By Leo Okachie
Uturu (Abia), March 13, 2019
The Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr. Samuel Uche, on Wednesday inaugurated the new Diocese of Uturu, carved out from the Archdiocese of Okigwe.
The prelate also enthroned Rev. Best Okike as the pioneer bishop of the diocese, which has four circuits.
In his sermon at the solemn event, Uche said that “the essence of creating the new diocese is to bring the word of God closer to the people.
Speaking on the theme: “The knowledge of the word of God, key to successful and undented Christian life,” he charged Okike to hold firmly to the word of God in order to excel in his new assignment.
He said: “We should feed on the word of God so that we may grow into salvation.
“An overdose of the word of God makes you a member of the Kingdom of God,” he said, adding, “The word of God is key to success, key to grow in the things of God.”
The prelate said that it was possible for Jesus Christ to overcome satan thrice during his temptation in the wilderness “because He knew the word and lived by the word.”
According to him, “Jesus internalised, appropriated and made use of the word of God as His guide.”
“The devil has tempted men of God. Resist the devil and it will flee. As a child of God, if you do not have the word of God, you will fall astray,” the cleric said.
He further charged Okike to lead the diocese by example, saying, “you should be part of every night vigil, crusade and evangelism by members of your congregation.”
He also admonished the body of priests to distinguish themselves in their respective assignments, saying that “now promotion in the church is by performance and merit not age of priesthood.”
In his response, the new bishop expressed profound appreciation to the prelate for granting the age-long desire of the Uturu community for its own diocese.
Okike solicited the support and encouragement of the entire sons and daughters of the area to build the diocese in line with the dreams of its founding fathers.
Other highlights of the colourful ceremony was the formal presentation of Mr Macmillian Ikpo as the Diocesan Lay President and dedication of the diocesan officers.
There was also a mini fundraiser for the Diocesan Cathedral building still under construction at Ukwunwangwu Uturu in Isuikwuato Local Government Area of Abia..
The event was attended by the former Chief of Army Staff, retired Lt.-Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, former Military Administrator of Cross River, retired Navy Capt. Christopher Osondu, Second Republic Governor of old Anambra state, Chief Jim Nwobodo, amongst other prominent Nigerians.