Professor Oladapo Asaju, the Diocesan Bishop and Chief Missioner of Diocese of Ilesa Anglican Communion recently made history as he convened the first of its type maiden convention and thanksgiving services for the four Anglican Dioceses in Ijesaland.
The convention which was held on Monday December 26, 2022 at his St. John’s Cathedral, Iloro, Ilesa was held in conjunction with other dioceses of Ilesa South West, Omofe, Ijesa North East, Ipetu Ijesa, and Ijesa North Dioceses, Ijebu Jesa.
The convention brought together the presiding Bishops of the old Ilesa Diocese which was later divided into four. These were Rt. Rev. S.O. Egbebunmi of Ilesa South West, Omofe, The Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph A.F. Olusola from Ijesa North East Ipetu Ijesa, The Rt. Rev’d Dr. Isaac Iwabiolorun Oluyamo from Ijesa North Diocese Ijebu Jesa in a holy reunion service.
It could be noted that some of these dioceses had been involved in feuds with one another which had been affecting the progresses expected to be made of them.
In his vote of thanks message at the convention, tagged A New Dawn in Ijesaland, the chairman of the convention committee Prince Oluseyi Lufadeju recalled the ugly effect and the disappointment brought about by the events of the recent pasts and relationship among the dioceses.
“Our forefathers and fathers left behind a propsperous and united Anglican communion for us to manage and Ijesalans led the way in terms of strength, dynamism, discipline, faithfulness, and commitment to the works of the lord.
(But) We are witnesses to the fact that events of the recent past years were nothing to write home about. With the creation of new dioceses, disunity, fear of association, open conflicts set in, in our community, (that) even priests could not freely interact with themselves.
The creation of new dioceses which we thought would bring rapid progress and development eventually brought disunity and disaffection for a period of 13 years.
He was however grateful to God for, “We have consigned those ones into history and we are now freely back to our source. The Diocese of Ilesa, Our Sweet Mother.
The convention had The Most Rev’d Dr. Ephraim Adebola Ademowo, Dean Emeritus and Erstwhile Diocesan Bishop of Lagos as the Guest Preachers and The Most Rev’d Abiodun Taiwo Olaoye, Archbishop of Ibadan Ecclesiastical Province as Guest.
The Convention service featured the regular Anglican Communion tradition of praise and Worship by Ijesa Anglican Combined Praise Team, Holy Communion Service, rendition from the hymnals, Sermon by Archbishop Ademowo, and it was rounded off with thanksgiving session of the dioceses one after the other.
The Chairman of the convention committee disclosed that the convention would be an annual affair with Omofe hosting in December 2023, Ijebu Jesa in 2024 and Ipetu Ijesa in 2025.
He did not conclude his votes of thanks without listing his expectations from the reunion convention which he said would be to “Strengthen Ijesa Anglican Youth Activies, promote Ijesa Anglican Evangelism, Fight For Ijesa Anglican Rural Anglican Development, Create Joint Prayer Conventions and Worships and to be continually united in promoting the Kingdom of God.”
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