By Odogwu Emeka Odogwu
The Diocese of Lagos (Anglican Communion) will be 100 years this year. The diocese was inaugurated in 1919 as the first Anglican Diocese in Nigeria.
The diocese was carved out of the Diocese of Equatorial West Africa with the Rt. Rev Melville Jones as the first bishop.
Speaking in Lagos on Wednesday on the centenary anniversary, the Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos, Anglican Communion, Rt. Rev Humphrey Olumakaiye, announced that the church had given birth to 161 other dioceses. He said that the main diocese was now subdivided into 14 provinces. According to him, the spate of aggressive evangelical works increased in West Equatorial Africa and there was a further sub-division into two of what used to be known as the Diocese of Western Equatorial Africa.
He commended the great men of God who piloted and were still piloting the affairs of the church for laying a solid foundation for the diocese.
'We appreciate most especially the immediate past bishop and our mentor, the Most Rev Dr Ephraim Adebola and Mrs Oluranti Ademowo, for being so dogged and spiritual.'
Olumakaiye who was elected the 8th bishop of Lagos Diocese in July 2018, said that upon his enthronement, he declared his mandate for the diocese as all were standing together in priestly, pastoral, prophetic, prayer and praise ministries.
'We also exist to glorify God, edify believers and multiply disciples for our Lord Jesus Christ,' he said.
Olumakaiye said in its bid to give something greater back to the next generation that will forever be cherished, the Lagos Diocese had decided to build a 2,000-plot Centenary City between Lekki-Ibeju-Epe axis of the state.
According to him, the proposed city would have empowerment and youth development centre, rehabilitation centre, games village and sporting centre. He added that the arena would have a convention ground that would accommodate 30,000 people, Garden of Gethsemane, retreat centre, St Luke's Global Hospital, women empowerment centre, resorts, an amusement park and low-income housing estate.
Olumakaiye hinted that activities lined up for the centenary anniversary included children's camp, 21-day memorial anniversary, fasting, mega prayer, convocation, choir festival/competition, bishop's cup/football competition, health walk, gallery and Lagos City-wide unity crusade.
Others are cultural day, anniversary lecture, a festival of faith, thanksgiving, gala nite/celebration of heroes and legends of the diocese and thanksgiving, synod and unveiling of centenary logo, among others. These will run from January- December 2019.
The cleric assured that the diocese would continue to impact the society and influence Nigeria for good.
He prayed that the forthcoming elections in Nigeria would be peaceful and that credible leaders would be elected.
'Meanwhile, we are not endorsing any candidate; rather people should vote for those who will make the country better,' he said.