By Chukwudi Ikpe
Clerics have been charged to exhibit righteous and exemplary lives worthy of emulation.
An Anglican cleric, Ven. John Akahara, gave the charge while preaching a sermon during the collation thanksgiving service of Rev. Canon Timothy Chidi Nmezi Igbokwe at Christ Anglican Church Umunoha in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State last weekend.
He made it clear that ordination and preferment were not chieftaincy titles where people may compromise at wish, adding that those who call themselves men of God must ensure that truth and righteousness prevail in the house of God
Ven. Akahara, who is the Vicar of St. Andrews Anglican Church, Akabo in Ikeduru LGA decried the proliferation of churches and infiltration of fake men of God but equally added that “by their deeds we shall know them”.
He appealed to church congregations to always support and obey their priests who, he said, ‘guide their hearts through prayers and are responsible to God concerning them’, according to the scriptures.
The Archdeacon also stressed that their obedience will encourage their priests to work diligently with all their hearts.
Earlier in his homily, Ven. Akahara, who is also the Archdeacon of Akabo Archdeaconry, extolled the good qualities of the celebrant, Rev. Canon Timothy Igbokwe, who he described as obedient and very cheerful.
According to him, Rev. Can. Igbokwe has been in the ministry for 24 years having been ordained in 1994. He also noted that most of his contemporaries were already Archdeacons but quickly added that “God’s time is the best”.
Ven. Akahara advised the newly collated Canon to see this elevation as a call to greater responsibility and charged him to rise to the responsibility, stressing that the great task ahead is heavy, just as the cope.
He also charged the wife of the celebrant, Mrs. Onyinyechi Igbokwe to always show strong support and love towards her husband’s ministry.
The glorious service was conducted by Rev. B. Nwandikom while the first lesson from Isaiah 42:1-9 and the second lesson from Philippians 4:4-7 were read by the wife of the celebrant, Mrs. Onyinyechi Igbokwe and his first daughter, Miss Chigozirim Igbokwe respectively.
The enterprising choirs of Christ Church Umunoha and Christ Church Umuahii – Mbieri entertained the congregation with melodious anthems.
The highpoints of the service were the special thanksgiving by Rev. Canon and Mrs. Timothy Igbokwe and the cutting of the thanksgiving cake.
In his vote of thanks, the celebrant, expressed gratitude to God and thanked all those who came from far and near to felicitate with him.
The ceremony was attended by lay and clergy both from Ikeduru and Owerri as well as beyond Diocese. Also present was a former chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ), Imo State, Chief Sir Fidel Onyeneke.