As LIFE Theological Seminary churns out 240 graduates, church leaders emphasise the relevance of passion and love in the propagation of the gospel
By OLUSEGUN ADEOSUN
Emecheta Onyeka, a young devout Christian, was once a popular cart-pusher and a load-bearer at the ever-busy Onitsha Main market, Anambra State. But the income from that business could not meet the financial demands of his secondary school education, having struggled to pass through a community primary school in Nnewi, hence Onyeka took to meat selling and few other businesses in the same market. “I worked at the slaughter as a cow butcher, I had identity card of barrow pusher, load-carrier. I have done many things because I had nobody to support my education,” he said.
The ambitious Onyeka worked as a butcher for some years until he finally heeded the divine call to serve God in His vineyard after declining for some years. That was about four years ago, and today Onyeka is now a qualified pastor. On Saturday, November 9, Onyeka emerged one of the three best graduating students at a graduation exercise of LIFE Theological Seminary, Ikorodu, Lagos, where he had undergone a pastoral programme. Onyeka was announced the best graduating student in Greek language.
Reacting to his success, Onyeka said, “I am happy God has made everything perfect. I never knew I could make it to this level. I am so excited.” Asked how he managed to scale through, Onyeka said he maximised every opportunity that came his way. “I was the least in my class when it comes to academics, but I had to put extra efforts into everything I did. I made sure I wrote and spoke Greek virtually every day.” Folukemi Daramola was the best student in Hebrew Language, while Peter Lawani emerged the overall best out of the total 240 graduating students.
Lawani, an education consultant, who also holds a doctorate degree in Mathematics from the Olabisi Onabanjo University, OOU, Ogun State, said passing through LIFE theological seminary was demanding and very rigorous “because the academic standard is very high; there is no opportunity for you to cheat. So you have to really do the job and work hard.” Ifeagwu Elizabeth, a graduand of Masters in Theology, corroborated Lawani: “You just have to know what you are doing if you must graduate here. As a wife and mother, it was tough, but I give God the glory today.”
Cletus Orgu, provost of the seminary, said apart from meeting the academic requirements, a student of the school must be disciplined in character, spiritually and emotionally, “he must also be a church worker who is convinced about God’s plans for his life.” However, Lawani who surprisingly seemed unflustered by his covetable feat said his major achievement at the seminary is not coming out with the best grade, but helping people to be the best they can be in life. Lawani, who is also a proprietor of a secondary school, urged the newly admitted students to focus on God and be hard-working, “and help as many people as you can. You will meet people on your journey, help them and God will help you grow,” he counselled. For Onyeka, the new students should strive and go the extra mile. “It is the little extra that will make them extraordinary.”
Speaking on the subject, Proclaimers of the Kingdom Mysteries, theme of the event, Orgu said the word “mysteries” signifies what is hidden in past generations but has now been revealed to “us by the Spirit of God.” Having understood the mystery, the provost urged the ‘proclaimers’ to exert themselves like Apostle Paul and herald the message of hope to all nations. “They should also be worthy ambassadors of Christ, worthy ambassadors of the school and they should make impact in the society and help in transforming it for better,” he charged.
However, Felix Meduoye, general overseer, Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria, believes that for a proclaimer to effectively propagate the mysteries of the Kingdom, he will need passion and power, adding that such person with passion would pray, evangelise shamelessly, and “will be ready to go anywhere, any time, because he has completely sold himself out to Christ.”
As the four-hour event drew to a close, the 240 graduands marched to the rostrum to receive Diploma, Certificate, Degree and Masters of Theology certificates in various courses amidst intermittent ovation from the audience. The graduation ceremony also featured the dedication of the newly built two-storey female hostel and LIFE Music School.
The Lighthouse of International Foursquare Evangelism, LIFE, Theological Seminary, formerly known as LIFE Bible College, was founded in 1954 by late Reverend and Mrs. Harold Curtis, Foursquare missionaries serving in Lagos. The school has since inception graduated over 10,000 students including Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo, senior pastor, Kingsway International Christian Centre, KICC, among other renowned ministers of God in Nigeria and other West African countries.