• Adesewa Orioye
  • July 2, 2024

It was a day of joy on Thursday, May 29th, 2008 when all the crème de la crème across all the walks of life especially the leaders and prelate of the Anglican Communion gathered at St. James Cathedral, Ipate Oyinbo, Ota, Ogun State for the inauguration of the Missionary Diocese of Awori.

The Service was led by the Primate of all Anglican Communion, the Most Revd. Dr.Peter Jasper Akinola(Rtd) with the support of the Dean of the Church who also doubles as the Archbishop of Lagos Province, the Most Revd. Ephraim Ademowo (Rtd) and other church leaders.
The Olota of Ota, HRM Oba Alani Oyede Osanyintola Arolagbade (late), together with some Awori Obas and Chiefs were in attendance to grace the auspicious inauguration.
The young and energetic Bishop, who was elected and consecrated on May 16th 2008, the Rt. Revd. Dr. Akin Atere was enthroned and Installed as the first bishop of the diocese on that gracious day.

Awori Diocese was carved out from Lagos West Diocese. She was the poorest and well deserted Archdeaconry in the diocese of Lagos West. No priest wanted to come and serve in the area inspite of her proximity to Lagos. The released of the area by the late Bishop of Lagos West Diocese, the Rt. Revd. Dr. Peter Awelewa Adebiyi to be a missionary diocese is not far from the fact that the area is not favourable to the diocese. Though, the church authority has decided to carve the church established by the white missionary as a diocese but the truth is, Lagos West Diocese call Awori Archdeaconry a burden and excess weight they want to shelve.

Awori Archdeaconry comprises, St. James, Ota, St. Timothys Sango-Ota, All Saints Igbesa, St. Judes Ajibode, St. Pauls Atan, St. Peters Konifewo. Besides, Ven. Ogunmekan was later transferred and Ven. Chris Ola Ayejoto was brought to take over. Ven. Ayejoto could be refers to as the Fore-runners, as he prepared the archdeaconry for the status of a Diocese.
The man of God worked tirelessly by planting more churches, such as Christ Church, Owode, All Saints Iloye, he revived St. James, Tigbo,-Ilu, plant more churches in Iju, Iyana-Iyesi. All Saints Church, Igbesa later joined Badagry Missionary Diocese, their reason best known to them though.

The Rt. Revd. Dr. Johnson Akinwamide Atere was consecrated as a Bishop at St. James the Great Cathedral in Ibadan on 14th of May 2008, hence, he was translated to pioneer the newly created missionary diocese.

The arrival of Bishop Akin Atere is just like Omobowale literarily meaning This is our own. Bishop Atere was once a vicar of St. Timothys Sango-Ota in the year 1994, he was instrumental to the planting of more churches and he equally knows the terrain of Awori.

Bishop Atere, a man called by God, a spirit filled man who does nothing without seeking the face of God. He accepted the job joyfully, and thus, he set the ball rolling. Awori Missionary Diocese took up with just seven priests and few churches (St. James-Cathedral), St. Timothys Sango-Ota, St. Judes, Ajibode, St. Peters Konifewo, Christ Church, Owode, Anglican Church, Iyana-Iyesi, Anglican Church, Iju.

The first General Council Meeting of the diocese was held in the year 2008 with the theme: Small Beginning, Prosperous Future. The belief of many was that the diocese would not survive because of her financial status, many people advised Bishop Atere to live the diocese and continue his lecturing job while some people make jest of him that, the house of bishops deliberately want to punish him by taking him to a fallow and remote area. Bishop Akin Atere was not distracted a bit, rather, he concentrates more on the assignment given to him by God.

Bishop Akin Atere and his wife Mrs. Foluso used their hard earned savings, their connection and networking to continue to push the work of God ahead.

Many thanks to Awori people for their unwavering support in all areas to this great man of God. History will be fair to Baba Bishop that the building of multimillion naira bishops court edifice is through his personal connections.

Today, the prophetical theme of the first general council meeting (Small Beginning, Prosperous Future) has come to fulfillment as the diocese that began with 7 priests few churches now have over 40 priests and 14 church workers. To the glory of God, Awori Diocese has over 50churches. A group of schools (Nursery, Basic and Secondary), a befitting Bishop’s Court and office complex. A women centre (comprising of hall, schools, poultry, a chapel, clinic and dormitory) sitting on two acres of land. Awori Diocese to the glory of God has become one of enviable dioceses in the Church of Nigeria.
Awori Diocese now have seven archdeaconries. No doubt, the future of Awori Diocese is bright.

The chief shepherd, Bishop Atere is not relenting in his effort to populate the area with Anglican churches.
The fulfillment of the prophecy made by the retired primate is what we are enjoying today in Awori. The Primate asked the newly installed Bishop, “What is your name, the bishop replied, your grace, my name is Atere. The primate told him, now, go and te re re across Aworiland.

As the diocese celebrates her 16years of creation today, it is my prayers that God will continue to guide, direct and be with our father, mentor, benefactor, role model, team leader, the chief servant himself, the Rt. Revd. Dr. J. Akin Atere has he continue to paddle the ship of the diocese, God will continue to bless all the priests and workers of the diocese and pour down His financial blessings on all the members of the diocese.

Awori Diocese is not yet there but we believe we will get there, let’s not relent in doing well and continue to give our best to the diocese. I know that the God that has brought the Diocese thus far will not live us.

Happy celebrations!!!

Long live Awori Diocese
Long live Church of Nigeria

Long you live and reign Baba Bishop Atere

Oladele Damilola Moses
Diocesan Assistant Communicator

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