By Emma Onumah
The Anglican Bishop of Owerri, the Rt. Rev. Cyril C. Okorocha, PhD has warned Christians against using church buildings for social purposes such as political events and village meetings, rather churches should be used strictly for the purpose of God’s worship
He gave this warning during the dedication of Christ’s Anglican Church, Idume Ogwa in Mbaitoli Local government Area of Imo State.
Bishop Okorocha, used the occasion to thank all those who made themselves available instruments for the church to get to its present stage since its inception, thanking especially the family of Sir and Lady Jawachi Nmekaegbulem Uwandu, who, he noted, single-handedly re-built the church with appurtenances including marble pulpit, baptism font, altar table, lectern etc.
The Prelate noted that, Sir Jawachi Uwandu succeeded in this noble project because he worked with his wife and children. He prayed that peace, love and God’s favour would reign in his family always, and that he does not relent in using his time and resources to serve the Lord in future.
In a brief homily, the Priest in-charge, St. Andrew’s (Ang.) Church, Oburo Ogwa, Revd. Henry Asiegbu, admonished Christians to strive and work unto God, so as to gain eternity in the end, emphasizing that “you must know God as you do His work”.
The clergyman, who captioned his homily: “Building and Living for
Eternity” challenged all people of God not to concern themselves with immediate rewards, as they do God’s work, but to work with eternity in mind, so that any day the roll was called up yonder, they would be there.
In an address of welcome, the new church Facilitator/Builder, Sir Jawachi Uwandu, on behalf of himself and family, expressed gratitude to God for giving them the opportunity and privilege, to translate their dream and aspiration into reality, despite his initial shock and challenges by what he saw on the ground at his visit to the church which, if allowed to remain, as it were, would have entailed a disrespect and dishonor to God, by his generation.
Sir Jawachi, who also used the occasion to mark his 50th birthday, said he was still full of gratitude to God, whose grace and blessings were sufficient to keep him and his family focused, and determined to do His work, in spite of attempts by detractors, to make them stop the work half-way, stressing that, one thing is to have a vision and another is to have the ability to actualize it, and for which his wife, Dame Kesiah Jawachi Uwandu and children stood by him all through the period.
Presenting a vote of thanks on behalf of the Christ’s Church congregation, the Station Priest, Rev Bethel Iroegbu, described the day as a day of joy and great celebration in the history of the church at Idume, and the entire Alaenyi-Ogwa Archdeaconry because, according to him, God has brought a great difference in the church.
He prayed for God’s guidance and journey mercies to His Lordship, Rt, Rev. C.C. Okorocha Ph.D, the Clergy and wives, friends and well-wishers, all of whom were present to grace the memorable ceremony and then paid a glow tribute to Sir Jawachi Uwandu, whose birthday thanksgiving celebration, he said, coincided with the dedication of the church, his wife, Lady Kesiah, and children all of whom, according to him, God has used to accomplish their desire for Christ’s Church, Idume.
The occasion was further graced by the cutting of Sir Jawachi’s birthday cake, beautiful rendition by a gospel choir from Owerri led by one Mr. Emma Asinobi, and the presence of many dignitaries including Lady Ada Aguta, Registrar, Alvan Ikoku Federal College of Education, Owerri, Lady Esther Innocent-Oparadike, Prof. Goddy Emeghara of FUTO, Chief Amaechi Uwandu and others.
By Emma Onumah