By Chinasa Ogbonna
The last CMS Anniversary was marked at St. Peter’s (Anglican) Church, Ikenegbu, Owerri with the 5th Crowther Memorial Lecture delivered by the Parish Priest, Rev. Festus Opara, PhD.
The theme of the lecture was “Advent of Christianity to Igboland: A re-appraisal of past missionary enterprise and its implication for contemporary Christian leadership”.
He observed that for the church to meet her responsibilities, the leadership must be re-vitalized adding that no organization, nation or tribe rises above the leadership they have.
The lecturer said Christian leadership must be God-focused, people centered, visionary, dynamic, innovative, and servant-leaders to awaken both the church and society from their spiritual slumber.
Rev. Opara recalled that the first C.M.S. Church was planted in Igboland in Onitsha on 27th July 1857 with the first formal church service held on Monday, 2nd August, 1857 by Rev. J.C. Taylor.
He noted that the advent of Christianity in Igboland would have been impossible without the invaluable contributions of the native agents who he described as the foot soldiers.
The lecturer said that the annual C.M.S. Anniversary afforded opportunities to recount past missionary endeavour and apply to present situations to decipher the lessons garnered.
He therefore, called for a second look by the church in the areas of leadership succession, accountability, caring ministry, ecumenical relationship with other denominations, quality of the gospel preached and others.
Preaching later, Bro Joseph O. Benjamin called on Christians, as those who have received the word, to shun ungodliness, show self-control and live lives that will glorify God.