Some of the defining features of Venerable Nse Enoch are his strong Anglican heritage and his capacity to speak the Yoruba language very well though he is from Akwa Ibom.
He attended Nigeria’s foremost secondary school, CMS Grammar School, and recalls with gusto the influence of the Anglican tradition on him. He was chapel prefect while in school and later the deputy head prefect.
And then, while studying at the University of Lagos, he continued a life-long romance with the Church. He was active in the Anglican Youth Fellowship and the evangelical arm of the Archbishop Vining Memorial Cathedral where he worshiped.
As president of the AYF in AVMCC, he was part of many evangelical outreaches across the country. He attended conferences and training including Equipping the Saints Discipleship Programme. And also trained many other people. But he did not take up priesthood as a profession ab initio.
A trained engineer, Enoch worked in the manufacturing industry and rose to the peak of his career while serving God along the way.
The trajectory of his life however changed when the pioneer Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos West, The Rt. Rev Awelewa Adebiyi, counseled him to consider the priesthood profession.
Then, he was a warden in the cathedral. By the time he made up his mind to become a priest, it was almost taken for granted that he knew all he needed to know. But then, he still had to pursue more training. He then studied theology at the Lagos Anglican Seminary where he spent another four years.
Today, he is not only a priest, he has risen through the ranks to become venerable. “I think it’s because I have been around priests and the church all my life that I fell in love with the priesthood profession,” he said in a chat with Church Times.
Enoch believes the Anglican Church has always been evangelical. “I remember many years ago, some of us in the AVMC went to many parts of the country to do evangelical work. Evangelism is an Anglican heritage. Why people think Anglicans are not evangelical is because we don’t make too much noise.
“But the Church itself was born by the Church Missionary Society which is the evangelical arm of the Church of England. It has always been about the spirit of the gospel. CMS Grammar school was formed by the evangelical arm of the church.” he noted.
It is this spirit of evangelism that has helped him as a priest. As the vicar of All Souls Anglican Church, Oworonshoki, Enoch has set a new direction in line with his evangelism orientation. “Our vision is to reach the unreached people around us. There are still many people who don’t go to church not to talk of having the experience of a new birth. Our goal is to expand the frontiers of God’s kingdom through evangelism. That is what we have been focusing on.”
He said Bishop Odedeji’s three-point agenda of Evangelism, youth development, and spiritual growth has helped the diocese to stand out among all the dioceses in the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion.
Today in the diocese of Lagos West, there is a vibrant youth arm in every parish. The youths are active. The evangelical programmes of the church are enhanced. We are active on radio, television, and social media platforms. We try to reach more people with the gospel.
Enoch however believes Bishop Odedeji’s emphasis on the spiritual development of both the laity and the clergy in the last ten years is something to cheer about.
“There is a chaplaincy in charge of Discipleship. By God’s grace, I am the chaplain. It was established to train priests and others using the Equipping The Saints model. That model fits into the Anglican doctrine. We have used it to train many priests so that they will in turn impact members. The training is also open to lay people. Discipleship training will make people more Christlike.” he said.
Read also: My experience as Bishop in the last 10 years- Odedeji: https://churchtimesnigeria.net/my-10-year-experience-as-bishop-in-the-anglican-communion-rt-rev-james-odedeji/
He noted that one of the outstanding achievements of Bishop Odedeji in the last ten years is helping the diocese find strong spiritual footing.
“Wherever there is an ETS group the church is usually trouble-free. I was trained by Equipping the Saints as a layperson in AVMCC. I later became a discipleship trainer. The training has spread among the parishioners. But what Bishop Odedeji did was to ensure that priests are also trained with the ETS model because he discovered that many lay people are in fact doing well in Bible knowledge. So there was a need to ensure that the priest is higher than the pew in spiritual matters. He established the directorate of discipleship and he invested money into the training programme”
Bishop Odedeji, according to him, is a link between the young and the old in the diocese. “He is also a true child of God. I can see the conviction of true Christianity in him. His sermons are deep. He is well-trained. He is well-positioned to lead this generation to the future. He understands the needs of the youth, he understands the needs of the elders. God has brought a younger bishop to us so that he can take from the back and propel the future.” Enoch concluded.