By Bode Akinwumi
A Consecration Service for four bishops of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, has taken place at The Cathedral of St. James The Great, Oke-Bola, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The new bishops are: Right Reverend,Dr Stephen Ayodeji Fagbemi, Diocese of Owo; Right Reverend, Dr Emmanuel Isezuo Onsachi, Diocese of Okene; Right Reverend Emmanuel Adeoye Adekola, Diocese of Igbomina; Right Reverend Emmanuel Morris, Diocese of Maiduguri.
The Ondo State Governor Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, who is the Chancellor, Diocese of Owo, took the Old Testament Lesson, from the book of Ezekiel Chapter 36: 24-28 during the service presided over by the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Most Revd. Nicholas Okoh.
The new Bishop of Owo Diocese, was born at Oba-Ile, Akure North Local Government Area where he became a licensed Lay Reader at St. John’s Church, Oba-Ile.
He was ordained priest on 1st, July 1990 after graduation as the overall best student of the Immanuel College of Theology in 1990. He thereafter served his first curacy at St. John’s Church, Iyere, in Owo Diocese and simultaneously moved through the ranks in church hierarchy and advance in education in Nigeria and in the United Kingdom.
Dr. Stephen Fagbemi until his consecration was the Clerk in Holy Orders as the General Secretary of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, providing assistance to the Primate of the Church of Nigeria. These roles made the new bishop the Head of the Church of Nigeria Secretariat.
In his Sermon, the Bishop of Ilesa, Rt Revd. (Dr) Olubayo Sowale, described a good Bishop as a precious gift of God to the Church.
Noting that the responsibility saddled on the new Bishops is a daunting one, admonished them to remain steadfast and always endeavor to please God and not man.
The Cleric charged them to at all times and in all conditions proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ so that the people under them in their respective dioceses will be spiritually in tune with the desire to reign with Christ on the last day.
Earlier, the Bishop had on behalf of the Church prayed for a successful tenure in office for Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who was dressed in his full regalia as a Chancellor in the Church of Nigeria.
The service was also used to present the Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ondo, The Most Revd, Dr George Latunji Lasebikan for a second term in office and the Dean of the Church of Nigeria, The Most Revd Edmund Akanya.
In his admonition, the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, The Most Revd Nicholas Okoh advised them to be a shepherd and not a wolf to the flock of Christ by continually feeding them and not to devouring them.
He charged them to always prepare the people under them for the kingdom of God “by seeking the lost, uphold the weak, restore health to the sick and lift the downtrodden”.
Primate Okoh also enjoined the new Bishops to ensure discipline but should not forget mercy, saying they should be merciful and be not too remiss.
He, however prayed to God to defend them from all evil and that as rulers over His household and ambassadors of Christ, “they may stand before Him and be blameless and eventually be partaker of the eternal joy of God”.
Ondo State has eight Dioceses of the Anglican Communion. They are: Diocese of Akure, Diocese of Ondo , Diocese of Akoko, Diocese of Owo, Diocese on the Coast, Diocese of Ilaje, Diocese of Idoani and Diocese of Ile-Oluji.
The Church of Nigeria , Anglican Communion, has One Hundred and Sixty-Eight Dioceses in Nigeria.
Dignitaries who attended the service include the Oloba of Oba-Ile, Oba Joseph Oluwadare Agunbiade with his Chiefs; former Chief Judge of Ondo State, Hon. Justice Olasehinde Kumuyi and former Commissioner for Information in Ondo State, Mrs Tola Awoh.
Others are: the former Head of Service in Ondo State, Chief (Mrs) Kosemani Kolawole and her husband, Dr Kolawole and former Chairman of OSRC, Chief Sanya Oyinsan and his wife.
Also the Chancellor of the Church of Nigeria and former Minister of Petroleum, Mr Odein Ajumogobia, SAN ; serving and past Bishops with parishioners across the Church of Nigeria and several others from all walks of life made to the service.