Archbishop Alexander Ibezim Anoints 30 Evangelists

… warns priests against lobbying for promotion

By Chukwudi Ndubeze

The Anglican Archbishop, Province of the Niger, Most Rev Alexander Chibuzo Ibezim PhD at the weekend anointed about thirty evangelists for ministerial work in Awka Diocese.

Archbishop Ibezim said the selection of the Evangelists was based on volunteering acceptance and direction of the Holy Spirit, adding that God instructed him to select thirty Evangelist that will work in His vineyard to promote His good news to His people.

The anointing of the thirty Evangelists was part of the event that marked the 2021 Lenten Prayer convention with theme, “More than conquerors”, at the Emmaus house, Awka, Saturday.

While Ibezim advised the selected Evangelists to live an upright life, he cautioned priests in the diocese to stop lobbying for promotion in course of their duties, urging them to rather work hard in their ministerial activities to justify their elevation. He said they should view the convention which is annually organised as an opportunity for such elevation.

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He said, “God wants to use this convention to elevate our pastors even to the office of a bishop, so you don’t need to lobby for promotion.”

Archbishop Ibezim who is also the Bishop of Awka Diocese however warned that the office of the evangelist was not for those who had nothing doing, stressing that such persons would constitute burden to the church.

“This year’s edition of the prayer convention is not ordinary. God said He’ll bless Awka diocese with 30 evangelists. But those who are interested must have a source of livelihood. You don’t need to join if you don’t have any meaningful thing you’re doing.

“Even those into business must be sure their businesses are thriving before considering being an evangelist. You must know that church is not a dumping ground.

Ibezim further urged the intending evangelists to be humble, reminding them that they were called by God and not man.

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“An evangelist is a regenerated servant of God with a special ability. He becomes a blessing that once he opens his mouth, God will honor his words with signs and wonders.”

The Anglican Prelate, in his charge also described the economic, security and other vices that Nigerians are facing as Goliath and enjoined the people to be as tactful as David to be able to surmount the challenges that comes their way.

Delivering his sermon he drew from the Book of First Samuel, Ven. Goodness Amechi described conqueror as someone who overcomes, subdues and dominates. He identified challenges confronting the Nigerian citizenry to include insurgency, kidnapping, banditry, disasters and calamities, but assured that those who put their trust in God would overcome.

“Overcoming means subdue, conquer, dominate. We’re battling against kidnappers, disasters and calamities, but we’ll conquer because everyone wants to succeed, victorious and triumph,” he added

Ven. Amechi also encouraged the congregation on being steadfast even in the face of challenges, reassuring that no matter the spiritual forces that is after their lives, that they will triumph.

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Contributing, the wife of the Archbishop, Mrs Martha Chioma Ibezim reminded the people that Christ paid for their sins on the Cross, just to give them Victory, hence, should be conquerors in all spheres of their lives.

Similarly, the Archdeacon of Abagana deanery, Ven Solomon Arinzechukwu Chidoka, while thanking God for the success of the prayer convention beckoned on all Christians never to relent on prayers, which he described as the only way out of their problems.

Ven Chidoka, who is also the Secretary of the prayer convention team, stated that the essence of the prayer convention is to bring the people of God together in prayer.

Highlights of the event that was attended by over 10,000 parishioners included bible studies, testimonies and prayers.

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