By Emma Onumah
A new Administrative Area has been created from the existing New Owerri Archdeaconry in the Anglican Diocese of Owerri.
The new Administrative Area, which is to be known and called New Owerri North Area henceforth, comprises St. Michael and All Angels Church, Anglican Church of Redeemer (ANCHOR), and the Anglican Church of Blessed Holy Trinity, located at Road 7 Extension, New Owerri, and which was named penultimate Saturday, by the Lord Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Cyril C. Okorocha, Ph.D.
Bishop Okorocha, announced the creation of the new Administrative Area, after dedicating the St Michael and All Angels Church (SMAA) building and all its appurtenances, including the baptismal font, prayer desk, lectern, pulpit, altar rail, chancery, altar table, as well as Holy Communion elements.
The Prelate, who commended the efforts and commitments of the St Michael and All Angels Parish Community, in completing the Church building which, according to records, was started in September, 2002, warned them against using the Church building for profane and common purposes, especially as it has, by its dedication, been declared holy to the Lord, and a House of God for the Anglican Communion.
He also admonished those who build their personal churches or Chapels, with the intention of weakening an already existing Church of God within the same locality, to have a rethink, in order not, to experience what, he said, happened to Naaman in the Holy Bible, stressing that, religion, which is always practiced by a group of people in a Community has a Torah, as was given to Moses, and recorded in the first five books of the Bible.
Bishop Okorocha, sternly drummed it into the ears of the congregation, that anybody who rejects Jesus Christ will definitely be disgraced by Him.
In a brief homily at the service, the Archdeacon in-charge, Christ’s Church Archdeaconry, Owerri, Ven. Zion Ngoka, who lifted his Text from Romans Chapter 12:1 -2, enjoined the worshippers in the Church and other people of God, to offer their bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, in support of the memorable event.
He commended those who, in diverse ways, contributed towards the successful completion of the Church building, attributing it to God’s grace and mercy.
Christianity, he observed, is not a compulsory religion, but demands one’s willingness to be faithful to God, as one worships Him.
In an address of welcome, presented to the Bishop, his wife, and other guests, by the Chairman of the Dedication Planning Committee, Sir Ernest Ekemezie, the Church expressed delight that the “small and tender fig tree”, which the Bishop planted fifteen years ago, had blossomed to a mighty tree, as being witnessed that day, to the glory of God.
The Church expressed gratitude to the Bishop for the quality of the Pastoral team he posted to the Church, ably led by the Reverend Canon Onyinyeoma Onyeagocha, and the level of commitments and contributions made by men, women and children of the Church with what he described as uncommon godly spirit that helped to bind them together all through, despite challenges and financial stress that they passed through to get to the end.
Adding his voice, the Archdeacon of New Owerri Archdeaconry, Venerable (Engr.) Obioma Okere, thanked the Bishop and his wife, Dr (Mrs) Eunice Okorocha (Mama Owerri), for squeezing out time to be present, to give the Chapel a name the previous day, and to come the next day to dedicate the SMAA Church building.
He joined the Lord Bishop in thanking the Knights and Ladies, and other worshippers, for their presence and patience as the occasion lasted, and prayed that God would bountifully reward them, as He is never a debtor to anybody.
The Old Testament Lesson at the service, taken from IKings 8:22-30, was read by Sir John Njoku, Chairman of the Building Committee, while Lady Ngozi Duru, took the New Testament Reading from Revelation 21:1-7.
The highlights of the service included the handing over of the Key to the Church to the Bishop by the People’s Warden, Sir (Dr) Emeka Nwolisa, and the immediate induction of Rev. Canon O.I.G Onyeagocha as the Vicar of SMAA Parish, as well as the Administrator of the newly created Owerri North Area, Anglican Diocese of Owerri.
By Emma Onumah