Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has called on faith-based organisations in the state to rise to the challenge of restoring spiritual and moral standards in the society, saying as followers of Christ, more positive act of righteousness and courage to defend that which is right are needed to propagate values that would impact on the society rather than compromise with the evil.
Governor Emmanuel made the call during the Eucharistic thanksgiving service to mark the 80th birthday celebration of the Prelate Emeritus, His Eminence Dr. Sunday Mbang, held at the Prelate’s private Chapel in Tony Asikpo Street, Shelter Afrique Estate – Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State Capital.
The State Governor acknowledged with pride the contributions of His Eminence Dr Sunday Mbang – a fiery preacher and courageous priest who rose to the highest echelon of his vocation having distinguished himself as the first Nigerian to emerge the President of World Council of Methodist Church and the longest serving Prelate in the country and his contributions to the stability of the Christendom.
He felicitated the Octogenarian for marking his 80th birthday hale and hearty and thanked God for preserving him throughout his missionary sojourn and keeping him to the ripe age of retirement.
He called on other ministers of the Gospel to emulate his courage and dedication to the service of his ordination and shun the temptation of material attraction or inducement.
The Governor, who presented Dr Mbang with a black Toyota Corolla car to mark the event, pledged to identify with the vision of the proposed foundation to immortalise him.
The celebrator, His Eminence, Dr. Sunday Mbang, said God has always proven himself as the one who called him to serve in His vineyard, leading him from the cradle as a son of a Qua Iboe Church preacher to the pinnacle of the World Methodist Council.
He recalled his early days as the National Chairman of Christian Association Of Nigeria (CAN) and his relationship with members of the Christian faith and other religions in the country, saying the church has not lived up to its expectation as followers of Christ and urged the leadership and Christians to seek God and thanked God for leading him thus far and preserving him to this date.
In his homily, the Archbishop of the Methodist Church, Calabar Arch Diocese, Bishop Emmanuel Udofia described His Eminence, Prelate Mbang as his spiritual father and mentor who preached the Gospel of Christ without fear or favour.
Bishop Udofia, taking his text from Leviticus 21:15, said that there is a reward for anyone who diligently serve God and called on all to emulate the simple and spiritual lifestyle of the Prelate Emeritus, Dr Sunday Mbang.
The thanksgiving and birthday celebration which featured cutting of birthday cake, sermon, songs rendition and prayers paraded a roll call of religious leaders from different denominations, well wishers and family members of the Prelate Emeritus.