PIONEERING BISHOP OF UGHELLI DIOCESE RETIRES

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 26, 2010

PIONEERING BISHOP OF UGHELLI DIOCESE RETIRES

BY

GABRIEL KPAGBAN

The pioneering Bishop of Ughelli Diocese, Rt. Rev. Vincent Omasheho Muoghereh has retired. He was Bishop of the Diocese from 1998 when the Diocese was inaugurated to 16th of December 2010, the year of his statutory retirement which co-incidentally was his 70th birthday.

Among the activities earmarked for the retirement week was the Holy Communion Service/Send off party organized by the Diocese in his honour at the All Saints Cathedral, Ughelli. The service afforded the Bishop the opportunity to thank God for the grace received for a successful tenure in office. He also expressed gratitude to all for the co-operation he received from members of the diocese while in office.

Preaching the sermon during the Communion service, the Primate of all Nigeria, the Most. Revd. Nicholas D. Okoh appreciated the cleric and his wife for all that God enabled them to achieve in the course of their episcopacy. He challenged the congregation not to forget this man of God after his retirement. A reception was later held for him at the Ruth Iwe Hall, Ovwodaware, Ughelli.

Another highlight of the retirement was the book launch on 11th of December also at Ruth Iwe Hall. The book was the work of 10 editors who had studied the Bishop closely, both as a teacher (school principal) and a Bishop. The book was titled “BISHOP MUOGHEREH AN ADMINISTRATOR PER EXCELLENCE; ALLIAS OYIBOBIEBI (THE BLACK ENGLISH MAN)”.

While reviewing the book, Ven. O.D. Edjere said to the crowd that the book could also be regarded as an autobiography because the chapter one contains the account of his childhood written to when he was made provost of the St. Andrew’s Cathedral, Warri, it was written by the Bishop himself.

The leadership style of Bishop Muoghereh was unique in that he was focused as a result his reign was throughout associated with peace and landmark achievements. The Diocese of Ughelli enjoyed peace and tremendous growth during his Bishopric. The Bishopscourt was extended and it became the envy of other Dioceses.

At the inception of the Diocese, there were three Archdeaconries, but by 2010 the number has increased to 16 (the cathedral and All Saints chapel D.S.C inclusive). There was also a great increase in the numerical strength from 23,961 members in 1998 to 33,325 in 2010. This was possible as a result of the aggressive evangelism in which he involved the diocese.

In another occasion, the old boys of James Welch Grammar School, Emevor his alma-mater, gathered at the Ibru International Ecumenical Centre Agbarha-Otor on Saturday 18th December to celebrate this great man of God for his landmark achievements as a principal and as a Bishop. They were particularly delighted that the Bishop did not drag the image of their school to the mud, but rather he lifted the flag of the school high as an old boy. Some of the eminent clerics who graced the occasion were Rev. Canon Ozako (rtd) who was his teacher at the school and Rev. Canon Kolo (rtd).

Other activities in honour of the Bishop were a novelty match by Girls’ Guild and Girls Brigade of the Diocese, a cultural day and a praise day by all the evangelical groups in the Diocese.

Bishop Muoghereh and his wife Blessing is a couple that the Diocese and indeed, the Church of Nigeria will not forget in a hurry. The meticulousness, calmness, orderliness, love and concern for the downtrodden, and their pursuance of peace at all times are traits that will continually attract people to them even in retirement. We wish them a happy retirement life.

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