By Gid Ahanonu
& Nich Chibunna
Four Anglican Bishops-elect were consecrated last Sunday at the Cathedral Church of the Transfiguration of Our Lord (CATOL) Owerri, Imo State, by the Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria, His Grace Most Revd Nicholas Okoh.
The Bishop designates were, the Venerable Yohannah Ahmed Audu, Bishop elect, Diocese of Damaturu; the Ven. Godwin Adeyi Robinson for Diocese of Lafia; Ven. Rufus Victor Ajileye Adepoju, bishop-elect of Diocese of Ekiti West and Ven. Augustine Ehijimetor Ohilebo for the Diocese of Sabongidda-Ora.
Preaching the sermon at the Eucharistic service to mark the occasion which came a day after the CATOL dedication, the Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Cyril C. Okorocha PhD charged the new Bishops to imbibe the spirit of holiness as consecration makes them holy and urged them to perform their duties righteously in their areas of positing.
Bishop Okorocha lamented the culture of lesbianism and homosexuality among the so-called worshippers across some Christian nations and urged Anglicans not to be like them.
He listed the attributes of Holiness to include the fear of God, integrity, accountability and being extraordinary from others and urged them to lift up their hearts to Jesus through prayers as holy men of God when face with challenges.
He assured them of success, pointing out that they were being consecrated in a newly dedicated Cathedral full of Holy Spirit.
He then advised the Bishops, the Clergy and even lay men to learn to withdraw from the society, including any other distraction and retire to a lonely area for ministration as Jesus Christ did.
He then urged Christians to run away from visions that evolve fear.
The Archbishop and Primate of All Nigeria Most Revd Nicholas Okoh, after giving the new Bishops their staffs charged them to be shepherds and not wolves to the flock of Christ and to feed them instead of devouring them. He also urged them to seek the lost, uphold the weak, and restore health to the sick.
The service was presided over by the Primate, Most Revd Nicholas D. Okoh, while the Archbishop of Jos, Most Revd Dr. Benjamin Kwashi, celebrated the Holy Eucharist as the Old Testament reading was handled by the Treasurer, Diocese of Damaturu, Mr. Cyrus Nkangwung.
The Rt. Revd Prof. Emmanuel B. Ajulo of Okene read the Epistle as Rt. Rev. Felix O. Akinbuluma, Bishop of Irele-Eseodo handled the Gospel.
Highlight of the service was the presentation of the new Dean of the Church of Nigeria,The Most Revd George L. Lasebikan and the Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of the Niger – The Most Revd. Christian Efobi. Most Rev. Ikechi Nwosu was also re-elected as the Archbishop of Aba Province.
The CATOL Choir, conducted by Sir Sam Ojukwu and Mr. Faith Benjamin featured prominently at the service while choirs of St. Peter’s Umunjam conducted by Emma Asinobi. Vox Anglican Choir also rendered beautiful songs at the event.
The Primate commended Bishop Okorocha and wife for their sacrifice, hospitality and contributions to the success of the event. He equally thanked the Clergy Diocesan Officials and Choir and all those who contributed to the occasion.
Archbishop Okoh recognized in a special way Mrs. Jane Nwankiti, Chief E.C. Iwuanyanwu, Mrs. Phoebe Anyanwu and all the retired Bishops who were present.