Sunday, November 18, 2018 7:51 pm
The Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Revered Nicholas Okoh has consecrated Ven. Godfrey Ifeanyichukwu Ekpenisi, a First Class Graduate of Christian Religious Studies from the University of Abuja as Bishop, Diocese of Ika, ecclesiastical province of Bendel in present day Delta State.
Bishop Ekpenisi who was consecrated alongside two other bishops at an impressive service at St. Bartholomew’s Cathedral Church, Kubwa, was elected Bishop during the Episcopal Synod of the Church held in September at the Cathedral Church of St. Peter, Minna, Niger State.
Okoh in his sermon enjoined Bishop Ekpenisi and others to be apostles to proclaim Christ’s resurrection and interpret the gospel, and testify to Christ’s sovereignty as Lord of lords and King of kings.
“You are called to be the guard of the faith, unity and the discipline of the church, to celebrate and to provide for the administration of the Sacraments of the new covenant, to ordain Priests and Deacons.’’
The primate, who prayed for the new Bishops, asked God to “fill them with the grace and power which you gave to your apostles that they may lead those committed to their charge in proclaiming the gospel of salvation.
Responding on behalf of the newly-consecrated bishops, Ekpenisi, said “Anglicanism is growing for several reasons. One of them is that many people are looking for a church where they may feel calm, happy, and where the gospel is preached, and apparently the church of Nigeria has that face for many people today.”
He expressed gratitude to the Lord and the Church: “For me it is a call to service, to be a minister serving people who serve people,” he said. Describing the call of God, he said “God’s call is always definite and many times when He calls someone He ‘strips’ the person bare.
Born on the 26th of January, 1969 at Agbor in Ika South Local Government Area of Delta State, Ekpenisi, until his appointment and subsequent consecration as Bishop, served as Vicar and Parish Priest Anglican Church of the Pentecost, Mabushi, and Diocese of Abuja.
He started his primary education in 1974 at Ogbe-Olie Primary School, Asaba and continued until 1979 when he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate (FSLC). He then proceeded to St. Patrick’s College, Asaba for his secondary education and got his West African Secondary School Certificate (WASSCE) in 1984. In 1985, Ven. Godfrey Ekpenisi was admitted into St Thomas’s Teacher’s Training College, Ibusa, Delta State for Teachers Grade II Certificate. He graduated top in the class in 1987.
Between 1991 and 1994, Bishop Ekpenisi studied Mathematics at the College of Education, Agbor where he emerged the overall best graduating student in 1994, winning both the Rector’s Award, School of Science Award and Mathematics Department Award as best Graduating Student.
He bagged a Second Class Science Education Degree in Mathematics in 1997 and Masters in Educational Studies & Management (M.Ed) in 2014 from the University of Benin, Benin City as well as a Post Ordination Degree in Christian Religious Studies in 2014.
Bishop Ekpenisi is a member of Nigerian Union of Teachers and also registered with Teacher’s Registration Council of Nigeria. He has several publications and books to his credit among which are; “The Girl Child – Pretty, Pure and Precious” and “Flames of Fresh Fire”.
He got married to Mrs. Evelyn Nkemdilim Ekpenisi in 2002, a School Teacher and the marriage is blessed with three children.
Commenting earlier on his elevation, Delta State Governor, Dr. IfeanyiOkowa applaudedEkpenisi’s emergence, after a highly competitive selection process, but said he wasn’t surprised at his rise to occupy the exalted office, adding the Bishop made an indelible mark as the first student in the history of the University of Abuja to graduate with First Class Honour in the Department of Philosophy and Religions.
“With your resounding intellect, great pastoral zeal and compassion, you have over the years risen above board by preaching the word of faith towards repentance. “It is our prayer that, in your new position, God will use you to counsel and move the entire Ika Diocese, Anglican Communion in the direction in which you have been ordained to lead,’’ he said.