By Magnus Effiong
Residents of Ikot Eneobong in Calabar and its environs, weekend, expressed excitemet as the General Overseer of the Christian Central Chapel International CCCI, Bishop Dr. Emmah Isong commissioned a mini shopping complex and named it after six prominent members of the Church who passed on some years ago.
Bishop Isong, who doubles as the National Publicity Secretary of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria PFN, during the commissioning, said the new shopping mall, christened ‘Coat of Many Colours Multipurpose Mall “will keep memories of our departed members alive since they once kept the churches alive through their services.”
Speaking shortly before giving out certificates of remembrance to the families of the six departed members, the PFN Chieftain said the “memory of the just is blessed, but the name of the wicked shall rot.
“Let people not see us as people who used and dumped them. Even in death they should be remembered. Pastors should give back to the community, give back to the membership.”
When asked to explain what motivated him to establishing a mini-shopping complex rather than focusing on the preaching of the gospel, the Church leader said the initiative would assist residents of the community buy at less cost as compared to what is obtainable in the area.
“Because I live in the village with my people,I see the way they suffer. I decided to build this shops so that they can pick the goods at almost no cost.” Isong stated.
The gospel preacher, who did not mention the exact figure that the Min-mart would cost, advised Nigerian Pastors not to see pulpit as the only place to influence people.
“Bring a platform like this, to make small scale businesses to grow. Lets try to remember people that served the church for more than a decade,” he stated.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry in the State, Barr Rosemary Archibong, described business as a veritable tool towards prosperity.
She urged youths of the community not to relent in setting up small and medium scale enterprises which, she argued, if nurtured properly is likely to caterpault them into big time entrepreneurs.
A resident of the area, who preferred to be called only Ekpenyong, expressed excitement over the ability of the Church to immortalise the departed, saying some of those honoured died many years ago. While commending the CCCI leadership for the vision, Ekpenyong charged other Churches to borrow a leaf from CCCI’s kind gesture.