The Diocesan Education Secretariat of the Anglican Diocese of Gboko was reduced to ashes during the English session of service in the Cathedral Church of St. Mark, Gboko South, where both the Bishop’s Office and the Diocesan Education Secretariat is situate. The incidence is suspected to have occurred as a result of electrical fault.
During the cause of the service, the Power Holding Company of Nigeria interrupted the power supply. In a matter of minutes, light resumed then bulbs began to blast both in the vicarage (Clergy and workers’ residence), Church hall and offices. Perhaps the office also caught fire from the high voltage, what would have happened? We could not fathom
At about five (5) minutes after the blasting of bulbs and sparkling, while the second Bible reading was being taken, a lady who had attended the morning service from 7:00am to 9:00am stood close to the Church building shouting and pointing Fire! Fire!! At first, we thought it was a vehicle that caught fire. But when we came out, behold the office was on fire from the Diocesan Education Secretary’s chamber. None of the office holders were available to access the other offices of the Internal Auditor and the Accountant.
Almost everybody came out to put off the fire, the men, youth, some women, and neighbours. But it was too late. The man of God who had already mounted the pulpit continued to preach and also encouraged the members on the yearly theme: “Fear Not” Luke 2:10. He stated that many times the devil brings about difficult trials and temptations just for one to conclude it is over, it’s not over, fear not because the Lord God is by your side.
As at the time of filling this report, we cannot ascertain what was spared from the outbreak. However, we give all glory to God for visiting us in this way. Although, only few things were carried out from the other offices, the Diocesan education Secretary’s Office was completely raised down. Surprisingly to the glory of God, the Bishop’s office which is adjacent to the affected block narrowly escaped the fire disaster.
The fire subsided around 10:45am while the service continued and ended successfully.
The Diocesan Bishop, Rt. Rev. Emmanuel F. G. Nyitsse, when contacted over the incidence responded by dedicating it all to the glory of Jesus. He said, “The gates of Hades shall not prevail; the Lord will build His Church, and the later glory will be greater than the former”. Bishop Nyitsse appreciated the efforts of all that had worked together to put out the fire and prayed that God will reward them abundantly. He also encouraged all to continue to look unto God and be bold to encounter such trials of faith whenever they come our way.
The Bishop makes passionate appeal to the public especially brothers and sisters in Christ, individuals, Churches and the government and lovers of education to come to the aid of the Diocese to rebuild a befitting education secretariat to the glory of God.
Martin Yar Anger