The West Africa Theological Seminary, Ipaja, Lagos has appointed an associate professor of the New Testament, Dr. Daudu Gava as its new provost.
WATS, a non-denominational theological institute was established in 1989 by Prof. Gary Maxey, an American missionary in Nigeria.
Dr. Gava’s appointment is coming eight months after the death of the school’s former provost, Pastor Oluwafemi Martins.
The appointment of Dr. Gava brings to seven the number of provosts that have served in the institution since its inception. Gava was presented to the WATS community during a brief but impressive ceremony on Wednesday, February 1.
Chairman of WATS governing council Dr. Emmanuel Oluwayemi, the Vice Chairman, Dr. Kelvin Tapere, the Director of Administration, Dr. Tosin Awolalu who has been acting since the transition of Pastor Martins and a host of other lecturers and council members were at the presentation ceremony.
Gava’s coming is timely
Oluwayemi who presented the new provost expressed appreciation to God saying “tough times don’t last but tough people do. Leaders solve problems and see solutions because every problem has a solution. Today, God has answered our prayers because he has given WATS a new provost”.
He expressed confidence in the ability of the new provost stating that “God has sent him at a time like this in history to put WATS on the path of progress.”
According to Oluwayemi, “The arrival of the new provost is timely as the number seven represents perfection.”
He said Gava has been a friend of WATS and also an adjunct faculty member for over ten years. “Indeed, God does his own things in his own way in his own time and the time is now for WATS.”
While presenting Gava to the WATS community, he said, “On this first day of February 2023, the Governing Council Chairman officially unveils Dr. Daudu Gava as the new provost of WATS”
Maxey: Gava’s appointment has my backing
The founder of the school, Prof Maxey who could not attend the event expressed joy at the coming of Dr. Gava.
In a message read on his behalf, he regretted he could not be at the event due to ill health.
He however noted that “WATS has steadfastly passed through eight long months under the interim leadership of Dr. Tosin Awolalu, after the very unwelcome passing away of our beloved provost, Pastor Olufemi Martins.”
Maxey expressed gratitude to Dr. Awolalu for his steadfast leadership during this period saying, “ I for one will never forget it.
“But today is the most proper and appropriate time for ALL of us to sing and celebrate with the appointment and the assumption of office by our new provost, Dr. Dauda Gava.
“I wish to register my 100% backing of this development. I have known Dr. Gava for well over ten years, and have been with him in Lagos, Adamawa State, and the United States of America. I have seen him display a very firm love for WATS, and a long-standing desire to be part of this institution.”
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While noting that Dr. Gava has a challenging task ahead of him, he said, “We believe in you. Our prayers and our constant support are with you.”
He called on the WATS community to pray for him and give him all the backing he needs to succeed.
A gift from EYN Church of the Brethren
The General Secretary of the EYN Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, Rev Daniel Mbaya who was also at the event expressed his excitement for the WATS community.
He noted, “Dr. Gava is one of the few outstanding men EYN is releasing to WATS as a partnership with WATS to promote the agenda of advancing God’s kingdom as practiced by EYN and WATS.”
He urged the WATS community to support him through prayers and other possible ways.
The EYN GS noted that “Dr. Gava has become the link between the North and the South which has opened the ground for partnership between WATS and EYN for leadership training and Kingdom advancement.
Gava: It’s a new beginning for WATS
The new provost in a statement expressed his delight to be in WATS as God’s doing.
He said, “it is a new time and a new beginning for WATS”.
While conceding that leadership is not an easy task he expressed confidence that everything will be done appropriately to enable the Seminary to stand for its vision and mission.
He promised to work closely with the Governing Council Chairman for the school’s progress.
He thanked Dr. Awolalu for a job well done during his tenure as Acting Provost.
The Vice Chairman of the institution’s Governing Council, Dr. Kelvin Tapere closed the event with a short prayer and encouraged all stakeholders in the school to join hands to make the institution better.