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Akwa Ibom community thrown into mourning as popular pastor dies

Akwa Ibom community thrown into mourning as popular pastor dies

The Christian community in Akwa Ibom State has been thrown into a moment of grief following the sudden death of a popular pastor and church founder, Ezekiel Atang of the God’s House of Refuge.

Atang, whose teachings and exhortation found wide acceptability among the youths because his messages centred around issues of relationships, love and sex reportedly died during a “missionary journey” that took the 49-year-old preacher to Onitsha, Anambra State during the week after he was said to have had a series of programmes in Uyo that lasted throughout the weekend.

In a seven-paragraph statement issued by the church and signed by the resident pastor, Stanley Orji, confirming the tragic incident, it stated that the sudden death occurred on Sunday, 20th February 2022 while in active pastoral duties at Onitsha, Anambra State.

According to the statement, Atang while on earth led a purposeful and impactful life, adding that he was an ardent preacher of the word, a passionate soul winner, a transformational leader and a family builder of repute.

He will be remembered for his life-changing messages and signature programmes like, Singles Frank talk and Fresh Wines for Couples, the statement added saying that the church and indeed the Christian community is elated that he left a worthy legacy behind.

Always known for his designers’ suits and wears, Atang could easily be spotted in a crowd and had never wavered in continuously delivering messages of hope, talking about boisterous relationship issues and good Christian conduct that found ready expression with the youths.

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Meanwhile, prominent indigenes of the state and members of the Christian community nationwide have sent messages of condolences and visited the bereaved family to condole those he left behind who included his wife, children and his mother.

Visiting the family, Governor Udom Emmanuel and his deputy, Moses Ekpo expressed sadness over Atang’s death, describing it as a colossal loss.

“Honestly, I say, I lack words; I got confused when I got the message during an official engagement in Abuja. My colleagues noticed what happened, I could not recover at all but I summed up my courage and strength.

“On behalf of all of us, we came to say let God be the one to take over this matter, let God be the one to step in and strengthen this family and console you all.

‘’We his friends will do our best to see how we can help but nothing can replace a father, nothing can replace a husband, nothing can replace a brother, nothing can replace a son.’’

In his tribute, Onofiok Luke, a former speaker of Akwa Ibom assembly and currently a member of the House of Representatives said Atang would be missed for his “rib cracking jokes of yours that eases every kind of tension,’’ saying the “Akwa Ibom community has lost a true soldier in the army of Christ.’’