Gbile Akanni, Baptist Convention president, others to speak at Seminary’s 2022 ministers’ Conference  

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Gbile Akanni, Baptist Convention president, others to speak at Seminary’s 2022 ministers’ Conference

Yinka ADETUNJI

 

The 2022 Ministers’ Conference of the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary (NBTS), Ogbomoso, will commence on Monday, September 12, with the theme, “Crying for Spiritual Awakening.”

This was disclosed to newsmen Monday during a press conference held in the institution’s Council Room.

Prof Nihinlola

President of the Seminary, Reverend Professor Emiola Nihinlola, in company with Rev. Dr Simon Isola (Deputy President, Academics), Rev. Dr. Mrs. Yeside Odiase (Deputy President Administration) and Rev. Adekola Alade (PRO), unveiling the theme of the conference and giving the focus Bible passage as Psalm 85: 1-13, said the theme was so chosen in view of its relevance and significance to the prevailing situation in the country among other reasons.

“The theme of the 2022 Conference is crying for spiritual awakening. The focus Bible passage is Psalm 85: 1-13. We consider this theme to be relevant and significant for some reasons. The first significance is that the Seminary is a spiritual formation institution. Candidates and ministers are taught, trained and equipped for service and leadership through devotional, academic and professional activities. The theme of the conference is thus very relevant to the basic purpose for which the seminary exists.

Prof Nihinlolq flanked by Rev Dr Isola and Rev Dr Mrs Odiase

“The second significance is that all gospel ministers that will participate – students, staff and graduates – will be renewed to lead exemplary, God-fearing lifestyle needed for the church to transform people and develop society.

“The third significance is that the gospel ministers will help to support church members, workers and officers in their aspiration for spiritual awakening in the world today with particular focus on Nigerian society. I will like to elaborate a little more on this third significance which speaks to the current social, economic and political situation in Nigeria. Everyday life in Nigeria is now characterized by insecurity, kidnapping, banditry, corruption, inflation and poverty.”

Expressing worry that the nation is already showing indices of a failed state such as degraded education typified by protracted strike by ASUU (Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities), youths’ brain drain, political uncertainties, politicization of religion etc, Prof Nihinlola identified leadership deceit, incompetence, failure and lack of fear of God among citizens as the major factor responsible for the maladies assailing the country and added that it is significant the conference is taking place at such difficult period in the nation.

The Professor of Christian Theological Studies and who is Director of International Council for Higher Education, West Africa Network, asserting that sin is the fundamental factor responsible for the country’s plethora of problems further posited, “Let us face it, the social vices which have made life difficult and unbearable in Nigeria are signs of moral and spiritual decay. The root cause of our problems is sin. The Bible declares that ‘Righteousness exalts a nation, sin is a reproach to any people’ (Proverb 14:34).”

He therefore enjoins, “The Spirit of God is calling us to embrace truth, righteousness and justice so as to experience peace, sanity and progress. Spiritual awakening is thus critical for the transformation and development of all spheres of Nigerian life: secular, religious, education, politics/corporate governance, science/technology etc.”

Bro Gbile Akanni

The Chairman, Association for Christian Theological Education in Africa (ACTEA) in addition informed that the conference will among others feature praise and worship, prayer, bible study, and devotional messages, adding, “Special seminars will examine the hallmarks of spiritual awakening which include confession of sin, obedience to the word of God, prayer/communion with God and passion for lost souls. Special features are ministerial conduct, a life of holiness and family life.”

The international conference targeted at students, staff, NBTS alumni and different categories of gospel ministers such as pastors, Christian educators, church musicians, evangelists, missionaries and denominational and interdenominational workers and officers, and with plan made for online participants (virtual participation) will have as programme personnel Rev. Israel Adelani Akanji (president of the Nigerian Baptist Convention, NBC), Rev. Dr. Yusuf Gwada (chairman, NBC), Brother Gbile Akanni (Peace House, Gboko, Benue State), Rev. Segun Babalola (chairman, Ogbomoso Baptist Conference), and Rev. Segun Omotoso.

He expressed hope that the conference would precipitate the kind of awakening and renewal that would bring peace, progress, transformation and development through a renewal and reenergizing of the participants and revitalization of the church and society, and that the participants “will go and continue in the power of the Holy Spirit to carry out gospel ministries that will continue to win souls, plant churches and expand God’s Kingdom. Such ministries will bless Nigeria to experience spiritual renewal, peaceful coexistence, social harmony, economic buoyancy and political stability.”

The NBTS founded in 1898 by the Southern Baptist Convention of the United States of America for Christian education and leadership training, and which became the first degree awarding institution in Nigeria (1948, the year University of Ibadan was founded), instituted the ministers’ conference in 1960 (making this the 62nd edition), to renew the spirituality and fellowship of gospel ministers, update their academic cum professional knowledge, sharpen ministry skills in areas of leadership, communication and counseling and promotion of Baptist activities.

On-site participants expected to be over 3, 000, are assured of adequate security at the event.

 

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