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Monday, October 2, 2023

Anybody Answering Evangelist in My Diocese Without Being Commissioned Is a 419 — Bishop Ikeakor



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  • Announces Plan to Build Five-bedroom Bungalow for Clergyman


By Izunna Okafor, Awka

The Bishop, Anglican Diocese of Amichi, The Rt. Rev. Ephraim Ikeakor, has said that anybody answering or parading himself or herself as an Evangelist without being trained and commissioned by him or any other Anglican Bishop is a fraudster, and should be treated as such.

Bishop Ikeakor restated this over the weekend, while presenting his Presidential Address at the third Session of the Fifth Synod of the Diocese, held at the St. Philip’s Church, Eziama Amichi, Nnewi South Local Government Area of Anambra State.

According to him, he had earlier announced that in October 8, 2022, during the collation of archdeacons and cannons and the commissioning of Diocesan evangelists, which held at the Cathedral Church of St. Andrew’s Amichi, where he commissioned eleven persons as Diocesan evangelists.

While noting that evangelists are voluntary servants to God, church and God’s people without any stipend or financial remuneration, he also reiterated that their callings were to support and complement the priests in their churches, and not to antagonize them, compete with them, or set up their own ministries outside the Diocese.

“Nobody from this Diocese should be addressed as an evangelist if he or she is not trained and commissioned by the Bishop of this diocese or any other Anglican Bishop in the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion.

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“So, anybody answering evangelist here without commissioning is a 419. You must be sent by the church,” he said.

Bishop Ikeakor, during the Address presentation, also announced the Diocese’ decision to build a five-bedroom bungalow for a priest of the Diocese, Rev. Peter Ezejiaku, as part of the Diocesan Clergy Housing Support Scheme.

He said the aim of the Housing Support Scheme was to support and encourage clergymen in the Diocese to build/own their own houses, as well as to reward, promote, and encourage faithfulness and productivity among the clergymen in the Diocese.

According to him, the choice of Rev. Ezejiaku as a beneficiary of the support by the Scheme was informed by the sacrifice he (Ezejiaku) made when he was a Church Teacher, as he was electrocuted while fixing a crusade billboard of the Diocese, which resulted to the eventual amputation of one of his arms.

He said: “This gesture is as a result of the sacrifice and the price Rev. Peter Ezejiaku made and paid while he was a Church Teacher.

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“Reverend Peter Ezejiaku lost one of his arms due to electric shock he experienced while fixing diocesan crusade billboard, in 2014, when he was a church teacher; which led to the amputation of one of his arms.

“In order to encourage him further (because we later sent him to school, and he is now a reverend), we have decided that the Diocese will build him the house in his hometown Okija.”

Bishop Ikeakor added that the building plan was already out, while also noting that the building would commence immediately after this Synod.

Efforts by this reporter, Izunna Okafor, to speak with the beneficiary, Rev. Ezejiaku (who currently serves at the St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, Ebenator, Nnewi South Local Government Area), proved abortive, as his phone number was not connecting, while message sent to his phone was yet to be responded to, as at the press time.

The Synod was also graced by galaxies of bishops from different dioceses from within and outside the State, including the Archbishop, Ecclesiastical Province of the Niger, and Bishop of Anglican Diocese of Awka, His Grace, The Most Rev. Alexander Ibezim, among others.

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