Enthronement Service Of New Archbishop Of Methodist Church, His Grace, Most Rev. (Dr) Michael O. Akinwale
REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, PROF. YEMI OSINBAJO, SAN, GCON, THE VICE PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE ENTHRONEMENT SERVICE OF THE NEW ARCHBISHOP OF THE METHODIST CHURCH, HIS GRACE, THE MOST REV. (DR.) MICHAEL O. AKINWALE AT THE METHODIST CATHEDRAL CHURCH, IN ABUJA ON THE 5TH OF MARCH 2023.
I am greatly honoured to be here, to join the Methodist Church in Nigeria, and in particular, the Methodist Archdiocese of Abuja, family and friends in felicitating today with your grace and your wife, Mrs. Mopelola Akinwale, on the occasion of your formal enthronement as the Methodist Archbishop of Abuja Archdiocese.
I am especially pleased to be here and I think you have mentioned it already to fulfill a promise I made to your grace on the occasion of your courtesy call on me on the 19th of January 2023, that I would by the grace of God, be honoured to attend your enthronement today. I am grateful to the Almighty God that I am able to fulfill that promise.
This enthronement is an affirmation of your lifetime of devotion to God and continuous “good works” in His vineyard. It is also a celebration of the journey of consecration that you commenced 39 years ago in December 1984 as a Cadet Minister in the Methodist Church. By dogged commitment to excellence, spiritual devotion and scholarly development both locally and internationally, and ultimately by the grace of God, you have risen through the ranks in the Methodist Church of Nigeria from a Cadet Minister to Presbyter in 1995, serving in Lagos and later Kaduna. And subsequently, Synod Secretary of the Diocese and also the Archdiocesan Secretary.
You were thereafter elected the third (3rd) Bishop of the Diocese of Badagry and it was while your grace was in Badagry that you established with the collaboration of your amiable wife, a Nursery Primary School for the Diocese which remains until this day the only source of income for the Diocese. You also served as Bishop in the dioceses of Agodi and Remo.
In this journey of amazing grace, you have stuck to the core duty as Christ has told us to which is the propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ by the creation and adoption of evangelism opportunities. I am so glad to hear today as you read your own pledge that perhaps the most important thing that God spoke to you about is aggressive evangelism.
You were appointed the Secretary of the Conference, Methodist Church Nigeria in 2016. The overall governing body of the church, a position which you held until this preferment as the new Archbishop of Abuja.
There is no doubt that your elevation to the position of Archbishop is in good part, a recognition of your exceptional spiritual and administrative service as the Secretary of the Conference from 2016 to 2022. Indeed, as Apostle Paul recommended in 1 Timothy 5:17: “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honour, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.” As his eminence, the Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria sat your grace on the throne, I knew that you were not blinded by the pomp and pageantry of this great occasion, but that you see this call to the service of God and man, a responsibility to our country and our world.
Indeed, the office means that your voice must be heard and your leadership seen where there is injustice, deprivation or lack. The high call of service to the gospel of Jesus Christ is a ministry to all, whether they be among the members of the Methodist church or even those of other denominations and beliefs. Indeed, as the scripture says, God so loved the world – the world meaning men and women of other faith that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.
As I conclude, I observed in your profile that we have quite a few things in common. First, you participated in your secondary school days with Lagos State School Debate Competition. I also did, unfortunately, we did not come across each other. I wonder who would have won. You also studied at the University of Lagos as I did. The only difference is that unlike you, I did not win the prize of the Vice Chancellor’s Award as the Best Academic Student in my faculty; your grace won that award for the Faculty of Education.
Second, you served in Remo where I hail. Between March 1996 and February 1998, you established Preaching Stations at Ademola Street, Ikoyi, a street where I also started and pastored the RCCG Jesus Centre, Ikoyi. Finally, you are being enthroned in Abuja where the Seat of Government is and I serve as Vice President.
Again, I congratulate you, Most Revd. Dr. Michael O. Akinwale, the brand-new Methodist Archbishop of Abuja. I also congratulate the new Methodist Archdiocesan Lay President of Abuja AVM Kayode Beckley, Rtd, KJW.
I also congratulate the Prelate of the Methodist Church Nigeria, Dr. Oliver Ali Aba JP, and all their eminences prelates emeritus that God has given you life and good health to see the progress and advancement of the ministry that God has given you, the Methodist Church in Nigeria.
Your grace, I pray that this enthronement would release fresh oil of grace and influence for far greater achievements in the Archdiocese of Abuja, in Nigeria and across the globe. May you always find joy and satisfaction in your ministry in Jesus’ name. Amen.