Grandeur, dialogical presentations of Christian intellect, as CAC Theological Seminary hosts 2022 NACS Conference

By Boluwatife Oparinde

The 2022 Conference of the National Association for Christian Studies (NACS) hosted by Christ Apostolic Church Theological Seminary (CACTS) and held at the Main Campus was a massive display of grandeur and dialogical presentation of Christian intellect.

The Academic Conference for theologians, experts and scholars of Christian Studies which began on Monday, 31st October, 2022 till Wednesday, 2nd November, 2022 was a huge success. 

The Conference started with a stint presentation of papers on the evening of Monday, and a Grand Award Ceremony from the early hours of Tuesday, 1st October, 2022.

In his speech, declaring the colourful event opened, the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Nigeria and Overseas' President, Pastor S.O. Oladele, stated that, "personally, I consider it a privilege to be in attendance at your conference both as Chief host and awardee. The Bible says that 'all our springs come from God' (Psalm 87:7). Therefore, we give all glory to Him who is the giver of all good gifts."

Lauding the Association, Pastor Oladele described the conference as "being a platform for Professors, Lecturers in Universities and Theological Institutions and Scholars of Christian Studies, considered a source of credible information with regards to matters that bother on Christian Studies."

In his Welcome Address, the President of the Association, Rev. Prof. Afolorunso Olalekan Dairo said, "the 2022 International Conference of the National Association for Christian Studies (NACS) in Christ Apostolic Church Theological Seminary, Opa, Ile-Ife is one of the miracles that is not common.  God planned it and executed it using His children in Christ Apostolic Church."

Speaking on the theme of the conference, "Christianity, Governance and Nationhood in Nigeria," Prof. Dairo expressed that, the "theme is very apt, considering our political state in Nigeria. We are looking up to 2023 election and the Christians are now being challenged as regards its continuous existence considering the Muslim-Muslim ticket by a particular political party and the claims by some Muslims that they should vote en mass to show that they own this country."

"No doubt, when Jesus was on earth, he did not reside in a democratic republic like that of Nigeria. He lived under the oppression of an imperial dictatorship and had no opportunity to cast a ballot. Yet, he declared: “Render to Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and to God, the things that are God’s.” Instead of distancing believers from any connection with a civil government, he indicated there was a level of responsibility to engage in civic matters. Instead of having political leaders imposed upon us, we have the God-given opportunity to select our leaders," he continued.

The NACS President harped that, "Christians cannot continue to abstain from partisan politics and expect Christianity to thrive or expect the nationhood that will be beneficial to the Christians. The theme of the conference is therefore a challenge to the entire body of Christ in Nigeria as regards the needful in 2023 election."

At the Grand Opening Ceremony, the National Association for Christian Studies (NACS) presented the awards of honour as Grand Patrons in recognition of leadership roles in the growth and development of Christianity to the authorities of CAC, Nigeria & Overseas, the President, Pastor S.O. Oladele; the General Superintendent, Pastor E.O. Odejobi; the General Evangelist, Prophet Hezekiah O. Oladeji; General Secretary, Pastor E. E. Mapur; Finance Director, Pastor J. F. Omitinde; and Missions Director, Pastor Caxton S. Fasuyi.

Other recipients of the awards as Grand Patrons are, the Bishop of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Ilesa Diocese, Rt. Rev. Prof. Dapo F. Asaju; and the Provost of Christ Apostolic Church Theological Seminary (CACTS), Pastor Prof. C. O. Oshun.

For the awards as Patrons of the Association were former chairmen of CACTS Governing Council, Late Pastor Dr. Joshua Adeware Alokan; the Pro Chancellor of JABU, Pastor Professor Anthony Malomo Adia Imevbore, FAS; Former CAC President, Pastor Abraham Olukunle Akinosun; Pastor Emmanuel Sunday Famuyide; and the immediate past President of NACS, Ven. Prof. John Olusola Igbari.

The Registrar, Bethel Institute of Theology and Adjunct lecturer, Redeemer's University, Prof. Doyinsola Adegbite was presented an award as Fellow of NACS.

The third day of the conference was characterized by Presentations of Papers (Physical and Virtual); Keynote Address by a Professor of African Religious Traditions and African and African American Studies, Harvard Divinity School and Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, Professor Jacob Kehinde Olupona; followed by the Association's Annual General Meeting (AGM).

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