Christ Army ordains new priests
Bishop of the Christ Army Church of Nigeria, Lagos West Diocese, Ijanikin, Lagos, His Lordship, Bishop Japhet Iheanyi Oparah has enjoined Christians to emulate good examples of Jesus Christ in propagating the gospel of the kingdom.
Giving the admonition during the ordination and licensing of priests in the diocese, recently, the Bishop said they should be more daring and ready to take the gospel to the remotest parts of the land so that the unreached will have the opportunity to hear God’s word.
Taking his text from Mark 16:15-20, the Bishop urged the newly ordained priests to see their ordination as a mandate from the Lord to preach the gospel.
He reminded the priests of their new roles and functions in the diocese, saying, “You have been conferred with the spiritual power to do greater work in the diocese. By this act, you will conduct functions such as baptism and even burial. It is, therefore, an honour upon the priests as you will be posted to various places to expand the gospel.”
On history of the church, the cleric noted: “Christ Army Church of Nigeria is a prophetic ministry founded by the late Prophet Garrick Sokari Idaketima Braide, in Bakana, Rivers State, in January 1916. The church had followed the prophetic concept of worship Garrick Braide introduced, which frontally clashed with that of the Anglican Church where he was a member. Consequently, the Anglican hierarchy became uncomfortable with this prophetic dimension and urged him to stop as they did not believe in prophecy.”
“But Garrick Briade, a man of deep spiritual conviction and power held on to his gift as he performed miracles and deliverances, even as his predictions manifested one after another.”
He stressed further, “since the prophet could not stop upon the warnings of the Anglican hierarchy, and having been vociferous in his preaching against the consumption of alcoholic liquor, he was reported to the colonial authorities. The Royal Niger Company hiding under the colonial authorities attributed the dwindling revenue of the government to the negative impact occasioned by the prophet’s teachings against alcoholic liquor. He was, therefore, arrested and imprisoned, but later released, and rearrested, he died 11 months after.”
On the creation of the Lagos West Diocese, Bishop Oparah said that, “the diocese is a child of circumstance. It was created in 2009 as a result of a schism in the church in Lagos in 2008, when a dissident group emerged and was hell-bent on the installation of an archbishop, ostensibly because he was from the birthplace of the founder of the church.
“The Lagos Church was to be headed by Archbishop Vurase and was opposed by a group, which wanted Lagos to be headed by a man from the prophet’s birth place. A legal tussle then followed, but was won by the group loyal to Archbishop Vurase. Having lost the case, the Lagos Church divided into two, leading to the creation of the Lagos West by Archbishop Vurase’s group.”
At the event, 10 priests, including a venerable, reverend-canon, reverends, catechists, prophets and prophetesses were ordained and licensed across the Lagos West Diocese, which comprises archdeaconries of Ajangbadi, Badagry, Ejigbo, Ijanikin and Jakande.
The church marked its centenary anniversary in January 2016.
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