By Gid Ahanonu
It was a two-pronged celebration for St. Simon’s (Ang) Church, Ugirike in Ikeduru Diocese penultimate Saturday as it marked its 100th anniversary, an occasion that was used for the dedication of its ultra-modern church building built by legal luminary and philanthropist, Barrister Donald C. Denwigwe, SAN.
Performing the dual function, the Bishop of Ikeduru, Rt. Rev. Emma Maduwike, JP extolled the founding fathers of the church, adding that achievements recorded by the church were anchored on the foundations laid by their forebear.
According to him, the present generation is enjoying the fruits of their forefathers who suffered to bring the gospel and the light for them to move on.
While dedicating the new church building, the prelate described Barr. Denwigwe as a vessel of honour who built on an already laid foundation with good material as he warned that everyone would be judged according to his deeds on earth.
Bishop Maduwike described the two occasions being jointly celebrated that day as things of great joy for God and man and commended all present at the occasion.
In his remarks Barr. Denwigwe thanked God for giving him His grace to complete the assignment despite his health challenges, adding that it was not himself and family that built the church alone as he disclosed that Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu and Chief Ezeji contributed their quota too.
He expressed gratitude to all that were present at the event including Chief Sir Iwuanyanwu, Senator Samdaddy Ananwu, representatives of the Rivers State Governor, Nelson Nwike and Chief Ifeanyi Uba and many others.
The legal luminary particularly thanked God for keeping him alive to witness the day the church was dedicated.
In their address, the Centenary Celebration Planning Committee listed the achievements of the church since inception a century ago including producing seven indigenous priests, 10 members of Knight of St. Christopher, as well as producing two Synod delegates to the old Niger Delta Diocese.
The Church has brought up many in different professions such as education, law, engineering and politics while its planting of three other churches culminated in the elevation of St. Simon Ugirike to Archdeaconry status.
One of the highpoints of the occasion was a thanksgiving by Barr. Denwigwe and family.
St Paul’s Church, Obohia, Mbaise and the Catholic Community of Ugirike actively participated at the event.