‘’Praise my soul the King of heaven,
To his feet thy tribute bring,
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Who like him His praise should sing?
Praise the everlasting King.’’
This first stanza of Henry F. Lyte’s Hymn of praise attempts an expression of the attitude towards God our Father with which we come to Synod this year. Indeed our gratitude to God knows no bounds for all His mercies and goodness which he bountifully bestowed upon us in the year under review. His grace alone has sustained us. Praise His holy name.
I have the privilege of presenting the report of Jos South Archdeaconry to the First Session of the Twelfth Synod of the Diocese of Jos. The report is for the following Church congregations.
The report is for the period of January 1st to December 2012, and covers the following areas amongst others.
The Archdeaconry, under the leadership of the Ven. and Mrs Ephraim J. Gongden (the Vicar of St. Piran’s Church, Jos), consists of eight congregations. The table below gives the Church congregations and Pastors in the archdeaconry.
|1||St. Piran’s Church, Jos||Ven. E.J. GongdenRev. Dr. Emmanuel Joseph|
|2||St. Andrews Church Anglo Jos||Canon I N Yusuf|
|3||St. Matthias Church Abattoir||Rev. Istifanus Saidu|
|4||Calvary Ang. Church Jos||Rev. Alex Anokwuru|
|5||St. Silas Church Kadama||Rev. Haruna Igyem|
|6||St. Joseph Church Babale||Rev. Claudius Oladejo|
|7||St. Jude Church Melshida||Rev. Maxwell Mabeshi|
|8||Anglican Church Hwol||Evang Ibrahim Lafe (Assisting)|
The Archdeaconry has four schools namely St. Piran’s High School, St. Piran’s Church School, Kadama Primary school and Calvary N/P School. While those of St. Piran’s are established, the one at Kadama is still crawling and yet to find its feet. The one at Calvary Church T/Wada took off within the year in the Church premises. St. Piran’s church school celebrated her Silver Jubilee within the year. The occasion also witnessed the launching of an appeal fund by the PTA towards building an assembly hall. 98% of the Primary five and six pupils gained admission to various secondary schools. A pupil, Fedah Akoji, scored the highest mark in English Language in Airforce Common Enrance Examination. The challenge of the school is the dwindling population due to parents’ relocation to safer areas. The school now operates a Kindergarten for children aged 18 to 24 months. No project was embarked upon except the re-painting of the walls which was done for the 25th anniversary celebration.
Kadama Primary school did not record much progress during the year. Classes have not yet been completed. The walls of one of the blocks fell down during the year and had to be rebuilt.
Calvary N/P School operates in the Church auditorium and yet to secure a permanent site. The challenges are enormous
The youth fellowship continued to grow during the year under the leadership of Ayo Akinsulire. They meet for their weekly fellowships of teachings, Bible studies, prayer meetings, seminars and other specially organized programs. They participate in both Diocesan and Provincial (National) programs.
About 12 youths are in this group. The main challenge they have is that of inconsistency since most of them are students.
Very active youth fellowship with Mr. Samuel Agbatuo as the president.
Participated in general youth conference in Benin Edo State. Donated wall clocks to the church. The group meets on Thursday and very active in church activities.
The youth fellowship consists mainly of teenagers. Their zeal and commitment points to a good prospect for the future
There are 13 young people in this fellowship. They meet for Bible studies and rehearsals for Sundays. They are very committed.
This is one of the most active groups in the Church. There are 10 teachers and over 90 children. Average attendance is 80. The department organized teachers’ interactive session, training, retreat and children’s quiz. Children’s day and Christmas and New Year parties were celebrated. Immediate needs include additional male teachers and refurbishment of classes.
This department is very active with about 23 children attending every Sunday. They however lacked permanent and trained teachers.
There is the children ministry with 3 teachers, one male and two females
Very active at parish and archdeaconry levels. Engages in preparing Sunday school teacher training for this year. Three female youths are teachers.
Children make up majority of the Church population. They do not only attend Sunday School lessons but participate in Girls’ Guild and New Life for all. There are three children’s teachers but who do not the manuals.
Apart from Sunday school teaching on Sunday we engage them on any other thing that can attract children to the church and teach them memory verses.
There is no trained teacher but the Pastor’s wife. Children are taught on Sundays and engaged in games and arts with which they entertain themselves with. They are taught to memorise verses from the Bible.
There are about 48 children in this department. Every effort was put in towards helping them grow spiritually. The teachers are not trained.
The Church embarked on door-to-door evangelism within the year, winning three to the Church. The Church also in its bid to reach out to the less privileged and indigenous people, selected and sent six children to secondary schools. These shall be sponsored by the church up to ss3. The mission team organized a revival program at Melshidda for the Anaguta people. The team also sent one of their own, Evang I Lafe, to look after the Church in Hwol when there was no one there.
The church hosted the 2012 Mission convention of the Diocese of Jos.
This department was inactive for most of 2012.
All church members are involved. No specific group on this ministry.
Very active, they organized conference, seminars and always meet on Mondays.
Nothing much was done in this direction. Two members, Messrs Yohanna Matthew and John Bala joined the ministry in the Diocese of Jos.
Common form/approach employed was the house to house evangelism. We look forward to seeing it bear fruits.
Attempts were made to reach out to people through adult education lessons.
Efforts were made towards regrouping the members who were scattered as a result of the previous crises.
Apart fron normal weekly services and programs, other activities that were geared towards spiritual development include visitation and provision of welfare packages, counseling and sports. Revival programs and retreats were also organized.
There is poor response to the entire activities of the church.
Bible study, prayer meetings.
Bible quiz, prayer conference, midweek communion and anointing services, visitation, bible studies.
Apart from the normal Sunday and midweek services, the church observed morning Prayer and evening teaching sessions.
All members are committed to the activities of the church. The activities are Bible study, prayer and fasting to increase our spiritual life.
The fellowship grew within the year with more members turning up for fellowship and attendance and participation at Archdeaconry and Diocesan men’s fellowship levels. Bible study, prayer meetings, visitations to families and children’s home, love feast, and Fathers’ day, etc, were observed.
This fellowship is active but turn up for fellowship is low. The group met 7 – 8am every Saturday.
There is an active men’s fellowship.
Men’s Fellowship is very active. They meet on Fridays and Sundays. Donated blocks for fencing the church.
The fellowship is growing under the leadership of Mr. Tunga Bala. They participated in the diocesan fellowship conference held in St. Bartholomew’s Church Rantya.
The men fellowship as a group did not engage in any activities. They claim to be too busy at home since they are peasant farmers.
The women’s theme was: “Women Who Fixed Their Eyes on Jesus” taken from Heb. 12:29 which is also in line with the church theme for the year.
The first Women’s Fellowship meeting was held on 27th January 2012 presided over by Mama Janet Emmanuel. Her text was taken from Heb. 12:1b. The first meeting ended with intercessory prayers said by members for ourselves, the nation and its leaders and families who are suffering. Talks to compliment the theme for the year for the women fellowship were scheduled and presented by various speakers: Mother Ruth, the woman with the issue of blood, Mother Hannah, Mother Sarah, Fasting and prayer, Mother Mary, Mother Elizabeth, prayer time, condition’s for God’s blessing/Covenant, Trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding, heaviness of heart but the Lord’s faithfulness, the way forward, the altar, hope for the widows, humility, practical cookery class (vegetables).
World Women’s Day of prayer
The women fellowship participated in the World Women Day of prayer which took place on 2ndMarch 2012 at St. Luke’s Cathedral Church, Jos coordinated by Mrs. Nneka Nlem of St. Michael’s Church. Prayers and choruses were led by Mama Bishop (Mrs. Gloria Kwashi).
The women election held on 24th March 2012.
The Mothers Day celebration/service held on 18th March 2012 with Mama Emmanuel as the speaker for the day.
Business Meetings were held at various times of the year.
Day Care Project
The Women’s Fellowship has a Functional Day care with 2 staff, and an encouraging number of children. Thank God for sustaining the day care.
Several of the members were enrolled into the Mothers’ Union and Women’s Guild during the year under review. Many members were visited. Every 1st Friday of the month was devoted to fasting and prayer, interactive session was held on 14/9/2012. The women also participated fully during the general harvest/thanksgiving held on 25th November 2012, and the harvest dinner. The fellowship closed for the year with Love Feast on 7th December 2012.
2.St. Andrew’s Anglican Church Hwolshe, Jos
The fellowship is active and very supportive to the church. Their activities hold every Tuesday by 5.00pm.
3.St. Matthias Anglican Church, Abattoir
Very active. They clean the church every Saturday.
4.Calvary Anglican Church T/Wada, Jos
Very active MU/WG fellowship. They are responsible for cleaning the church every Saturday, participates in Bible studies, prayer meetings and other activities of the church. They donated offering bags to the church. Meets on Saturdays for fellowship.
5.St. Silas Anglican Church, Kadama
The women remain the pillar of the church. They are very active in all the activities of the church. The donated 11 plastic chairs and new lectern to the glory of God.
6.St. Joseph’s Anglican Church, Babale
7.St. Jude’s Anglican Church, Melshida
This group is very active and committed. The group is the backbone of the church.
8.Anglican Church Hwol
A foundation was laid towards the commencement of MU/WG/GG in the Church by the end of 2012.
This groups exists and are active at the St Piran’s High School
The church has a functional Boys brigade and take up within themselves to secure the church during services.
There is the Sabon Rai Don Kowa (New Life for All) and Girls Guild which is very active.
This fellowship is active but has the lowest number of membership. They met every Monday at 5.00pm.
Very active, meets on Mondays with the prayer team. Participate in evangelism, discipleship class and other spiritual activities of the church.
The midday prayer group is an intercessory arm of the church whose role is to uphold the church, families and the nation in prayers. The group meets at 12.noon Monday to Friday (except Wednesday) every week.
The Young Adult Fellowship had their theme for the year 2012 captioned: “Work while it is Day” taken from the Gospel of St. John 9:4; where we saw the reason to work while it is indeed day, because the night comes when no one can work. Regular activities viz; Bible study, fasting/prayer and praise visitation to the Jos Prisons where the lives’ of inmates were touched both spiritually and physically. A seminar tagged: “Raising Kingdom Minded Businessmen and Women” Proverbs 16:3) was also organized as part of her annual thanksgiving activities.
The Guild of Stewards discharged their duties to the best of their abilities in the following areas: Manning of the three entrances to the sanctuary, ushering of members to their seats especially visitors, ushering of members to the altar for Holy Communion and special offerings collected at the centre of the church, collection of Sunday/retiring offerings, distribution of letters, correspondence and invitation cards to members, correction of improper dressing, in love, sale of items like Women Fellowship (WF) calendars, Bishop & Mama Bishops charges and others, counting of all collections made during services, taking of attendances during services and during Holy Communion Services, etc.
The chancel choir and praise team members were committed throughout the year. The membership of the chancel choir increased as result of four (4) children joining the Choir in the year under review. The plan to purchase white robes is part of their projects.
The welfare committee comprised of 12 members with the mandate to reach out to individual church members/families (clergy and laity) in their various situations of life viz joys/sorrows, ill-health/good health, lack – spiritual/physical and otherwise on behalf of the Vicar, the PCC and the entire church family. Their action plan was based on the following scripture passages viz Matt. 25:37-40, James 1:27, and Jer. 29:7 which eventually became the working manual. The committee visited members who were sick/on admission/discharged from hospitals – needing visitation and prayers, the elderly ones (70 years and above) and those of them who could no longer make it to church due to one ailment or the other, the bereaved and widows/widowers/orphans.
Eight Home cells (fellowship) operated in the year under review.
Prayer Band: The prayer group consists of 8 committed members.
The decoration team, the sanctuary keepers Zonal groups for achieving one on one participation of every member in the church.
We also have New Life for All (Sabon Raid Don Kowa).
The High School dormitory was completed.
A bore-hole was sunk for the use of the vicarage and primary school
The Church completed payments to the Bank and Moulds Nigeria.
Six pews were constructed.
To the glory of God, the church was able to purchase a land behind the church building to serve as a site to start a church school.
Fencing of the church premise and engaging the services of a security man for the church. Recovery of eroded church land/land scarping.
PHCN installation, bought land for church use, expanded plastered, floored and painted the church building, put doors and windows in some classrooms, purchase 30 plastic chairs and a glass/aluminum frame pulpit.
No project executed within the year.
The major challenge has been cooperation with members in terms of activities of the church. There are only few families that consistence in church programmes.
School is using the church as class rooms. The school is growing and there is urgent need to purchase the surrounding land of the church to make room for growth and expansion of both the school and the church.
Our challenges include: crisis, poverty, early marriages, drunkenness and illiteracy.
We look forward for more members
One of the challenges we are facing is lateness in coming to church activities including Sunday services and the mind of giving more especially on the men side.
The presence of Fulani herdsmen near the Church really threatened the members. Other denominations did not even help in any way.
In order to achieve the purpose for which God gave us the 2013 theme, COME UP HIGHER, Rev. 4:1, we shall:
Endeavour to meet our Diocesan financial obligations by paying our outstanding and current assessments, Organize a prayer seminar, Organize retreats for PCC and other group leaders, Have quarterly teaching/revival in church, Re-organize Bible study so as to involve everybody, Step up visitation to families and caring for members, Encourage home cells to wake up and be functional, Encourage the use of gifts/talents in church for the edification of the body of Christ. People shall be allowed to use such gifts.
We shall go after the perishing to rescue them.
Permanent site for the church school, completion work on recovery of eroded areas in the church. Bible conference, prayer conference and praise week for the church, starting an empowerment/business meeting seminars and conference.
Payment of assessment if possible buy a land belonging to Hausaman close to the church building about 90 – 100 plots.
To concentrate on the payment of assessment and where possible completion of culvert to the church.
We plan to embark on Revival and teaching and building of toilet for the church and classrooms for the school.
We shall intensify on door to door evangelism and payment of assessment.
Let me conclude by congratulating his grace, the Archbishop and Bishop of Jos, the Most Rev Dr.& Mrs. B. A. Kwashi, OON, for clocking 20years in relentless service and labour in the Lord’s Vineyard as Bishop of Jos. We look back these years with gratitude to God for the gift of life and his abounding love for us as we work under their leadership. As an Archdeaconry, we rejoice with them and the entire Jos Diocese on the occasion of his first session of the twelfth Synod. May the Lord who has brought us thus far keep us strong to the end. Let’s keep on praying and working as we watch with keen interest what God is bringing out of our join prayers, labours, tears, believing God will surely continue to give the increase.
All we can do is nothing worth, unless God blesses the deed,
Vainly we hope for the harvest-tide, till God gives life to the seed;
Yet nearer and nearer draws the time, the time that shall surely be,
When the earth shall be filled with the glory of God, as the waters cover the sea.
Wishing you all a Blessed and Peaceful 12th Synod
Ven. Ephraim J. Gongden
Archdeacon, Jos South.