by Patricia Onu
The Diocese of Nnewi Anglican Communion had on Saturday sent forth Ven. Dr. Godwin Agba, the administrative secretary of the diocese, who just retired from active service in the Lord’s vineyard after 46 years.
The retirement/Thanksgiving service for Venerable Dr. Godwin Egbunam Agba (JP)(NPA) commenced at exactly 12:00pm at St. Mark’s Anglican church, Nnewich Nnewi.
Some of the dignitaries that graced the Thanksgiving service were: His Grace, The Most Revd. Prof. Godwin I. N Okpara (JP, OON) (Archbishop, Province of The Niger and Bishop, Diocese of Nnewi) and his wife, Mrs. Eugenia N. Okpara (JP, Nnebuife), The staff of the Nnewi Diocesan Hospital (Akwudo), Members of The Council fo Knight (Diocese of Nnewi), Members of The Vigilante Group of Nigeria (V.G.N) South East zonal intelligent command under the leadership of Hon. Amb. Eleodimuo .C. Godwin, Staff of the bishop’s court, Hon. Justice Frank Nwizu, Igwe K. ON. Orizu III (Igwe Nnewi), Ezira Town Union (Nnewi Branch) amongst others.
The Arch Bishop started his speech with a reminiscence of his early encounters with the Venerable. In his speech, he said,
“I got to know Ven. Godwin in the year 1980 at Onitsha, where he was a vibrant catechist. We lost contact when I was transferred, but after two years (1982), I saw him again during his priestly ordination
“After establishing friendship with him, I advised him to try out the clergy work, which he accepted”.
The Arch Bishop emphasized on how unkempt he looked at the time. He went on to say that,
“Venerable wasn’t born with a silver spoon; he is a struggling man and a self-made man. By 1980, his life was filled with struggles but thank God who later vindicated him”.
With reference to the Venerable’s story, the Arch Bishop advised the congregation that, “challenges must come but one must surmount it”.
The Arch Bishop also appreciated the works of the Venerable throughout his administration service as an Archdeacon. He ended his speech with a rendition of Psalm 110.
In his appreciation speech, Ven. Godwin Agba expressed his profound gratitude to all that came out to celebrate with him. He said,
“I have faced so many challenges in my life. There is never a time in my life that I would believe that dignitaries like these would one day honor me, a lowly me from nowhere but a very thick village, I will forever be grateful. God bless you all”.
The Venerable also appreciated the bishop for always being there for him.
To show their love and support to the Venerable and his wife, all and sundry at the service presented them with gifts while the Venerable gave out souvenirs in appreciation.
Speaking to ANAEDOONLINE on his retirement, Ven. Agba described his life in the service of the church as a journey fulfilled, stating that retirement from church work or ministration gives him joy as it will enable him reflect on his 46 years of ministration in God’s ministry.
He disclosed that he would go into agriculture which he has been doing on a small scale. He further commended Arch Bishop Godwin Okpala, whom according to him fathered him like the biblical Eli. He was also appreciative of his fellow clergy men and his parishioners for their support throughout his ministry, even as he appealed to all he has offended in one way or another to forgive him.