The Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, the Most Rev. Nicholas D. Okoh, has pointed out the need for men of God to be upright at all times and shun betraying the trust reposed in him by the villagers.
Archbishop Oko said the reason society put a great premium on a Pastor was because of integrity.
He explained that society believed that a man of God ought to be a person of strong character and values, not given to lies or involved in any form of malpractice.
He made this known at the 50th birthday celebration of the Venerable Ephraim Mawo Akanya, Supervising Priest of Gwarimpa Archdeaconry and Vicar of St. Matthews Anglican Church, Gwarimpa, Abuja.
The Primate said that a Pastor may be considered as a useless man, because his only handwork was that he was a man of God; adding that a Pastor was only useful if he had integrity. He stated that Pastors were called to be small gods who led God's people with character.
He however added that if a Pastor lost this virtue, then he became useless just as salt, when it lost its saltiness.
Primate Okoh admonished the celebrant, Ephraim Akanya, to ensure that he kept the oath he took at his ordination to ministry, no matter the conditions, so that he remained useful in society.
The head of the Anglican Church in Nigeria said that as a Priest, his work was to preach, heal and deliver; adding that he would not seek for any other thing to make him happy. He said that if God brought millions of Naira to him, then he should by all means accept it, giving thanks to God. He however added that in the Anglican Church, a Priest's glory was in the simplicity of his office and being called a man of God.
He thanked God for the life of the celebrant, congratulating him for a life well spent so far. He also commended specially Ven. Akanya's wife for supporting her husband and cooperating with him, even in ministry; adding that in the Anglican Church, the call to the ministry was for both the Priest and his wife.