(An extract of the Rt Revd Dr. Babatunde Joseph Adeyemi, the Dean of Lagos Anglican Seminary, on the 2022 Convocation Ceremony held on Thursday, August 25, 2022 at Archbishop Vining Memorial Church Cathedral, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos)
It gives me great joy to welcome you all to this Convocation ceremony of the Lagos Anglican Seminary, a citadel of theological education and spiritual development.
We cherish your presence. May I remind us that this Seminary clocked thirty-five (35) years yesterday having been established on the Feast of St. Bartholomew, 24th August, 1987 by the then Bishop of Lagos and later Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) the Most Rev. Dr. Joseph Abiodun Adetiloye, DD., AKC of blessed memory.
If you take a cursory look at the history of the institution, you would agree with me that it has fulfilled the dream of the founder and might have even surpassed his expectation. It was born as a baby of necessity when there was shortage of ministers. Even now that it seems the church is having a glut of ministers, .it is still relevant, helping to train deacons for owner Dioceses for the priesthood ordination. It also conducts clergy workshops and other continuing education programmes for both clergy and laity.
To date, the Seminary has trained about five hundred ministers not counting the deacons from other Seminaries.
The Seminary has a chequered history of being an off-campus institution in 1987 to full boarding shortly after that and now it is off-campus again, even though it has an hostel. This is due to the fact that it trained mostly professionals from various fields for the ordained ministry. These people are like St. Paul who depended on his tent making business to take care himself without being a burden to the church.
I can say with some element of humble pride or humility that many graduates of this Seminary have done and are doing well in the ministry.
In its short history, it has produced an Archbishop, two Bishops, many Archdeacons and Canons who had and are imparting the church positively. Many of them are good ambassadors of the institution.
We thank the Visitors and the Archbishop Abiodun Adetiloye Foundation for their spiritual and financial support. The Seminary is no longer starved of funds. I plead with the Visitors to do the needful so that the future of the Seminary will not be jeopardised.
To mark the 35th Anniversary of the institution and to appreciate the labours of some past and present leaders the Seminary will be honouring them with Award of Meritorious service while our lecturers and some old students will receive Associate and Fellowship Awards of the Seminary.
On behalf of the Seminary, I congratulate those who will be graduating today. It is also very important to remind you of our Lord’s message to His disciples which says, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – the fruit that will last...” (John 15: 16b). The reason for our calling is clearly stated by our Lord Jesus Christ and for this purpose you have been trained by the Lagos Anglican Seminary. You are to bear fruit: (1) Spiritual virtues, such as the fruit of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5: 22-23; and (2) Evangelism – bringing others to Christ. There is no reason for you not to be effective at what you are doing if you face the task with dedication and honesty. As an ambassador of this college play your part well. The Lord who rewards the faithful will not forget your labour of love.
Dear people of God, we welcome you again to this Convocation ceremony. We cherish your presence and prayers. May the good Lord bless you all.
Yours in the service of Christ our Lord.
Rt. Rev. B.J. Adeyemi, Ph.D.
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