Don’t let killings stop evangelism – Cleric urges Christians

Christians in Nigeria have been advised not to be deterred in spreading the gospel because of the killings taking place in the country, pointing out that martyrdom is not new to the Christendom.
The Rev. Canon Christian Ifesie, gave the charge  at the deaconate ordination of Ordinand Emmanuel Iheanyichukwu Oparandu,  at the Cathedral Church of All Saints, Egbu, Owerri North LGA, Imo State.
Canon Ifesie noted that right from the time of the Roman Empire, Christians were being martyred, yet the gospel of the Lord, Jesus Christ prospered and spread to Nigeria and other parts of the world.
“Let me tell you, the killing of Christians is not new to us. It has been happening, even in the time of the Roman Empire, yet some people took the charge and ensured that the gospel got to us”, he stated.
The cleric, who is the Vicar of Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Obube, entitled his sermon “A Charge To Keep”, taken from hymn Ancient and Modern 328 (A Charge To Keep, I have. A God To Glorify. A Near Dying Soul To Save) as composed by Charles Wesley, maintained that every Christian has a charge to keep.
He identified the charge as saving souls through the spreading of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
He reminded Christians that they have a charge to perform in their generations, adding that people will be judged based on the part they played in their generations.
“If you take an analysis of our present generation, do you like what you see among the men, women, politicians, clergy and knights? Don’t you have a duty to perform,” Ifesie asked.
He said that Christians have a role to play in telling the world about the God they are serving, adding that failure to do so would bring death.
The cleric told the congregation that God is looking for a man who will effect a positive change in this generation and assured the newly ordained deacon that God who called him will equip him for the task ahead.
“Having been prepared, Emma, the whole world, the generation is waiting for your manifestation. If you keep the charge, God will bless and lift you high”, Canon Ifesie said.
He also enjoined the knights and ladies of St. Christopher to engage in organizing crusades and outreaches and not to only bring their money during launching and fund raising activities, while the clergy should revive the Church.
In his remarks, the Bishop of the Diocese of Egbu, the Rt. Rev. Geoffrey  Okorafor, stated that working in the Lord’s vineyard is not a bed of roses.  He noted that being a priest has peculiar challenges and encouraged the newly ordained deacon to brace up for the challenges ahead.
Bishop Okorafor disclosed that history has been made as it was the first time in 20 years that only one person was ordained in the Diocese. He enjoined the Rev. Emmanuel I Oparandu to continue to uphold the qualities that made him to attain the feat as the best behaved student in the Trinity Theological College, Umuahia, Abia State, in his priestly ministry.
Present at the occasion were the pioneer Bishop of the Diocese, the Rt. Rev. (Prof.) Emmanuel Uchechukwu Iheagwam and his wife, Adaku, former Chief Judge of Imo State and Chancellor of the Diocese, Justice Benjamin Njemanze (rtd) his wife, Dr. Mrs Joy Njemanze, the Registrar, Bar Ifeanyi Eke, members of the Egbu Clergy Association, knights and ladies of St. Christopher and friends and relations of the newly ordained deacon.
Highpoint of the occasion were the oath taking of not belonging to any secret society, not being a homosexual and of canonical obedience to the Church.

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