By SAM EYOBOKA and OLAYINKA LATONA
…ordains 37 new ministers
AS part of ongoing reorganisation in the St. Joseph Chosen Church of God, SJCCG, the Council of the Church predominantly governed by spiritual revelations through the Holy Spirit which manifest through the prophets and prophetesses, visionaries and dreamers, has approved the ordination of women.
The first batch of 25 female ministers including the wife of the Spiritual Leader, Deaconness Pat Alile, will be ordained in February next year after the church conference.
Speaking in an interview recently, the Spiritual leader of SJCCG, Apostle Hayford Alile confirmed the development, saying that the proposal for female ministers had been in the card long before the passage of the founder of the church, Apostle Joseph Ikechiuku who was a little hesitant because he could not identify experienced female members for ordination.
The reorganisation process began two years ago with a structural adjustment which saw the church migrating from the former zonal arrangement to a regional one with regional apostles supervising the re-gions and overseeing affairs at the zonal levels.
According Apostle Alile, “we have watched that arrange-ment for the last two years and found that the church is exp-anding by the day and very soon our ministers will be over stretched. We won’t have suffi-cient manpower because most of the ministers are anxious to expand.
“Thank God we have a lot of our ministers’ wives, a lot of the deaconesses who are very experienced. They may even be better than some of our male ministers. We have been toying with the idea for years, right from the last five years of the founder, to have female minist-ers.
“He didn’t seem to see sufficient matured and experienced females; but now I believe we have a number of them gifted spiritually. I’m happy the church welcomed it,” Alile explained.
According to the clergyman, the new develop-ment is driven by growth and the appreciation of the goodness of God in making women equal to men.
“What I’ve found in this church is that what men can do, women can do and sometimes be-tter,” he stated, adding that the church is both Pentecostal and spiritual which is inclined more to the spiritual where there are no limitations and gender neut-rality.
According to Alile, the church has identified some female members who are experienced enough to be ordained and has challenged them to get the permission of their husbands.
“My wife is one of them. I have ticked that column in her form and I expect that almost all of them will be approved by their husbands. No matter what we get at our conference in Feb-ruary 2013, we will ordain the women,” he stated.
Alile sees no reason why women should not be given equal opportunity to preach the gospel, saying “they are entitled to equal rights and responsibilities. The only restriction is that the married ones may not be transfered far away from their families. We want to maintain first and fore-most their families.”
Apostle Alile also corfirmed the ordination of 37 male ministers including one apostle, Gideon Irerhievwie and 36 pastors recently at an national headquarters of the church in Benin City.
The service was presided over by the Spiritual Leader who was assisted by Apostles Wilfred Omoregie, Nosa Obasuyi and others.
Apostle Alile charged the newly ordained ministers to humble themselves, adding “the true path to great leadership is to be humble and look for the greatness in others.”
He therefore charged them to learn that they can only become masters if they can produce masters out of their followers, stressing that Jesus Christ gave a perfect example of servant leadership during His last supper with His disciples.
At that occasion, Alile stated, Jesus watched the feet of His disciples and wiped them with the towel that was tied around Him.