The United Evangelical Church (UEC) in Cross River State (Founded as Qua Iboe Church) celebrated its Golden Jubilee 1965-2015 in Calabar. The Church leadership also spoke with select journalists on its journey and challenges so far as well as on a number of national issues.
Below, are excerpts of the interview with the General Secretary of the Church, Rev. A. S. J. Udoyen, as presented by Dianabasi Effiong:
What Does The Church Expect Of Our Leaders at All Levels Of Governance?
The Church had been so mandated by the Scriptures to pray for those in position of leadership and authority. The Church expects sincerity, honesty, justice and fair play from those in position of governance. The will be a shortfall of expectations from the Church if those in positions of authority fail in those direction. The Bible says, no one attains the throne except those ordained by God
Some People Are of the Opinion That the Federal Government’s Current Campaign against Corruption in Nigeria Is Partisan. What Direction Should The Fight Against Corruption Take?
For now the government in position is young and new. We appreciate what they have done so far to nib in the bud the excesses of corruption. At the level of the Church, we are praying. But, once again, there should be justice for all and sundry. There should be no partiality. No one appreciates corruption and we call on every Nigerian to shun corruption in all its ramifications.
On State of Road Network in Some Parts of Nigeria and Short Fall of Fuel Supply
These are all shortfall of the Church’s expectations of those in government. We have the resources, we have the man power but undue influences results from all these. We are calling on Government to make our refineries functional. Those in charge of distribution of fuel should be fair. Let the fuel be so distributed to also affect the common people positively. Government should affect lives and rehabilitates all bad roads in Nigeria including the dilapidated roads in Cross River and Akwa Ibom as well as Abia States. We are really affected by the bad roads. But we are sure that the Buhari administration will address the situation.
Earlier In his homily from the theme of the anniversary: “The God Of all Grace’’, Rev. A.S.J Udoyen, General Secretary, UEC, said that the Church has come of Golden Age in Cross River State.
He said that golden age signifies a period of greatness, adding that by coming thus far members of the church ought to realise that “God is for you, with you and lives within you’’.
Reading from the book of 1 Peter 5 verse 10, Udoyen also said that although suffering, Christianity and Christian faith are interwoven, suffering is surmountable.
“The Cross precedes the Crown. Sufferings are surmountable. It cannot be seen as permanent otherwise there will be no redemption and salvation through Christ our Lord,’’ he said.
Also reading from the Bible’s book of Ecclesiastes nine at the eight verse, Udoyen said that a number of things were required of Christians to justify their calling.
“Your garment determines the kind of person you are. The garment of your life must be white anywhere you are.
“ What kind of garment are you wearing – black, white, pure or impure? Whiteness signifies righteousness.
“Yes, you have come of age as an organisation, but how many of you can do the lord’s willing; who are you before the lord; are you born again; and are you imbued with the fear of God?
“ If you are born again, you become the anointed with God; you need to have a divine connection. Let your garment be always white and let your head lack no ointment,’’ he said.
In an address Rev. Gabriel Oton, Chairman of the Joint Elders Session of the Church, said that the work of the gospel of Christ in the past 50 years in the state could best be described as “a war fare’’.
“But we are encouraged to strive through the storms of life in service for the Kingdom of God until we are perfected, established and settled both here and when His final glory will manifest.
“God himself had to revisit this land through the ministry and seed of the gospel preached by Samuel Bill. Exactly 78 years after Bill landed in Calabar from Belfast on his way to Ibeno, Qua Iboe Church was planted in Calabar in 1965
“We see more doors opened up for evangelism and discipleship to depopulate hell and populate heaven and subsequently prepare souls for the soon coming King Jesus Christ,’’ he said.
The 5-Day anniversary celebration came to a close on Nov. 29 with the rededication of the churches in the state by Rev. C.U. Emelogu, Chairman of Church Conference, UEC, as well as the cutting of anniversary cake.
All the activities were conducted at the UEC auditorium, Mbukpa, Calabar Township Superintendency.