Thinking Anglicans

new Nigerian primate chosen

Updated again Wednesday lunchtime

The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has issued this announcement:

New Primate for Church of Nigeria

ABP. NICHOLAS OKOH ELECTED NEW PRIMATE

A new Primate has emerged for the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) in the person of Archbishop Nicholas Orogodo Okoh. (57 this November ) He is presently the Archbishop of Bendel Province and bishop of Asaba.

The news of his election was announced today 15th September, 2009 by the Dean of the Church of Nigeria, Most Rev. Maxwell Anikwenwa immediately after the election by the Episcopal Synod held in Umuahia, Abia State.

And another longer press release says:

BEHOLD OKOH ANGLICAN’S NEW PRIMATE

BY REV CANON FOLUSO TAIWO

A new Primate has emerged for the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion. He is the 57 year old rtd Lt colonel, Archbishop of Bendel Province and Bishop of Asaba Diocese the Most Rev. Nicholas OROGODO OKOH.

The news of his election broke today after a hitch free voting exercise by the house of Bishops at the Cathedral Church of St. Stephen’s Umuahia Abia State.

Archbishop Okoh came out tops after securing two-thirds majority of the total votes cast. Three other Clerics contested with him.

By today’s Election Archbishop Okoh has become the fourth (4th) Primate of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion. He is taking over from the Most Rev Peter Akinola the incumbent Primate who vacates his office on March 25, 2010.

The atmosphere was suspense filled as the Bishops engaged in the secret ballot election. Immediately after the peaceful election, the Dean of Church of Nigeria the most Rev Maxwell S. C. Anikwenwa

(O. F. R.) issued a statement that the most Rev Nicholas Orogodo Okoh has been duly elected Primate in succession to the most Rev Peter. J. Akinola (CON) and has been issued with a Certificate of return.

Archbishop Nicholas Orogodo Okoh attended the famous Immanuel College of Theology Ibadan Oyo State between 1976 and 1979. He was made deacon in 1979 preferred a Canon in 1987, collated Archdeacon in 1991 and was elected Bishop of Asaba in 2001.

On the 22nd of July 2005 the Primate elect was elected Archbishop of Bendel Province at St Matthew’s Cathedral Benin. He was in the Army and fought the civil war. He retired as a Lt Col in 2001 after his election as Bishop of Asaba.

CANA has issued this press release:

Archbishop Okoh Primate-Elect

CANA Congratulates Archbishop Okoh as Primate-Elect of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)

HERNDON, Va. (September 15, 2009) – The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (CANA) congratulates Archbishop Nicholas Okoh, who was elected to become the primate-elect of the Church of Nigeria.

“Archbishop Okoh is a Godly leader and CANA is delighted that he will be leading the Church of Nigeria. He is a strong supporter of CANA and the Anglican Church in North America, and has been instrumental in helping to advance the orthodox Anglican GAFCON movement. Archbishop Okoh is committed to spreading the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is a personal friend, and I’m pleased that he is stepping into this leadership role during this crucial time in the life of the worldwide Anglican Communion,” said CANA Missionary Bishop Martyn Minns.

The Convocation of Anglicans in North America (http://www.canaconvocation.org) currently consists of more than 85 congregations and 190 clergy in 25 states. CANA was established in 2005 to provide a means by which Anglicans living in North America who were alienated by the actions and decisions of The Episcopal Church and the Anglican Church of Canada could continue to live out their faith without compromising their core convictions. Created as a missionary initiative of the Church of Nigeria, about a dozen of the congregations are primarily expatriate Nigerians. CANA is a founding member of the Anglican Church in North America, an Anglican province that includes about 700 congregations.

Updates

There is a lengthy and informative news report in the Lagos Guardian Okoh takes over from Akinola as Anglican Church Primate.

GAFCON has issued this: Gafcon welcomes new Primate of Nigeria.

The document produced by the group he chaired can be found here.

He recently visited England, see here, and also over here. (H/T Fulcrum.)

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Father Ron Smith
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Father Ron Smith

“Archbishop Okoh is a godly leader and CANA is delighted that he will be leading the Church of Nigeria. He is a strong supporter of CANA and ACNA, and has been instrumental in helping to advance the orthodox (sic)Anglican GAFCON movement .. he is a personal friend” says CANA missionary bishop Martn Minns’ Well if he’s a personal friend of interventionist bishop Martyn Minns, that does not bode well for the future well-being of gays in Nigeria. The newest Archbishop in Africa looks set to follow the path of his predecessor – if Martyn Minns has anything to do with… Read more »

Leonardo Ricardo
Guest

BEHOLD, indeed!

Bro Ebere J. Chukwuka
Guest
Bro Ebere J. Chukwuka

I hereby most heartily congratulate the new Primate and wish him God’s grace as he leads the Anglicans in Nigeria.

I couldn’t find his profile in the net and hope it will be posted soon. Thanks and God bless.

Kennedy
Guest
Kennedy

“Akinola said he was happy he was leaving the headship of the Anglican Communion when the ovation was loudest, stressing that he was convinced that the new Primate would take the Anglican Communion to greater heights.”

Eh?

BillyD
Guest

The news report in the Lagos Guardian quotes the dean of Abuja’s cathedral, Maxwell Anikwenwa, as saying

“His election came by secret ballot; we don’t tell you anything about number. More than two-thirds of those present did cast their vote.

“I think Nigerians should come and see and learn from us. It was absolutely transparent, the presentation was superb. That was why there was jubilation the moment he emerged…”

It was absolutely transparent, but we’re not going to tell you anything? Meet the old boss, same as the new boss.

Pluralist
Guest

I thought I would lower the tone to something more appropriate:

http://pluralistspeaks.blogspot.com/2009/09/behold-primate.html

Tolu Akinwande
Guest
Tolu Akinwande

We thank God for the peaceful emmergence of our spiritual leader. He’s being well spoken of and we pray God to grant him His Special Grace and Divine Unction to Function in this new office saddled with so great responsibility. We love you and pray God to guide you as you lead us to the promise land. Welcome on board Baba Primate!

peterpi
Guest
peterpi

So, what happens to Archbishop and Primate Peter Akinola? Does anyone seriously think he will happily settle into obscure retirement?

Wilf
Guest
Wilf

So he was a Lt Colonel who fought in a war whilst at the same time being an Archdeacon? I have a hunch that the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) had something to say about that.

badman
Guest
badman

Although the GAFCON manual http://www.gafcon.org/images/uploads/gafcon_way_truth_life.pdf was drafted by committee, Archbishop Okoh wrote the Preface in his sole name. It includes this: “It is not the intention of these papers to initiate a fresh debate. We should remember how the Church in North Africa and Asia Minor almost totally disappeared, at a time when Christological debate was raging in the Church.” Winston Churchill defined a fanatic as someone who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject. No doubt Okoh can’t change his mind on Gene Robinson any more than Akinola could. But he may be more willing to change… Read more »

Sam R
Guest
Sam R

‘So he was a Lt Colonel who fought in a war whilst at the same time being an Archdeacon? I have a hunch that the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) had something to say about that.’

Hmmm…there may be a problem with his having been an army officer (other than being a chaplain) while also serving as an archdeacon.

However the civil war was fought between 1967 and 1970. Thus his was service ended nine years before he became a deacon.The article is rather misleading towards the end, I think ‘cut and paste’ has a lot to answer for!

BillyD
Guest

I attribute my getting the “boss” quote bass-ackwards to my lack of caffeine at that point in the day…

BillyD
Guest

“So he was a Lt Colonel who fought in a war whilst at the same time being an Archdeacon?”

Could it be that the “fought in the civil war” bit of the announcement really means that he was a military chaplain?

“I have a hunch that the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) had something to say about that.”

No offense, but so what if it did? The Fourth Lateran Council also had something to day about Jews and Muslims wearing special clothes to distinguish themselves from Christians (it was in favor of it), and forbade clergy from performing surgical operations, among other things.

drdanfee
Guest
drdanfee

Mainly GAFCON at work here folks, nothing else to see. I note elsewhere that realignment voices are loudly calling for a rush to sign the covenant while strictly interpreting it in an absolutized GAFCONish manner. Yet the redrafting has not even been finished yet; let alone the global consideration of what it says, what it means, and what signing off says and means. Plus, stop the listening process until GAFCON forces have had a good chance to box everybody’s ears before we finish up. Thus, to GAFCON, listening=beating up on non-conservatives, Anglican and otherwise. Yet again. If GAFCON habits so… Read more »

Sam R
Guest
Sam R

The civil war took place years before he became a deacon.

Mind you, if he is 57 in November, it follows that he was 14 when the civil war broke out in July 1967, and 17 when it ended in January 1970.

I am not being sceptical. Child recruitment was not unknown in that war.

Pluralist
Guest

He wasn’t a colonel when he was 14 years old, was he?

JCF
Guest
JCF

Que sera’, sera’ (but I will hold him in prayer).

David Bieler
Guest
David Bieler

One might recall that in a different Civil War, Leonidas Polk, 1st Bishop of Louisiana, served as an officer on the field of battle in command of engaged troops. He was killed in action at Atlanta. Bishop Polk was a founder of The University of the South which is still one of the prominent seminaries in the Episcopal Church. Of course, rumor has it that he was a secessionist in church politics as well as in secular politics. I’ve seen at least one reference that indicates that, under his direction, the Diocese of Louisiana seceded from the Episcopal Church in… Read more »

Marshall Scott
Guest

We Americans can’t really talk about clergy who serve as military line officers. Bishop Leonidas Polk of Louisiana and Bishop Charles Otey of Tennessee served as a general and a colonel in the Confederate Army. Certainly, they also prayed with their soldiers; but they also commanded in battle.

Now, having looked at the document of the committee he led, I think I would have other disagreements with Bishop Okoh….

drewmtl
Guest
drewmtl

I’m more concerned that the Primate Elect, along with Bp Nazir-Ali, are on a warpath against Muslims. Visions of the Crusades come to mind, and moderate Muslims get tarred with the same brush as radicals.

They’ve realized that they can never win on the ‘gay’ issue, and are thus turning to fresh fodder/grist for the mill.

I say ‘Kyrie Eleison’.

Elizabeth Akinbulumo
Guest
Elizabeth Akinbulumo

I hereby congratulate our Primate and all members of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) on the peace election of our new Primate, Archbishop Okoh. May God in His infinite mercies grant Archbishop Okoh His grace to lead God’s folks. We are all praying for you.

Kurt
Guest
Kurt

Actually The Rt. Rev. James Hervey Otey, first bishop of Tennessee, opposed secession. On June 14, 1864, Bishop/General Polk was scouting US positions near Marietta, Georgia, with his staff when he was killed in action by a Federal 3-inch Hotchkiss shell at Pine Mountain. The artillery fire was initiated when Gen. Sherman spotted a cluster of Confederate officers—Polk, Hardee, Johnston, and their staffs—in an exposed area. He pointed them out to Maj. Gen. Oliver O. Howard, commander of the IV Corps, and ordered him to fire on them. The 5th Indiana Battery, commanded by Capt. Peter Simonson, obeyed the order… Read more »

Marshall Scott
Guest

Kurt, to the appropriate extent I sit corrected (since I don’t stand to type).

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

“I hereby congratulate our Primate and all members of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)” – Elizabeth Akinbulumo – Just one simple question here: Did not the Church of the Anglican Province of Nigeria drop any reference to the Province of Canterbury from it official documents under the previous Archbishop (Peter Akinola)? If this is so, then how can the Province still be considered part of the Anglican Communion, which celebrates its association with the Archbishop and Province of Canterbury? Perhaps one test of Nigeria’s membership might depend on the new Archbishop restoring reference to a relationship with Canterbury in… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

“We Americans can’t really talk about clergy who serve as military line officers. Bishop Leonidas Polk of Louisiana and Bishop Charles Otey of Tennessee served as a general and a colonel in the Confederate Army. Certainly, they also prayed with their soldiers; but they also commanded in battle.” I find that bizarre, Marshall. I think there is a *huge* difference between someone who confused leading the church and killing for country 140 years ago and led a church, and someone who did the same 40 years ago and *leads* a church. It is wrong in both cases, but to equate… Read more »

Father Ron Smith
Guest
Father Ron Smith

Already in far off New Zealand we have seen in our newspapers a column from Ruth Gledhill which describes the newly appointed Archbishop Okoh as having warned a congregation in the U.K. about the dangers faced in Nigeria from the Muslim Community. He has said that overseas Muslims are encouraging the local people to practise polygamy in order to increase the number of Muslims within Africa. In this outright attack on Muslims in the U.K., and in Africa, is this latest Nigerian prelate not prejudicing the attemps by Christians to live side by side in peace with the Muslim population?… Read more »

BillyD
Guest

“I think there is a *huge* difference between someone who confused leading the church and killing for country 140 years ago and led a church, and someone who did the same 40 years ago and *leads* a church. It is wrong in both cases, but to equate the two otherwise is simply mistaken.”

I think this betrays the discredited linear progressive idea of history (the idea that we are steadily growing more civilized with the passage of time, so that “progress” can be measured with a calendar). The two cases are exactly the same.

MarkBrunson
Guest

I think you’re wrong, BillyD.

Discredited only means that it’s discredited to those who accept that we are animals incapable of evolution; I understand why so many don’t believe in evolution, as it’s never happened to them.

There is a difference. If not, we would have the same society. It’s obvious from your comments that you consider all humanity as being on some crude, animalistic level. Have fun with that, but it has nothing to do with reality – or at least not with the reality of anyone but you.

BillyD
Guest

“Discredited only means that it’s discredited to those who accept that we are animals incapable of evolution; I understand why so many don’t believe in evolution, as it’s never happened to them.” Well, since most historians and anthropologists don’t seem to buy the version of sociocultural evolution you seem to espouse, I’m in good company. What Victorians saw as the grand, inevitable march of human progress simply doesn’t happen that way: history has a much more circuitous path. It’s a self-serving view of history, too, because it’s guaranteed to depict its proponents as necessarily more advanced than people at any… Read more »

Ford Elms
Guest
Ford Elms

“I understand why so many don’t believe in evolution” “Evolution”, whether it be of organisms or cultures, has nothing to do with “improvement” in any absolute sense. Evolution is driven by environmental forces at the time, and any idea of “improvement” can only be in reference to an improved adaptation to the circumstances as they exist. What is perfectly suited, “highly evolved”, for one situation may be woefully inadequate, “poorly evolved”, in another. Just because we, our societies, whatever, are evolving does not mean we are improving, becoming more moral, or whatever. It merely means we are changing. Evolution is… Read more »

MarkBrunson
Guest

Whatever. You want to believe that there’s nothing inherently more wrong with someone being a warrior/priest in the present day than 140 years ago, have at it. You’re wrong, but have at it. Have the whole conversation. The TEC is collapsing, not because of ACNA, but because we have so damn many people who want to pretend tolerance and broad-mindedness or orthodoxy and broad-mindedness in order to impress a few strangers with how clever they are. Wow. Well done. Argue day in and day out over definitions and studies and all the other activities of those who publish or perish.… Read more »