OGHARA (Delta State)  – It was a galaxy of dignitaries, including sons and daughters of Ovade – Oghara in Ethiope-West Local Government Area of Delta State who trooped out enmass to mark the centenary celebration of the first Baptist Church in the area.
Speaking at the occasion the President Baptist Convention (NBC) Rev. Olasupo Ayokunle expressed gratitude to God almighty for the church leadership effort and commitment toward addressing challenges to take the church to where it is presently.
Rev. Ayokunle who was represented by Rev. Testimony Onifade charged the church leadership to continue to plan ahead and invest in human resources that would impact meaningfully on the lives of the people of the community especially the youths.
The Chairman, Centenary Committee, Pastor C.I.I. Omimi said the church which was founded in 1914 marked a turning point in the life and history of Ovade community, as it was formerly established as a preaching point.
Pastor Omimi said that at the birth of the Baptist Church in Ovade, the pastors then were inherently the headmasters of the school, a situation he said created an unbreakable link between the community and the church as well as God in particular such that the pupils dared not absent from either school or church service.
Chief Fredk Efefaroro who read the brief history of the church, noted that it was founded in 1914 by late Chief Thomas Onogborhe Odeje on arrived at Ovade community from Lagos where he had worked as a Clerical Assistant in the Department of Customs.
Chief Efefaroro described the late Thomas Onogborhe as a visionary per excellence who in spite of the numerous challenges, including communication decided to establish the first Baptist Church in Ovade community.
According to him, since inception, the church has won various awards including the certificate of Honour for Evangelism of the Nigerian Convention (1985) and certificate of merit.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Transport, Delta State, Hon. Ben Igbakpa stressed the need for those in authorities to use their offices to better the lot of the people, especially the women/youths.
The commissioner who was said to be a major contributor to the growth of the church declared that he was proud to be part of the ceremony.