Anglicans mark 165th anniversary of CMS in Nigeria

The Anglican Communion celebrated the 165th anniversary of the Church Missionary Society in Nigeria in Awka on Wednesday.

The CMS Anglican Communion was led in Nigeria by Bishop Samuel Ajayi Crowther, who first translated the Holy Bible into Yoruba language in 1884.

The Vicar in charge of the church in Awka, Ven. Ekenedilichukwu Nwafor, spoke at the anniversary.

He said the communion was grateful to God for using the CMS as His instrument to spread the gospel and the Anglican tradition in Nigeria since 1857.

“Our goal is to tell the good news of the atoning death and resurrection of Jesus Christ to our pagan relatives, friends, colleagues and society with gentleness and respect.

“This is in the hope that they might repent of sin, believe in Christ and be saved.

“The mission of our diocese entails sacrifice. CMS missionaries suffered and many died to give the gospel to Africa.

“May we be prepared to suffer to give this gospel to our nations again without cost counting, but relying more on the benefits of knowing God,’’ he said.

Nwafor also defined true evangelism.

“To evangelise is to make known by word and deed the love of the crucified and risen Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.

“This is so that people will repent, believe, and receive Christ as their saviour and obediently serve him as their Lord in the fellowship of his Church,” he stressed.

He said as Anglicans celebrate the 2022 anniversary, the faithful were praying for more of God’s power to preach the gospel with passion and compassion and establish churches as the CMS did.

Nwafor said Anglicans have a core responsibility to keep planting churches till the whole corners of the world get to know Christ and the power of His resurrection.

The event featured various activities including a stage play showing how Christian missionaries first came to Nigeria.