Alokwu marks 30th ordination anniversary in Awka
IT WAS an auspicious moment of panegyrics, testimonies and felicitations at the Anglican Church of Redemption, Awka, Anambra State capital, on Saturday, as the world gathered to fete the vicar of the church, Ven. Dr. Obiora Cyprain Alokwu on his 30th ordination anniversary.
The well-attended event, which started with a Eucharistic Service witnessed by top Anglican prelates, over 30 clergymen and over 500 participants, also featured the presentation and launching of a book titled ‘The Church and Community Development: A New Perspective on Theology and Development Studies’, author by the celebrant, Ven. Alokwu.
In his homily at the event, Bishop Paul Udogu of Afikpo Diocese, who tipped on the priestly journey so far of Ven. Alokwu, attributed the success to the grace of God upon his life.
“Ven. Alokwu is a product of the grace of God. All he is today is just by the grace of God. The grace of God is upon him. Even where he teaches, he stands out as a scholar and Anglican priest, to the glory of God,” he said.
He, however, urged Christians to always support and pray for their priests, whom, he said, fight both physical and spiritual battles both for themselves and for their congregation, in the course of their priesthood and moving their ministry forward.
Relying on Romans 9:15-16, Bishop Udogu further admonished that those who received the grace of God should be humble and grateful, and avoid abusing it, using it to oppress or suppress those under them, or taking it for granted.
He revealed that being a clergyman is not easy, owing to the various seen and unseen battles they fight spiritually and physically, both for himself and others.
In his remarks, former Dean of the Church of Nigeria and former Archbishop of Province 2 and later Province of the Niger, His Grace, Most Rev’d Dr. Maxwell S.C. Anikwenwa, who recalled how Ven. Alokwu almost joined the army but later joined priesthood, thanked God for his life and ministry, and wished him greater success and blessings in his subsequent journey and service in the vineyard of God.
Archbishop, Province of the Niger and Anglican Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev’d Alexander Chibuzo Ibezim congratulated Ven. Alokwu, whom he also described as an outstanding scholar; even as he underscored the need for more of such scholarly priests than those who just went to theological school.
In an interview with newsmen, the wife of the celebrant, Mrs. Stella Alokwu described her husband as a loving, caring husband and obedient servant who carries out his priestly duties faithfully and diligently, with the understanding that it was God who called him, irrespective of any challenge or obstacle he encounters in his ministry. While thanking God for His grace upon her husband and their family, she also prayed for greater grace and anointing.
In their respective goodwill messages, the curate serving under Ven. Alokwu, Rev’d. Lucky Onebunne; and some of the guests at the event, Chief Alex Okeke, Chief Edochie Onuora, and Chief Obiora Cyprain Dibiezue all shared testimonies of Ven. Alokwu’s stewardship as a servant of God, congratulated him, and prayed to strengthen and bless him the more.
In his vote of thanks, the celebrant, Ven. Alokwu, who also testified and confirmed that he is a product of the grace of God, said he was greatly amazed by the large number of crowd and personalities who throng from far and near to celebrate him and his family; even as he appreciated everyone for their presence, prayers and supports, praying God to reward them abundantly and grant them journey mercies.
Earlier in an interview, the Chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC) for the event, Elder John Ifejika thanked God for the success of the event, and appreciated everyone who contributed in one way or the other to success.
Tagged ‘Celebration of God’s Grace’, the event was graced by the wife of former Archbishop, Province of the Niger, Mrs. Blessing Anikwenwa; the wife of the Archbishop, Province of the Niger and Bishop of Awka Diocese, Mrs. Martha Chioma Ibezim; the Rector, Trinity College, Umuahia and first Black Anglican Chaplain to the late Queen Elizabeth II, Ven. Prof. Udobata Onunwa; Archdeacon, Awka Archdeaconry, Ven. Clement Mgbemena, his wife, Mrs. Ebere Mgbemena; Anambra State Commissioner for Power and Water Resource, Mr. Julius Chukwuemeka; his Education counterpart, Prof. Ngozi Chuma-Udeh; the National Vice President, Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Damian Okeke-Ogene; the MD/CEO, Anambra Broadcasting Service, Sir Chido Obidiegwu, among other dignitaries.
The event also featured rededication prayers for Ven. Alokwu and his family, cutting of anniversary cake, as well as special thanksgiving by the Alokwu Family, and the conviviality that follows, among other highpoints.