The Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, has consecrated four new bishops, at the Cathedral Church of St. James the Great, Oke-Bola, Ibadan, Oyo State.
The new bishop are Venerables Emmanuel Adekola for Igbomina Diocese, Dr. Stephen Fagbani for Owo Diocese, Emmanuel Morris for Maiduguri and Emmanuel Onsachi for Okene.
The occasion also featured the announcement of the new Dean of the Church, the Most Rev. Edmund Akanya, Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Kaduna and Bishop of Kebbi Diocese.
Also, the Most Rev. Latunji Lasebikan, Bishop of Ondo, was announced as having been re-elected Archbishop of the Ecclesiastical Province of Ondo.
Preaching a sermon at the service that marked the occasion, the Bishop of Ilesa, the Rt. Rev. Olubayo Sowale PhD, pointed out that a bishop dress not seek to please people first but has a foremost responsibility of being faithful to God's calling and to the church.
According to him, any bishop who first seeks popularity is doomed to fail.
. Quoting from the scriptures, Bishop Sowale highlighted the qualities of a Bishop as recommended by Paul the Apostle, stating that these qualities are to help the Bishop be an example to believers in all spheres of life.
According to him, a bishop must be above reproach, husband of one wife, not a lover of money, manage his family well, and have a good reputation with outsiders; and his wife be worthy of respect, temperate and trustworthy. He said a Bishop must be able to, like Paul, confidently ask others to imitate him.
The Prelate stated that for a Bishop to measure up to the qualifications stipulated in the Bible, he needs the wisdom of God and mentorship of good leaders. According to him, a good Bishop is a precious gift of God to His Church, while a poorly equipped Bishop, one who lacks understanding of the office or the skills and attitude to carry it out is a serious liability to the Church.
He said a Bishop sets the overall tone of the diocese by his words and actions. According to him, people speak of corruption in Nigeria today because many have not done their jobs as examples of Christ on earth. He pointed out that one can educate one's children in the school, but without the education and morality in the home, everything is nothing.
Therefore, he urged parents, especially mothers, to influence their children positively and charged the newly consecrated Bishops to be prayerful, study the word of God, and be disciplined in their thoughts and actions, so as not to suffer regret when their time of service is over.
In an interview after the service, the Primate of all Nigeria Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, charged the new Bishops to go out as people who are prepared to pay the sacrifice of leading the people. He urged them to give the people servant leadership that involves sacrifices, personal sacrifices; calling on them to be willing to deny themselves in so many ways in other to offer credible leadership to the people.
Primate Okoh added that they should get involved in the prophetic ministry, to watch what is happening in the country and give the people the mind of God concerning issues, without getting involved in partisan politics. Also, the new Bishops expressed their gratitude to God for the opportunity to serve, and optimism about the work they are set to do in their various dioceses.
Present at the service were the Archbishops and Bishops of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, Bishops of the Methodist Church in Nigeria, traditional leaders, Gov. Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State, who is also the chancellor of Owo diocese, the chancellor of the Church of Nigeria, Chief Odein Ajumogobia SAN, family members of the newly consecrated Bishops, friends and well-wishers.
(c) Christian voice newspaper