The annual “CMS Day” celebrated on July 27 to mark the advent of Christianity into Igboland in 1857, was last Sunday abig occasion at the Anglican Church of Pentecost, Owalla, Uratta, featuring several awards to deserving Christians.
In his sermon at the anniversary celebration service, the Archdeacon of Uratta South Archdeaconry (USA), Ven. Ferdinand Mbalisi submitted that God blesses those who donate land for the service of God and warned the present generation to desist from the habit of reclaiming land donated to the church by their forefathers in order not to attract the wrath of God on them.
Going down memory lane, Ven. Mbalisi recalled that Onitsha was the first Igbo community to donate land to the church where the famous All Saints Cathedral stands today.
Emphasizing that God blesses those who donate land and other items for His church, the preacher contended that Onitsha community has produced important personalities in Igboland such as Rt. Hon. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Dr. Chike Obi, the famous mathematician, Rt. Rev. A.C. Onyeabo, the first Igbo bishop and many others, attributing it to blessings from God.
Ven. Mbalisi noted that the most successful of all the expeditions to bring the gospel to Igboland was that of Samuel Ajayi Crowder, Rev. John Taylor and Simon Jones which landed at Onitsha on July 27, 1857 from where Christianity spread to other parts of Igboland.
He added that the anniversary celebration is an occasion for joy as it commemorates the day darkness gave way to light as he urged Christians to celebrate the founding fathers of Christianity to Igboland.
The service was conducted by the priest-in-charge, Rev. Goddy Iroenyenwa, while Chief Barr. Emma Egenamba read the only lesson of the service from Acts 16: 9-32.
One of the highlights of the celebration was the award of Excellence to six families whose parents contributed to the growth of the church in the parish. They include Pa Joseph Ofoegbu’s family represented by Sir Manford Ofoegbu, Pa Joseph, Ugoji represented by Chimobi Ugoji, Pa Mathias Ugorji’s family represented by Joshua Ugorji, Albert Egbujo’s family led by Sir Egbujo, Ernest Nzewuihe’s family led by Uchechi Nzewuihe and Pa Denis Egenamba represented by Barr. Emma Egenamba.
Also Ambassador Award were conferred on Mrs Keziah Oparauwakwe, Mrs Alice Oparauwakwe, H.R.H. Eze Dr. Emmanuel Okoro, Chief Paul Uzoechi, Mr Dickson Osuji and Mr Ejike Amechi.
The award ceremony was performed by the Archdeacon of Uratta South, Ven. Ferdinand Mbalisi and wife, Noble while Revrends Goddy Iroenyenwa and Chigozie Akowuba assisted.