2014 BISHOP S CHARGE
DIOCESE OF LAGOS WEST
CHURCH OF NIGERIA (ANGLICAN COMMUNION)
PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS DELIVERED AT THE 3RD SESSION OF THE 5TH SYNOD OF THE DIOCESE OF LAGOS WEST
Date: FRIDAY 16TH MAY, 2014
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Venue:AT ARCHBISHOP VINING MEMORIAL CHURCH CATHEDRAL, IKEJA, OBA AKINJOBI ROAD, G.R.A., IKEJA, LAGOS.
THE RT. REVD. JAMES OLUSOLA ODEDEJI (M.A., B.A. (Hon.), Dip. Th. )
Almighty God, we come to You once again, reminded of all You are, and all you have done for us as individuals, and as a Diocese. Thank You for the grace You have shown us through Jesus Christ our Lord. We are grateful unto You, Lord, for the enablement You have given unto Your servant, the Diocesan, The Rt. Rev. James Olusola Odedeji, to have led the Diocese to the level it is today. Thank You for the spirit of love among the Clergy and the Laity, in working together with Him.
Merciful Lord, we come to make our confession, and admit our faults and failings. We recognize our weaknesses, and ask for Your forgiveness. Forgive us Father, in whichever area we might have failed to live up to your expectation. Help us O Lord to live for You always, that your glory may be made manifest in our lives.
We remember, Lord, that You have saved us to serve You and our fellow men. Grant us the grace to be, and remain a living sacrifice on daily basis. Enable us to continually serve You, together with members of our family. Teach us Lord, and help us to serve You faithfully and devotedly, not just ourselves, but together with members of our family. Enable us to use all You have given us - our time, our talents, our treasures, and the totality of our lives, to serve You to the end, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER FOR THE NATION
“Most merciful God
In whose Almighty hands
Are the destinies of nations and individuals
Have mercy on Nigeria;
Forgive her sins
Save us from all forms of crisis
That in peace and freedom,
We may honour you from
Generation to generation;
Through Jesus Christ our Lord”. Amen.
+ Abiodun Adetiloye
• Your Excellency, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, FDLW
The Executive Governor of Lagos State,
• Your Excellency, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire
The Deputy Governor of Lagos State,
• Your Grace, The Archbishop of the Province of Lagos,
The Most Revd. (Prof.) Adebayo D. Akinde,
• Your Grace, The Archbishop and Dean Emeritus, The Most Revd. Dr. Ephraim Adebola Ademowo, OON
• The Rt. Revd. Dr. Peter Awelewa Adebiyi, Retired Bishop, Diocese of Lagos West
• My Lords, Bishops,
• Hon. Justice Babasola OpeOluwa Ogunade, The Chancellor, Diocese of Lagos West,
• Your Royal Highnesses here present,
• My Lords Temporal,
• Distinguished Government Functionaries,
• The Diocesan Officials,
• The Eminent Clergy and Wives,
• Our dear Nominees and Appointees
• Esteemed Synod Delegates from all Parishes,
• Our Respected Laity,
• The Gentlemen of the Press,
• Ladies and Gentlemen.
“Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen” Eph. 6:23-24.
With this salutation from Apostle Paul to the Ephesian Churches, we warmly welcome you all to the 3rd Session of our Fifth Synod with the theme “......We will serve the Lord”. Joshua 24:15.
We return all thanks and praises unto God, who has been our Pillar of support since we took up the mantle of leadership of this great Diocese. May His praises never depart from our mouth, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Our Election, Consecration and Enthronement as the second Bishop of our Diocese have now become history. We have since settled down for the business of the Kingdom.
This year’s Synod session is unique for two reasons. One, it is the last session of the fifth Synod of our Diocese and secondly, it is the first full Synod session to be presided over by us. Although, we had been elected before the 2nd Session of the Synod held in April, 2013, but our status then as Bishop Co-Adjutor or succeeding Bishop only allowed us to observe the proceeding, while my father, the Rt. Revd. Dr. Peter Awelewa Adebiyi was firmly in control. Even the one-day Synod held on 3rd October, 2013 was just a child of necessity, as it was held to formally take over the leadership of the Diocese. This is therefore the day which the Lord has made, and we are indeed rejoicing in it. Hallelluyah!
In this mood therefore, we welcome our amiable and unassuming Executive Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, FDLW. We cannot forget the Pillar behind him, the First Lady, Her Excellency, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola, who understandably is absent. We appreciate her very sincerely.
Let me also welcome our own, a respected Parishioner of our Diocese, Her Excellency, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State. We are very proud of your exploit for the State of Excellence and Aquatic splendor. May the good Lord continue to lengthen your days and strengthen your ways, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We cannot thank our fathers in God enough, especially our Archbishop, Your Grace, The Most Revd. Prof. Adebayo Akinde; and our Archbishop and Dean Emeritus, Your Grace, The Most Revd. Dr. Ephraim Adebola Ademowo, for your continuous support since our election, consecration and enthronement.
We wish to also appreciate our own father and mentor, whom God used to pioneer this Diocese, and under whose tutelage, we are what we are today, my Lord, the Rt. Revd. Dr. Peter Awelewa Adebiyi, though retired, you will not be tired in Jesus name.
Let me sincerely appreciate all our Diocesan Officers, ably led by our Chancellor, Hon. Justice Babasola OpeOluwa Ogunade Rtd., for their unrelented efforts to ensure that our beloved Diocese remains as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar.
Without the support of the Clergy and wives, as well as our esteemed members of the Laity, our success story will not be complete. We thank all of you for your steadfastness. Our names will not be removed from the book of life in Jesus name. Our Nominees and Appointees deserve our commendation for their support. They are always present at our gatherings even at short notices. We are grateful to you all.
We want to specially commend the effort of all our Administrators who are always around us to take vital decisions, and ensuring that such decisions are executed to the letter in their various Archdeaconries. We are proud of you all.
To Mama Lagos West, our Mother-in-Israel and all her team of committed Clergy Wives, we thank you for your effort at the home front, making us comfortable to do the work of the Kingdom. You will all be visited divinely this year and beyond, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Since only Church Delegates, Nominees and our Appointees are present at our Synod, there is the need for them to take back, our sincere appreciation to all the faithful of the Church when they return to their parishes. May God continue to prosper His Church physically, materially and spiritually, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
OUR RESOURCE PERSONS:
THE RT. REVD. DR. OLUSEGUN ADEYEMI (OUR BIBLE STUDY TEACHER)
The Rt. Revd. Dr. Segun Adeyemi hails from Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State. He attended the famous Molusi College, the University of Lagos Medical School, and Leeds Infirmary, United Kingdom among others. A trained Surgeon/Urologist, who while in active medical practice, rose to the post of Medical Director, General Hospital, Ikeja, now Lagos State University Teaching Hospital.
His clerical ministry began as a Deacon in St. Jude’s Anglican Church, now St. Jude’s Church Cathedral, Ebute Metta, Lagos; Vicar, St. Paul’s Anglican Church, Maidan, Mile 12, Lagos; Vicar, Church of Pentecost, Anglican Communion, FESTAC Town, Lagos; and Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, Ikeja as Archdeacon and subsequently first Dean, Diocese of Lagos West.
The Rt. Revd. Dr. Segun Adeyemi is quite versed in the teaching of the Word, haven written many Bible Study booklets covering virtually all the books of the Bible. He is married to Mrs. Olufunmilayo Adeyemi and blessed with children. He was elected the Bishop of Kwara Diocese in September, 2005.
THE RT. REVD. PROF. DAPO ASAJU
The Rt. Revd. Prof. Dapo Asaju, our Bishop Theologian, who would preach the closing sermon for this Synod Session, was born in Iyara-Ijumu, Kogi State, on 16th November, 1961. He attended Abdul Aziz Atta Memorial College, Okene, from 1973 to 1977 where he passed his West African School Certificate brilliantly. He proceded to the Federal Government College, Ilorin, for his Higher School Certificate between 1977 and 1979. He attended the University of Ilorin and came out with B.A. (Hons) Second Class Upper Division in Christian Studies in 1983. He also obtained his Masters Degree in Christian Studies (1985) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D) in 2000.
The Rt. Revd. Prof. Dapo Asaju started his working career as a Graduate Assistant, University of Ilorin, 1983-1984, Assistant Lecturer, Christian Studies, Lagos State University 1984-1988, Lecturer II, Lagos State University, 1988-1990, Lecturer I, Lagos State University, 1990-1992, Senior Lecturer, Lagos State University, 1992-99, Visiting Senior Lecturer, University of Ilorin, 1995, Associate Professor, Christian Studies, Lagos State University, 1999-2004. Professor of Christian Studies, Lagos State University, 2004.
A man of many parts, the Rt. Revd. Prof. Asaju, is a Lecturer per excellence, a Union activist and a Clergy. He started his priesthood assignment at the Church of Epiphany, Iba Estate (1998-2000); Vicar, Church of Transfiguration, Ketu, Badagry Expressway (2000-2002), Curate, Our Saviour’s Anglican Church, Oto-Awori (2002-2004); Vicar, Bishop James Johnson Memorial Anglican Church, Okokomaiko, Lagos (2004-2006); Chaplain, Chapel of Light, Lagos State University (2006-2010). He was preferred a Canon Missioner, Diocese of Lagos West, 2006; and later preferred a Venerable. He was elected Bishop Theologian in 2010. He is married to Mrs. Harriet Seun Asaju; BA, MLS, LLB, BL who is Head of Law Library, Lagos State University. The family is blessed with 3 children.
The Rt. Revd. Prof. Asaju now heads the Crowther Graduate Theological Seminary, Abeokuta, Ogun State.
CHIEF DR. OLUSEGUN OSUNKEYE, OFR, OON, D.Sc. FCA.
Chief Dr. Olusegun Osunkeye, our respected elder will be taking us in a lecture on our theme: “We will serve the Lord”.
1. THE THEME OF THE SYNOD
For our 3rd Session of the 5th Synod, the Holy Spirit directed us to the Valedictory Sermon or better still, the Farewell Message of Joshua to the people of Israel in the Book of Joshua 24:15 tagged “......We will Serve the Lord”.
That verse of the Bible states “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods that your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord. (NIV).
Joshua was the successor of Moses, whom God appointed to lead the people of Israel to Canaan, the Promised Land. Suffice it to say, that Joshua was one of the 12 men sent by Moses to spy the land of Canaan. While 10 out of the 12 brought a fearful report, only Joshua and Caleb disabused the minds of the people with a report that the inhabitants of the land could not stop the Host of Israel, from occupying the entire landscape.
When Moses died, God then chose Joshua to take over the mantle of leadership, the assignment he did with all honesty of purpose and thorough obedience to his Master, God. However, when Joshua had advanced in age, and was probably having the premonition that the end was nigh, he called the assembly of the people of Israel for what could be termed a time for self appraisal.
Just like the church in Laodecia was x-rayed by the Spirit as neither hot nor cold, Joshua also observed with grave concern, the inconsistencies of the people, concerning the worship of Yahweh. They may have been romancing with strange gods. They got involved in the acts of idolatry which their neighbours, the Amorites, were noted for. They seemed to have forgotten so soon, all that God had done for them, having conquered their enemies from within and without. They had forgotten how the Promised Land was shared to them according to their tribes, and the peace they enjoyed all around them.
Father Joshua was afraid of the trend of events, he reminded the people, in Joshua 23:14-16, of the promises of God and how He had kept His part of the promises. “Now I am about to go the way of all the earth. You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good promises the Lord your God gave you has failed. Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed. But just as every good promise of the Lord your God has come true, so the Lord will bring on you all the evil he has threatened, until he has destroyed you from this good land he has given you. If you violate the covenant of the Lord your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them, the Lord’s anger will burn against you, and you will quickly perish from the good land he has given you”.
With the above exhortation therefore, the choice was that of the people of Israel to either keep their part of the promise and vow in order to live and continued to enjoy the largesse of God, or to follow other gods and be destroyed. However, Joshua was quick to add that even if the people would not serve God, as for him and his household, they would serve the Lord.
Although the people of Israel were not forced, rather they were encouraged by Joshua’s exhortation to retrace their steps; they all then chose to serve God. This was attested to, in their resolve in Joshua 24:16 – “Then the people answered, ‘Far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods”.
However, Joshua went further that it was not by word of mouth alone that they could serve God. He made them understand that God is holy and jealous and would not condone rebellion and sins. If they must serve God, their service must be total and without reproach. They were therefore advised, to throw away the foreign gods that was among them and yield their hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.
How are we serving God today?
Let us examine the way we serve God today, to determine if there is a difference from the time of Joshua.
a) Too much familiarity with God and things of God
Familiarity often times breeds contempt, and too much familiarity will surely bring too much contempt. For instance, the sons of prophet Eli used their familiarity with the holy things of God to act contemptuously unto God; the entire family was killed in one day.
Many of our Church members today believe that they are so close to the Priests; to the extent that there is nothing the Priests can do that they should not be able to do. However, such people may have forgotten the role Miriam played for her brother, Moses, and the attendant consequence. Miriam likened herself to Moses and this angered God, who made her leprous – Numbers 12:2 &10. Uzzah touched the ark of God and was struck dead – 2 Sam. 6:3-8.
b) Self Esteem
Many of our Church members now rely on the number of years they had been baptised and confirmed rather than their new life in Christ. Many see worship and Church services as passport to heaven. They do not joke with services and even have their designated seats in the Church! They are always Chairmen of Committees, and nothing seems to be good and complete unless they are the reference point. Even Priests are expected to visit them for briefings before decisions are taken! May God have mercy!
The Church today is full of self-seeking people. The quest for materialism has taken the centre stage. Many build houses in various towns and villages as though these properties can guarantee eternity. Kidnapping is on the increase because of the get-rich-quick syndrome. Everyone wants to be recognized and praised. Egoism is become the order of the day.
d) Immorality amongst Brethren
There is shocking news in the Church today. Many embrace immorality even in the open. We seem not to see anything wrong anymore in coveting the wives of others, even co-parishioners in the Church. Wealthy people use their riches to force immorality on the young and old. We do not help people of the opposite sex unless they are ready to pay back in kind.
e) Greed and Corruption
These twin-evil have really eaten deep into the fabrics of our society today to the extent that the Church is not left out. Members run for positions in the church with the ulterior motive of amassing wealth. Church money is being spent without reasonable justification. The positions of Wardens in our Churches have become a goldmine; hence members embark on rigorous campaign for office before vestry meetings. God will forgive us.
There are so many other areas of our lives that we need to check properly, if we must serve the Lord, right. Many of our members still believe in syncretism and so they visit shrines and Churches in alternate manner. Deep seated anger, unforgiving spirit, tribalism, hypocrisy, faithlessness, sycophancy and the like, are very common features among brethren, and these are gods we need to throw away, to enable us embrace our Maker.
In many of our Churches today, the atmosphere of prosperity has led to spiritual laziness and neglects of eternity things. We are no longer “hot enough spiritually to recognize or respond to the Holy Spirit’s guidance; and are not quite “cold” enough to realise the need for repentance and return to God. We are lukewarm like the Laodecian Church. A lukewarm Church is one that is apathetic and negligent about personal devotion to Christ. It is half-hearted and lazy in its service to God. The world has crept into such Churches, and they easily compromise with worldly standards. They have such a lackadaisical attitude towards their service to God, and their watchword is “If you cannot beat them; you join them”. We hardly can see Christ in many that claimed to be Christians today. Such people have forgotten that the people of Antioch gave the name ‘Christian’ to the apostles of old, when they saw Christ in them and their activities – Acts 11:26. However, to serve or not to serve God is a matter of choice.
In the Church today, a lot of things represent gods that are being worshipped. Many are yet to take decisions as to what to put aside for them to serve their God. Things like malice, evil speaking (jestings), wrath and anger, bitterness, lying, abominations, iniquity, witches, guilt, excessive social lives, drunkenness, adultery, fornication etc. are commonly found among our members. The manifestation of any of the above in our lives is an open invitation to the wrath of God.
The people of Israel acted wisely, however, on the exhortation of Joshua with the following six confessions of faith:
(i) God forbid that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods.
(ii) Jehovah is that God that has brought us up out of Egyptian bondage.
(iii) He is the One who has preserved us alive among all people from Egypt.
(iv) He is the One who did great signs in our sight.
(v) He is the One who drove out all the people from the land in which we now dwell.
(vi) Therefore, we will also serve the Lord, for He is our God.
It was this same freedom that was respected by Joshua, when he told his people to choose whom they would serve. As Christians, we have decisions to make; to either serve God or not, to either do the will of our Maker or not. The book of Isaiah 55:6-7 says, “Seek the Lord while He may be found; call on Him, while He is near. Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts, let him turn to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him, and to our God, for He will freely pardon”.
No man can serve God unless he is ready to put away all idols/gods/sins, for God is holy and jealous. There are many gods people in our Churches worship today, and unless we are ready to put them away, God will not be happy with our service. Many worship fleet of cars and houses; many more worship positions; others still, power, while many have been enslaved to money and jewelry to mention just a few. Let us therefore be ready to take wise decisions as the people of Israel did, by putting all gods aside and be ready to serve God (Yahweh).
How truly can we serve God?
Summarily brethren, we must be conscious of the following facts if we must serve God:
a) We must know Him in order to serve Him. Many only know about Jesus, rather than knowing Him and serving Him. It is not enough to know about Jesus, but to know Him and surrender all to Him – Phil. 3:10. To know God is to have eternal life and to serve Him is to have perfect freedom.
b) Many today are working for Jesus but are not walking in Him. It is only rewarding if you walk in Him before you work for Him. God told Abraham: “walk before me and be blameless” - Gen. 17:1
c) We must have a repentant heart to be able to serve God. In the book of Proverbs 28:13 the Bible says “He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but who so confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy”. Our ability to forsake our old ways and embrace new life in Jesus will surely enhance our service unto God. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” II Cor. 5:17.
d) We must begin to live a life of total obedience. Many in the Church embrace partial obedience. They argue with God on why it is difficult for them to have total obedience. The book of Prophet Isaiah 1:19-20 states “If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. For the mouth of the LORD has spoken”. Mary, Mother of Jesus at Cana of Galilee told the disciples to do whatever Jesus commanded them to do – John 2:5. "If you love me, you will obey what I command” –John 14:15. God is looking for Children with uncommon obedience, uninterrupted and uncompromising obedience. (e.g. Joseph, Daniel shedrack, Meshach and Abednego.
(e) Our commitment to God must be total and our will subsumed into His will. We must at all times do only what pleases Him – John 8:29. Not all that call on the name of the Lord are His. Matt. 7:21, Jesus said “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish his work”. John 4:34. We must attend Bible Study classes, Prayer meetings, Vigils and other services for us to be able to serve Him. The Bible says “Iron sharpeneth Iron”. We cannot serve God from a distance but to draw ourselves close to Him – James 4:8.
(f) We must covet the Kingdom Agenda. God knows how to take care of us if only we are ready to depend on Him absolutely. We must focus more on things of the Kingdom as opposed to pursuit of worldly things. The Scripture says “Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or, wherewithal shall we be clothed? But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” – Matt. 6:31-33. “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love” – Heb. 6:10. If we serve God, He knows how to take proper care of us. He is not a debtor of anyone. The book of Psalm says “I have been young, and now am old, yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging for bread” – Psalm 37:25.
(g) Finally brethren, we must be rich in good works. Paul told the Ephesians “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them” – Eph. 2:10. If the Bible says we must be rich in every good work, it means if care is not taken, it is possible to be deficient in good work. We must be good advertisers of the Kingdom through what we do for our brothers and sisters, especially house of faith. In St. Matthew Gospel Chapter 5 vs. 13-16, the Bible says, "You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven”.
In the light of the above, shall we please rise to sing the next Hymn – Myself and my entire Household.
MYSELF AND MY ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD
1. Myself and my entire household
We will worship Him our dear Lord
But me especially;
Will show by deed and in my word
That I know Him the heavenly Lord
Serve Him with faithful heart.
2. I’ll lay good examples for them
I’ll remove every obstacle
From every maid of mine
I’ll make their deed felt in my works
Still in all my deeds I shall have
That honour for the love.
3. I’ll not be difficult for plea
I will not be hard to comfort
Worthy servant of God
I want to be a holy one
Bringing all member of my home
Into the path of heaven.
4. If Thou shall make the fire of love
Whatever Thou Lord will require
Take them Lord from my hand
Work Thy loving deeds within me
That I may show them how to live
A worthy Christian life.
5. Oh grant me Lord, the sincere grace
Oh Lord, I come to testify
Of your wonderful name
That has saved me from perdition
That favour made known to the heart
That all tongues can proclaim.
6. Oh me delivered from my sin
I come to deliver my home
And preach the forgiveness
To my children, my spouse and maids
And lead them through every good path
Into the heaven above. AMEN.
2. OUR VISION – THE ROAD SO FAR
On our assumption of office as the 2nd Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos West, particularly during the One-Day Synod held on 3rd October, 2013, we shared our vision with the Church, namely: Spiritual Growth of Members, Aggressive/Pragmatic Evangelism and Youth Development. We are happy to inform the Church that the Diocese is indeed on course. Aside the well packaged and Spirit-led Triumphant Convocation which was held in the last quarter of 2013, many more spiritual Retreats and assemblies have taken place with their attendant testimonies. Below are some of these activities.
a) Priests’ Retreats
In the course of this Synod year, series of retreats were conducted both for the Dignitaries, Clergy and their Wives. This was borne out of our belief that as leaders of the Church, all eyes are on us and we must be ready to live by example.
b) Diocesan Vigils
Diocesan Vigils are now being held once a quarter. Let me appeal to those that have not been attending to come and have a taste to know that the Lord is good.
c) Spiritual Seminars
The Diocese has collaborated with other spiritual bodies to organize seminars for our members in the area of Discipleship and Spiritual Parenting. Notable among them is “Believers Mentoring Mission” led by our respected senior citizen, Mrs. Jacinta Olusoga. The Christian Mothers of our Diocese with the Fountain of Hope Society of AVMCC also co-sponsored another seminar tagged “Parenting Conference” with the theme Parenting: The Christian Perspective. These Seminars were well attended and life changing. Praise the Lord.
d) Jesus Festival 2014
All routes led to the Diocesan Field on Saturday the 19th April, 2014 (i.e. eve of Easter Sunday) where our Lord Jesus was celebrated by all our members. The entire 30 Archdeaconries that make up the Diocese of Lagos West were well represented. Our Priests, Nominees and Appointees, Synod Delegates, Clergy Wives, our Diocesan Officers as well as majority of our members added colour to the occasion. The preacher of the day, who also anchored the Carnival-like festival, His Lordship, the Rt. Revd. Praise Omole-Ekun, took the mammoth crowd of worshippers down memory lane, of the encounter of the people of Israel when they got to Jericho, and how God led them to conquer the city – Joshua 6. People were therefore led to pray their way through, after which altar calls were made with people surrendering their lives unto Jesus. Many that were sick also received healing to the glory of God.
Other features of the Festival included a competitive March Past by all representatives of the Archdeaconries and the Cathedral. Agege Archdeaconry came first. There were also beautiful renditions by the AVMCC Music band. We thank you all for your support to make the Festival a success.
The Board of Evangelism has been transformed. It is now to be known as the Directorate of Evangelism and a full time Director, in person of the Ven. Gbenga Fagbemi, has been appointed. It is therefore expected of the new Directorate to focus on aggressive evangelism and to ensure that every nook and cranny of our Diocese hear about the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. We use this opportunity to congratulate the Director on his effort so far. There is still room for improvement since the reward for good work is more work.
f) Youth Development
More Youth Chapels are being planned for construction, to provide places of worship for our teeming Youth. Our office is open for suggestions on how to satisfy the yearnings of our Youth group.
3. NEWS FROM THE CHURCH OF NIGERIA
a) The Church of Nigeria’s stand on same Sex Marriage
The Archbishop, Primate and Metropolitan of all Nigeria, His Grace, The Most Revd. Nicholas D. Okoh, at the Church’s recent Standing Committee meeting held in Ibadan, made a disclosure. It had to do with a letter written by the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Church of England House of Bishops affirming homosexuality and the ministry of ordained and lay homosexuals. He affirmed that the said letter is not and will not be applicable to Nigeria. It is not Christianity; it is a new colonial philosophy at work, he exclaimed. He further stated that the position of the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Church of England House of Bishops has increased the difficulties in the relationship between that Church and the Church of Nigeria. The Primate therefore appealed to all African Church leaders to reject the letter and to lead their people, without any foreign interference or moral imposition.
b) Nigerian Anti-Gay Law
The Church of Nigeria commended both arms of the National Assembly for passing the anti-gay bill into law, and for the President to have assented bill to make it a law in Nigeria. The Church under its leadership, saw the law as meeting the yearnings and aspirations of the majority of the people of Nigeria. The Church also advised the government not to bulge to the various threats of the Western Governments, especially the US and the UK, bothering on aids since its action in this matter amounts to adequately articulating the minds of the Nigerian people.
c) National Conference
The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) only prayed for the success of the Conference, more so, that it was still at the formative stage at the time of its Standing Committee meeting.
d) Tertiary Education
The Federal Government of Nigeria was advised to expedite actions towards full implementation of its agreement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), now that the strike of close to Seven months had been suspended. This was necessary to achieve permanent industrial peace and harmony in the Nation’s educational sector, in particular and Nigeria in general.
e) Independent National Electoral Commission
As the Nation, Nigeria moves towards 2015 General Election, the Church of Nigeria advised the electoral body as well as all politicians, to play the game according to the rules. All political parties, contestants, trade unions, politicians, the general populace and INEC were implored to ensure that the truth prevails. It was a consensus that falsehood cannot bring peace or yield any desirous dividend.
f) Church of Nigeria Election and Re-Election of Archbishops
Our Church fathers listed below were elected and re-elected Archbishops in charge of some of our Provinces in the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).
(1) Most Revd. Ignatius C.O. Kattey – Archbishop of the Province of Niger Delta (Second term).
(2) Most Revd. Michael O. Akinyemi – Archbishop of Kwara (Second term).
(3) Most Revd. Emmanuel O. Chukwuma – Archbishop of Enugu Province (First term).
(4) Most Revd. Emmanuel Egbunu – Archbishop of Lokoja (Second term).
g) Election, Consecration and Enthronement of Bishops
We rejoice with our brothers and friends who have been elected, consecrated and enthroned Bishops of the Church of Nigeria. They are:
(1) The Rt. Revd. Titus Olayinka, Bishop of Ogbomoso
(2) The Rt. Revd. Michael A. Oluwarombi, Bishop of Yewa
(3) The Rt. Revd. Manasses Okere, Bishop of Isukwuato Umunnochi
h) Retired Bishops
Some of our Church fathers retired from active church service within the last one year. These are:
(1) The Rt. Revd. Prof. Matthew Osunade, Diocese of Ogbomoso
(2) The Rt. Revd. Samuel Chukwuka, Diocese of Isiukwato/Umuneochi
(3) The Rt. Revd. S.O.M. Adebola, Diocese of Yewa
(4) The Rt. Rev. David Bana – CANA
4. NEWS AROUND THE DIOCESE
a) Covenant Seed Project
Covenant Seed collection remains our major source of income, out of which we address the financial requests of churches under our Diocese. Suffice it to say that requests, in millions of Naira, keep coming to us, while our Covenant Seed collections continue to dwindle on monthly basis. The Churches that need the fund most are the ones that will not meet up with their obligations to pay.
We all must know that we can only give what we have. Requests for financial assistance from Parishes can only be met if the fund is available. We therefore wish to appeal to all our Clergy and our esteemed Parishioners to assist us, by putting more efforts, and giving freely and bountifully too, towards the Project. The Jehovah Jireh will surely reward us richly in Jesus name.
The Diocese has also put in place a Committee, ably led by Mr. Ayo Lawson, to monitor the payment.
b) Appointment of a new Dean
In our Charge to you good people of God, during the One-Day Synod held on 3rd October, 2013, we promised to appoint a new Dean before the end of that year. By divine permission, and guidance of the Holy Spirit, at the 14th anniversary of our Diocese, precisely on 20th November, 2013, our brother, The Ven. Abel Oluyemi Ajibodu was presented to you as your new Dean. He resumed in the Cathedral on 7th January, 2014. Without mincing words, majority of you witnessed the institution and installation ceremony on Sunday 2nd February, 2014. He has since settled down for business. It is our prayer that our brother will succeed in this new assignment, in Jesus name.
In the course of our Synod year, we made some preferment to encourage our Priests, who at one time or the other had worked so much to develop our Diocese. These Priests were selected out of other qualified Candidates. The following were therefore preferred Venerables and Canons respectively:
i. The Revd. Abiade Adeniji - Archdeacon
ii. The Revd. Ariire Ayodele Kolawole - Archdeacon
iii. The Revd. ‘Leke Dina - Archdeacon
iv. The Revd. Canon M.A. Abraham-Odumuyiwa - Archdeacon
v. The Revd. Canon C.N. Nwosu - Archdeacon
vi. The Revd. Festus A. Ademola - Archdeacon
vii. The Revd. Isaac Ayanlere - Archdeacon
viii. The Revd. Canon J.A. Adejuwon - Archdeacon
ix. The Revd. Canon A.O. Agara - Archdeacon
x. The Revd. T.E. Nwabasili - Canon
xi. The Revd. Chucks Elezie - Canon
xii. The Revd. A.O. Omidiji - Canon
xiii. The Revd. Samson O. Okubanjo - Canon
xiv. (The Revd. O.E. Familoni - Canon
d) 2013 Advert Ordination
The Advent Ordination of our Diocese came up on Sunday, 15th December, 2013. Below are the 12 Deacons that were priested while no candidate was made a Deacon.
i. Revd. Aje Olumuyiwa Stephen
ii. Revd. Akinola Idowu Olukorede
iii. Revd. Akinyemi Francis Oluwole
iv. Revd. Akunne Emeka Godsfavour
v. Revd. Azeh Sunday Anthony
vi. Revd. Daramola Olabode Olalekan
vii. Revd. Eko Ebenezer Olu
viii. Revd. Njimaezi Kingsley Konye
ix. Revd.Ogunniyi Gideon Adebayo
x. Revd. Oladetohun Joshua Olalekan
xi. Revd. Sanwo Olajide Adekunle
xii. Revd. Sigha Jeremiah
We thank our brother and friend, the Ven. Dr. Yemi Agbelusi, who, not only led the Retreat, but also preached the powerful sermon of the day. May the Lord continue to bless your ministry.
e) House of Clergy
We make bold to say that majority of our Clergy are doing favourably well. We are so pleased with their performance and we appreciate their commitment to service. Comments from all the nooks and crannies of our Diocese and even beyond, continue to adjudge our Priests as good. We are glad to inform our members that majority of our Priests could raise their heads up among other priests in all the Dioceses in Nigeria. Let us emphasise it also that requests for our Priests from various Bishops, to handle assignments in their Dioceses, continue to make us proud.
However, the scriptures make us understand that out of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ, there was Judas Iscariot. There may be few of our Priests that are not doing so well. As Parishioners and members of our Diocese, we need to support them with our prayers. We must realise that opponents in a warfront always target the war Commanders. The wars our Priests are fighting are not carnal, and so they need your prayers for them to be victorious.
The fact that a very few of them were caught in one misconduct or the other, does not portray all our priests as bad. They are highly honourable and we are very proud of them. We also appeal to our members to respect our Priests as oracles of God. Members are not appointed judges over our Priests and so, all reports must be channeled to the office of the Bishop through the appropriate route. II Chro. 20:20 says “Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye be prosper”.
f) Clergy Retirements
The following Priests retired from the service of the Diocese of Lagos West:
(a) The Ven. A.A. Fowokan
(b) The Revd. A.A. Adeyemi
In a short while, the following respected Priests will bid us farewell. They are:
(a) The Ven. Samuel Oke Ewhu
(b) The Ven. Dr. Bandele Okunnuga
(c) The Ven. Olabamibo Aishida
The Ven. Samuel Oke Ewhu:
Born on 1st June, 1944, the Ven. S.O. Ewhu hails from Edherie in Isoko South Local Government Area of Delta State, in the South- South Geo-political zone of Nigeria. He attended Edherie Primary School 1953-1958. He thereafter learnt the art of trading until 1968 when he started to work with the Church. In 1980, the Ven. Ewhu was appointed an honourary Catechist and between 1981 and 1984 attended a Catechist Course at Vining College of Theology, Akure. He served as a trained Catechist in All Saints Church, Epe (1984-1986); Good Shepherd Church, Apapa (1986-1987). He went for his Ordination Course at Vining College of Theology (1987-1989) and was ordained in 1989.
The Ven. S.O. Ewhu had served in Churches such as St. James’ Church, Mile 12, Lagos (1990-2000); The Saviour’s Church, Igbogbo, Ikorodu (2000-2007). He went back to St. James’ Church, Mile 12 between 2008 and 2011 before he was transferred again to The Saviour’s Church, Igbogbo, where he is to proceed on retirement on Sunday, 1st June, 2014.
The Ven. Dr. Bandele Okunnuga
The Ven. Dr. Bandele Okunnuga, a native of Ondo in Ondo State, was born in Kakawa area of Lagos on 18th August, 1944. He was baptised at St. Paul’s Church, Breadfruit, Lagos, and confirmed by the Late Rt. Revd. S.I. Kale at St. James’ Church, Okesopin, Ijebu Igbo in Ogun State. He attended St. Paul’s Church Primary School, Breadfruit, Lagos where he obtained his G.II Certificate in 1957. He passed his West African School Certificate in 1962 from Oriwu College, Ikorodu. He proceeded to Molusi College, Ijebu Igbo where he obtained his Higher School Certificate in 1965. He was admitted into the University of Lagos where he had his Bachelors degree (B.A. Hons) in 1972. He obtained his Ph.D (Educational Foundation) in 1983. He attended the University of Ibadan where he took his 2nd Ph.D in Teacher Education in the year 2000.
The Ven. Dr. Okunnuga got married to his heartthrob, Mrs. Yemisi Okunnuga (nee Adebowale). His clerical calling started in 1967 when he got admitted into the Immanuel College of Theology, Ibadan where he obtained his Diploma in Theology (Dip. Th.) in 1970. He wrote and passed another Diploma in Theology from the University of London that same year. The young Okunnuga was made a Deacon in 1970, priested in 1971 both by the late Rt. Revd. S.I. Kale. He was preferred a Canon of the Church in 1986 by the Late Rt. Revd. S.O. Aderin of Ondo Diocese, and preferred Venerable by the former Primate, The Most Revd. Dr. Joseph Abiodun Adetiloye, in 1993.
The Ven. Dr. B.O. Okunnuga had worked in many Churches and at different Dioceses as listed:
LOCATION DIOCESE DATE POST/OFFICE St. Paul’s Church, Sagamu Lagos 1970 - 1976 Curate St. Barnabas Church, Ilishan-Remo Lagos 1971 - 1972 Vicar St. Andrew’s Church, Okepopo Lagos 1972 - 1975 Curate/undergraduate Archbishop Vining Mem. Church, Ikeja Lagos 1975 - 1982 Vicar Diocesan Headquarters (Bp. Chaplain) Lagos 1983 - 1984 Bishop’s Chaplain Our Saviour’s Church, Abule Ijesha Lagos 1983 - 1984 Bishop’s Chaplain/Vicar Immanuel College of Theology, Ibadan Province (West 1985 - 1990 Snr. Lecturer/Sub.Dean St. Peter’s Church, Faji, Lagos Lagos 1990 - 1992 Vicar St. Paul’s Church, Somolu Lagos 1992 - 1996 Vicar/Archdeacon Immanuel College of Theology, Ibadan Province (West) 1996 - 1997 Senior Lecturer Diocesan Headquarter (Health/ Leprosarium Lagos 1997 - 2000 Director, Health/Leprosarium St. Paul’s Church, Isagatedo, Isolo Lagos West 2000 - 2005 Vicar/Archdeacon St. Andrew’s Church, Akinyele, Ipaja Lagos West 2005 - 2006 Vicar/Archdeacon Church of the Pentecost, Festac Lagos West 2006 – 2009 Vicar/Archdeacon St. Peter’s Church, Idimu Lagos West 2009 - 2012 Vicar/Archdeacon St. John’s Church, Satellite Town Lagos West 2012 - 2014 Vicar/Archdeacon Lagos Anglican Seminary (Lagos) Province 1994 - 1996 Dean Lagos Anglican Bible College (LABICO) Province 2010–To-date Rector The Ven. Samuel Olabamibo Aishida
The Ven. S.O. Aishida hails from Imoru, Ose Local Government Area of Ondo State. He was born on 17th November, 1944. The young Bamibo attended St. Luke’s (CMS) Primary School, Sapele in the then Western Region, now Delta State between 1951 and 1957 where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate. He proceeded to the Famous Christ School, Ado-Ekiti, in 1959 where he passed his West African School Certificate in 1963. He also attended Ibadan Grammar School, Ibadan for his Higher School Certificate (HSC) between 1964 and 1965. He thereafter wrote General Certificate in Education – Advanced Level before proceeding to the University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos, where he bagged a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration in 1970.
As a young graduate, the then Mr. Aishida secured an appointment with the Nigerian Breweries Plc, Lagos and rose through the ladder to the position of Brand Manager in Marketing Department. As a brilliant worker, he attended many courses in Marketing both in Nigeria and Overseas. He had an international posting to Bachelor’s Ford (Unilever), Sheffield, UK between September 1973 and January, 1975. He retired voluntarily to take up a private business in 1980.
He got married to former Miss Olaide Oluwanishola Folami in a well attended wedding ceremony at St. George’s Campolen Hill, Royal Borough of Kensington, London on 21st September, 1974 and blessed with children and grand children.
The Ven. Aishida started his priesthood assignment when he was enrolled for training at Lagos Anglican Seminary where he obtained both Diploma in Theology and Religious Studies (Dip.Th: Dip. R.S.). He was made a Deacon during Advent Ordination in 1999 and priested during the Trinity Ordination in year 2000 all by the Rt. Revd. Dr. Peter Awelewa Adebiyi (Rtd.).
He was a member, Board of Governors, Bishop Howells Memorial Grammar School, Bariga. His Hobby is reading.
g) Clergy Movement
As usual, some members of the Clergy were moved during our Advent Transfer. Some Administrators in the acting capacity were also made substantive heads of their respective Archdeaconries. While we congratulate those concerned, we also charged them to put in their very best to justify their new status and postings. Every priest must see his posting as a challenge. If you do well in a small parish, there is the possibility to put you in a bigger one with more responsibility. However, the Bishop cannot continue to retain a Priest in a Parish when it is obvious that there is no growth both physically and spiritually.
h) Property Acquisition and Development
As promised during our One-Day Synod last year, the Property Department of the Diocese has been further strengthened with the setting up of a Technical Committee to determine projects, and ways of executing them. The Committee led by our Registrar, is comprised of seasoned professionals - Architects, Engineers, Surveyors, Estate Valuers/Managers, Legal Experts, Town Planners etc who have gotten to the peak of their careers in the public and private sectors of our economy.
It behoves therefore on the Committee, to determine the type of project, where the project is to be sited, the specification to be followed, as well as time frame for the completion of such projects.
We thank our distinguished elders and patriots for accepting to serve on the Committee.
i) AMVCC’s Golden Jubilee Celebration.
The Archbishop Vining Memorial church Cathedral, which houses our throne, turned 50 this year. Drums were therefore rolled out to celebrate the milestone. Activities lined up included prayer and fasting anchored by the Evangelical Ministry, from Wednesday 17th to Friday 19th February, 2014. Others were Variety Night and launch of a Documentary anchored by the Youth of the Cathedral; Women’s Day, Anniversary Lecture, Visit to Orphanages, Praise Night (Vigil), Hour of Blessing, Society Celebration Day, Love Feast, Founders Day (Holy Eucharist Service) and the Presentation of 50th Anniversary Compendium.
On Sunday 9th March, 2014, there was a thanksgiving service to round off the series of events. Dignitaries at the service included our Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), His Grace, The Most Revd. Nicholas D. Okoh, who preached the Sermon. Also in attendance were some of our Bishops who came to add colour to the occasion.
j) Hosting of CAPA
The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) saddled our Diocese with the responsibility of hosting 2014 Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA) between 8th and 13th February, 2014. Many of our Church fathers all over Africa were in attendance with the Chief Host, His Grace, The Most Revd. Nicholas D. Okoh, the Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion). Below are the names of our guests.
NAME COUNTRY The Most Revd. Bernard Ntahoturi & Mrs. Mathilde Nkwiriye Ntahoturi Burundi CAPA Chairman and Primate The Most Revd. Albert Chama Zambia Primate Church of the Province of Central Africa & CAPA Vice chairman The Most Revd. Nicholas Okoh and Mrs. Okoh Nigeria Primate of All Nigeria (Anglican Communion) & Member Standing Committee The Most Revd. Lan Ernest & Mrs. Kamla Ernest Mauritius Primate Anglican Church of Indian Ocean The Most Revd. Henri Isingoma Congo Primate Anglican Church of Congo The Most Revd. Thabo Makgoba & Mrs. Lungelwa Thabo South Africa Primate Anglican Church of Southern Africa The Most Revd. Dr. Eliud Wabukala & Mrs. Rhoda Wabukala Kenya Primate Anglican Church of Kenya The Most Revd. Onesphore Rwaje & Mrs. Josephine Mujawiyera Rwanda Primate Anglican Church of Rwanda The Most Revd. Jacob Erasto Chimeledya & Mrs. Mwenza Chilmeledya Uganda Primate Church of Uganda The Rt. Revd. Francis Mori Germani Loyo South Sudan Provincial Dean Episcopal Church of the Sudan Mrs. Deborah Abuk A. Madeng South Sudan Primates Wife Episcopal Church of Sudan The Rt. Revd. Matthias Medadues Badohu Ghana Bishop of Ho and Member CAPA Standing Committee Ms. Canon Delene Mark South Africa Member CAPA Standing Committee Dr. John Muhoho Kimani Kenya Member CAPA Standing Committee Ms. Claudette Kigeme Burundi Mothers’ Union Coordinator/Invited Guest Revd. Canon Grace Kaiso Uganda CAPA General Secretary Ms. Elizabeth Gichovi Kenya CAPA Staff The occasion was a success, to the glory of God. k) Church Dedication More Churches were completed and dedicated within the Synod year. Some of these are: (i) St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Ago-Okota, Isolo on 20th October, 2013. (ii) All Saints’ Anglican Church, Orile-Agege on 22nd December, 2013. (iii) Our Saviour’s Anglican Church, Jakande, Isolo on 22nd December, 2013. (iv) Christ Church, Ketu-Alapere on 24th February, 2014. (v) Anglican Church of the Messiah, Ajuwon Akute on 3rd April, 2013. (vi) Anglican church, Laketu held on 13th April, 2014. We thank God for the growth so far. May His name be praised for ever. l) Appointment of Bishop’s Advisers’ Plenipotentiary Considering the wealth of experience acquired, commitment and the selfless sacrifices of some of our fathers to the growth and sustenance of our great Diocese, your Bishop, by divine permission, has appointed the personalities below as Bishop’s Advisers’ Plenipotentiary. By this appointment, our two fathers so appointed, are Members of the Synod, the Diocesan Board, the Greater Chapter, and the Standing Committee of the Cathedral/Parish Church Council in their respective Parishes. (i) CHIEF OLUSEGUN OSUNKEKE, OFR, OON, D.Sc, FCA. Chief Osunkeye, a Chartered Accountant, recently retired as the Chairman of Nestle Nigeria Plc; he was on the Board for 40 years 1973 to 2013 and served as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer for 8 years 1991 to 1999. He is also the Chairman of GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Nigeria Plc, Lafarge Cement WAPCO Plc, Pilot Securities Ltd., (a Dealing Member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange), and Chairman of the International Chamber of Commerce, Nigeria Chapter, (1999 – 2011). For his voluntary services as an Instructor, Consultant and Mentor, Chief Osunkeye was presented with the 2002 Outstanding Volunteer Award by the FATE Foundation, an NGO established to foster wealth creation by promoting business and entrepreneurial development among Nigerian youth. He was honoured with a Doctor of Science Degree (honoris causa) in Agriculture by the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta where he delivered the 10th Anniversary and 4th and 5th Convocation Lecture in 1988. He also delivered the 11th Convocation Lecture of the University of Technology, Akure in 1999. For his contribution to the progress and socio-economic development of his community, Chief Osunkeye was conferred with a high ranking chieftaincy title as the Babalaje of Egbaland by His Royal Majesty, Oba Oyebade Lipede, CFR, the Alake and Paramount Ruler of Egbaland in 2003. In recognition of his significant contributions, through the private sector, to the industrial, commercial and agricultural development of the country, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye was honoured with the National Honours Award of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) in 2003. Additional National Honours followed in 2011 when in recognition of his outstanding virtues, and in appreciation of his service to our country, Nigeria, Chief Osunkeye was conferred with the National Honour of Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Chief Osunkeye is happily married, since 1965, to Chief (Mrs.) Abosede Osunkeye and they have children all doing well in their various professions, spanning Banking, Accountancy and Stock-broking, Pharmacy, Marketing and Law. Chief Osunkeye devotes substantial time, talent and treasure to church and philanthropic activities. For activities and service in the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) such as: • Diocesan Adviser Plenipotentiary of the Diocese of Lagos West, by that appointment he is a member of Synod, the Diocesan Board, the Greater Chapter and the Standing Committee of the AVMCC. • A Diocesan Lay reader of the Diocese of Lagos West. • Diocesan Altar Server, the 1st President and President emeritus of the Diocesan Guild of Altar Servers (DLW). • Deputy Chairman of the Local Organising Committee of the First African Anglican Bishops Conference held in Lagos 2004. • Chairman of the Diocese of Lagos West 10th Anniversary Planning Committee (April 2008 to November 2009). • Member of the Board of Trustees of The Eminent Anglicans Resource Group. • A Foundation member of the Governing Council of Ajayi Crowther University (representing Lagos Ecclesiastical Province) from inception to March 2014. • Delivered the Synod Lecture title The Prayer of Jabez at the 1st Session of the 2nd Synod of the Diocese of Lagos West in May 2003. • Chairman of CHONACO Nigeria Ltd, the property Development and Management Company of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 2001 to date. • Chairman, Space Development & Building Committee, (1993 – 1996) which built the Vining House of Archbishop Vining Memorial Church (now Cathedral). • Chairman, Board of Trustees of AVMCC Economic Empowerment Programme (2007 to April 2014). • Centurion Fellow of the Diocese of Remo (Anglican Communion). • Former member, (for 55 years) Anglican Youth Fellowship, AVMCC. • Past President and Foundation Member, Christian Friends Society, AVMCC. • Member, Torchbearers’ Society, AVMCC. • Friend of the Choir of AVMCC. • Patron, Fountain of Hope Society, AVMCC. • Patron, Good Shepherd Society, AVMCC. • Patron, Christian Family Society, AVMCC. • Vice Chairman and Treasurer of the UK-Nigeria Chaplaincy Fund Raising Committee of the Primate of All Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (2011 to date). • Member of the Think-Tank Committee of the Primate of All Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (2011 to date). • Delivered the Convocation Address on 2 March, 2013 title “Effective Christian Ministry Today: Challenges for Christian Leaders and Anglican Priesthood” at the 3rd Convocation & Graduation Ceremony of Crowther Theological Seminary, Igbein, Abeokuta. (ii) DR. FESTUS A. FADEYI Dr. Fadeyi is the foremost Managing Director of an indigenous oil company in joint venture partnership with the Federal Government; Dr. Fadeyi pioneered the active involvement of indigenous local companies in the Nigerian marginal field development. As the Technical and Financial Partner in the joint venture between Pan Ocean Oil Corporation (Nigeria) Limited and NNPC, he has the responsibility of raising required financial resources and technical expertise for successful project implementation. PROFESSIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS Building of Ovade-Ogharefe gas processing plant, the largest carbon emission reduction project in West Africa Expected to produce 130mmscf of natural gas per day Registered under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Protocol Led the construction of the 67km Amukpe-Escravos Pipeline – Pan Ocean being the only indigenous company to ever embark on such a huge project. EMPLOYMENT HISTORY 1998 – To Date Chairman/Managing Director Pan Ocean Oil Corporation (Nigeria) Limited 1984 – 1998 Managing Director Pan Ocean Oil Corporation (Nigeria) Limited 1978 – 1984 Finance and Administrative Director Pan Ocean Oil Corporation (Nigeria) Limited 1974 – 1978 Financial Controller Pan Ocean Oil Corporation (Nigeria) Limited 1973 - 1974 Account Manager AMDMAC Oil Services Ltd, Nigeria 1970 – 1973 Plant Controller United Can Company, Lamirada California,USA EDUCATION 1973 1971 1971 1970 PhD (Business Administration) Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A) MBA (Behavioral Science) BSc (Accounting) Pacific State University California, USA Los Angeles, California, USA Pepperdine University, Los Angeles California, USA California State University, Pomona, California USA PERSONAL INFORMATION Date of Birth: December 12, 1941 | Marital Status: Married with 3 Children and many grandchildren | State of Origin: Ogun State These personalities continue to use their time, talents and treasures for the development of our Diocese. They are always available even on short notice to attend to any Diocesan matter, and have made the Diocese their personal project. The project of the new Bishop’s Court is already receiving their attention. We are indeed indebted to them in diverse of ways. May the Lord continue to reward them. 5. WOMEN AFFAIRS AND PROJECTS The Women in our Diocese continue to compliment the efforts of the Clergy to ensure that our parishioners in the entire Diocese of Lagos West take balanced diet at all times. The Women under the leadership of Mama Lagos West, Mrs. Lydia Olukemi Odedeji, organized a lot of activities during the Synod year. Some of these activities are as follows: a) Family of Honour The programme which was held at Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi Women’s Conference Centre, Ipaja on 19th October, 2013 had the theme “The Family God Honours” – I Sam. 2:30. It was organized to recognize and appreciate families that are dedicated and committed to the course of evangelism in our Diocese. About 55 families were honoured at the occasion. b) Fund Raising Because of the enormity of the assignments before our women, and the need for finance to accomplish them, a fund raising event was held at St. Peter’s Church, Alaba on 24th November, 2013. We want to appreciate our brother and friend the Archdeacon of Alaba Archdeaconry and his wife, the Ven. & Mrs. Okpala for hosting the event. c) Women’s Guild Enrolment This was held at all the Archdeaconry Headquarters in our Diocese on all the Sundays of the month of October, 2013. d) Christian Mothers’ Christmas Party As it is customary for the Bishop to host all our Clergy and Wives to Christmas/end-of-the-year-party every year, our women have also taken a queue from this. The President of the Women Organisation in the Diocese, Mama Lagos West, also hosted the women to a Christmas Party on 16th December, 2013 at Archbishop Vining Hall, Ikeja. It was well attended by our women. e) Clergy Wives Retreat This spiritual assembly was attended by my humble self, the President, Women Organisation, Dignitaries of our Diocese, our Clergy and workers. It was organized to prepare our women for the task ahead in 2014. f) Christian Mothers Rededication Service As it is customary, the rededication service was held simultaneously at the various zones of Ikorodu, Festac, Ikeja and the Cathedral, on 26th January, 2014. g) Mothers’ Union Workshop This is a replica of the Diocese’s Annual Clergy School. Three days are usually set aside for women to converge at the Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi’s Conference Centre for spiritual re-awakening. The theme for the year 2014 assembly was “Patience In Trials and Tribulation: Overcoming At The End” – Rom. 12:12-26, Heb. 11:33-39. It was held between 20th and 22nd February, 2014. The event had in attendance, 150 delegates and 30 coordinators from all our Archdeaconries. h) World Day of Prayer Believing in the efficacy of prayer, our women observed a day prayer session with others at the Salvation Army, Shipeolu Street, Onipanu on 7th March, 2014. The attendance was highly commendable. i) Mothers’ Union Enrolment At the occasion held at Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, on 26th March, 2014, 400 women were admitted into the fold of the Mothers’ Union of our Diocese. j) Women Projects There has been appreciable physical development both at Caroline Adefiola Adebiyi Conference Centre and Anglican Girls’ College, Ketu, Ijanikin. While a dining hall that can seat 1000 people was constructed for the Centre, about 10 classrooms have been completed for our students use. Two parcels of land costing about N10,000,000 (Ten million Naira) was also purchased around the school to enhance future development. Suffice it to say that the maintenance of the Conference Centre, the Girls’ College, as well as the payment of teachers and other categories of workers, are solely handled by the Women Organisation of our Diocese. k) Election into Women Executive: Constitutional Perspective Elections into offices of the Women Executive members are to be held every three years. Also, members in the executive positions must not hold office beyond six years or 2 tenures. Section 22 items 1-3 of the Constitution of the Mothers’ Union remains our guide. 6. STATE OF THE NATION a) Nigerian Centenary Celebration The year 2014 is unique in the history of our country, Nigeria. It marks 100 years of our existence as a nation. Before 1914, our British colonial masters ruled the then Northern and Southern Protectorates, which today formed what was christened Nigeria, separately. This may not have given the maximum benefits expected to our rulers and so there was the need to re-strategise, more so that there was no love lost between the ruler and the ruled other than economic benefit the ruler was enjoying. The cost of governance must be reduced and benefits maximized. In 1914 therefore, the Northern and Southern Protectorates, under the then Governor General, Lord Luggard, brought the protectorates together with the name Nigeria. One may want to ask whether the British colonialist considered things like ethnic, tribal, religions and even cultural differences before the amalgamation idea was muted and executed. They only treated us as a little better than animals, that could only obey the instruction and guide the herdsmen. No wonder, the union of a 100 years has not yielded any positive impact, rather it has deepened the differences and hence agitations from various zones of the country for a Sovereign National Conference. It is not absurd if we say, that Nigeria only exists by name and that it is a marriage of the incompatibles. There has not been any significant progress since the said amalgamation be it economically, educationally, politically and even religious belief. The unity as it is today must therefore be re-discussed. b) National Conference Many citizens of this country had expressed worry on the necessity for this entity called Nigeria. In their opinion, the country only exists by name but devoid of a coherent political direction. Differences exist, no doubt, between the various ethnic groups that make up the country and not until all of these are resolved, disintegration might be inevitable. We there