(BY NGOZI ADIGHIBE)
“Enough of complaints and excuses, reposition yourself to the Church and to the world and nothing shall stop you.”
This was the admonition of the newly enthroned Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Owo, the Rt. Rev. Dr. Stephen Fagbemi to his congregation during his enthronement service held at the Cathedral Church of St. Andrew, Imola Owo in Ondo State. The Bishop stated that many times God wants to perform miracles in the land, but is unable to because of people’s unbelief; adding that to experience great things, people must be expectant, excited, prepared and ready to take action. According to him, when God says move, His people must move without any doubt.
Speaking on the topic, “Repositioning the Diocese for Greatness,” Bishop Fagbemi charged the congregation to arise and shine for their light has come and the glory of the Lord has risen upon them. He called on members of the diocese to arise and take their rightful place as lights of the world, so that those in darkness will see the light. The Cleric explained that as a diocese, they cannot afford to wallow in self-pity and excuses but rather engage actively in mission for the Lord through evangelism. Thus, he declared that when they rise up and walk every obstacle shall be removed from their way.
The Bishop of Owo Anglican diocese solicited the support of the Clergy, promising to also support and encourage them in every way possible, so that the diocese can move forward. He however warned that indiscipline will not be tolerated, and every Clergyman holding the diocese’s license must abide by its rules and that of the episcopacy. He charged the Clergy to perform and lead their congregation, adding that any who is not leading his congregation from the front must repent now.
The Rt. Rev. Ayodeji Fagbemi concluded with an appeal to communities to come together in unity and love, without which he said, the diocese cannot move forward. He solicited for prayers that his decisions will be guided by God and for the position not to get to his head. He also requested that all support the diocese both spiritually and with their substance. Finally, he emphatically stated that everything done in the diocese must be done in proper Anglican manner; adding that any practice that cannot be defended in the Bible and the Anglican Church shall not be allowed in the diocese.
Earlier in his message, Bishop Fagbemi thanked God, expressed gratitude to all who were present at the enthronement service and thanked all who have supported his ministry, with particular mention of his mother, wife, kids, the Primate of all Nigeria Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh, Bishops Gbonigi, Awosan, Akinpelu Johnson and Archbishop Fape.
He reflected on his life’s journey to the day of his enthronement as Bishop, appreciating all whom God used to bring him to that point. He specially appreciated his predecessor, the Rt. Rev. Dr. James Oladunjoye, whom he described as humble, courageous, loving and a scholar per excellence and prayed for his peaceful retirement and for sound health.
Highpoints of the service include the declaration of fidelity, the reading of the mandate signed by the Primate of all Nigeria, the oath of Laity, the oath of Clergy, the enthronement proper, the presentation of the diocesan pastoral staff, presentation of gifts from some diocesan organizations, anthem and hymn renditions by the choir, prayers for the new Bishop and offerings to God.
Present at the service were 46 Bishops, two of whom were from the Methodist Church and the rest from the Anglican Communion; government officials, traditional rulers, legal luminaries, house of Clergy, laity, family, friends and well-wishers.