By Gid Ahanonu and Nick Chibunna
The body of late Archdeacon Ephraim Chinedu Nganwuchi Onwubuariri was penultimate Friday laid to rest in his home town, Ogada Atta in Ikeduru Local Government Area of Imo State, after a funeral service in his honour at St. Thomas Anglican Church Ogada Atta – Ikeduru.
Preaching the sermon at the service conducted by the Ven. Josiah Emeribe, the Bishop of Ikeduru Diocese, Rt. Rev. Emma Maduwike (JP) called on the clergy and other church workers to follow the footsteps of the biblical St. Paul in their pastoral work as he (Paul) stressed need for them to know Christ and the power of His resurrection. He likened the deceased apostleship to that of St. Paul.
The preacher who preached on the theme “The Reality of Heaven,” (2 Cor. 5:1) noted that the human body is a tent which when destroyed on earth, the faithful would transit to the heavenly home provided by God, positing that Ven. Onwubuariri has transited from this earthly body to a glorious one above where ‘there is no pains, illness, death and other life challenges,’ adding that death is a gate-way to our heavenly home.
The prelate described the deceased as a great teacher, administrator, sports man and a dedicated church worker whose simplicity, honesty and humility in life endeavour should be emulated by present day church workers. The large turnout of people from all works of life to his burial is an eloquent testimony that Ven. Onwubuariri was a committed man of God, the Bishop added.
The only lesson drawn from 1Cor. 15:51 – end, was read by one of the deceased’s granddaughters, while the joint choir of Old Atta Parish and the Christ Church Choir Owerrri as well as the ACFF rendered songs and anthems to bid late Ven. Onwubuariri farewell.
In the family oration, late Ven. Onwubuariri who put in 31 years of service in the Lord’s Vineyard was described as an embodiment of humility, love, honesty and uprightness with strong belief in the power and authority of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
The burial ceremony was attended by Bishops, priests, friends and well-wishers from Owerri Ecclesiastical Province and beyond, including Rt. Rev. Cyril C. Okorocha, PhD of Owerri Diocese, Rt. Rev. Emma Maduwike (JP) of Ikeduru and Chief Engr. E.C. Iwuanyanwu (Aha-Eji-agamba).