(BY NGOZI ADIGHIBE)
In lieu of Christ’s great commission to make disciples of all nations and the call to evangelism, the Primate of all Nigeria Anglican Communion and Archbishop and Bishop of Abuja Diocese, the Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh dedicated St. Silas Anglican Church, Galuywi, Abuja, a Church built by the All Saints Anglican Church, Wuse, Abuja as one of the Diocesan projects instituted by the Primate.
During the dedication service, Primate Okoh challenged the committee members, having commended them for a job well done, to continue with the work they have started and ensure that they win souls for Christ from the local community. He further charged them to visit the leaders in the community, including the other Churches and their ministers, adding that the Anglican Church has not come to compete with any Church, because God is one. Nevertheless, he said that one of the reasons the Church is built in that community is that there was need for a recognizable Anglican presence in such a large community.
Speaking on the significance of a dedication service, Archbishop Okoh said that dedication is important because it sanctifies and makes a place holy, whilst expelling any evil spirits that may be hanging around. He pointed out that now that the Church has been dedicated, it belonged to nobody, but God and therefore, according to him, anyone who comes to Church comes to seek God. He explained that people come to Church for different reasons, including when they are happy, sad or in need of guidance, which is why a Church is beneficial to any community.
The Diocesan emphasized that any man of God placed in that Church must realize that he is just a facilitator to guide the people and not to brag or order people around. He said that the Priest’s duty is to bring the local community to Church, teaching them that Jesus Christ is not a stranger to the community or to anyone. He mentioned that in such local communities, the life of the minister is very important because everybody knows everyone and so, he urged whoever is placed in that Church to live a life that will help in the spread of the gospel. Primate Okoh warned that the diocese will monitor anyone sent there, to ensure that the work that has been done will not be in vain. And with that, the Cleric prayed for the Church that God will prosper it and remove every obstacle from its way. He also promised that if the Church had the space, they will help the community get water, education and health care facilities. The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh concluded with a prophecy that in years to come, one of the children of the Church will become a well known ruler in the country.
For effective communication and ease of understanding, the Primate asked the Rev. Gabriel Joshua to translate all that he had said to the people. After which, offering was collected in support of the Church and the service brought to a close. Also present at the service were representatives of the district head of Galuywi, led by Mr. Sunday Azabo, who is the secretary, Registrar of the diocese of Abuja, Barr. Mrs. Kehinde Ajoni, Assistant Registrar, Barr. Betty Umegbulem, Priests of the diocese of Abuja, members of the diocese of Abuja, especially members of All Saints Anglican Church, Wuse and people from the local community.