Ayodeji Ake writes that after four decades of ministerial work in God’s vineyard, Rev. Peter Abong and Rev. Mrs. Dinah Chidi Agianpuye, bowed out after their voluntary retirement
After four decades, the duo of Rev. Peter Abong and Rev. (Mrs) Dinah Chidi Agianpuye, recently bowed out of their ministerial journey after a voluntary retirement service. To celebrate the duo, all roads recently led to Ikeja, Lagos.
The glamorous event summed up four decades of relentless and exemplary leadership in Christendom, for the Agianpuyes at the Assemblies of God Church. It was therefore a fun-filled event for family members of the celebrant, church elders, ministers, members of the church, colleagues, as well as friends and well-wishers, who trooped out to celebrate the couple who had dedicated 42 years of their life to the service of God and humanity.
The celebration of a meritorious and fruitful ministerial service in Lord’s vineyard, was held alongside a book launch at the auditorium of the Assemblies of God Church, Ikeja branch, Lagos. Resplendently dressed, the celebrants who were obviously in an elated mood were ushered in by a band, accompanied by their children and spouses.
Welcoming guests, the chairman of the occasion, Amb. Ben Ukadike, expressed gratitude to God for making it possible to celebrate the outgoing ministers alive as he believed that they had served judiciously in their call of duty.
He said: “This is a wonderful occasion. I am not doing a funeral oration but celebrating two living legends who have dedicated 42 years of service to the Master. It is even greater to know that this couple are still young in age and are ready to go onto the next stage.”
He praised the couple for their commitment and roles played to several families, while commending the couple for 42 years devotion and being scandal-free throughout their time as ministers.
“Rev. Againpuye’s home was one worth emulating as it was filled with so much discipline and fear of God,” he said.
Ukadike called for sober reflection and urged the congregation to go back to God and dedicate to a life of loyal service to Him.
He said: “This is a time for us to reflect on what we have done for Christ throughout our years so far. It’s a time for us to right our wrongs and start living a life worth emulating and pleasing to God Almighty.”
In his sermon, Rev. Paul Oyekynle, former superintendent of Ikorodu district, urged everyone to renew their covenant with God, adding that the only way one could enjoy the best benefits from God is when he or she is in a mutual relationship with Him.
“Covenant means a powerful binding agreement between God and man and a man and his wife. All of us are created for a purpose. We were created to be in union with God and it sorrows God whenever we deviate from his plan. A man with covenant will go places. Rev. Againpuye is a man of covenant and you can see how God has honoured him today. Let us go back to God and be in an indestructible relationship with him,” he said.
Speaking on the book launched in commemoration of the retirement ceremony of the couple titled ‘Epitome of Grace’, the first son of the celebrants, Rev. Victor Againpuye, who also happens to be the author, noted the book was written as a reflection of the ministerial life of his father and his biography.
The son, who is a graduate of English Language and Literature further said the book was written to tell the story of tough childhood of his father, his early days in sin and his call to pastorship.
“This book is a complete overview of whom my father is, his journey from childhood to adulthood, how he lived a sinful life, his redemption and call to service as well as his strong resistance to deny his faith in the face of temptations and trials.
“It is a nine-chapter book and it is arranged chronologically so that the reader can have a holistic understanding of the man whom we have gathered to celebrate today,” he said.
On the impact the book would have on readers, he said, “I believe everyone who reads this book will have a feeling of hope that after all, he can still be saved and used as a great instrument by God.
“It is also one that teaches us as Christians on ways to overcome challenges and temptations when it comes to matters related to Christ. It is also one that gives confidence to people who might be passing through one difficulty or the other that all is not yet lost and that they can still be celebrated in a way they could never have imagined.”
The celebrants were bombarded with lots of gift from different units of the church, as well as other branches. The gifts also came in the form of special renditions of praises, which they were serenaded with.
Dignitaries who graced the event include Lagos District Superintendent, Rev. J.N.G Okafor; District Secretary, Rev. U.G. Ukasoanya, Barr. M.O Ubani, among others.