A blessed afternoon session it was at the ministers’ conference session 2023 as Conferees had the opportunity to make their choice of which groups to attend in the afternoon and evening. What an exciting way to enjoy one of the most anticipated conference sessions! It was a session every faithful minister of the gospel, especially Baptist ministers, would never want to miss – the “Integrity in Christian Life and Ministry,” session and group interaction. Moderated by Dr. Simon A. Ishola (Deputy President Academic of the NBTS) there were seven options to choose from. They are:
- Integrity of Heart, facilitated by Dr. Richard Udoh-King,
- Integrity of Preaching, facilitated by Dr. Kehinde Olusanyan,
- Integrity in Finance Administration, facilitated by Dr. Sam Oyedele,
- Integrity through Self-Discipline, facilitated by Dr. M.O Oludare,
- Integrity through Wholesome Relationship, facilitated by Dr. M.A Adeyemo,
- Integrity through Correct Use of Power, facilitated by Dr. Idowu Akintola, and
- Integrity of Time Management, facilitated by Prof. Esther Ayandokun.
Many groups managed to complete the discussions within the allotted time because it was very enriching. Some questions and matters raised could not be discussed as time quickly flew by based on the engaging time ministers had with one another. You can imagine how nourishing and impacting this session was planned to be and what a blessing it was for gospel ministers! The sum of this impactful session is about building and maintaining integrity for gospel ministers and their ministries. Integrity is a value required by God and man from gospel ministers and it is cardinal for ministerial success for ministers of the gospel. Leaders and followers are stewards of integrity. Are you a gospel minister in service or in training, and do you desire spiritual growth and ministerial success in becoming a vessel for honor? We recommend the Ministry Enrichment Series, Volume 10, for your integrity nourishment anytime, anywhere, all day long.
On return from the group meetings, there was a large group meeting featuring organisational promotional reports and a devotional charge. Organizational promotions included promotions of the Baptist University – Bowen University, the Baptist Women’s Missionary Union (BWMU), All Africa Baptist Fellowship and Baptist Press. The Vice Chancellor of Bowen University, Prof. Babalola, flanked by some of his staff; the Executive Director of BWMU, Dr Mrs Rachel Lateju and the representative of All Africa Baptist Fellowship and of Baptist Press all encouraged Baptist Ministers to partner with them to achieve set goals.
The climax of the general session for the evening was the first devotional message delivered by the erudite Old Testament scholar, Rev. Prof. O.B Oladejo.
The devotional message Rev. Prof Oladejo delivered is one that ministers of the gospel would desire to listen to many times. He taught that the ordination process of the priesthood is sacred. The priests are identified with their sacred calling—the process of anointing for consecration to perform their duties. The eating of holy food was meant for the priests—and contemporary priests must feed on the spiritual meal daily, not once in a lifetime. The process was a public event, not a private one, he explained. The call to priesthood is, first, the call to salvation. For a priest to serve creditably, he must first be washed and clothed for the sacred call. The cloth covers many secrets, and priests are to be covered with Jesus’s righteousness, not self-righteousness. The priests need God’s energy (his anointing) for their duties. The sacrifice for righteousness must first be for the priest and then for the people. The requirement for priesthood is purity and holiness. The extent of spirituality is the extent to which your life doings agree with your life sayings. The process of ordination of priesthood reminds us of individual holiness. We need the spirit of God to walk with God consistently. Other referenced scriptures included Psalm 114:1-8. God called us, he will do all that is impossible for us. Miracles will happen on our behalf if we are called indeed, he said. After the full dose of the general sessions, there was still one more thing before going home to retire for the night. There were fellowship meetings in various locations as the closing desert for the day’s well packaged ‘meal’.
The Nigerian Baptist Religious Education Association (NBREA) held their fellowship meeting at the Conference Centre, NBTS Music Alumni Fellowship at Music Library, New Academic Complex and Missiology Students Fellowship at NBTS Chapel. This was the first time fellowship meetings were all scheduled for the same time and placed in the programme, to the best of the knowledge of this reporter. Here to fore, each fellowship chose their time, venue and duration. Many thanks to the Ministers’ Conference Central Working Committee; the central coordination helped with venue use and enabled many stay through the sessions during the day; though expressions of tiredness were evident at the end of the whole package.
In each of the venues, Alumni enjoyed fun, reunion and fellowship. Among other things, sequel to a behind-the-scenes job of the nominating committee; NBREA retained her President and Vice President Rev. Dr Mercy Utake and Rev. Oluwatayomi Abiola respectively, for continued leadership. Some of the other officers were returned while those whose tenure was over were replaced. The President of the Faculty of Education Students’ Fellowship (FESF), Pastor Adebisi Mosaku, was on hand as well as some of the students in training to fellowship with the education alumni and to solicit for assistance for students. Other fellowship groups had their highlights as well. Thus, events of day two of the Conference concluded on the platform of love in alumni fellowships fellowshipping with students in training and the reunion of friends and loved ones. What an exciting way to conclude the day and anticipate day three of the Conference!
By Oluwatobi Blessing GABRIEL