SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2012.
CELEBRATING GOD’S SERVANT, NWAOBIA, AT 50
“Rejoice with them that do rejoice” -Romans 12:15 (a).
IN line with Biblical admonition, we at the Ibru Centre rejoice with Rt Rev. Isaac Chijioke Nwaobia, who turned 50, yesterday.
He was born on November 10, 1962 to Maxi and Lolo Silas Erondu of Amaku Nvosi in Isiala-Ngwa North Local Government Area of Abia State.
This man of God started his ministerial journey on September 1, 1982, in the then Aba Diocese. Not long afterwards, he found favour in the sight of his superiors; these recommended him for further training into the Priesthood.
Rt Rev. Prof. Augustine Iwuagwu, Bishop at the time, insisted that persons to be ordained must receive good theological education. As a result, Isaac was admitted in 1985 into the famous Trinity Theological College, Umuahia. At the end of his training, he bagged a Diploma in Theology (DipTh.) and Diploma in Religious Studies from the University of Calabar.
Nwaobia was aware that ‘no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron’ (Heb. 5v4). To the glory of God, he was made a Deacon on June 24, 1988 and a Priest on July 2, 1989.
A lover of education, he enrolled for his B.A. at Immanuel College of Theology, Ibadan and MSc in Social Works at the University of Ibadan. During this time, he came in contact with a seasoned Bishop, Rt Rev. G. I. O. Olajide, who in no small measure, impacted positively on his ministry.
Interested in communicating truth of the gospel through the media, he had a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism, courtesy of Daily Times Nigeria. To consolidate his academic pursuit, he also obtained a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Communication from Ashland University, Ohio, USA.
The Bible says: “Promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another” -Ps. 75v6-7. Isaac Nwaobia was preferred Canon by Bishop Augustine Iwuagwu on January 2, 1998, while Bishop Ugochukwu Ezuoke collated him an Archdeacon on December 29, 2005.
Bishop Nwaobia is gifted in youth work, evangelism and church planting. And these have taken him to several places within and outside the Diocese. Thanks to his formative years at Anglican Grammar School, Nbawsi. He recalls with nostalgia how Morning Assembly at the school immensely contributed to his spiritual growth.
Providence smiled on him when he was elected on January 5, 2007, as the foundation Bishop of Isiala-Ngwa South Diocese. At inception of the Diocese, he inherited 17 priests. Today, he has 44. To his credit also, he has performed well in Agriculture, Education (established mission schools), built a business complex secretariat, Bishop’s court and a guesthouse, among others.
While there are challenges such as having a befitting Cathedral, updating the workforce to respond to modern demands and planting of new churches, yet, the Bishop and his wife, Mama Isiala-Ngwa South, Mrs. Njideka Nwaobia, need to be commended for laying a solid foundation, within a short time.
Mama Isiala-Ngwa South, particularly, has been a real partner to her husband in the ministry. Through the women’s department, the Bishop’s office was fenced; some buses were bought for official use of the Diocese and an annual care programme for widows was instituted.
This agrees with the scripture: “pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world’ – James 1v27.
The Bishop and his wife are blessed with godly children.
Bishop Chijioke Nwaobia is a gift to the young Diocese of Isiala-Ngwa South. And so, today, Sunday, November 12, 2012, we join men and women of goodwill in a special thanksgiving service at his Saint Peter’s Cathedral, Owerrinta, to thank God for his golden celebration.
My lord, I wish you more years to your Episcopacy.Ven. Ernest Onuoha Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre, Agbarha-Otor, Delta State.