COCIN Recapitalizes Light Bearer Newspaper, Holds Fund Raising, Maiden Public Lecture

Our Reporter

As part of efforts to ensure the sustainability of the Light Bearer newspaper, Nigeria’s foremost Christian newspaper, its publishers, Church of Christ in Nations, COCIN, have organized a special event to raise funds for the recapitalization of the newspaper.

The event held in Jos, Plateau State featured a special lecture focusing on the legacies of the founder of the Newspaper, Lucy Evangeline Kumm.

Other events that featured included the presentation of awards to some individuals who have over the years helped the newspaper in areas of sales, advertisement and patronage.

Speaking on the topic “The Love that kept nothing back”: Celebrating the extraordinary missionary zeal and impact of Lucy Evangeline Guinness Kumm,” a Legal Luminary, Professor Dakas C. J. Dakas, SAN, posited that sustaining The Light Bearer was predicated on the fact that it holds “a unique and invaluable place in the realm of Christian publishing as an organ of missions,” stating that by contributing to the sustenance of the newspaper, was not just preserving a publication but “upholding a tradition that embodies the timeless values of faith, knowledge, community, and the imperative of The Great Commission through the instrumentality of journalism.”

Prof CJ Dakas – Presenting the lecture during the gathering

Prof. Dakas who paid glowing tributes to Lucy Evangeline Kumm whom he described as an “extraordinary missionary, added that preserving and supporting the newspaper was to honour the rich heritage of Christian journalism and its practitioners and devotees, like Lucy, and the literary skills of the individuals who contributed to its pages.

He pointed out that there was a dearth of Christian newspapers amid an avalanche of publications without fidelity to the truth and Godly virtues, hence The Light Bearer “stands in the gap”, counters skewed narratives, and aligns with the mission of preserving and disseminating Christian literature and teachings.

Said he: “The Light Bearer serves as a vital platform for promoting dialogue, understanding, and unity within the Christian community. It provides a space for Christian-focused voices, perspectives, and experiences to be shared, thereby fostering a sense of community, belonging, and mutual support among believers.

“The Light Bearer plays a crucial role in preserving Christian heritage and documenting the contributions of individuals like Lucy to the global Christian community. It serves as a historical archive and repository of wisdom, ensuring that future generations can learn from the insights and experiences of those who came before them.

The COCIN Executive seated during the event in Jos

“Sustaining The Light Bearer honours the memories and sacrifices of martyrs of Christian Journalism, such as Sunday Gyang Bwede (a reporter of The Lightbearer) and Nathan Sheleph Dabak (Deputy Editor of The Light Bearer), who paid the supreme price in the course of an official assignment when they were murdered by a mob on 24th April 2010.

“Sustaining The Light Bearer is not just about preserving a newspaper; it is about honouring the vision of the missionaries who initiated it, upholding Christian publishing traditions, and nurturing a vibrant community of faith.

“By supporting this publication, we ensure that the light of knowledge, inspiration, and spiritual guidance continues to shine brightly for generations to come.”

In his goodwill remarks, Governor Caleb Mutfwang applauded the church for sustaining the medium that has remained a platform for the Church to tell its story.

“Those who initiated the idea thought very deep. It is a wise decision and it has become a platform for the Church to tell its story.

The governor who was represented by the State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Musa Ashoms said the Church is part of the society, hence it cannot isolate itself by not telling its own story, especially in this era that often comes under attack.

“We are a people of faith and if we don’t tell our story, people will give a perspective to our story and they will not come out the way we would love it.

“You must shape your story the way you want it to be told. If you don’t tell your story, you will hear a different story. The story of the Church must be told by the Church.”

Earlier in his address, COCIN President, Rev. Dr. Amos Mohzo who went down memory lane underscored the contributions of the newspaper describing it as an “integral part in the growth and expansion of the Church.”

Paramount Ruler of the Izere nation-HRH Rev. Dr Isaac Wakili being presented with an award by the COCIN President

The event which was attended by dignitaries from within and outside the state featured the dedication of a book that chronicled the history of the Light Bearer newspaper.

There were special song renditions from the Women Fellowship Nasarawa Gwong and the Church band group of COCIN LCC Sarkin Mangu, Jos.

Among the dignitaries at the event were the paramount ruler of the Izere nation, HRH Rev. Dr. Isaac Wakili, pastors, COCIN members as well as prominent COCIN sons and daughters. There were goodwill messages from retired and serving COCIN leaders, the Senator representing Plateau Central Senatorial Zone, Sen. Diket Plang, Dr. Patrick Dakum, Prof. Elias Bogoro, and Hon. Beni Lar among others.

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