All Saints Cathedral Ughelli, Delta State, was agog, last Sunday, as the Bishop of Ughelli and Archbishop of Bendel Province, Most Rev. (Dr.) Cyril Odutemu and his wife, Ufuoma, gathered relatives, friends, and well-wishers, including about 40 Bishops and Archbishops, Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, and traditional rulers, to celebrate his 10 years of consecration as a Bishop and the recent presentation as the Archbishop of Bendel Province in a Holy Communion Thanksgiving Service, presided over by the Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Henry Ndukuba.
The primate, who took his text from John 21:1-7, reminded Archbishop Odutemu that his elevation as an Archbishop at such a young age could only be by God’s mercy.
He noted that when Peter influenced six other disciples to follow him to fish, their efforts were futile until the Lord appeared and changed their situation.
He stressed that leadership is a gift from God and a sacred trust, which is also time-bound, and urged the new Archbishop to use his position to positively influence God’s people.
Ndukuba said by virtue of his office, Odutemu is placed to control the four power points of church worship, namely, Lectern, for the reading and teaching of the Word of God; Pulpit for the proclamation of the Word; Reading Desk for leading the people’s prayers and the Altar for the celebration of God’s blessings. He asked him to ensure that these are effectively harnessed and utilised.
The Bishop of Abuja urged Odutemu to mortify themself and devote his life to accomplishing God’s purpose.
He said: “My brother, press unto the mark. Avoid distractions. Never think that you have arrived. God wants you to feed His lamb.”
While enjoining the people not to allow the challenges of the world to lead them away from the Lord, Ndukuba commended the Delta State Governor, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, a committed Anglican, for his commitment in executing people-oriented projects, particularly in riverine areas.
Addressing the congregation later, the governor, who read the Old Testament lesson earlier, promised to construct the bridge to Archbishop Odutemu’s community, Orere, as requested by the Archbishop.
The event also witnessed the dedication of two marble Bishop’s seats at the sanctuary performed by Primate Ndukuba.