Diocese of mbaise presidential address delivered to the third session of the eight synod



Download 238 Kb.
Page1/4
Date conversion19.11.2016
Size238 Kb.
  1   2   3   4
CHURCH OF NIGERIA

(ANGLICAN COMMUNION)
DIOCESE OF MBAISE
PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS DELIVERED TO THE

THIRD SESSION OF THE EIGHT SYNOD

ON SATURDAY 21ST MAY, 2016

AT ST. MICHAEL’S ANGLICAN CHURCH NRIUKWU,

AMUZU EAST PARISH,

ABOH MBAISE LGA, IMO STATE
BY
RT. REV’D CHAMBERLAIN C. OGUNEDO, M.Sc JP

BISHOP, DIOCESE OF MBAISE
THEME:

“….AND THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE:



WHAT IS TRUTH?” JOHN 18:38

SYNOD PRAYER

O! God of truth and life

We thank you for your enduring love and mercy upon us as a people, Church and Diocese.

Before you, no secrets are hidden and all desires are made known.

Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts;

Inspire us to;

Think the truth

Preach the truth

and Practice the truth.

Remove from us, inattentive mind, wandering thoughts, cold heart and weak will.

Help us to be your ambassadors, that by our life and example, we commend to others the faith which our lips profess.

May we at all times live to glorify your name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Your Graces, the Archbishops,

My Lord Bishops,

The President of the Women’s Ministry – Mama Mbaise

Your Excellencies

My Lord the Deputy Chancellor,

Our Legal Luminaries,

Revered Clergy and Wives,

Your Royal Highnesses,

The Diocesan Officials and Nominees,

Noble Knights and Ladies,

Distinguished Synod Delegates and Guests,

Men of the Press,


Beloved People of God,

With every sense of humility and in continual appreciation of God’s inestimable love, we welcome you to the 3rd Session of our Eight Synod. “Hitherto the Lord has been faithful”, even amidst changes and chances of our time.

We as a people and diocese and beyond have gathered to extol and affirm God’s greatness.

Brethren, in view of the present challenges, it is really humanly has not been easy; but those who put their trust in the Lord shall never and has never been confounded.

As we conclude the sessions of our Eight Synod, appraisingly, we have every and unalloyed cause to thank God.

Indeed God is faithful.

Interestingly we have continued to observe that any opportunity given and the acceptance of such by any of our Church congregations to host a Synodical meeting arouse a new and unimaginable spirit of oneness, focus and exploitatory ability in such a congregation as we have even witnessed in this St. Michael’s Nriukwu – Amuzu East Parish, our Synod Venue.

We earnestly appreciate the doggedness and persistent determination of this congregation of Amuzu East.

We commend the oneness of purpose and support; financially, materially and morally from the Lorji/Amuzu and old Uvuru Agbaja Archdeaconries – ‘a perculiar synergism’.

We appreciate the effort of the Church workers in this parish and the Synod Local Organizing Committee coordinated by Dr. Ken Okorie and Hon. Sir Ambrose Ugboaja for the prompt mobilization of the members.

We express gratitude to our son and brother, Sir Stanley Amuchie and family who gave N3million to support this parish in preparing for the synod.

The Diocesan Synod Planning Committee has continued to strive stronger and with new visions initiated. We are grateful to Sir Chidi Madugba and all the members of the committee on synod planning. As you have availed yourselves to serve God; may He in return bless you abundantly.

The Rev’d Canon Samuel Tasie and wife; Rev’d Timothy Onuoha and wife and all the faithful who have assiduously worked for the success of this synod and have continued to support the building of this Diocese; we say thank you. May God immeasurably reward you – Amen.

SYNOD VENUE: ST. MICHAEL’S CHURCH NRIUKWU–AMUZU EAST

PARISH

The location of Nriukwu on the bank of the Imo River attracted Produce Merchants from the Niger Delta area and made it a thriving collection point and trading port for palm produce from the surrounding communities as early as 1910.

Consequently, Missionaries of the Niger Delta Pastorate (NDP) followed Produce Buyers, Charles Omenka and Kenos, from Okirika, and planted a church in Nriukwu. The NDP led by Archdeacon D. O. Crowther (son of Bishop Ajayi Crowther) had already planted a church at Okpala and was supervised from the District headquarters at Abayi-Umuocham near Aba. Rev. A. O. Ockya, the energetic overseer of the mission, spared no effort to reach all corners of the area.

The settlers and natives had Bible reading and Prayer meetings up to 1911. But the natives remained skeptical about the new faith. However the traders were persistent and planted the seed church in tents located at the Amaiyi waterside in Nriukwu. Membership grew gradually as villagers became more confident and embraced, the new church. The site was moved to a plot of land donated by Chief Okezie Ototo on the Nriukwu mainland.

By 1912, the growing size of the congregation justified siting the church house at a location central to the four component villages (Amiyi, Nriachara, Umuegwu and Umugaragu). The result was the monumental Ulo-Elu (as the church building was called) erected at Umuegwu on the land donated by Chief Akoma Abajuo. Mr. Amos, an Aro man, was the first teacher. The earliest to embrace the faith (patriarchs and founding fathers of the church) included: Messrs John Agomuo, James Iheonunekwu, Reuben Ugboaja Nwero, Silas Ototoaja, Isaac Onwuka and Sampson Chimezie. Others were Ujo Egbe, Jonah Onwere, Isaiah Onwere and Elisha Nwaobasi.

Enthusiasm was equally strong among the youth. A good example was Rufus Okorie who repeatedly absconded with the oil traders into the Delta region in curious quest for education that the missionary brought with it. Each time his father, Okorie Onwere, went after him and brought him back to be groomed in farming and palm production that were inherent to the local culture, the reluctant Rufus obeyed his father while still subjecting himself to acquiring basic reading and writing skills up to the Prima One level. He vowed that his children would never miss the education his father denied him.

The early Christians preached the good news so powerfully that it overcame the secret OKONKO cult between 1912 and 1919 through open Christian fellowships. A massive crusade known as igbu ekwensu or Ichu Muo or Ichu agbara, demolished idols and shrines and drove evil spirits from various locations in the community. Simple as they might seem, these historical facts were clear demonstration of the courage, zeal, self-sacrifice and devotion of our fathers in the faith.

NDP AND CMS: THE GROWTH OF THE CHURCH

A scandalous relationship between station teacher, Benson Uba, (1920-21) and a local maiden disappointed the community and tarnished the image of the church. Angry townspeople demanded his immediate removal. The NDP headquarters of Okpala District under Rev. Pastor Jaja took up the matter and eventually removed Uba from the station. But the mission field itself became a major victim because disappointed members no longer heeded the teachings of the NDP and deserted en masse. They felt that errant Mr. Uba's conduct was grievous enough that he required been sacked, not merely reposting.

To stem the exodus, the founding fathers dispatched a high-powered delegation to Rev. A. C. Onyeabo and Archdeacon Dennis at Egbu. They paid the required deposit of £10.00 (Ten pounds) with specific request for a knowledgeable teacher to plant the Church Missionary Society (CMS). The delegation succeeded. They returned with a Bible and a Blackboard signifying that the CMS had accepted to plant not only church but also a school.

In 1922, the CMS fulfilled its promise by posting a resident church teacher, Mr. Jacob Onyedinma, at Nriukwu. Under the new teacher, the church was named St. Michael's after the mother church at Ife. In 1926 the church moved to a more spacious site at Nri-achara (at the present location of Central School Nriukwu) under Mr. Felix Onubuogu.



CONFLICT AND RESOLUTION

St. Michael's Church Nriukwu enjoyed exemplary peace until the late 50s and early 60s when the evil one sowed the seed of discord in the hearts of the members. Division arose over the location of St. Michael's CMS School, which was approved for upgrade to senior primary school status with recommendation that it should be detached from the church premises. Various sites were proposed but there was no consensus on the issue.

By 1967 the raging disagreement had also engulfed over the continued location of the church at its location in Nriachara, and soon escalated to schism. At the peak of the controversy members from Umuegwu and Amaiyi, who wanted the church to be moved to a central location, acquired the present site, through collaboration between leading members, among whom are: Rufus Okorie and Ernest Iwuoha, through a donation by Isaac Onwuka and non-members Abel Imo and Nwogu Mmaju. A new church was founded and named St. Peter's Anglican Church, leaving members from Nriachara alone remaining as St. Michael's Church at the old site.

By divine design, the first singing competition after the civil war in 1970 became the launch pad for reconciliation. Despite that St. Peter's choir featured the best choirmaster and composer of the time, Alex O. Ibe, it lacked the balance it needed for the merited prize. The two choirs realized that their poor performances could be improved in a balanced and united choir. The two choirmasters, Rufus Njoku (St. Michael's) and Alex Ibe (St Peter's) defied the rancor among their elders and united into one choir that remained formidable and won several awards through the years. The choir reunification initiative co-opted few broad-minded patrons from the community, which, in time, transformed into a full reunification committee. The committee comprised of Messrs. Emmanuel 0. Ugboaja, Francis N. Onwukwe, Vincent S. Erondu from Nriachara, Nicholas Nwogu and Felix from Amiyi, and Angus Okorie from Umuegwu. Female members of the committee were Malinda Ugboaja, Mercy Njoku, Selina Nwachukwu, Helen Odimba and Sussana Ugorji. Messrs Rufus Njoku and Alex Ibe were chairman and secretary, respectively.

Under Church teachers G. M. Chimezie (St Michael's) and B. O. Nwaobasi (St. Peter's), the committee's efforts led to a compromise that restored peace in a reunited St. Michael's Anglican Church Nriukwu, sited at the present location that housed the defunct St. Peter's. On 17th January 1971, under Mr. Z. C. Opara and Parish Priest, Rev. O. R. Okere, Bishop Benjamin Nwankiti of Owerri Diocese, officiated in an impressive, reconciliation and reunification service.

It was quickly agreed that a new permanent church building was the befitting seal of the reconciliation. This was concretized largely through the consistent drive and leadership of Mr. Emmanuel O. Ugboaja, who liaised regularly with the Abroadians on the gratifying developments at home. A Building Committee comprised of Nze A. A. Okorie (Chairman), Mr. C. C. Anorue (Secretary/Financial), Nze A. 0. Imo, later succeeded by Mrs Malinda Ugboaja (Treasurer). Coordinated by Mr. Emmanuel O. Ugboaja, earnest work started in 1975 under the first Catechist of the reunited St. Michael, Mr. H. 0. Njoku. The Rt. Rev. Dr. Benjamin C. Nwankiti, Bishop of Owerri, laid the foundation stone on Saturday 19th November 1977 when J. E. Madugba was Catechist (1976-1980). Twelve years of toil and sacrifice was climaxed by the dedication of the completed building on 31st December 1989 by The Rt. Rev. Dr. B. C. Nwankiti, Bishop of Owerri, assisted by the Rt. Rev. Y. A. Fubara, retired Bishop of the Niger Delta Diocese.

To the Glory of God, St. Michael’s celebrated the centenary of Christianity in Nriukwu on December 31, 2012. Our Lord Bishop of Mbaise, The Rt. Rev. Chamberlain Chinedum Ogunedo and wife, graced the occasion.
ST. JOHN’S AMATOR:

The second station, St. John's Church Amator, encountered Christianity as far back as 1910 by some committed Evangelists among the Palm produce merchants from Opobo, Bonny and other Delta areas who came at Mgbewu, Ife. These Evangelists were organizing Sunday schools and fellowship meetings for the converts. Sequel to their evangelizing mission, the committed evangelists attempted reaching their new converts in their homes and established places of worship for them.

Before Christianity came, Amator was involved in the evils that characterized pagan worship such as slave trade, human sacrifice, use of charms, cultism such as Okonko and killing of twins. But when Mr. Philip was posted to Amator in 1916 by Rev. D.D. Africansus, many indigenes were won to Christ. In 1920, Mr. Hezekiah Koromee was posted to Amator and the first Church house was erected. In 1923, Mr Jacob Akine succeeded Mr. Koromee and a kindergarten class was started. Mr Michael Ogbanje in 1924 was withdrawn for inability of the Church to generate enough funds for his sustenance. The church experienced series of internal crisis.

Due to inexplicable reasons, many members of the Church deserted the church and joined other denominations. Few members who were faithful to the faith remained steadfast, but they were not able to sustain the station financially. They had to join their Christian brothers in the C. M.S churches in two neighboring towns of Nriukwu and Lorji.



THE DAWN OF NEW AGE

In the dispersion, the spirit of the church lived on, as it bothered the minds of members to come home and re-establish their church. This dream came true in October 1954 when the church was re-planted through the initiative of Mr. Raphael Nwonu who invited Rev. Ohaeto to re-establish their church. With the help of the Reverend gentleman, the scattered members were gathered and brought home to worship together.

On 25 September, 1955 the entire congregation of St. Michaels' Nriukwu and St. Georges Church Lorji worshipped together with their Christian brothers and sisters in a church of their own at Amator to mark the official re-opening of the Church, St. John's Amator. Mr. Jeremiah Maduka was posted as the resident church worker. In 1976, a church building project was started by Mr. Godson Eke. On 14 July 1996, the ordination of Rev. John Onuawuchi Uruakpa {now, Archdeacon} was held by late Rt. Rev. Cyril C. Anyanwu in St. John’s Amator to encourage the membership.

On 13th January 1999, the first resident priest, Rev. I.D.D Adiuku was posted. On 27th December 2001, the church was dedicated. The church Hall was started by Rev. Samuel Onyekwere, in 2014 and has progressed to roofing stage.



THE PARISH STATUS

A remarkable milestone was reached on March 6, 1993 when the first Bishop of the Diocese of Mbaise, Rt. Rev. Cyril C. Anyanwu, paid his maiden Episcopal visit to St Michael's Church Nriukwu. He pronounced St. Michael's Church Nriukwu, Parish headquarters of Amuzu East Parish, with the Rev. Ishmael Chidi Osuagwu, (Nwandu) as the first parish priest. It was not co-incidence that St. Michael's Nriukwu and St. John's Amator were constituted into a parish. As can be read from the history of both churches, prolonged co-existence has transformed this ecclesiastical unit into a near cultural unit whose component parts only needed to be welded together into a more compact and cohesive whole. It is this integrative function that the parish was born to perform.


THE CHRONOLOGY OF CATEC1HSTS AND PRIESTS IN ST. MICHAEL'S CHURCH

Names Period Outstanding Development/Activities

  1. Mr. Amos of Aro 1912-1919 Crusade against Okonko cult Ichu Muo

  2. Mr. Benson Uba 1920-1921 Removed for immoral relationships

  3. Mr. Isaac 1922-1925 CMS visiting teacher

  4. Mr.Jacob Onyedimma 1922-1925 Naming of the church a truce with NDP

  5. Mr. Felix Onubuogu 1926-1927 Relocation of the church to Nriachara

  6. Mr. N. N. Okwuosa 1928

  1. Mr. J.A.Uwaonu 1929-1931

  2. Mr. M. O. Ejiofo 1932

  3. Mr.J.A.Osuagwu 1933

  1. Mr. C.N. Dike 1934

  2. Mr.P.N.Adiukwu 1935

  3. Mr. H.W.Chikezie 1936

  4. Mr.Ohagwa 1938-1939

  5. Mr.B.A.Ogbonna 1938-1939

  6. Mr. J.A.Anosike 1939-1941

  7. Mr.J.l.Anyawu 1942-1943

  8. Mr. R.T.C.Eze 1944-June 1945

  9. Mr. S. A. Ikonne 1945

  10. Mr. S.O.Okoli 1946-1949

  11. Mr. A.M.Nnaji 1950 Died in service
    21.Mr. N.B.Nweke 1951
    22.Mr. N.B. Onyenwe 1952-1954

  1. Mr. E.A. Akanwa 1955

  2. Mr. R.C.N.Ihediwa 1955

  3. Mr. M.A. Nwokedi 1958-1961 On set of dissention and rift

  4. Mr. R.U.Nwelue 1962-1964

  5. Mr. S.A.Onwunji 1965-1966 Split in the church

  1. Mr. R.S.A.Ukairo 1967-1969
    29. Mr. Nwaugha 1967 1st Teacher-St. Peter’s Church

30. Mr. G. M. Chimezie 1970
31. Mr. B.O. Nwaobasi 1968-1970 Demise of St. Peter’s Church

32. Mr. Z.C.Opara 1971-1972 Unification of the church


33. Mr. H.O.Njoku 1973-1975 First Catechist

34. Mr. J.E. Madugba 1976-1980 Laying of foundation stone

35.Mr. S. Alaribe 1981

36. Mr. Ehienulo 1982-1984 Church building in progress

37.Mr. Uzodimma 1985-1986

38.Mr. G.E. Amaefule 1987-1988 Building project completed

39.S.O.C. Ejeka 1989-1990 Dedication of the church building

40. Mr.B.O.Nwaobasi 1991

41.Mr. S.O.J.Ebirilem 1992 Amuzu East Parish inauguration

42.Rev. Chidi Osuagwu 1992 1st Parish Priest (Now Archdeacon)


43.Rev.R.U.Ukairo 1995-1997 (Now Canon)

44.Rev. A.C.Uwalaka, 1998-1999

45.Rev. S.N. Tasie, 2000-2001

46.Rev.Emeka Nwogu, 2002-June 2003 (Now Archdeacon)

47.Rev. Emma Isiguzo, July 2003 -2004

48.Rev. Canon J.OJ.Ezeji, 2004-2005 (Now Archdeacon)

49.Rev. Enyinna Anosike, 2006-2006 (Now Canon)

50.Rev. Canon John Uruakpa, 2007-May 2011 (Now Archdeacon)


51. Rev. Canon Dr. Samuel N. June 2011-date, and

Church Teacher - Amuzienwa Asonye



(2015 -){Dedication of Hall and Parsonage}

Knighthood

  1. Sir Augustus (Late) / Lady Florence Okorie

  2. Sir Samuel (Late) /Lady Ogechi Iheonunekwu

  3. Dame Malinda Ugboaja (Late)

  4. Sir Benjamin /Lady Ifeyinwa Ugboaja

  5. Sir Abraham (Late) / lady Eunice Ikpeoha

  6. Sir Josiah / Lady Uwaoma Onwuka

  7. Sir Rowland /LadyChedom Chilaka

  8. SirAmbrose/Lady Nkechi Ugboaja



INDIGENOUS CHURCH TEACHERS

  1. Mr. Alexander O. Onyekwere- Postulant

  2. Mr. Emeka Onwuka- Church Teacher

  3. Mr, Prince Ezenwa Nwakamma- Church teacher

  4. Mr. P,C.O.Agomo (late) - Lay Reader

  5. Mr. N.N. Ahaiwe, (Late) Lay Reader

  6. Mr. A.R.S Agomo, (Late) - Lay Reader

  7. Mr. Cornelius Anyanwu- Lay Reader

  8. Lady Ifeyinwa N. Ugboaja- Lay Reader

  9. Eziada Harriet Iheonunekwu- Lay Reader

CHURCH WORKERS AT ST. JOHN'S

1.

Evang. Philip

1917-1919

Acquisition of site

2.

Mr. Hezekiah Koromee

1920-1922

Erection of mud house

3.

Mr. Jacob Akine

1932

Kindergarten started

4.

Mr. Ogbarye

1924




5.

Mr. H.S.William

1925-1930

Intrigues force the church to close down

6.

Mr. Jeremiah Maduka

1955-1957

Re-establishment of the Church

7.

Mr. Ebegbulem

1958-1959




8.

Mr. John

1960

Died in service

9.

Mr. Ibenkita

I960




10.

Mr. J.E. Madugba

1961-1963




11.

Mr. Mbato

1964-1965




12.

Mr. C.Chimezie

1966-1968




13.

Mr. Ihekoronye

1968-1970




14.

Mr. S.O.C.Ekeka

1971




15.

Mr. R.S.A.Ukairo

1972




16.

Mr. V. Alaribe

1973-1977




17.

Mr. G. Eke

1975-1986

Foundation of Church Building

18.

Mr. T.A.M.Oparanizie







19.

Mr. A.O.C.Onyekwer

1988-1998

Expansion , died in service

20.

Mr. O.N.Uwazurike

1993

Inauguration of parish

21.

Mr. J.Ukaegbu

1994-2002

Started glazing church windows

22.

Rev. l.D.D. Adiuku

1999-2002

Completed glazing of window etc

23.

Rev. C.E.O.Mema







24.

Rev. E. Amaikwu







25.

Rev. Abel Iwejuo







26.

Rev. F.O.Otti

2004-2006




27.

Rev. C. Mgbeahuru

2008-2010




28.

Rev. Sylvanus Ikpeoha

2011-2012




29.

Rev. Samuel Onvekwere

2012-2015

Built borehole, started church Hall

30.

Rev. T.C.N.Onuoha

2015- till date




  1   2   3   4


The database is protected by copyright ©dentisty.org 2016
send message

    Main page