PROFILE OF RT. REV. (DR.) B. A. ERIFETA (JP)
The Rt. Rev. (Dr.) Blessing Avbenayeri Erifeta, is the first Bishop of the Diocese of Sapele (Anglican Communion) here in Bendel Province. This man of God is not only an oracle of God, but a man of many parts; amiable and unassuming man of God whose good Christian background by no means was of great advantage.
HIS BIRTH AND NATIVITY:
Bishop Blessing Avbenayeri Erifeta hails from Otefe, Oghara in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State. He was born on the 17th April, 1964, first of a set of triplet; a girl and two boys. His parents were Hon. Pa. Peter Erifeta of blessed memory, a school headmaster and before retirement the counselor who represented Otefe – Oghara Federal Ward 7 in Ethiope West Local Government Area of Delta State, a prosperous farmer and madam Felicia Otitiyo Erifeta both were founding members of St. Mathew’s Anglican Church, Otefe – Oghara whose lives impacted others in many positive ways.
HIS ACADEMIC BACKGROUND:
Bishop Blessing Avbenayeri Erifeta attended Eyerekpokpo Primary School, Otefe – Oghara for his primary education thereafter, proceeded to Oghareki Grammar School, Oghareki, Delta State where he obtained his O’level, GCE in 1984. He later gained admission into the famous Immanuel College of Theology, Ibadan an affiliate of University of Ibadan where he had his “Double Barrel Honours; Diploma in Theology, and diploma in Religious Studies”. Bishop secured admission into Delta State University, Abraka where be bagged his B.A (Ed) Hons in the year 2004. He proceeded to National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) for a Master’s Degree in Peace and Conflict Resolution (M.Sc. PCR) and Crowther Graduate Theology Seminary, Abeokuta where he bagged Masters Degree in Divinity (M.Div) 2011, and is currently writing his Thesis in Doctor in Ministry (D.Mins) in the same School, Crowther, Abeokuta.
LEADERSHIP AND MINISTERIAL POSITIONS:
Bishop Blessing Avbenayeri Erifeta in all his life has been a “Church Property”, who became a Chorister at a very tender age and later graduated to the position of a Choir Master. From there, he became a full time minister, as a Church Teacher for a few years and thereafter proceeded for Ordination Course at Ibadan, he was made a Deacon in 1998 and Priested in 1999 in Diocese of Ughelli where he served for some years. Later he came to his home Diocese of Warri where he served as Diocesan Prayer Band Leader; Clerical Synod Secretary and Chaplain, Church of Advent, NNPC Housing Complex, Ekpan. It was while in this Chapel that he was preferred a Canon on October 20th 2008 and subsequently elected Bishop barely 23 days after. The Rt. Rev. (Dr.) Blessing Avbenayeri Erifeta, was consecrated at All Saints’ Cathedral Church, Ughelli in what one will call “Ministerial Home Calling” alongside other bishops on the 11th January, 2009 and enthroned the 1st Bishop of the Diocese of Sapele (Anglican Communion) at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke, Sapele on the 12th January, 2009. It might interest you to know that Bishop Blessing Avbenayeri Erifeta has never tasted any secular job, private employment or personal enterprise all his life. Praise God, thus he knows the nitty-gritty, beats and piece of every aspect of the Church Tradition and formulary. He is a National Patron of AYF (Anglican Youth Fellowship; and Father’s Union (Anglican Communion).
Apart from leadership in the house of God, Bishop Erifeta has engaged himself selflessly in the pursue of Peace among people from different part of the world. His study of Peace and Conflict Resolution has come to bare in several instance of conflicts in all the kingdoms of Okpe, Jesse, Mosogar and Oghara that make up the Diocese of Sapele. He is indeed a peace maker per excellence. No wonder the Delta State Government awarded him Justice of the Peace.
Bishop Blessing Erifeta has travelled several countries of the world. This forms his unique personality both in religious arena and socio-political arena. He is a man with balanced socialization, hence his strong positive impact on whoever comes his way.
AWARD AND HONOUR:
Bishop Blessing Avbenayeri Erifeta is a man whose undiluted service to God and humanity endears him to all; his honour from God is corrugated by man in every walk of life. Thus he has received several awards and honours (even though he turned down many). Including Justice of Peace (JP) by the Delta State Judiciary; fellow of the Institute of Human and Natural Resources, Nigeria (F.I.H.N.R) honourary Doctor of Divinity (DD) by Bible Impact University, U.S.A and award as Pillar of Justice by the Chaplain Corps and Theology Academy Nigeria, (an affiliate of chaplain Corps of America); Kwane Nkruma Leadership Award and Replica of Samuel Ajayi Crowther on Administration Par-Excellence by West African Students Union (WASU).
BOOKS AND OTHER MATERIALS BY BISHOP AVBENAYERI ERIFETA:
Bishop Blessing Avbenayeri Erifeta as it has been said elsewhere, is a man of many parts, within the shortest time so far, coupled with his ministerial engagements has produced many music albums. Besides he is an erudite and prolific writer, having many book and materials to his credit both published and unpublished. These include;
- The Speed of Grace
- Empowerment of Service
- Women of Substance
- Behold I Come Quickly
- The Use of Jewelry (A Biblical X-ray)
- Husband and Wife Team Ministry
- An Insight into Spiritual Warfare
- An Insight into Spiritual Mapping
- The Commercialized Pulpit
- Water from the Rock.
NOT PUBLISHED (BISHOP’S CHARGE)
- Laying Aside Every Weight
- Feed My Sheep
- Position for a Purpose
- Greed – A Killer of Productivity and Progress
- The Covenant Keeping God.
- Out of the Strong Came Something Sweet.
Other unpublished works are Dressing in Modern Church with Focus on the Nigeria Orthodox and African Indigenous Churches; and the effort of moral decadence on Secondary School Student’s Academic Performance in Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State, Commercialized Pulpit and Message and the Messenger, all ready for publication.
Bishop Blessing Avbenayeri Erifeta is not just a scholar and a minister; he is unequivocally a man, husband and father of children to the core. He is happily married to Mrs. Christiana Teminor Erifeta (Mother in Bethel) and blessed with two wonderful children, Jennifer and Jubilant Erifeta.
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