History was made in the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion on September 4, 2005. It was the inauguration of Aguata Diocese, performed by the then Archbishop Metropolitan and Primate of All Nigeria, Most Reverend Peter Jasper Akinola CON.
Aguata Diocese, which started with five archdeaconries, inherited from the Old Awka Diocese, where it was carved out, has, at present, fifteen Archdeaconries. The pioneer Bishop of the diocese, the then Right Reverend Christian Efobi, who retired as Most Reverend on January 31, 2018, did his best in the diocese, which, today, is one of the fastest growing Dioceses in the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion.
The retirement of Most Reverend Efobi paved way for the enthronement of Right Reverend Samuel Chukwudi Ezeofor JP, Ph.D as the second Bishop of Aguata Diocese. He was translated from Ogbaru Diocese on April 3, 2018.
After his enthronement, Bishop Ezeofor held his first Diocesan Board meeting at the Cathedral Church of Saint John Ekwulobia, where he announced some reforms, created some committees and enlarged the number of the Diocesan legal team from four to nine. He equally elevated the Diocesan Media office to a directorate, thus, making the Diocesan Media officer a Director.
Bishop Ezeofor also set plans in motion for the building of an ultramodern Diocesan Secretariat, which was dedicated last year. Aguata Diocese can now boast of Gosife Micro Finance Bank, also dedicated Last year.
On Educational development, the All Saints Seminary Ekwulobia, Saint Mary the Virgin’s Convent, Ufuma, Saint Catherine’s Comprehensive Secondary School, Nanka, have been adequately equipped for enhanced teaching and learning. The Lampada Printing Press at Oko, the Diocesan Hospitals at Igboukwu, Umunze and its annex at Ogbunka are also receiving the Diocesan attention with qualified medical personnel.
Bishop Ezeofor, who hails from Oko and is currently the National Chairman of the Evangelical Fellowship in the Anglican Communion (EFAC) Nigeria, introduced series of Programmes that made the people to always be in touch with God. They include Worship and Word Conference, Fresh Grace From Above, Aguata Strategic Discipleship Movement Retreat, Porter’s Wheel, Barrach Night of Glory as well as Single And Sensible For Youths.
The Diocese plans to build a Diocesan retreat, pastoral and conference center at Ndikelionwu. Aguata Diocese has a Radio Programme on the Anambra Broadcasting Service (ABS) titled, Moment of Grace that comes up every Sunday by 5:30pm. To be in touch with the people in the Diaspora, Bishop Ezeofor set up Aguata Diocesan Diaspora commission, while another Commission was set up to take care of the Aged and old.
The Diocese has the Widows’ Commission to assist the poor, widows and the vulnerable, hence the introduction of Widows’ Day. There is also a special day, when birthday celebrations are organized for all those who have attained the age of 80 and above. There is a revolving interest-free loan for indigent women in the Diocese, aimed at assisting them to become self-reliant.
The Women Ministry, under the presidency of the Bishop’s Wife, Chinyere Hulda Ezeofor, JP (Nnechukwunyere), restructured the Lampada Water factory at Aguluezechukwu and the Garri Processing factory at Okpeze. The ministry empowered the women of the Diocese through skills acquisition programmes, including members of the Girls Guild.
As Aguata Diocese clocked sixteen years of its existence, it behooves the people of the Diocese at both home and in the diaspora to continue to contribute to its growth and development. Members of the Aguata Diocesan Council of Knights should remember that expectations are high on them in the continuous development of the church, likewise other groups in the Diocese.
No doubt, Bishop Samuel Ezeofor needs the support of all to take the diocese to Eldorado. Our prayer is that the Almighty God will continue to give him and his wife, Chinyere, more wisdom, strength and understanding as they shepherd the flock of Aguata Diocese.
Aguata Diocese – Lampada Christi!