Rev. Dr. Israel Akanji

The 63rd edition of the Ministers’ Conference at The Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso, which commenced on Monday, September 11th, 2023, and concluded on Thursday, September 14th, has been a spiritually enriching journey filled with worship, celebrations, and valuable lessons for ministers of God. As the conference drew to a close, ministers left with renewed zeal to apply the blessings and insights gained during these four event-full days ‘mountain top experience’ in their various places of service.

Throughout the Conference, attendees experienced an array of deliberately planned activities, including African worship sessions, celebrations such as the retirement and birthdate celebration in honour of the immediate past Seminary President, Prof. Emiola Nihinlola; a book launch by the Faculty of Education, small group discussions, syndicate sessions, devotional messages, alumni celebrations, sports and other outdoor activities.

The final day of the Conference was no exception. It began with more uplifting African praise and a Bible study teaching session, delivered by Rev. Dr. V.S.A. Dada, which marked the conclusion of the “Vessel of Honour” theme introduced the day before. For his closing teaching, Rev. Dr. Dada explored the sacrifices expected from vessels of honour. He emphasized that after the initial steps of cleansing, clothing, and anointing, ministers must also make sacrifices. These sacrifices include remaining in the location where God has placed them, as exemplified by the story of Isaac in Gerar during a famine. Ministers were also encouraged to work diligently and to endure persecutions they may encounter in their service to God and mankind.

Following the message, promotions, reports, and invitations by the Nigerian Baptist Convention and other affiliate organizations such as Bowen University, Bowen Microfinance Bank, New Frontiers TV were presented. The highlight of these promotions were the announcements by the President of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, who emphasized the importance of supporting Baptist ministers and the Convention’s plan to digitize its operations to keep up with the times. He also revealed that the Nigerian Baptist Convention would host the General Assembly of the Baptist World Alliance in Lagos in 2024, requesting the support of Baptist Ministers and their churches.

Furthermore, academic promotions across Baptist Theological Institutions were announced: from Assistant Lecturer to Lecturer II, from Lecturer II to Lecturer I, from Lecturer I to Senior Lecturer, and from Senior Lecturer to Associate Professors. Notably, four Assistant Professors were promoted to the rank of full Professor: Professor Simon Kolawole, Professor Simon Ishola, Professor Helen Ishola-Esan, and Professor Olusola Ayo-Obiremi. The conferment of professorship for the quartet was welcomed with much celebration and rejoicing. Congratulations to all those who received promotions!

The conference concluded with Rev. Dr. Israel Akanji delivering a closing charge on the topic “You Are God’s Temple,” drawn from 1 Corinthians 3:16. He delved into the metaphorical language used by Apostle Paul in his epistles, such as son, soldier, athlete, farmer, temple, and vessel. Rev. Dr. Akanji likened ministers to different types of vessels, each with a unique function within the body of Christ, much like instruments in an orchestra contributing to a harmonious performance, regardless of their size. He emphasized that ministers, whether compared to gold, silver, wood, or clay, can all fulfill noble purposes when guided by the Master. Rev. Dr. Akanji urged ministers, as temples of God, to wholly surrender themselves to Christ so that others may witness His presence through their lives. In closing, prayers were offered for the ministers, their journeys, and the entire Ogbomoso community as they installed their new king.

After four days of communion, worship, impartation, and fellowship, the Ministers’ Conference concluded as ministers departed for their respective locations. It was undeniably a successful event, and with gratitude to God for its success, we anticipate the blessings and transformation that will stem from this conference in the days and months ahead. It was indeed a grand ending for new beginnings in life and ministry. May God continue to bless the Nigerian Baptist Convention, The Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary, Ogbomoso, and all God’s ministers in Jesus’ name. Glory to God!

Watch the closing charge here


September 27, 2023

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