By Olayinka LATONA

WHILE some people were looking out for the Rapture last Saturday, a College of Pentecostal bishops lead by the presideing bishop of The Redeemed Evang-elical Mission, TREM, Dr. Mike Okonkwo and the immediate past PFN national secretary, Bishop Joseph Ojo, gathered at the ultra-modern cathedral of Wordbase Assembly in Okota area of Lagos for the official admission of Rev. Humphrey Erumaka into the elite club of bishops. The colourful ceremony which began at about 10.00 a.m. had several Pente-costal bishops from far and near in attendance to admit the Abia State-born preacher into the elite club.

L-R: Bishop N. Moses, Bishop Mike Okonkwo, an unidentified bishop, Bishop Humphrey Erumaka, his wife, Rev. Huldah Erumaka and Bishop Joseph Ojo after the consecration.

The service started with a procession of the officiat-ing ministers and special choir ministration by the church choir which thrilled the crowded audience with melodious renditions specially prepared for the occasion.

While giving the charge from I Timothy 3:2-7 and Titus 1:1-11 which deal with the qualities of a bishop during the conse-cration service, the imme-diate past PFN national secretary, Bishop Ojo said: “The new bishop must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.” He advised him to shun any form of materialism; must be patient with new con-verts who, he said, can be great evangelists like Apostle Paul.

Continuing, he urged Bishop Erumaka to see to the spiritual and physical development of not only his church but the body of Christ, adding that when God heals the head of a church the members will be healed completely. After the message, a citation of the new bishop was read before proceed-ing to the consecration proper which was handled by the college of bishops headed by the presiding bishop of TREM who also presented the newly consecrated bishop to the congregation. And the shout that greeted that gesture was thunderous.

Addressing newsmen after the ceremonay, Bishop Okonkwo thanked God for the success of the just concluded elections, char-ging the winner of the presidential polls, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan to tackle the epileptic power supply in the country and ensure our moribund refineries in the country work effectively. Okonkwo urged government and other stakeholders to spare no effort in trying to resuscitate the refineries and the Power Holding Company of Nigeria, PHCN.

According to him; “there are three things that I want President Jonathan to look into: One is power supply, good healthcare system and good roads. He should ensure that our power is stable, a lot of people are unemployed today becau-se of lack of power. He should make sure that the power is stable. Nigerians are very hard working people; they are ready to do things for themselves if there is electricity.”

He also stressed the need to fix the nation’s high-ways; “let the roads be repaired because bad roads are some of the challenges that make things difficult for people in the urban centres. Thirdly, he should also focus on the health-care system.”

While advising the presid-ent-elect to evolve new methods that will help move the nation forward, Okonkwo warned that the president should be wary while selecting those who will form his next cabinet. Such people, Okonkwo said, should be men and women of integrity, credi-ble and visionary people who will be committed to nation building.

“President Jonathan should not do things in order to appease party loyalists, but rather let him look for people that can perform and deliver divid-ends of democracy in the nation,” he stated, adding as the president is coming on board, “he should cho-ose technocrats, men and women of integrity, vision-ary, credible people who have integrity because he has no time to waste. After the inauguration he should act fast because the expect-ations of the masses are high. Therefore, he should look out for visionary people in the country who will help him. I know visionary persons are there because in the past election people voted for him and not the party.”

Rejoicing with their newly consecrated bishop, mem-bers of the Wordbase Ass-embly presented a gift of a new Toyota Land Cruiser 2011 model to Bishop Erumaka who profusely thanked all those who attended the occasion, those sent messages and members of the church for their love promising not to disappoint them.

The traditional ruler of his community, the Eze of Ubakala Community, His Royal Highness Raphael Mbagwu revealed that Erumaka has, by the con-secration, become the first bishop from the communi-ty, urging the congregation to be fervent in prayers and stay closer to God because heaven and hell are real.

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