The Rt. Rev. Humphrey Olumakaiye finally took over from Most Rev. Adebola Ademowo as the Bishop of Diocese of Lagos, Anglican Communion, in a rather serene event at Cathedral Church of Christ Marina on July 30.
Ademowo, 70, retired from the church on July 29 after putting in 46 years in the service of God on the platform of the Anglican Communion.
Olumakaiye has been in the ministry for 30 years.
He was translated from Osun North East Diocese of the church after his election by the House of Bishops of the church on February 6.
The election had been subject of litigation in the last two months.
But in a sudden turn of event, the lid placed by the court was lifted last Thursday, prompting the retirement service of Bishop Ademowo and the enthronement of Olumakiaye at about 8.30am on July 30 amidst fears of possible disruption by parishioners who may not want the event to hold due to misgivings concerning his elections.
Policemen and Department of State Services personnel were seen around the church premises as the ceremony took place inside the magnificent cathedral.
Contrary to expectations, the event took place without any hitch.
It attracted about 62 bishops from the communion across the country with a number of dignitaries in the country.
The church was filled to capacity with people sitting under canopies outside the church building.
An elated Olumakaye expressed deep appreciation to God for making the day a reality noting that his coming to Lagos was a divine making.
In his acceptance speech, he told the gathering that the light of God was essential to the emancipation of the human race, noting: “We need a redeemer, one who will restore our glory. Jesus is our redeemer. Light brings order where there is disorder. God saw the light that he created and said it was good. Light and glory are inseparable. Light brings illumination.”
Quoting from the book of Isaiah Chapter 60 verses 1-3, he said: “It is time for the light of God to shine in our lives. It is time for us to arise and shine. When the light of God comes the glory will shine. The intensity of your light will determine your glory and shinning.”
While declaring that he would make evangelism his prime occupation in the diocese, he said one of the most remarkable features in the evolution of the Anglican Church was the emergence of the church missionary society that God used mightily to bring revival and awakening to the church right from the 18th century.
He highlighted the historic roles played by fathers of faith who dared demonic strongholds and wrought great wonders by the power of the Holy Spirit in the dark alleys of Africa.
Olumakaye, who described his predecessor in glowing terms, noted that seven bishops have manned the saddle in the diocese of Lagos before him, promising that he would follow the path of honour in ensuring that the legacy of the past fathers of faith is sustained and improved upon.
He said: “These great fathers have served in their capacities. We thank God for this great cathedral which is the oldest in Nigeria. It’s a national heritage and a major tourist attraction. I feel honoured to be your Bishop. Our cathedral will be a major spiritual attraction. I will preach first Sunday of every month by 4 pm in a charismatic healing service.”
He then declared a 21-day prayer and fasting programme to usher in his tenure.
He urged all churches in the diocese “to ensure that they hold daily prayers throughout the 21-day prayer and fasting programme. I will personally visit churches in this diocese unannounced during this time of programme.”
While acknowledging the various societies in the church, he said: “Our light has come in this diocese. The mission mandate is not a suggestion but a command. When the glory of God appears deliverance takes place. The church of God is not a club house. It’s a place of fulfilment. Our cathedral is classy but we must ensure that the glory of this beautiful cathedral translate to the lives of the people who worship in it.”
Olumaikaye said his administration will “target the total man. We will provide for the needs of the people. We will engage in the priestly, prophetic, pastoral, prayer and praise ministries. We shall have diocesan convention ground where will hold large scale meetings. Our diocese shall exist mainly to exhibit God’s Glory.”
He expressed deep appreciation to Bishop Ademowo whom he said trained him in ministry, assuring that though it may be hard to beat the record of Ademowo, he would take the welfare of priests in the diocese as a priority.
He said: “I can assure all the priests that their welfare will be given priority”
On Nigeria he said: “It is time to rescue our nation. I appeal to the old politicians to give the young ones a chance.”