement.

 

Election and Consecration of New Bishops

The following Bishops were elected, consecrated and enthroned within the period under review.

1.                 The Rt. Rev Peter Oludipe – Diocese of Ijebu.

2.                 The Rt. Rev Adegoke Agara – Diocese of Idoani.

3.                 The Rt. Rev Enoch Atuboyeda – Diocese of Okirika.

4.                 The Rt. Rev Gabriel Elabor – Diocese OF Esan.

5.                 The Rt Rev Obiora Uzochukwu – Diocese of Mbamili.

6.                 The Rt. Rev Oluwagbemiro Fabuleje –Diocese of Oke-Osun.

 

Translation

The Rt. Rev Henry Okechukwu Okeke was translated to the see of Ideato.

 

Election And Presentation Of Archbishop

The Most Rev Dr. David Onuoha – Province of Owerri

 

STATE OF THE NATION

In my previous media interviews, I posited that Nigeria is heavily pregnant with uncertainties, and whatever she delivers will not be a surprise to anyone in view of the glaring build-ups. God has spoken through various human and natural instruments, warning the leaders of our country, including religious leaders, to mind our ways, but the monster of corruption keeps deepening, deflating the reasoning of our leaders. It is a country where consciences are darkened, thereby instituting the culture of bloodshed and near cannibalism. The land is mercilessly polluted with deliberate spilling of innocent blood and other atrocities that defile, and yet the watchers are blind to the consequences on the future generation, instead, are busy overheating the polity with 2023 elections.

Open sexual activities in Gidanwasa (house of play) settlements also known as ‘Sodom’ are fast becoming an acceptable fun tradition in some parts of the North and South of Nigeria. We must acknowledge as a nation that many of our youths who are into kidnapping, banditry, armed robbery, and other dangerous vices are engaged in these practices out of frustration. Sadly, many are from Christian families and had good church orientation, though not the enduring seed of the word of God, and as such, the devouring bird snatched the chaff of religiosity from them, leaving their lives worse than ever. We passionately call on our dear youths to please forgive us, their leaders, and return to reason, and to remember that the house they want to pull down may eventually fall upon every one.

 

Chibok Girls: Special Ovation for Lydia and Joy

Of the 276 girls abducted in Chibok on 14th April 2014, not many were fortunate among the escapees, like Lydia Pogu and Joy Bishara who are now resident in the United States of America since August 2014. We report with gratitude to God that today 30th April 2021, Lydia and Joy are graduating from one of the best Universities in America- South-Eastern University Florida, as Lawyer and Medical Doctor respectively. We rejoice with them for the courage to tear through huddles to take their rightful place in the scheme of global development. The Diocese of Ideato congratulates their parents on this no mean feat, and pray that this achievement be sustained.

 

Why we congratulate Lydia and Joy for being exceptionally favoured, together with others who escaped either unhurt or marred or defiled, the million dollar question begging for answer from Mr President is, where are the remaining school children whose psychological cubicles have been shattered, and their future blurred? So the case of the remaining 112 Chibok girls has sunk into oblivion?

Nigerians, where is Leah Sharibu, our heroine of Faith who preferred to suffer shame, torture and death than to deny her Lord and Master Jesus Christ. Wherever she is, dead or alive, the Diocesan Synod of Ideato and all respected Christian men and women honour her today for making the list of heroes of faith. We join all concerned members of our society to identify with the families whose loved ones were abducted and murdered, or abducted and yet to be released. We pray that the God of possibilities will throw his irresistible light into their dens, to set the captives free.

Meanwhile, the security situation of our country and its attendant degeneration call for serious concern, as things are getting out of hand. Apart from the ambush on our highways which sink citizens into fear as they travel, the farming season is here, and so many of our farmers are chased out of their farms due to the insecurity in the Land. How will a nation like ours which brags with food security survive the years ahead if a state of emergency is not declared on the security situation in our country. Hunger looms! We call on the federal and state governments to consider it a necessary fight to secure our farms, our farmers, and our future. As a church, we still believe in the power of a united and unbiased prayer quake. We must cry to God for His mercy, so as not to be consumed by the prevailing heat.

More worrisome is the attack on educational institutions which to my mind is a deadly blow on the sector; another strategy programmed to frustrate education in Nigeria. An update on the attack on schools should send a signal to our government and proprietors of schools that these evil actions are strategically organized and programmed.

Statistics

§ April 14, 2014 – Government Girls Secondary School Chibok, Borno State.

§ February 19, 2018 – Government Girls Science and Technical College Dapchi, Yobe State.

§ December 11, 2020 – Boys Secondary School Kankara Kastina State

§ February 17, 2021 – Government Science College Kagara, Niger State.

§ February 26, 2021 – Government Girls Science Secondary School Jangebe, Zamfara State.

§ March 12, 2021- - Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna State.

§ April 20, 2021 – Greenfield University Kaduna State.

 

The Unaddressed Injustice

The nation is already getting used to a government of nepotism where Federal Character is a second option, and we keep hearing the song that the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable. Worst still is that the marginalized must not lift a finger of agitation. At gun point, they must be made to sign ‘Unity papers’, as if they have no option of identity. Are we not ashamed to still keep the words of the National Anthem? Is it not a mockery to legacy to continue to chant that “the labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain”, when in our own eyes we see the labour of our fallen heroes rubbished, out of selfishness and calculated ambition to dominate. A government that hardens her heart at the cry of the deliberate, sustained exclusion and segregation of some section of the polity in the appointment of top officers in the security and civil arms of her institutions, cannot feign ignorance of the deadly consequences. Only God and time will vindicate this malady! Emeka Umeagbalasi, a criminologist in his paper delivered at the South East Zonal stakeholders meeting in Owerri on the imperative of national dialogue for Unity, security and development, observed that. “These glaring imbalances of exclusions are contrary to and grave violation of Section 14 (3) or regional and ethnic balancing, section 10 or prohibition of adoption of a particular religion as a state religion, Section 217 (3) or reflection of regional or ethnic or religious balancing in the appointment of the officer corpse of the Armed Forces, and Section 42 or prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity, religion, gender creed, or class all provided in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended”.   

 

The National anthem also contains: “To serve with heart and might, one nation bound in freedom, peace and unity”. The Key to the pursuit of the virtues of freedom, peace and unity in any organization or society should be with the leadership, but where confidence is lost on the leadership, the project becomes a mirage. This is the case with Nigeria. O God, will Nigeria work again? Where is the Nigeria where citizens were free to travel to any part of the country even as a hobby? Where is the Nigeria where the act that instituted the federal character saw the blossoming future of a united people? Where is the Nigeria that once assured the undergraduate of immediate employment after graduation? Where is the Nigeria where religion or social status was not a tool for victimization? We pray God to look mercifully on us and not allow our nation to sink, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

REMINDER TO THE PRESIDENT

May we remind Mr President, Mohammed Buhari, of his statement on the day his government was inaugurated in 2015 at Eagle Square Abuja,“I am for everyone. I belong to nobody”. Our dear President, this was supposedly a bonding statement meant to bind your heart with Nigerians. Unfortunately, your body languages and actions have betrayed this statement. Under your watch enmity has increased among Nigerians, and the word hate speech” introduced in our national dictionary. Under your watch, Nigerians are being butchered as never before. Things have fallen apart indeed, making it difficult for the centre to hold. I am convinced that most Nigerians who voted massively for you in 2015 did that based on your militariness and no –nonsense posture; an antecedent that made your name so popular as a military President. Baba, ka yi tunani sosai fa.  Kada ka bari Nigeria izama Somalia, Sudan, da sawaransu. (think well. Don’t allow Nigeria to be like Somalia, Sudan etc). Nigeria is a great country, blessed by God; the envy of many nations, but is becoming a mockery among member nations. O God, where is the Messiah destined for Nigeria? May you reveal him/her, that the unborn generation may not inherit a rotten state, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

 

IMO STATE

We are grateful to God for his mercies and kindness towards us as citizens of Imo State. Presently it is turbulent, security wise, but we are hopeful that the situation will be calm. We continue to pray for the peace of the land so as to experience a meaningful development. We commend our dear Governor Senator Hope Uzodimma for the courage mustard in dealing with the present circumstance. The Church continues to pray for him for God’s wisdom in government decisions.

 

We keep our thumbs up for his Excellency, for some of the road projects we are witnessing in Imo State. Some have been completed while some are in progress. We request the Governor to passionately intervene in the other World bank road projects which have suffered neglect, and the electrification project in some parts of our state, e.g. Arondizuogu. We wish him God’s speed as he steers the ship of our state.

 

 

THE THEME OF OUR SYNOD

“Behold I am Doing A New Thing (Isaiah 49:13)”

At our one day Synod on 12th December 2020, which had as its theme “Behold I will do a new thing”, we x-rayed the uniqueness of the book of Isaiah, compared to the entire book of the Bible. We quoted Wilmington to have observed that the book of Isaiah has sixty-six chapters; The bible has sixty-six books. The Old Testament has thirty-nine books; the first section of Isaiah has thirty-nine chapters. The New Testament has twenty-seven books; the last section of Isaiah has twenty-seven chapters. The Old Testament covers the history and sin of Israel as does Isaiah 1-39. The New Testament describes the person and ministry of Christ as does Isaiah 40-66. The New Testament begins with the ministry of John the Baptist; the second section of Isaiah, chapter 40 precisely begins by predicting this ministry. The New Testament ends by referring to the new heavens and the new earth; Isaiah ends his book by describing the same things (Cp Isa.66:22 with Rev. 21:1-3)”.

 

Isaiah teaches about God whose judgement exists on the platform of unconditional love. He deals with His people in judgement, yet He loves them.

 

Purpose of Isaiah’s Message

In Isaiah God is again revealed as the perfect and righteous one who consistently frowns at sin and deals with it aggressively irrespective of who is affected. This is an important revelation about God in the entire Old and New Testament scriptures: He destroyed His first world because of wickedness (Gen. 6-8), saving only Noah and his family who according to Gen. 6:8, “found grace in the eyes of the Lord”, because he was described to be just, perfect in his generation and walked with God (6:9). In Numbers 25:3, it is reported that the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel for joining themselves in idolatry with Baal. The result was the slaughter of twenty-four thousand people. Three thousand warriors of Israel fled before a negligible number of the city of Ai, with thirty-six men struck down, all because of sin in Joshua’s camp. Josh. 7:12 summarizes:“Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies because they had become doomed to destruction. Neither will I be with you anymore, unless you destroy the accursed from among you”. So Isaiah gives us a deep insight into God’s perspective of sin. He hates it with a passion, for His eyes are too pure to behold iniquity (Hab. 1:13).

 

Secondly, in the book of Isaiah, the picture of the mission of the messiah is vivid; hence Isaiah is referred to as the “Messianic prophet”. Prophetic references to Christ are contained in seventeen chapters of Isaiah (Isa. 7:14, 15; 9:1,2,6; 11:12; 35,6;42:1-3; 50:4-6; 52:13-15; 53:2, 10-12, 15; 61:1,2 etc). In the book, Christ is spoken of as, “the Lord, Branch of the Lord, Immanuel, Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, Rod of Jesse, Cornerstone, King, Shepherd, Servant of Yahweh, Elect One, Lamb of God, Leader and Commander, Redeemer, and Anointed One”. Nathaniel Van Cleave in the “New Spirit Filled Study Bible” reveals that “Chapter 53 of Isaiah is the greatest single Old Testament chapter prophesying the Messiah’s atoning work”. No wonder New Testament writers quoted the book of Isaiah more than any other. Some scholars have nicknamed it “the fifth gospel”.

 

The Implication Of The Theme On the Church And Our Nation

Our theme views the changelessness of God in human history. He is the same yesterday, today and forever (Heb. 13:8). The same message of hope to Israel in exile, to the valley of dry bones, and to the suffering militant Church in centuries before now, is still relevant to the Church in Nigeria. Israel’s deliverance is compared to the healing of a blind and deaf nation whose disabilities are the result of their idolatry, and are thus more spiritual than physical (Isa. 43:8; 42:16-20). The promise of restoration in 2 Chron. 7:14 conditioned by humility, seeking the face of God, and genuine repentance still holds for the present generation, and if we as a church and nation seek God’s face genuinely, He will hear us and roll away the present reproach upon our nation. But our leaders must be careful to listen to God, vehemently shun corruption and pursue righteousness, “for righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:34).

 

During the One-day Synod on 12th December 2020, we viewed what God was about to do in our Diocese and received it by faith with thanksgiving. By this Synod, it is crystal clear that something is happening, hence our theme in the present tense, “Behold, I am doing a New thing”. We have seen the God who existed in the past, who is presently at work, and who is already positioned for tomorrow, to work with men and women of possibilities.

 

Our focus in this Synod Charge is on three main areas:

1.        The Clergy: fixing the fixers

2.        The Gospel of Grace

3.        The Church and development.

 

1.        The Clergy: fixing the Fixers

A clergyman is a great asset in God’s kingdom project. He is called by God to work with Him in bringing souls into His Kingdom through preaching the message of the gospel, discipleship, and genuine pastoral care. He, together with his wife and children are to be models in the community, a ladder which some must need, to climb to God. His training is packaged holistically to equip him for every kind of service in the Church, in homes, and in the wider society. The Clergy is God’s lot (His portion), whom He possessed in toto by the divine call upon his life. By his actions and inactions, he has the key to eternity; either to eternal life or eternal condemnation. Based on this premise, the one that is called of God for this divine huge task is required to:

i.          Submit absolutely to God in a deep personal relationship.

ii.         Cultivate a devotional habit.

iii.       Grow in passion for righteousness.

iv.       Be clothed with a contagious humility.

v.         Be a true shepherd to God’s people.

vi.       Be sound in training and word delivery.

vii.      Be of good report.

 

Beholding the new things God is doing, we see the clergy family central in the whole package; the reason being that they are the channels of God’s blessings to His people. They should be the God we see; gentlemen in priestly garments whose words should be golden, trusted and comforting. Their lips should carry healing for the soul and for the body. By God’s enabling grace, there should be  no defilement, as men who operate from Gods altar.  In other words, they are required to pursue chastity, teach chastity and encourage same: “But amongst you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people” (Eph 5:3 NIV).

 

The Clergy Family

The clergy family should be the envy of others; “for if anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s Church” (ITim 3:5). The relationship between the husband and wife, parents and their children, family members and visitors should be attractive. 

 

The Priest’s countenance as well as his reception should be welcoming. The parsonage or his office should be another home for the troubled member, and if possible, with food ready for the hungry member.  The children of the clergy should be respectful and at the service of everyone. They are not required to be abusive, arrogant, non-challant, seductive or greedy, but humble, temperate

 and content.

 

Physical Strength

So much energy is required to do ministry. Everything that a pastor is involved in requires energy. In view of that, the man of God should be strong physically and mentally to be able to deliver.

 

Members of the Church enjoy to have an active pastor who can be at their service anytime, and to grow the Church geometrically. This however is the reason so any Pastors are sick and pretending, because they wouldn’t want their members to discover that they are weak and cannot perform.

 

I believe the above represent the thoughts and wishes of the laity towards the clergy. As much as the above is the ideal, and should be pursued by every Minister of the gospel, we must look into our responsibilities to the clergy and their families.

 

a)    Understand that the “Man of God” is first of all “man” (Human being) before “of God”. The only difference is the mandate of God which he carries for the good of the people.

b)    Pray sincerely for your pastor. Do not stop at giving gifts, or supporting his ministry.

c)     Be your brother’s keeper. When your Pastor has erred, approach him with love and correct or advise with humility.

d)   Do not be quick to expose his weakness. The church believes in discipline, but must it be enveloped with love.

e)    Taking a different position when you discover your pastor is corrupt may help him.

f)      Appreciate your pastor verbally and otherwise when he performs well in ministry.

g)    Show interest in the family of your pastor, and the condition of the parsonage or pastorium.

h)   The health status of your pastor determines how far he can go physically. Any assistance towards his health status is a huge contribution to the ministry.

 

Our Take

In view of the understanding we have, that the greatest investment and asset we have are the people, and that the pastor is closer to the people, it is our conviction that when the pastor is fixed, the congregation is also fixed. We are therefore resolved in the new vision package to address the source of the dirty water, like Elisha did in II Kings 2:29-22.

 

“Then Elisha went out to the spring and threw the salt into it, saying “this is what the Lord says: I have healed this water. Never again will it cause death or make the land unproductive”.(II Kings 2:21)

 

Everything begins and ends with leadership. If we get it right at recruitment, training and caring, the Church will be healed. God has blessed our Diocese with a set of committed and resourceful Clergy, and any pat on their backs could cause them to fly. It is based on this understanding that we have taken the following steps:

 

a)                   Establishment of FIRC – Fellowship of Ideato Retired Clergy

Ø Meets quarterly to pray, discuss and refresh.

Ø Account opened with First bank: Number 203624423 Diocese of Ideato Fellowship of Retired Clergy.

Ø Ven. Ben Opara appointed as their chaplain.

b)        Any retiring clergy gets an appreciation token of N500,000.00 from the Bishop.

c)        Establishing of Clergy Children’s fellowship

Ø Meets during holidays in Conference & Retreat to discuss carrier, parents ministries, future, the Diocese, and then refresh.

Ø Targets to form a professional body.

Ø Account opened with First Bank 2037147523,

Diocese of Ideato Clergy Children’s Fellowship.

Ø Rev Canon Ebenezar Igboanugo appointed as Chaplain.

d)        Introducing repositioning programs for the serving clergy

Ø   Exposure to clergy discipleship & self-confrontational lessons.

Ø   Extra biblical capacity building Conferences

Ø   Holistic Ministry

Ø   Higher Studies.

e)        50% of husbands salary to any clergy wife whose husband dies in active service, till the official date of his retirement.

f)         An annual health program for the Clergy & wives called “Clergy Health Day” (CHD), where medical personnel are brought in to check on the Clergy & their wives. The first edition comes up in October 2021, to be led by Ven. Prof. Sam Ike and Ven. Prof. Ejikeme Arodiwe.

 

The above are meant to be catalysts, to motivate our fathers in God and their families to invest in the “flock over  which the Holy Spirit has made us overseers; “to shepherd the Church of God which He purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). May the Lord of the Harvest send labourers into His harvest field!

 

2.  The Gospel of Grace

In the new thing that God is doing, the Gospel of salvation is the pathfinder. The gospel locates! The gospel transforms!! The gospel designs!!! We recall our maiden sermon on the 29th of September 2020 on “The CDU of the Gospel”. The correct gospel Converts; the correct Gospel Develops; the correct gospel Unites, and we emphasized that the man with the correct gospel is like the city on the hill. He sees what others do not see.

 

Discussing this subject matter in an ancient town like Arondizuogu makes a whole lot of sense. We have static evidence that the story of the gospel is not a fake story, but a generational truth, that faith in the gospel of Christ can change an ugly fortune. We retell the story with pride, that towards the end of the 19th Century, a blind man who sought several western and traditional helps, without success,  finally landed in Ogidi,  Anambra state at Iye-Enu CMS hospital where he did not only regain his sight, but also received the gospel. Coming home, he   shared the double message with his people. “I am healed! I am saved!!” His name was Abraham Imo Okike of Ugwuorima, Ndiawa in Arondizuogu; a man who had lost his beautiful wife to the evil forest where she was banished to, because she gave birth to a set of twins. Were those innocent babies to be alive, only God knows what they would have become. Brethren, we celebrate the gospel and civilization! The fire of the gospel in Abraham Imo Okike could not be quenched. A church was started, and today, it has become a Cathedral, having given birth to Dioceses.

 

In the gospel, we see the God of grace whose mercy is so deep beyond human comprehension (Eph 2:4-5). He receives the sinner any moment and however he/she comes, even now. Yes hell fire is real, the preaching task is urgent, but God is not in a hurry to save.

 

I urge the clergy and laity of our Church to think the Gospel, receive the gospel, and accurately present the gospel. In the new things God is doing in our midst, the gospel of Jesus Christ is the prime mover.

 

3.        The Church And Development

The history of Christian missions in Africa is one that reveals more than anything else, that the early missionaries were strategic in their agenda on the soil of Africa. They didn’t see our under development as a curse, but an opportunity to drive their message home, about the God who was not just interested in the salvation of our souls, but also in our total well being. They saw the children of Africa with the eyes of the future, and stooped so low to inject Christianity and the western culture into us. Though we celebrate the arrival of Christianity that came through the white man, but we know that not all of them came with the gospel. Their drive was the development of the black man.

 

Then they ushered in the greater tool for development, which was education. With it, Africa received emancipation and could speak and reason like the white man. We hail the early missionaries of the CMS, Roman Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, ECWA, Qua Ibo etc, who came with the gospel on the right hand, and development on the left hand. Today we are enjoying the fruit of their labour in educational institutions, health facilities, road network, system of government, mobility, politics, etc.

 

The Church in Nigeria followed the steps of our mission benefactors by instituting projects as a bridge for the gospel and for the well-being of citizens.

 

In the new thing God is doing, we shall partner with the government, development agencies, education experts, finance gurus, agriculturists, community developers, investment lords, professionals etc, to give meaning to the lives of our people. The Church shall be repositioned to be the change agent of our communities. With the 21st century technology, we can no longer be intimidated by obscure environments; the world has become a global village, and the church must take advantage of it.

 

It is based on the above that I invite us to partner with Vision 2025 of the Diocese of Ideato; a complete five- year package designed to enlighten, expand, create jobs, change the face of our environments, and bring God close to the hearts of men. The vision is tagged “Ohazurume”, that is, jointly resolved to make a difference. The target is One Billion Naira Only, in five years.

 

Conclusion

God is the God of New things, distractions notwithstanding. As we appreciate what He has started to do in our midst, may we be encouraged to see the progress tomorrow with the eyes of faith, both for the Church and for our nation, for with Him, all things are possible.

 

Thank you for listening.

 

Your Bishop and friend,

+Henry

ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE

 

1.        All things are possible to him

That can in Jesus’ name believe;

Lord, I no more Thy name blaspheme,

Thy truth I lovingly receive.

I can, I do believe in Thee;

All things are possible to me.

 

2.        ’Twas most impossible of all

 That here sin’s reign in me should cease;

Yet shall it be, I know it shall;

Jesus, I trust Thy faithfulness.

If nothing is too hard for Thee,

All things are possible to me.

 

3.        Though earth and hell the Word gainsay,

 The Word of God shall never fail;

The Lord can break sin’s iron sway;

’Tis certain, though impossible.

Thing impossible shall be,

All things are possible to me.

 

4.        All things are possible to God;

To Christ, the power of God in man;

To me when I am all renewed,

In Christ am fully formed again,

And from the reign of sin set free,

All things are possible to me.

 

5.        All things are possible to God;

To Christ, the power of God in me;

Now shed Thy mighty Self abroad,

Let me no longer live, but Thee;

Give me this hour in Thee to prove

The sweet omnipotence of love.

 

 

 

 

 

References

Adeyemo T. Africa Bible Commentary, Zondervan 2006.

Irono M: A short History of St. Peter’s Anglican Church Arondizuogu(1908-1987). Fourth Dimension Pub. Co; Enugu, 1987.

McCain D: Living Messages, 1994.

Umeagbalasi E. 2020: The imperative of National Diologue for Unity, Security and Development.

Wilmington H.L: Wilmington’s guide to the Bible, Tynade house publishers; Illinos, 1984.

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX I

THE MAIDEN ADDRESS BY THE THIRD BISHOP OF IDEATO DIOCESE THE RT. REV HENRY OKECHUKWU OKEKE (JP) TO THE DIOCESAN BOARD SITTING ON SATURDAY 31ST OCTOBER 2020, AT THE CATHEDRAL CHURCH OF ST. PETER, NDIAWA, ARONDIZUOGU.

Dear people of God,

It gives us great pleasure to answer the call to serve in our home Diocese of Ideato as the third Diocesan Bishop. The mandate was given to us by the Church of Nigeria House of Bishops during the episcopal synod held on Wednesday the 22nd of July 2020 at the Basilica of Grace Gudu, Abuja, and confirmed by an enthronement service on Tuesday the 29th of September 2020, here in the Cathedral Church of St. Peter, Ndiawa, Arondizuogu.

May I, unreservedly, pay our due allegiances to the Primate of  All Nigeria, His Grace, The Most Rev. Henry Chukwudum Ndukuba, and the two Church fathers that have led our Diocese since inception, namely, The Rt. Rev. Godson Chinyere Echefu (12th July 1999 – 7th August 2004), and The Most Rev. Dr. Caleb Anezieonwuonyeogaegbu Maduaoma (7th Aug. 2004-22nd September 2020).

We appreciate in no small way the great work done by our great predecessors to bring the Diocese of Ideato to this level, and particularly in the restoration of the dignity of Arondizuogu, the original headquarters, until 1921 when the cap was lifted to Nkwerre.

Appreciation

We acknowledge with every sense of humility and responsibility men of the clergy and their wives, respected contributors builders, financiers, motivators, opinion moulders and drivers, mission partners, and friends of the Diocese of Ideato since inception. But for your/ their efforts we would not have anything to stand on. May God the diligent rewarder repay each one accordingly in Jesus name. My family expresses gratitude to the Cathedral Administrator and his dear wife, Ven. Dr. Stanley & Mrs. Kosarachi Ukachukwu and members of the Cathedral Church, the transition Committee, led by Sir Barr. Paul Umensofor, and the noble laity of our Diocese, for the warm reception, prayers and goodwill which we received and have continued to receive. We are grateful!

 

The Year Ahead

It was Frances J. Crosby in 1869, who wrote the beautiful hymn, …

Toiling on, toiling on;

Toiling on, toiling on;

Let us hope, let us watch;

And labour till the Master Comes”

 

In the next fourteen years, if the Lord tarries to come, our vision for Ideato Diocese and the entire Ideato people shall be divided into three parts:

1.     2020 – 2025

2.     2025 – 2030

3.     2030 -2034

In this maiden Diocesan Board, we shall unveil the first part tagged “Vision 2025”. Afterwards, a think-tank shall be appointed to work around the vision in readiness for presentation to the vision Committee that will meet under God on Saturday 21st November 2020 for developing and road-mapping. Finally, the document shall be presented for dedication and launching during the Diocesan harvest on Saturday 12th December, 2020 at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter Arondizuogu, followed by a one-day Synod.

 In the name of God, we welcome you on board this speed lane as we, together, lift the name of the Lord and our Communion and in Ideato nation.

Thanks for your presence at this board meeting and may God grant us the wisdom and grace for fruitful deliberations, in the name of God, the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Your Shepherd and Friend,

+Henry Okechukwu Okeke