By Chukwudi Ikpe & Gid Ahanonu
The postponement of the February 16 Presidential election by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) turned out to be a blessing for St. James Anglican Church Duruemezie, Umomumu Mbieri in Mbaitoli Local government Area of Imo State as many Anglican faithful turned out to witness the dedication of the magnificent church building last Sunday, by the Anglican Bishop of Owerri, Rt. Rev. Chukwuma Oparah, Ph.D.
The historic event attracted an unprecedented crowd, including some illustrious sons and daughters of the area, who had returned home for the botched election.
Most of them made handsome donations in support of the church.
In his remarks, Bishop Oparah called for peace and forgiveness among Nigerians, especially on the postponed election. He urged them not to be discouraged by the postponement and stressed the need for all Nigerians to come out enmasse to cast their votes on the new dates.
“Don’t stay back because of the disappointment arising from postponement. Your vote is important. The will of God in Imo and Nigeria will be done”, he said.
The Bishop expressed appreciation to congregation of the church for their hearty support towards the theological training of their church teacher, Mr. Ugochukwu Okii, describing it as a sign of hospitality to priests.
Earlier in his sermon, Rev. Canon Timothy Igbokwe had called for humility among Christians and Nigerians in general, especially, the ruling class.
Taking his text from 2 Kings 5:25, he traced the story of King Solomon and called on present day leaders to render selfless service to God and humanity as well as live exemplary and humble lives.
Canon Igbokwe enjoined the faithful to always make good use of privileges given to them by God, stressing that “knowledge is useless if it does not glorify the name of God”.
The dedication service was conducted by the Archdeacon of Amaike Mbieri Archdeaconry, Ven Chidi Opara while the only lesson of the service was read by Mrs. Joy Ileke.
The enterprising Christ Church choir thrilled the congregation with beautiful tunes.
The highpoints of the service were the dedication of various features and parts of the church by the bishop as well as the cutting of the dedication cake.
The chairman of the dedication planning committee, Chief Chibueze Amadi, and the church teacher in charge of the station, Mr. Ugochukwu Okii, expressed gratitude to God for a successful occasion.
Some of the personalities that attended the ceremony including priests in Amaike Mbieri archdeaconry, the Eze-elect of the area, Eze Ibem Onumaegbu, the mayor of the place, Chief Sunny Onumaegbu, Chief Kennedy Uba, Mr. Wilson Amadi, and Chief Chibee Amadi. Others are Chief George Ikechi, Chimaroke Oparugo, Sir Kingsley Osuji, among others.