120 total views, 1 views today
The Bishop of Lagos West Diocese, Church of Nigerian, Anglican Communion, the Rt. Rev. James Olusola Odedeji, has said that the 40th anniversary of All Saints’ Parish Church calls for a joyful noise to the Lord, just like the expression of the Psalmist. “As your bishop therefore, we are so much delighted to be part of this epoch making event,” he said in a goodwill message to the parishioners of the church.
All Saints’ Anglican Church Ikosi, Ketu, Lagos started to exist on 11 March, 1979. It turned 40 on March 11, 2019 although officially celebrated last week, Sunday, April 28. The shift of the celebration, according to the anniversary committee, was to allow for the passage of the season of lent into which the anniversary had fallen.
According to Odedeji, history has it that the idea of establishing an Anglican Church around Ikosi-Ketu, was born out of the need to save the newly relocated members of the Anglican Church to Ikosi area the stress of having to travel a long distance to worship on Sundays.
As at the time All Saints’ Parish Church was established, the nearest Churches to the people of Ikosi-Ketu were at Lagos Island, Ikeja, Ebute-Metta, Yaba, Surulere, Mushin and Agege. However, the newly constructed Lagos-Ibadan express road attracted relocation to Ikosi-Ketu axis then.
“The idea that was muted like a mustard seed by thirteen members, who pulled their resources together to build a temporary structure, far back in April 1978, has today become a giant oak tree, to the glory of God. Our parish has today doubled as an Archdeaconry seat,” Odedeji said.
Speaking with BDSUNDAY, Ariire Ayo Kolawole, the Vicar/Archdeacon of All Saints Parish Church, Ikosi-Ketu, said the 40th anniversary celebration is very significant and symbolic to the life of the church because ‘number 40’ is divine. According to him, the children of Israel walked in the wilderness for 40 years before crossing over into the Promised Land. “It is also important to put on record that battles were fought and wall of Jericho had to be brought down to possess the Promised Land. But in all, God proved himself by providing for their needs, protected them and granted them victory,” Kolawole said.
The Vicar opined that the church no doubt, must also have its own wilderness experiences to share.
According to him, “The church found it expedient to show her heartfelt gratitude to God for his wonderful works. His undividing love and glory that continually radiate and hover over the church. We bless the name of the Lord and thank every individual God has used at one time or the other to sustain this God’s glory in our midst.”
Akinpelu Babatunde Johnson, the bishop of Lagos Mainland, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, earlier in his sermon urged the congregants to continually seek God just as the Israelites did in the wilderness.
“As believers, we have to continue to grow until God’s faithfulness and goodness comes upon us,” Johnson said, stating that “the story of your journey for 40 years is that God has been with you”.
Adesina Sanni, one of the parishioners of the church while speaking on his experience said: “One of the things that comes to mind very often is the transformation of the church; how it started small and became a reference point because the church is known for its ‘banner’, which is for evangelism to other churches”.
Expressing his views on the youth ministry, Sanni said: “The youth ministry started very strong, along the line there was a little bit of decline. We thank God for today, especially under the present leadership things have gradually started to look up. I have been in the church ever since and am still in the church and thank God for his glory in my life, and we encourage all others that have left for different reasons to please come back – things have really challenged”.
The anniversary committee of the church in a statement said the first 40 years of the existence of the church is comparable to the 40 years it took the children of Israel to worship God in the desert on their way to the Promised Land after escaping from Egypt. According to the committee, the history of All Saints’ Anglican Church, Ikosi-Ketu shows that God has a special plan for the church on its 40th anniversary in the same way He did for the Israelites.
“The celebration of the 40th anniversary of our church is therefore, the congregation’s recognition that we have, in the past 40 years, had fellowship with the God of exodus who is still the same today; a God who has specially planned and established our church in a strategic location at the ‘toll-gate’ axis of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway and thereby ‘placed before it an open door of opportunity that no one can shut.
“Our own promised land is now the new creation and the new heaven promised by our Lord Jesus Christ. As God has used Moses, Joshua, Caleb and other leaders to mentor the Israelites during their 40 years of desert wondering to reach the Promised Land, so he has used our Bishops, Vicars, Priests and other leaders to mentor our church during these past 40 years, and our hearts are full of gratitude that the God of Exodus is still the same today,” the anniversary committee said.
SEYI JOHN SALAU