The Chapel of His Resurrection ESUT-TH, Park lane, GRA, Enugu, was inaugurated on Sunday 5th September, 2004, by the Lord Bishop of Enugu Diocese, (then) Rt. Rev. Dr. E.O Chukwuma (OON). The first service was held at the School of Nursing basement which served as the worship venue for some months. The Chapel, for varied reasons, including possible joint use of the venue, moved into a smaller School of Nursing classroom.
By mid 2005, with an average attendance of about seventy to ninety persons, the narrow School of Nursing classroom had become inadequate and the school authorities also suddenly converted this worship venue to a library. The church moved into a larger School of Nursing classroom for one week. Thankfully, by the mercies of God and in response to an application for an enhanced space, a more spacious accommodation at the pre-clinical classroom of ESUT Medical School was provided by the (then) Provost of the College of Medicine Prof. Mrs. Nene Obianyo. This served as the place of worship until mid 2008.
Miraculously, following the dogged determination of the Lord Bishop, and the dutiful follow-up assistance of his chaplain then, Rev. Emeka Akalazu,with the prodding of the chaplain, a parcel of land was approved for the Chapel permanent site within the ESUT College of Medicine section of Park lane by the state Governor, in January 2007. The allocation authority paper was issued to the Diocese in February 2007, after due process – including town planning and survey details. The Lord Bishop graciously performed the foundation laying ceremony of the 800 – capacity Chapel site on Ash Wednesday, February 21, 2007, and construction work on the site commenced on March 1, 2007.
To the glory of God, on Sunday 19th October 2008, (St Luke’s Day) 20 months after, this chapel was dedicated by (then) Rt. Rev. E.O Chukwuma (OON) the Bishop of Enugu Diocese. The construction had cost a total sum of over =N= 40 million with about =N= 6 million coming from the Diocese and =N=3 million donation of the aluminium roofing. About 75% of this amount had come from the congregation largely made up of students, without any launching or distribution of appeal envelopes.
Since then, by God’s enablement, the chapel has continued to make strides in the area of infrastructure development of the church building and its environment. Soon after the dedication of the chapel in 2008, the construction of the drainage around the chapel and landscaping of the environment commenced. The completion, by early 2010, gave the chapel a neater environment and an accessible entrance.
PIX Chapel Dedication
THE CHILDREN’S WORSHIP HALL
The children used the gallery of the chapel as their worship venue after the Chapel was dedicated, while adults worshiped in the main hall of the same building. This posed a serious challenge especially during the praise and worship sessions. Initial efforts to construct a Children’s worship Hall beside the Chapel building were met with opposition by some interest groups. In answers to prayers, in March 2011, the chapel embarked on the erection of a Children Worship Hall within the premises of the Chapel ground, to accommodate a population of about 150 Children. The Lord supplied the resources needed. On October 3, 2011 on Samuel Ajayi Crowther Day, during an evening service programme, the newly constructed children’s worship hall of the Chapel was formally dedicated by the Bishop.
PIX Children’s Hall Dedication
It was not only in building physical structures that the Lord has helped the Chapel. In June and September 2012, respectively, (with increasing evangelistic thrusts and outreaches), the Lord through two anonymous donors, gave two buses to the Chapel viz: a 14-seater Hyundai bus and a Peugeot Boxer.
The 2013 Annual Harvest and 9th Anniversary Celebration, on September 1, also witnessed the donation of a brand new 14-seater bus (Foton) by another family. The Peugeot Boxer was later disposed off due to difficulty in maintenance. These vehicles have been of immense support in the various outreaches of the Chapel and other services wherein they have been deployed.
In the first quarter of 2013, a family donated a marble pulpit to the Chapel, while yet another family donated a marble lectern. A second marble lectern was donated in honour of late Dr. D.U Onyia (the pioneer Pastor’s Warden of the Chapel), by his classmates. The Lord reward the generousity of these donors towards His work.
Many other acquisitions have come to the Chapel through the sacrificial giving of the men and women fellowships, as well as various student groups in the Chapel. These include a flat screen 42” Samsung TV for the Children in June 2013, a 10KVA generating set in September 2013, a water dispenser, musical instruments etc. All these have contributed in no small measure to making the worship services very uplifting.
After the inauguration of the chapel, the congregation initially consisted occasionally of the resident Pastor’s family and a few others (less than 10 members). As the church labours in evangelism and prayers, we have witnessed a steady growth in the number of worshipers which consist of patients, patients’ relations, staff of the hospital, students of medical, nursing and midwifery schools as well as other interested worshippers from the immediate neighbourhood of the hospital and beyond.
It is significant to note that each year the Lord has exceeded the targeted number of worshippers in answer to prayers. From a congregation of one hundred (100) worshippers in the first year to about seven hundred and twenty five (adult and children) in 2013 and a target of 1000 in 2014, the church has continued to grow. Evangelism remains the primary means of her numerical increase, and the main task of the church.
RELEVANCE TO OUR ENVIRONMENT
The Chapel was established to further the Enugu diocesan three prolonged holistic approach to evangelism, namely: preaching of the gospel, education development and healing. Her focus, under God, has been to be a centre for dissemination of unalloyed word of God, revival and healing, as well as proving the resurrection power of our Lord Jesus Christ in soul winning. This is to touch lives-both the physically sick and the whole – irrespective of denominational bias.
To this end, the Chapel has remained consistent with Ward and Vicinity evangelism. From the initial arrangement of rotating the wards monthly, the ward evangelism now covers all the wards during the monthly exercise. This is as a result of increasing commitment and joy experienced by the participants. During such visits to the wards, the word of God is shared and prayers (with laying of hands) made for the patients. Each patient is also given toiletries to assist in meeting their basic needs. The response has continued to be overwhelming with more than 70% of the patients and their relatives responding to the message of salvation and many getting discharged with dispatch.
Vicinity evangelism around the Chapel neighbourhood and Zonal evangelistic programmes round the city have continued to yield harvest of souls. The movement of medical students to the teaching hospital in the early years of the Chapel encouraged more aggressive evangelism. This involves weekly ward service invitations, yearly outreaches to the medical and nursing students. Special Sundays are also deployed as medical students, nursing students, doctors and children’s days in the church service programmes as evangelistic services. Thus the church has consistently saturated our Jerusalem with the preaching of the word of God, giving many the opportunity to make a decision about the Lord Jesus.
The Chapel had to establish welfare programme to enable her meet the needs of indigent students and patients in areas of concern such as school fees, feeding money, patients medical bills and upkeep etc. The indigency support programme of the Chapel also focuses on reaching out to the welfare of the members on issues that require special intervention. Bereaved members also have received attention ranging from visitation, counseling, financial and material assistance.
From the second quarter of 2011, the Chapel consistently maintained a yearly support to mission agencies whose core goals are evangelism oriented where she cannot be directly involved. Some of the agencies that have benefited include-
Nigeria Fellowship of Evangelical Students (NIFES) ,Calvary Ministries (CAPRO) Christian Missionary Foundation (CMF), Teenagers Outreach Ministry (TOM) ,Acts Theatre Light on the Hill Evangelistic Ministry (LOHEM), Millions for Christ, All Nations for Christ Liberation Ministries, Chinad Evangelistic Ministry,Peace House Labours: as well as some churches and ministers of the gospel, among others.
RURAL OUTREACHES AND SYSTEMATIC CHURCH PLANTING
One of the cardinal goals of the Chapel is to be an epicenter of revival and reaching out to souls- a project very dear to the heart of God. Thus soon after the dedication of the Chapel in 2008, the outreach committee was constituted under the chairmanship of Mr. Damian Duruewuru.
Amagu Ugbawka: Church and Vicrage:
After the initial survey of possible places of outreach-with emphasis on areas where the gospel had not penetrated much, the church went into Amagu Ugbawka in Nkanu East LGA, of Enugu State. The church went with the gospel, medical outreach and gifts of clothing. After the first outreach in February 2009, the church at Amagu Ugbawka was planted. She worshipped initially under canopies in a family compound, with Mr. Israel Eze as the church teacher. A consolidation outreach held in May 2009 further strengthened the church. By November 2010 the Chapel commenced the construction of a church building to save the worshippers from the vagaries of the weather.
Several visits were made by the various groups in the Chapel to encourage the brethren at Ugbawka. One of the most memorable was the visit by women fellowship in December 2010 where over fifty women members of the Ugbawka Church received a new Nigerian wax wrapper each in a service laden with the word of God and rededication to Christ. The construction of the church building which commenced in November 2010 was completed in May 2011.
The Lord Bishop, (now Most Rev. Dr. E.O. Chukwuma) dedicated the Mount Olives Anglican Church Amagu Ugbawka, as it was christened, on June 4, 2011. The Lord supplied the eleven (11) million naira needed for the project without any launch, appeal or levy to anyone. With the progressive growth of the church numerically, it became necessary for a resident priest to be posted to the church. This necessitated the building of a vicarage for the priest. On Saturday March 24, 2012, the Lord Bishop graciously dedicated the three bedroom parsonage of Mount Olives Anglican Church.
PIX Ugbawka Church and Vicarage
Isiogbo Nara: Church and Vicarage:
After establishing the station at Ugbawka the Chapel was further motivated to reach out to other hinterland areas, where there was evident need for the gospel. Thus in January 2011, through the help of Mr. Isaac Nwaneri (a missionary engaged by the chapel), the outreach committee located Isiogbo Community in Nara, Nkanu West LGA as, a fertile ground for the gospel.
The first outreach was held on 18th February, 2011. The newly planted church was meeting in a primary school. A follow-up outreach was held in May 2011. In line with the vision of systematically discipling the congregation to growth in Christlikness, several follow up visits continued to the church. These visits included workers training, love feast, follow up visits and consolidation outreaches. All these helped to strengthen the faith of the new coverts.
The chapel again embarked on the construction of a modest place of worship at Isiogbo Nara. God, the matchless provider for all endeavours dear to his heart (i.e. winning souls for the Kingdom) miraculously- without appeals or owing a kobo to any quarter, raised eleven (11) million Naira for this building project.
The construction of the vicarage took off six months later, precisely on September 24, 2013.To enable the new priest posted and his family to settle in, the Lord Bishop dedicated the vicarage immediately on completion on December 19, 2013. It was a joyous occasion which recorded the presence of sixty two priests and one hundred and thirty indigenes of the village. The great provider has proved His word in time- tested tithes and freewill offerings of this largely student congregation and a number of supportive non-members for this work.
PIX Isiogbo Nara Church and Vicarage
Ime Ama Nomeh: Church Planting and Building
The church continued its surveillance to the hinterland to locate viable places for church planting. This time the outreach was to Ime Ama Nomeh in Nkanu West LGA, with a weekend outreach held from November 15-17, 2013. By Sunday, November 17, 2013 in a service officiated by Ven. Prof. S.O Ike, with fifty-six (56) indigenes in attendance, the Anglican Church at Ime Ama Nomeh was planted. Since there was no suitable public place like primary school, the church was located in a family compound, under canopies. The Chapel soon embarked on the construction of a worship place for the church at Ime Ama Nomeh.
After securing three plots of land, the construction of the church building commenced in March, 2014. As at date the building is virtually completed and ready for dedication, at the cost of thirteen million naira provided by the Lord of Harvest. The young congregation, under Bro. Mike Ezeude, as the church teacher, has been growing numerically and spiritually as the members continue to see the love of God at work. They average more than fifty (50) in attendances now.
Indeed, the Works Committee of the Chapel under Sir. Steve Okeke (then) and currently under Engr. Osita Ezeadi, has modeled faithfulness and dedication to God in all these construction works. May the Lord bless them abundantly.
LABOURERS IN THE VINEYARD
The Chapel upon inauguration was manned by then ordinand Dr. Sam Ike, a consultant Physician and Cardiologist at the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu.
After a stint at the Trinity Theological College, Umuahia, he was made a deacon on December 12, 2004, and was priested December 16, 2006, preferred a Statutory Canon in 2008; and an Archdeacon in 2011, by the Bishop of Enugu Diocese (now Most Rev. Dr. E.O Chukwuma OON). (Now) Ven. Prof. Sam Ike has continued, under God and at the Bishop’s discretion, to steer the affairs of the Chapel these past ten years.
Dr Uzochukwu Aniebue (a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist with UNTH, Enugu) and Dr Ifeanyi Onah (a Consultant Plastic Surgeon with National Orthopaedic Hospital Enugu) were posted to the Chapel, as ordinands, in July 2007. In December 2007, they were made deacons. They helped in no small measure to advance the evangelistic thrusts and welfare concerns of the chapel. While Rev. Dr. Onah was posted to the sister Chapel of Pentecost at the Federal Neuropsychiatry Hospital, Rev. Dr. Aniebue has remained at the Chapel. (Now) Rev. Prof. Aniebue was later priested in December 2009 and has continued to be a veritable instrument of God in ministering to the people.
The then Diocesan Hospital Chaplain, (then), Rev Canon Dr. Ernest Onwasigwe (later promoted to Professor of Ophthalmology in the University of Nigeria), was collated Archdeacon by the Lord Bishop (then) Rt. Rev. E.O Chukwuma (OON) in July 2007, He supervised the Hospital Chaplaincy Archdeaconry, including the Chapel with his amiable wife Prof. Mrs. Chika Onwasigwe.
Following the advent ordination on 15th December 2013, three doctors from the Chapel were made deacons. These include Rev. Dr. Chuks Ajare, Rev. Dr. Chukwudi Aniagor and Rev. Dr. Azubuike Okeke. Rev. Dr. Chukwudi Aniagor has, since March 2014, been posted to continue to serve at the chapel of Restoration (Old Site) UNTH, while Rev. Dr. Chuks Ajare and Rev. Dr. Azubuike Okeke have remained at the Chapel, to join in building up God’s people.
The Chaplains wives under the leadership of Mrs. Ruby Ike and assisted by Prof. (Mrs.) Nonye Aniebue, as well as Mrs. Chidinma Ajare and Mrs. Ozioma Okeke, have all thrown in their strength to the work. They render all possible support in areas including welfare, counseling, visitation and follow-up especially among women and the young people
Other ministers of the gospel in the chapel who join in building the spiritual life of the congregation include Venerable Sam Onuegbu (Rtd), Rev Goddy Ezeali (National Director Research/Resource Mobilization Scripture Union Nigeria) ,Rev Stanley David —Otimkpu Jesus;[ Leader All Nations for Christ Liberation Ministries.]
FELLOWSHIP UNITS AND ACTIVITY GROUPS
The Lord has also raised many committed labourers in the various units of the church. As some foundation members like Drs Chiazor Onyia, Daniel Oseji, Oge Egbuna and Kelechi Agunwa moved on, the Lord continued to raise other faithful hands in his service. In the various fellowship units, the baton of leadership has changed.
Mens’ Fellowship was led by Dr Okezie Mbadiwe at inception, in 2008, who handed over to Dr Emma Nwobi in 2011. Young Peoples Fellowship was led by then Miss Chinwe Duru in 2008. She handed over to Mr. Chukwudi Uzoechina in 2009 and Mr. Chinedu Aka Okeke took over in 2013. The Children Unit was overseen by then Miss Kelechi Agunwa. She later handed over to Mrs. Adokiye Onoka, who has been in charge, since 2012.
Apart from the fellowship Groups there are 23 other activity units leaders led by many committed members both now and in the past .These include the following:
1.Outreach Committee: Damian Duruewuru
- Revival Prayer Unit: Miss Udoka Ilechukwu—2005-2009 ; Mr Hyacinth .N Azuike 2009-2012; Mr Obinna Okpaleke 2012-2013; Dr Okezie Mbadiwe 2013- Date
3.Choir : (Then) Dr Chinyere Maduechesi 2005-2006; Mr Emeka Neboh 2006-Date
4.Follow-Up Unit: Miss Amaka Okafor 2004-2006; Mrs Nonye Obianuko 2006- Date
- Equipment Unit: Mr Ikenna Ngene 2004-2010; Engr Chidi Nweke 2010-Date
6.Ward Evangelism/Ward Inviters : Dr Chiazo Onyia 2005-2008 ;Engr Ogoo Nwankwo 2008-2013; Dr Nonso Ezomike 2013- Date
7..First Timers Unit: Dr Mrs Nkiru Mbadiwe
8.Finance/Money Counters : Mrs Ruth Uzor2004-2007; Mr Willy Okafor 2007-Date
9.Ushers(Pastors Wardens): Late Dr D .U Onyia 2004-2009; (Then) Dr Azubuike Okeke 2009-2013 ; Engr Ogoo Nwankwo 2013- Date
10.Inventory Unit: Mrs Oge Egbuna 2004-2013; Miss Ebere Ogbodo 2013- Date
11.Bible Study : Dr Chuks Ajare 2011-2013; Mrs Nonye Obianuko- January 2014-Date with Barrister Mrs Nonye Agbo.
12Information and Communication Technology: Dr Chukwuma Umeokonkwo 2009-2013; Dr Obum Anyim 2013-March 2014; Engr Onyekachi Uzoechina March 2014-Date
- Facility management Unit: Coordinated by Rev Prof U Aniebue with Rev Dr A Okeke
14.Midweek Miracle Service : Coordinated by Dr Chuma Onoka with Dr Chibuike Nnajekwu , Dr Ebuka Ugwu and Sam Ugwu
15.Building and Works Committee : Sir Steve Okeke 2007-20013; Engr Ezeadi Okafor 2013-Date
16.Facebook/Twitter: Engr Ifunanya Nduka
17.Welfare Committee: Late Dr D.U Onyia 2004- March 2009; (Then) Dr Azubuike Okeke2009-2013; Engr Ogoo Nwankwo 2013-Date
18.Drama: (Then )Miss Chidinma Nzeh2006-2008; (Then) Miss Bimbo Adebayo2008-2010; ( Then ) Mr Chika Ogbonna2010-2013;Mr Ifesinachi Onyedika2013-Date
- Transport and Bus Management Committee: Dr Chidi Ikekpeazu 2012-Date
- Treasurers: Mrs Maduekwe 2004-2009; Mrs Mareen Nwegbu 2009-2012; Mrs Ijeoma Nwobi 2012-Date
21.Doctors Unit: Dr Okezie Mbadiwe 2008-2012; Dr Emma Nwobi2012-Date.
22.Medical Students : (Then)Mr Daniel Oseji; Mr Sam Ugwu; Mr Albert Chime
23Nursing /Midwifery Students: Miss Chinyere Egbuna, Miss Blessing Eziechina ,Miss Jennifer Nwaghor, Miss Uche Udeozor,(now married) ,Miss Chidinma Ohaneje, Miss Blessing Onu, Miss Chinweoke Okoye and Miss Ifeoma Ositadinma
The pioneer Chapel Council Secretary Miss. Amaka Okafor handed over to Mrs. Nonye Obianuko who has held the position from 2006 till date.
Over the years, the Harvest and Anniversary Committees have variously been led by the following
Late Dr. D.U Onyia 2005-2008; Mr. Ndubuisi Nwegbu-.2009 ;Dr. Emma Nwobi 2011-2012; Dr. Okezie Mbadiwe 2010, 2013-Date; with Dr Mrs Ijeoma Nwajiaku as Secretary.
Likewise the following has steered the ship of the Dedication committees of the several projects of the chapel. These include:
Sir Emet Mbelu……………………… Amagu Ugbawka Chapel dedication
Rev. Prof.Uzochukwu Aniebue……………….…….Ugbawka vicarage dedication
Engr. Ikechukwu Ugwuegede …….…. Isiogbo Nara Chapel dedication
Engr. Osita Ezeadi ……………… ……..Isiogbo Nara vicarage dedication.
For all these ones and others not mentioned here, who have laboured or are still labouring, we pray that the Lord remembers all your labours of love.
The cardinal goal of the chapel remained making everyone within the congregation a candidate for heaven, with emphasis on personal encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ in salvation and growth to maturity. Teaching sessions are deliberately built into the chapel programmes and opportunities availed the members in diverse areas of church life to facilitate maturity and make everyone able ministers of the gospel. The services have been enriching with preachers from various denominations to cater for the broad membership base of the chapel.
From inception of the chapel till date, special designated services for outreach ministrations are included in the programme for medical students, nursing students, doctors, young people and children. The Resurrection Choir has not been left out. Over the years, its inspiring songs and anchorage of worship sessions continue to bring down the presence of God with clear instructions through the word of prophesy.
The Sunday worship sessions have usually recorded between 348 and 587 people in attendance, with a target of 1000 enrolled members this year 2014.
The Midweek Miracle Service on Wednesdays commenced in January 2009 with practical faith building sessions and reviving prayer sessions. We call it our Spiritual ATM (At The Masters feet) – a place to recharge our faith in the Lord Jesus. The attendance continues to average between 100 and 144 worshipers. Teaching sessions are organized to touch our fundamental Christian beliefs, lifestyle and faith-building messages.
Over the years, the chapel has pursued themes that serve to deepen the spiritual life of members. Such themes include Church built up and multiplied, Walk in the Spirit, Holiness unto the Lord, The greatest is Love, to mention but a few.
The Zonal fellowships for men and women respectively started in February 2013.The zones have witnessed growth as members get to know one another closely. More zones are added as membership increases- to help build closer relationship among the congregation and form the pivot for neighbourhood evangelism.
MILESTONES OF ANSWERED PRAYERS
Why do the Gentiles rage? And the people imagine vain things (Psalm 2vs 1)
Indeed the completion and dedication, of the Chapel in 2008 sparked off rage and contentions in the ESUT-TH community and beyond. There were serious contentions over the ‘ownership’ of the chapel building. We remember and thank God that in spite of the high quarters that were seeking to wield influence in the matter, the Lord in answer to prayers prevailed over all the scheming of the human heart. He gave us rest from all our troubles.
The medical school had very serious challenges with respect to accreditation of courses. The accreditation was long in coming. The church identified with the students at this critical period in prayers. God answered again and again. Today the medical school runs a normal session graduating students as and when due.
The Lord also answered us in provision of resources for all our construction projects that the church embarked on. It is a miracle how a largely student congregation can accomplish such feats, it is clearly the intervention of God. These experiences also translate to the personal life of members. Several deliverances, miraculous provisions and promotions have been recorded by members of the congregation in answer to prayers. These are just some of the chronicle of God’s mercies.
For this God is our God, forever and ever, He will be our guide from now even unto the end. (Psalm 48:14). Hitherto the Lord of mercies helped us and made a name for Himself.
Our hearts desire is to remain focused in winning souls and preparing men for the wedding supper of the Lamb while Jesus tarries. Amen.
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