This was contained in an address signed by the Holy Father and presented by Bishop Samuel Akpan during the grand finale of the 20th anniversary celebration of the 144,000 Virgins’ body at 34 Ambo Street, Calabar. The address reads in part “... If you honour them, you have honoured the Father. But the privilege should not be abused by the 144,000 Virgins. Also, if you despise them, you have despised the Father.
You have been told not to judge for judgment is mine, I will reward all according to their works. God does not reason or judge like man.”
He however commended them for exposing the Kingdom through songs and preaching the gospel expressing satisfaction with the wisdom they exhibit in carrying out their missionary assignments both at home and abroad.
Speaking in an opening speech at the grand finale, the chairman who also represented the Father at the occasion, Bishop Samuel Akpan expressed joy for the organised and purposeful lifestyle of the Virgins.
Bishop Akpan prayed the Father to continue to give them strength and courage to enable them serve Him all the time.
Also speaking, the international president of the body and Brotherhood Information officer Brother Joseph Abba thanked the Holy Father for sustaining them in the Kingdom for 20 years.
He expressed gratitude to the Father for revealing the talents in them noting that they that could not sing now have more than 30 choirmasters and choir mistresses who have composed breathtaking anthems to glorify the Father.
The president of the body who described their 20 years in the service of God as a no-easy-journey, however, appreciated the Father for bringing them to the limelight and using them to do wonderful works in the Kingdom.
Narrating the history of the body, the first choirmaster and current Leader’s Representative (LR) Brother Sunday Akpan said it was erroneous to state that the body started on the 14th August, 1991 as generally held.
He stated that the body had existed before them and the membership cards was printed 20 years before August 1991, adding that date only witnessed its physical inauguration. His word: “It was not in 1991 that the Holy Father started this pew; He had already constituted the body before August 1991. August 14, 1991 witnessed the physical manifestation of this body.
In 1973, the Father declared the first set of Christ student Virgins of Brotherhood of the Cross and Star. Also, in 1978, a table was brought into the Great Hall and two people stood on it and were revealed as Virgins of Brotherhood of the Cross and Star.”
Brother Akpan hinted that the Father’s dream of constituting the Virgins’ body in the Kingdom seemed to be unrealistic at the initial time until August 14, 1991.
He stressed that they were not celebrating their victory over obstacles or attainment of perfection but the Father’s endurance, tolerance and love on them over the years. This event is a celebration of the fulfilment of the Father’s word in inaugurating the Virgins pew, he added.
The week-long event which is celebrated on August 14th annually was tagged; ‘Celebrating the unwavering love of the Father’.
It was attended by 144,000 Virgins at home and in the Diaspora as well as their parents and members of Brotherhood.
Speaking on behalf of the parents shortly after the event, Senior Christ Servant (SCS) Eric Iyango, Editor of Our Missionary Magazine, stated that the essence of the celebration was not the number of years they have spent in the service of God but their achievements within the period.
He advised them to continue to hold onto the tenets of the Kingdom as that would be a source of blessing to their families and mankind.
Also, the event’s planning committee chairman; Brother Jesse Odum called on his colleagues to be steadfast in their calling and continue to be good ambassadors of the Kingdom at their various stations.
Our correspondents report that the one week event featured visitation to BCS departments, Bible Class/Interactive forum, Novelty football match, evangelism, fasting, dinner and a visit to Tinapa Business Resort.
Other highlights were the launching for the body’s Mega building project and presentation of choral awards to members of the pew who contributed in no small measure to the development of songs in the pew.
The awardees were; Brothers Sunday Akpan, Jerry Edet, victor Ekanem, Simon Edosowan, Jesse Odum, Joseph Abba, Itoro Abraham and Bright Uwa.
Others were; Brothers Paul Obo, Hezekiah Mbosowo, Sister Love Umoh including a posthumous award for the late Music Icon, Brother Godwin Akpan Etuk, a.k.a. Goddy One >>>> View Pictures