By Oswald Agwu
An Ebonyi philanthropic pastor and General Overseer of Total Freedom in Christ Church, Reverend Joseph Nwanchonu, has been consecrated a Bishop.
The consecration and robing ceremony took place Tuesday, at the national headquarters of the Church, Ndufu Amegu in Ikwo Local government area of Ebonyi State.
The consecration was authorized by the World Kingdom Fresh Fire Ministries International, United State of America with the approval of the United Apostolic churches in Nigeria.
Performing the rites, the presiding Archbishop and General Overseer of Abundant Harvest World Outreach, Ikom, Cross River State, Noah Effiong, explained that ecclesiastical consecration brings about a change in one’s spiritual level.
He noted that the primary goal of the Organization, United Apostolic Churches, is to win souls, and charged the newly consecrated bishop to redouble his efforts in winning souls for Christ, especially in the hinterlands.
Effiong said: ” Consecration brings increase in the ministry. That will give you authority to go deeper into the villages to win more souls for the Lord.
“The emphasis is not for money, but for souls. And I believe as we have finished here, the land of Ikwo will never be the same.”
The consecrated bishop and his wife, Ndidiamaka Nwanchonu, who was also ordained a pastor at the event attributed the ecclesiastical elevation to the grace of God.
They said the mantle will spur them to commit their lives deeper into the service of God and care for humanity, appreciating members of his Church for their support and encouragement.
“What my people expect from me is more dedication and hard work, and by the grace of God, I will not disappoint them.
“I will continue to care for, not only the widows but every one the Lord brings on my way, men and women.
“You can see our yearly Christmas relief: wrappers, food items behind me, everyone here will benefit.
“But most importantly, I will redouble my preaching of the gospel; the message of salvation for genuine repentance in the land of Ikwo and beyond.”
Some of the congregants and beneficiaries of Nwanchonu’s philanthropy who spoke to newsmen, including Chinweike Nwoba, Jeremiah Nwalo and Mrs Bridget Obasi, prayed for God’s continued anointing and blessings upon him.
They observed that the office of a Bishop was quite demanding, and admonished the newly consecrated to uphold the virtues of honesty, dedication and a good family record as prescribed in the scriptures.
They praised Nwancho’s philanthropy and care for the downtrodden which they described as enviable.
Mrs Obasi summed: “In fact, I envy this man of God positively, and I wish to be like him because he is a great man.
“It is not easy to feed and clothe a multitude.
“The man of God and his wife have made so many impacts in the land of Ikwo and beyond.
“I have witnessed them buy a car for somebody this year, and they take care of the poor.”
The event featured distribution of Christmas packages to all guests and congregants, with special attention to the poor, orphans and widows.