By Coleman Anaele
It was a delightful moment for both the Udeh family/Ubowalla village in particular and the entire Emekuku Community in Owerri North LGA when on September 30,2023 the founder of The Redeemed Reconciliation Church of God Inc. Most Rev. Reginald Osonwa Udeh elevated and consecrated from being a Bishop to an ArchBishop in the Pentecostal Ministeries by the Prelate, His Eminence, Prof.Chiemela Anuzu Nwosu, under the Apostolic Bishops and Gospel Ministers Network International which brought in attendance Christian faithful, clerics of various denominations, as well as government representatives, traditional rulers, creme de la creme to the event held at his family compound in Ubowalla Emekuku in Owerri North LGA of Imo State.
Bishop Udeh’s episcopal elevation to an ArchBishop made him the first Emekuku indigine to have attained such position in the Pentecostal Christiandom. While His Grace, Most Rev. AJV Obinna rtd. was the first Emekuku Catholic born ArchBishop of Roman Catholic Ecclesiastical province of Owerri Diocese.
The guests were delighted to learn that Emekuku which played host and received strangers and visitors, including paving the way for the early foreign missionaries to establish the first Catholic church in Emekuku had the land blessed and consecrated that have produced great men and women in wealth and in riches till the present time.
The consecration of Bishop Udeh as an Archbishop , PhD holder was done inside his chapel conducted by the Prelate behind the public glance as the tradition,though witnessed by a few selected persons, and he was thereafter led back to the arena where he acknowledged cheers from the crowd.
The Prelate, His Eminence, Prof. Chiemela Nwosu, delivering his homily, spoke on the attributes that qualifies one who is desiring for the office of a Bishop, while citing the Holy Scripture according to First Timothy, Chapter 3 vs 1—7, to include; “A Bishop must be blameless, etc.
The Prelate summerized his sermon, when he recalled that, whoever seeks the office of a Bishop, but is not married has a big error. He emphatically said, such person is ‘fake’ because he went against the word of God.
He enjoined the people to embrace the words from the scripture ,to observe and to do them. He warned his audience to forego their church doctrines which may lead any one astray, but should be seen to observe and exercise the words of God according to the holy scripture.
On that premise, the Prelate enthused that, Bishop Udeh whom all have gathered to celebrate his
episcopal elevation to an ArchBishop has all the qualities to be elevated and consecrated.
The Prelate was assisted during the officiating by ArchBishop, Michael U. Ajala( Prelate) of Okigwe province and another clergy.
The Prelate,Prof Nwosu charged the new ArchBishop Udeh to always be on the path of truth, rely on the heavenly father, who only Him is able and capable to see him succeed; that His grace is sufficient for those that deligently worship him.
He warned the celebrant never to seek power from any other god or by any other means, except God who has all to give to humanity, that if he chooses to do otherwise, that the grace of God will depart from him and that will bring damnation , but prayed it will not be his portion.
The Prelate charged him to close the vacuum left by His Grace, ArchBishop AJV Obinna retired, who he remarked as the first Emekuku great son to have attained that echelon in the Catholic faith Ecclesiastical province of Owerri. While another Emekuku born has taken over from him, from the Pentecostal angle, in the person of Udeh, and noted that, it was a blessing come through.
Turning to the ArchBishop’s wife, Rev. Mrs Linda Ibiwari Udeh also elevated as a Bishop sameday charged her to sustain the virtues of a good mother as she lead the women in the fear of God.
The occasion also witessed the first episcopal assignment performed by ArchBishop Reginald Udeh, when he elevated two of his Ministers, Pastor Damian Opara as a Revered and his amiable wife, Evangelist ( Mrs) Florence Opara before the gathering.
Speaking on the event, the state Governor, dist. Sen. Hope Uzodimma duly represented by his Senior Special Adviser on Public Health, Dr. Anthony Ihedoro expressed happiness over the event, he commended the organisers of the programme, even as he charged ArchBishop Reginald Udeh not to allow the Gospel of salvation to to depart or go cold in his mouth so that the present generation could be saved. He urged him to be seeing to inspiring many for heavenly purpose by upholding the sanctity of faith for the healing of the land. He wished the celebrant sound health in abundance from above as he continue to journey on the vine yard of the Lord.
The medical expert and Governor’s aide, was enthused to say that,” Emekuku ancient community had and continue to be identified with good things.”
Earlier, the traditional Emekuku ancient kingdom ( Eze ukwu of Emekuku), HRH, Exe Obi Ejeshi who was the first caller to the event, while pouring ecomium on ArchBishop Udeh, said his new position in the Christian faith is a well deserved one.
Eze Obi Ejeshi Njoku recalled how Emekuku Ancient community had hitherto played host to so many strangers and visitors that dwelled in the community, starting from the early Christian missionaries who came to settle in the area and established the early Catholic Church, ochestrated by his I ate grand father, Amadi Obi Ejeshi who was a paramount Chief, and later reigned as the first Eze of Emekuku Ancient Kingdom.
He expressed joy that the community has produced great sons and daughters who excelled in their different disciplines, including producing the first Archbishop of the Catholic Church in the entire Ecclesiastical province of Owerri, in the person of His Grace, Most Rev. Dr. AJV Obinna who served meritoriously before he retired recently by handing over to a younger person. And noted that a similar scenario had played out as the first Archbishop of the Penticostal churches is an Emekuku son, in the person of Rev. Reginal Udeh whom we are witnessing his elevation/consecration today celebrated in his family compound.
“To me, it is a double blessing, because it is thesame God we are serving. ”
He urged him to use any medium he seems appropriate to convey the reorientation messages, while assisisting in championing course, caution them on their quest to acquire easy wealth through desperate means, and warned that, if the trend was not checked, it will mark a serious negative effect on the psyche of the youths who may inturn resort to all manner of vices against the society, starting with their immediate environments.
The royal father observed that most of the male youths in particular have forgone going to church to Worship on Sundays, instead they move about in the villages ,sneaking around seeking for where to smoke hard drugs and stong alcoholic substances.
He wished the celebrant who also served in public offices and retired as a permanent secretary, Minsitry of Budget, Economic Planning, and Statistics in the state, a success.
His royal counterpart, the traditional ruler of Azaraubo aut. community Emekuku, HRH, Eze Chris Nwamara( Eze udo 2), counselled the celebrant to use his wealth of experience in the vine yard of God to do the needful towards the entire community, by not compromising his faith with injustice or evil. He noted that his elevation was divine. And added that God uses man to perform the words of His counsel.
He enjoined the clergy to continue in prayers fervently as a Shephered, being the
only sacrifice he will make.
Meanwhile, it was a double celebration, when penultimate September 10,2023, something significant took place on the Sunday service at The Redeemed Reconciliation Church of God, Inc. Emekuku when a visiting foreign clergy from Texas, in United States of America, Bishop Clerk H
illuminated the spiritual enclave of Emekuku as he preached to the people during the Sunday church service that received him and members of his entourage. He summerized his homily on love of God while referring to St. John Gospel; chapter15 vs 5, that says;” Abide in me, and I abide in you.”
It was a call that called for renewal. He said, if God’s words abide in you, He can move in you and establish you.
He was later ordained an ArchBishop by the founder of the church, ArchBishop Reginald Udeh whom unknown to him, that his guest(Bishop Clark) had been confirmed already to be ordained an ArchBishop in Texas, United State in view.
The revelation generated a mixed feeling from the congregation and those who accompanied him to the church venue.
ArchBishop Clark was accorded the privilege of dedicating a child during the sunday service, and he was overwhelmed by such honour.
The Penticostal American clergy expressed joy and adopted Emekuku as his home in appreciation to their hospitality.
It was also reviewed that, ArchBishop who is concerned about the state of being in Nigeria and in particular the Eastern region will soon unveil his programme to the black race continent as his contribution to cushion the effect of hardship and hunger threatening the people.