Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor

Pastor Ayodele Joseph Oritsegbubemi Oritsejafor was born on November 10th to Joseph Monday Oritsejafor and Roli Durojaiye Oritsejafor in Delta state, Nigeria. He is an author, pastor, evangelist, teacher, prophet and apostle.

According to Oritsejafor, he had a rough and ‘vice-filled’ childhood, enjoying everything a young man could. However, while in college the Lord showed him a vision of himself preaching to countless thousands of people with great power and authority and he heard the Lord say “Take my Word to the World”. According to him, in 1972 he was miraculously delivered during a crusade. Almost immediately, he felt the call of God upon his life and enrolled in the New Covenant Bible Institute, Benin City, Edo state.

 

Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor was converted through Benson Idahosa, the first Pentecostal Archbishop in Nigeria, in 1972, and began preaching almost immediately. On Sunday 15th of November 1987, Pastor Ayo started Word Of Life Bible Church by divine authority. His anointed messages has brought salvation, deliverance, revival, healing and outstanding miracles to millions across the world as God’s power is demonstrated with signs and wonders. As a keynote speaker, he has ministered in crusades with well over 2,000,000 souls in attendance. He has also ministered and still ministers in various international and local Conferences and seminars which has taken him to well over 50 countries and every continent of the world.

 

In a bid to carry out God’s divine mandate of bringing the message of Salvation, Deliverance, and Healing to the homes of countless millions, Pastor Ayo started a TV programme, ‘Hour of Deliverance’, in 1980. Currently, he’s on several Cable Networks all over the world and preaching the word of God through the internet via his website.

 

As a prolific writer, he has authored several books amongst which are “Walking in Unity”, “Power through The Church”, “The Battle is in the Mind”, “Be an Over-Comer”, ” Power for the Journey”, “Faith Antidote For Daily Living”, “A Voice in the Wilderness “, “A Man amongst Men” to mention but a few.

Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor is the founder and Senior Pastor of Word of Life Bible Church, located in Warri, Nigeria, a Church he started on November 15, 1987. He became the National President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) on February 7, 2005. A position he held diligently for 5years.

He served as President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), between 2010 and 2016, the apex body of all Christians in the country. In doing so, he became the first Pentecostal leader to hold the position. In view of the Apostolic call upon the cleric, his ministry acts as a covering to several ministries in Africa, Europe and America. Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s Ministries was the first to launch a Miracle crusade (Lagos Miracle Crusade) from Africa to world audience, via satellite, in 1987 with Evangelist Joe Martins.

 

Pastor Ayo is happily married and resides in Warri, Delta state Nigeria, with his dear wife Helen and three children. Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor is also well known for his philanthropic acts in helping indigent persons, the elderly and homeless and also awarding scholarships to many youths in other to avail them an opportunity to get educated.

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Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan

His Eminence John Cardinal Onaiyekan was born on January 29th, 1944 in Kabba, Kogi State of Nigeria. Intelligent right from his tender age, he began his Primary School education from 1949 at his home town Kabba. His academic prowess heightened at Mount St. Michael’s Secondary School, Aliade, Benue State Nigeria between 1957 and 1962 where he had distinctions in his SSCE; a record no one has yet broken in that school.

 

His priestly formation commenced in January 1963 with Studies in Philosophy at the prestigious SS. Peter and Paul Major Seminary Bodija, Ibadan Nigeria; and from Sept. 1965 to June 1969, he studied Theology at the Pontifical Urban College of Propaganda Fide, Rome.  Cardinal Onaiyekan’s early priestly life began with his ordination to the Catholic Priesthood at his home town Kabba, on 3rd August, 1969. He taught at St. Kizito’s college, Isanlu before proceeding for Scripture Studies at the Pontifical Biblical Institute (Biblicum) Rome in Sept. 1971, and completed his Licentiate degree programme in Sacred Scriptures in Feb. 1973. Between February 1973 and January 1976, Cardinal John studied and obtained a Doctorate degree at the Pontifical Urban University, Rome in Biblical Theology with full distinction.

 

From that moment, divine providence plotted the graph for Cardinal Onaiyekan’s steady rise on the ladder of ecclesiastical leadership. On his return from Rome in January 1966, he was made the Rector of St. Clement’s Junior Seminary Lokoja, Kogi State Nigeria where he served until August 1977. In Sept. 1977 Onaiyekan was appointed Vice Rector of the Major Seminary of SS. Peter and Paul, Bodija Ibadan Nigeria (his alma mater) and teacher of Sacred Scripture and Fundamental Theology. Onaiyekan became the Rector of the same seminary in Feb. 1978.

 

In November. 1982 and at the age of 38, Pope Saint John Paull II appointed Cardinal John the Auxiliary Bishop of Ilorin and ordained him in St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome in January 6th 1983. By this appointment and episcopal ordination, he thus became the second youngest Bishop in Nigeria after Cardinal Arinze.

 

Being the Metropolitan Archbishop of Abuja, He welcomed Pope Saint John Paul II on his Apostolic Visit to Nigeria in 1998 and was a key proponent in the beatification of Blessed Francis Iwene Tansi. In the consistory of 24 November 2012, he was created and proclaimed cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI, now Pope Emeritus.

 

His Eminence participated in the conclave of March 2013, which elected Pope Francis. His Eminence is a member of the highest ranking Vatican Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Pontifical Council for the Family.

He served as President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), between 2007 and 2010; the apex body of all Christians in the country.

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Most Revd Dr. Peter Jasper Akinola

Archbishop Peter Jasper Akinola (born 27 January 1944, in Abeokuta) is the former Anglican Primate of the Church of Nigeria. He is also the former Bishop of Abuja and Archbishop of Province III, which covered the northern and central parts of the country. When the division into ecclesiastical provinces was adopted in 2002, he became the first Archbishop of Abuja Province, a position he held until 2010. He is married and a father of six.

He was ordained a deacon in 1978 and a priest in 1979. In 1981 he graduated with a master’s degree from the Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia. Upon his return to Nigeria, he served in the Abuja diocese, being consecrated as bishop in 1989. In 1998 he became archbishop in Islam-dominated northern Nigeria, and in 2000 he was elected primate of all Nigeria.

Under Akinola’s leadership the Nigerian church established the Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) to provide a way for congregations that were alienated by the actions of the Episcopal Church to retain fellowship with the Anglican Communion.

 

A “low church” Evangelical, Akinola emphasizes the Bible and the teachings of the apostles (apostolic tradition) in a particular way. As one of the leaders of the Global South within the Anglican Communion, Akinola has taken a firm stand against theological developments which he contends are incompatible with the biblical teachings of Christianity and orthodox Anglicanism, notably setting himself against any revisionist interpretations of the Bible and, in particular, opposing same-sex blessings, the ordination of non-celibate homosexuals and any homosexual practice. He was a leading name of conservatives throughout the Anglican Communion, including the Convocation of Anglicans in North America.

 

He served as President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), between 2003 and 2007.

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His Eminence Dr. Sunday Mbang

Eminence Sunday Coffie Mbang’s name is synonymous to the Methodist Church Nigeria reconciliation after 14 years of crisis. His Eminence Mbang, the fourth indigenous and ever long serving head of Methodist Church Nigeria was born in Idua-Eket on August 26th 1936. His father, Coffie Eka-Mbang was a pastor of the Oua Iboe Church and the name of his mother is Judith Udo-Ekpo. He is happily married to former Mrs Enobong Essien on December 16, 1978. Mama Mbang is now a lawyer and the marriage is blessed with three boys – Iniabasi Abisoye, Idorenyin Segun, and Nyakno Samuel.

 

His Eminence Mbang attended Effoi Group primary school, Eket, St Michael’s school, Aba, Salvation Army school at Akai-Eket, Government school, Eket. He also attended Methodist Boys High School, Oron, and Methodist College, Uzuakoli and later had his ministerial training at the Trinity College, Umuahia from 1962 to 1964. In 1968, during the civil war, he transferred his study from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka to the University of Ibadan where he came in contact with Patriarch Professor Bolaji Idowu, and graduated in 1971 with B.A. Hons (Religious Studies). He was a member of the Scripture Union (SU), and President of the Student’s Christian Movement (SCM). He was offered a post-graduate scholarship to Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He later transferred his study again due to the Yom Kippur War in Israel to Harvard University, USA, and did his Doctor of Theology in Old Testament.

 

Patriarch Idowu who had a tremendous influence on His Eminence Mbang who later  became his academic mentor. His Eminence Mbang succeeded his mentor as head of the Methodist Church Nigeria and was installed on the Appointed Day, 20th January 1983. His tenure opened a new chapter when he announced the three points of his vision for the church – Reconciliation, Reconstruction, and Revival. On Reconciliation, the two broken Methodist factions – the Presidential and the Patriarch came together on March 4, 1990 in a ‘Reunification Service.’ As part of the price for Reconciliation, His Eminence Mbang led the Reconstruction of the Church with a new Constitution and new title – the Prelate for the head of Methodist Church. On Revival, Methodist Evangelical Movement was inaugurated in 1989 under the Department of Evangelism. His Eminence Mbang also facilitated the Fellowship of the Methodist Professionals. Despite his busy schedules, he delivered lectures on Old Testament to the Wesley School of Discipleship (WESPLE), held at Methodist Boys High School, Broad Street, Lagos. The memory of his presence and sermon during the Methodist Convention 2000, Orimerumu remains fresh. He was behind the vision of the Wesley University, Ondo

 

Eminence Mbang was a former president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) from 1995 to 2003, the Christians umbrella in Nigeria, and a  former co-chair with the late Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Maccido, of the Nigeria’s Inter-Religious Council (NIREC). NIREC is a government body for the promotion of inter-faith dialogue and cooperation in Nigeria. His Eminence Mbang was one of the World Methodist Council presidents for five years (1991 – 1996). He became chair of the World Methodist Council at the 18th World Methodist Conference held in July 2001 in Brighton, UK. He later received the World Methodist Peace award.

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Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okojie

Cardinal Olubunmi Okogie, Born in Lagos, Nigeria.

Olubunmi Okogie was born to a royal family of Uromi in Edo State. His parents were Prince Michael Okojie – who was himself a son of King Ogbidi Okojie of Uromi and Mrs Lucy Adunni Okojie (née Afolabi). His father was Esan and his mother was Yoruba.

Archbishop Okogie was ordained priest on 11 December 1966. He holds a licentiate in sacred theology, and had planned to study in Rome, but was called to Nigeria where he was a curate at the Holy Cross Cathedral. He was drafted into the Nigerian army, and served there as a chaplain. After another period of service at Holy Cross Cathedral, he was an instructor at King’s College.

 

In 1971, he was consecrated Titular Bishop of Mascula and Auxiliary of Oyo, and in 1973 named archbishop. As Archbishop, Okogie was the president of the Christian Association of Nigeria, and from 1994 to 2000, headed the Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria.

 

He was proclaimed Cardinal by Pope John Paul II in the consistory of 21 October 2003, and holds the title of Cardinal Priest of Santa Maria del Monte Carmelo a Mostacciano (or in English Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel of Mostacciano). During his cardinalate, Okogie was one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2005 papal conclave that selected Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Okogie was also one of the cardinal electors who participated in the 2013 papal conclave that elected Pope Francis. During the opening day of the 2013 conclave, Cardinal Okogie was notable in that he was the one cardinal who was in a wheelchair during most of the proceedings, standing up only when it came time for him to walk towards the gospels and make the cardinal electors’ oath.

 

Cardinal Okogie is a man of great Christian Virtue, Distinguish Character, excellent leadership skills, and a man of God who has impacted lives with God’s word.

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His Eminence Late Dominic Ekandem

Dominic Ignatius Ekandem (1917 – 24 November, 1995), was a Roman Catholic cardinal and was the first West African Catholic Bishop. He also founded the Missionary Society of Saint Paul of Nigeria (M.S.P.).

A native of Akwa Ibom State, Ekandem attended several Catholic seminaries before he became a priest. He was ordained on the 7th of  December 1947, and became the first priest from the old Calabar province. His first assignment as bishop was as auxiliary of Calabar from 1953 to 1963. He was Bishop of Ikot Ekpene from 1963 to 1981; during that tenure, in April 1976, he was installed a cardinal. He then became Ecclesiastical Superior of Abuja, and when Abuja became an Arc-diocese in 1989, he became its Archbishop (personal title).

 

A key figure in Nigeria and in its faith-growth, up to his death in 1995, Cardinal Ekandem was the first Anglophone West-African Bishop – the first of many, and an outstanding churchman of the 20th Century.

He was the first president of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), serving from 1976 to 1988, establishing structures for the association, and setting the pace to ensure that Christianity in Nigeria grows from strength to strength.

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