… and welcomes 9 canons
story by Mikel and Henry
Priesthood is the means where by the Lord acts through men to save souls. One of the defining features of the church of Jesus Christ, both anciently and today is that the good Lord has always chosen among men. The priest is the symbol of God’s authority here on earth. There can be no true church without divine authority. Life without priesthood would be void of sacrifice to humanity, no Holy Communion, no real presence of Jesus on earth.
In order that the whole people of God may fulfill their calling to holy priesthood, serving the world by ministering Christ’s reconciling love in the power of the Spirit, some are called to specific ministries of leadership by ordination. Although the New Testament refers to a number of different ministries of leadership (see Ephesians 4.11–12, 1 Timothy 3.1–13, 1 Peter 5.1–5), by the second century the ordering of bishops, presbyters, and deacons emerged within the wider context of the ministry of the whole church. Over the course of Christian history, there have been various understandings of the relationship between the people of God (the laos) and ordained ministers. In some times and places, ordination was viewed as conferring a status elevating ordained ministers above the laity.
However, understanding baptism as the foundation of the life and ministry of the church (that is, having a baptismal ecclesiology) leads us to see ordained ministers as integral members of the body of Christ, called by God and discerned by the body to be signs and animators of Christ’s self-giving life and ministry to which all people are called by God and for which we are empowered by the Spirit. The ways in which the church develops its theology, orders its life for mission, and takes up the threefold ordering of ministry interact with various aspects of our cultures.
It was historical in the Diocese of Lagos West Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) under the shepherd authority of the Rt. Revd. James Olusola Odedeji, Ph. D as 17 priests and 9 Canons were elevated to further the gospel of the Jesus Christ.
In an exclusive chat with National Impact Magazine, one of the new Priests Rev. Okpala, Chukwudubem ABEDNEGO, said that Priesthood is rooted in the mysterious and life-giving power of the Holy Spirit. The Anglican ordinals show the spirit to be at the heart of our understanding of ordination; ‘Receive the Holy Ghost…Send down the Holy Spirit.’…those ordained to a ministry of the Spirit must therefore like every Christian trust also in the hidden purposes of God. We who have embarked on the priestly life today have done so trusting in these hidden purposes. We have pledged ourselves today body, mind and soul, to the loving purposes of God and to do whatever must be done to see God’s reign triumph. Above all, he expressed his joy and revealed what prompted him into the ministry. The excerpt:
Can we meet you briefly sir?
I am Rev. Okpala Abednego Chukwudubem. By the special grace of God, I have been ordained today as a priest at Archbishop Vining Memorial Cathedral Church in Ikeja Lagos.
How do you feel today?
I feel so happy. I feel the inspiration of the Holy Spirit inside of me knowing that it is a responsibility to carry out the work of God. The Holy Spirit that inspires prophecy and gives knowledge of God, insight and wisdom. And you know that for us to have been touched by Christ, we must first have been touched by the Holy Spirit.
What really prompted your passion and desire into the ministry?
God actually showed me a podium in the Anglican Church to spread the gospel throughout the world. Hence, I made up my mind for Anglican Church as the medium to speak out and preach to the lost souls; as well help souls who have given up in life to come back.
How was your experience during the formative years?
During the formative years it was not easy because a lot of things has to be taken away from us, specially things that are not necessary for the ministry. The training prepared us spiritually, physically and emotionally in all ramifications to standout and to make impact in the world.
What words of appreciation do you have for the people who have been there for you ?
I humbly appeal that they accept my vehement protestations of gratitude. I will say that the good Lord will keep blessing them because I can’t repay them for what they have done. Indeed words are powerless to express my gratitude.
Any other thing to say?
What I will say is I don’t need the congratulations from people at this moment. I need them to pray for me that God will give me the grace to finish well as we have started well. God will continue to bless us all! Amen. Thanks
In another development, Bro Kingsley Chibuike Chikwendu while responding to what he feels about priesthood in the church said that nothing about the priesthood is self-centered. The priesthood always is used to serve, to bless, and to strengthen other people. And Obedience to the call of God opens the door to the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost hence they become more spiritually mature and increasingly steadfast as they focus upon and strive to understand the fundamental and foundational doctrines of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Receiving the authority of the priesthood by the laying of hands is an important beginning, but it is not enough. Ordination confers authority, but righteousness is required to act with power as we strive to lift souls, to teach and testify, to bless and counsel, and to advance the work of salvation. The fervent prayer for every priest should be as Pedro Poveda Castroverde has instructed ”Lord, may I think what you want me to think. May I desire what you want me to desire. May I speak as you want me to speak. May I work as you want me to work.” Having said that Let us continue to pray for all good and faithful priests who dedicate themselves to their people with generosity and unknown sacrifices.
Taking a roll call of the 17 PRIESTS:
1. Adegbokun Adedeji Oluwole
2. Adeyemi Adekunle Oluwagbemiga
3. Aina Omololu Oluwakayode
4. Chukwuemeka Stanley Ugochukwu
5. Fajuyigbe Daniel Ademola
6. Fadipe Samuel Ayodele
7. Odejide Olumide Taiwo
8. Okere Chinonso Obed
9. Okolie Davidson Nnoruka
1. The Revd. Akeredolu Cornelius Akinyele
2. The Revd. Odewumi Oladimeji Olaiya
3. The Revd. Obembe Michael Ojo
4. The Revd. Onatemowo Gbolahan Tunde
5. The Revd. Ifezue Augustine Onyenwe Chukwuemeka
6. The Revd. Omoyajowo Joseph Akinyele
7. The Revd. Omoyelu Abiodun Kayode
8. The Revd. Iherome Chike Emmanuel
9. The Revd. Opeagbe Wale Adebanjo