FROM LADIES’ MAN TO MAN OF GOD: JOEL UGWUOKE

CELEBRATING SUPER-JACKSONITES SERIES

I am so happy to present to you this edition of our popular series in which we tell inspirational stories of graduates of the Mass Communication Department, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. This edition features Joel Ugwuoke of the 1999 class. Joel is a Reverend Canon in the Anglican Communion and a lecturer in our department.

I am very grateful to Joel for sharing his heartwarming story with us. I pray for greater grace and higher heights in his service both as a minister of the gospel and as a lecturer in Jesus’ name.

Do read, comment and share on various social media to get many people, especially our youths, inspired. 

FROM LADIES’ MAN TO MAN OF GOD: JOEL UGWUOKE

In the journey of life, only God knows exactly where our path will lead because He made us and plotted that path before we arrived on earth. I saw this clearly in the life of Joel Ugwuoke, the subject of this edition of our popular series in which I celebrate graduates of the Mass Communication Department, University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) or the Jackson Family as insiders call it. Joel, a member of the 1999 class, is a good example of the fact that God can “arrest” the most unlikely and commission them to work in His vineyard.

When I first met Joel, he was an undergraduate student of the department. He was what we call in the popular vernacular, a “fine boy, no pimple”. With his natural good looks, fashionable clothes, mental smartness and having ready cash because he came from a fairly comfortable background, Joel was popular on campus. He was loved by the ladies and he loved them back in the manner of the world. Girls were even fighting over him, bringing food and gifts. In his final year, he served as the Hall Governor of Mbanefo Hostel. He was also the President of the Mass Communication Association (MCA), as the student body was then called, and graduated with a Second Class, Upper Division degree.

As someone who came from means, Joel was open-handed towards other students, drawing on his allowance from home to assist them as much as he could. It is really nice to see an attractive young person who is not vain and selfish but willing to share what he or she has with others. It’s easy to buy another suit, another pair of shoes, etc.; or to say, “I’m not working yet”, rather than reach out to the needy.

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We have an association of believers in the department called Mass Communication Brethren. Joel, by his lifestyle, wasn’t the sort of student to be found in that group. You can imagine my surprise some years later when I met him again and he told me he was an Anglican priest. And take it from me, Joel is not the kind of priest who just reads prayers from a booklet, he is the charismatic type. You have heard of the Evangelical Fellowship of the Anglican Communion (EFAC). He was a member.

It is guys like Joel that God used and is still using to bring revival to the Anglican Communion in Nigeria and see the priests and members operating in the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I’m talking of speaking in tongues, praying and fasting, going for missions, withstanding the devil and occultic powers, conducting deliverance prayers, in fact the whole nine yards of charismatic ministry.

It was a lot to take in. I just needed to hear how his conversion and call to ministry came about. According to him, it was in the year 2000, at his youth service orientation camp at Wanune, Benue State, that he wanted to “toast”* a female corps member but she rebuffed him, saying she wasn’t part of the moral mess going on in camp. The words she used were, “Esoro kwam na mpito a unu n’eme ebe a.”

That was a new one for Joel (the rejection) and he felt really bad. Later, while thinking about it, a voice asked him if it wasn’t time for him to stop the unholy relationships with women and he vowed never to approach a woman for that purpose ever again.

Subsequently, when he started his primary assignment, Joel went to Christ Church, High Level, Makurdi. Before that time, he seldom went to church. As he was entering the hall, the Rev. Canon preaching was talking about chasing women and other youthful lusts. It seemed that the sermon was directed to Joel and the Holy Spirit convicted him. He, therefore, handed over the reins of his life to Jesus. That was the turning point in his life.

Thereafter, he developed a hunger for God and His word and began to attend fellowships, like EFAC. He also attended Gbile Akanni’s Discipleship training. After his youth service, Joel moved to Abuja in search of a job. At that period, he began to receive dreams and visions about ministry which confirmed a vision he had in his third year on campus when he wasn’t even going to church. For instance, he would see himself in full priestly regalia ministering to people. He also heard audible voices telling him that he had some work to do for God.

He began to preach on the streets and go for outreaches even beyond Abuja with a group of other zealous brethren. At this time (2004), he had left his position as National Assembly Correspondent for a privately-owned newspaper to work as a contract staff with the NTA, Area 11. He was anchoring a housing development programme and his monthly take-home pay was about N150,000. That was when the burden to make ministry his vocation became so heavy, it seemed like he was going mad. After seeking counsel from older servants of God, he resigned and returned to Nsukka. (His home town is Obukpa in Nsukka LGA of Enugu State.)

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The process of becoming an Anglican priest is rigorous. You either go straight to the Seminary for four or five years, do apostolic work for one year, before you are made a deacon. After one successful year of deaconship, you will be ordained a priest. But in the case of people like Joel who are already graduates, one will be sent to work as a Teacher (Cathecist) in a local church, usually in a remote area, to test his call and willingness to serve. Joel’s posting as a Cathecist in 2005 attracted a stipend of N5,000 per month. He served in such rural locations as Alor-Uno and Eziani for two years. But Joel held on to the God who called him for sustenance.

In 2005, while he was still a Cathecist, he got married to Ifeyinwa (née Ozioko). It wasn’t easy then. They lived in just one room with a foam on the ground. Funny enough, this made it easy for them to move during his frequent transfers. As of today, they have four children and are much more comfortable.

In early 2007, he was sent for ordination training at the Trinity Theological College, Umuahia. He earned a diploma in Theology there. Thereafter, he was made a deacon and after serving for one year, he was ordained a priest at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Nsukka on July 5, 2009. He has since served in such parishes as St. Luke’s, Amufie, Enugu-Ezike; Emmanuel Church, Ezimo-Uno, Udenu LGA and St. Matthew’s, Ohemuje, Igbo-Etiti LGA. He has also gone for missionary work in remote places like Ugbene-Ajima and Akuyi-Umulokpa, both in Uzo-Uwani LGA. (All these places are in Enugu State).

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Joel had another desire all the while and that was to get a good job to support his family with. So, he decided to further his education to enable him get the kind of job he can combine with ministry without either side suffering. He wanted to be an academic. Through hardwork and persistence, he obtained a Master’s degree in Mass Communication from his alma mater in 2007. Combining full-time ministry with studies is not easy. So, although Joel got that second degree, the grade point average was a little short of what he needed to pursue a doctorate programme.

He, therefore, enrolled for a second Master’s degree in Mass Communication at the Ebonyi State University in 2011. He earned that degree in 2013 and continued to the doctorate level. To the glory of God, he has completed the Ph.D programme, successfully defending his thesis in April 2018.

In early 2016, while he was studying for his doctorate degree, Joel was employed as an Assistant Lecturer at his former department in UNN. What he went through before securing the position is an evidence of his doggedness. I don’t know how many applications he sent in and how many doors he knocked on without success. But he didn’t give up and in God’s good time, he got a positive answer. Currently, he is a Lecturer II. But his fervour for the work of God remains and right now, he is the Reverend Canon in charge of St. Philip’s Parish, Echera, Nsukka.

Besides Joel’s commitment to serving God, his diligence and tenacity, I personally know Joel to be assertive and yet, humble. Sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? I will explain. His humility has already been demonstrated by his agreement to leave his well-paying job as a graduate to go and start at the bottom in ministry. That is humility in his relationship with God. How about humility in his dealings with fellow human beings? I want to touch that based on his interactions with me. But first, I want to elaborate on his assertiveness.

Joel is the sort of person who speaks his mind on issues, both with his peers and superiors. He doesn’t do this rudely but would often preface his statement with,”With all due respect, Sir/Ma” or whoever else he’s addressing. This trait has not endeared him to many people in authority because such people often detest contrary views, which they usually label a sign of insubordination. We see this playing out in schools, offices and politics everyday. All of us are witnesses to how the executive arm of government in Nigeria is muzzling dissent from the other two arms of government, the opposition and the populace in general.

True, there may be a price to pay when you’re outspoken. You may not get everything as easily as others who choose to be lap dogs. But the truth is that, as we commonly hear, delay is not denial. Eventually, what God has planned for you will get to you no matter who constitutes themselves into obstacles to it and sometimes, when it does, it’s bigger and better than you anticipated. Without going into specifics, this has been Joel’s testimony over time.

I promised to share with you how I have experienced Joel’s humility. Joel describes himself as my “son” but talk is cheap. It is how someone relates with you that shows what is real and what is not. I will give three relevant examples here which will make better sense to you if you remember that on a normal day, Joel’s plate is full. There was a time I was ill and needed medical attention. I confided in Joel and he prayed for me. When I was referred from Nsukka to Enugu, Joel took me in his car, sat with me in the hospital waiting room to encourage and calm me down and brought me back later.

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There were occasions when I reprinted my books in Enugu and he ferried me in his car to collect them. There was also a time when if my car needed major maintenance repairs, I’ll just call Joel and he’ll take the car to the Mechanic Village, personally supervise the job and ensure that I don’t spend a kobo more than necessary. At the time he was doing this, he was already married and with children. If that is not humility, I don’t know what is.

I earlier told you that Joel is kind and now that he’s working in the department, I see it in how he blesses both students and non-academic staff. He still does this in his big boy style, giving what will astound the receiver.

You may be wondering if Joel is perfect. No one is and he’s no exception. For example, he is still asking God to teach him how to correct people in gentleness. He is praying for Gods grace to teach him how to give people the benefit of the doubt or cut them a little slack when they misbehave without encouraging them in their wrongdoing. This quality is highly needed in his roles as a husband, father, pastor and lecturer.

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Joel’s service to God has been very fulfilling. He has seen many saved, healed and delivered in his family, the congregations he has pastored and the outreaches he has held. He recalls a lady who was brought to his church in 2015 with an HIV-positive result. He prayed for her and she went back for testing. The test came out negative. She has since married and has a baby. The lady, her husband and their child are all HIV-negative.

Also, in December 2017, an eight-year-old girl with a hole in her heart was brought to Joel’s home by her family from Port Harcourt. She looked so gaunt and dark. When she breathed, people in the neighbourhood would hear. She was to be flown to India for surgery. Following the Lord’s direction, Joel held the little girl to his chest and commanded the hole in her heart to close. Before the next day, that horrific noise that the girl made when she breathed stopped. By two days’ time when they got to Port Harcourt, the girl was hale and hearty and has remained so. The testimonies are just too many to recount here.


Rev. Canon Joel Ugwuoke dedicating a child born after his parents (non-Anglicans) called him to pray for the mother to avert fatalities from birth complications she was facing.

Joel believes that, “Every human being is a divine project, regardless of the circumstances in which he or she was born.” He reminds us of the Lord’s words to Jeremiah the prophet, “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you and ordained you a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5) and encourages every child of God to “keep your faith and remain focused, for all things shall surely work together for your good.”

Joel holds a miracle and healing service every first Sunday of the month in his current parish. It is a time of sharing revelations from the Word of God and impartations of the Spirit of God. Joel is not very active on social media but for whatever it’s worth, his Facebook profile is Joel Chlnedum.

I hope you’ve been blessed reading his story. May God guide each of us along our life’s journey and use us to His glory in Jesus’ name.

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*To toast a lady is to ask to date her

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Hi! Care to share what you are taking away from this story?

Do you do any work for God, whether in an ordained capacity or not? If yes, please share to enrich others.

You are highly blessed in Jesus’ name.

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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.

218 thoughts on “FROM LADIES’ MAN TO MAN OF GOD: JOEL UGWUOKE

  1. I’m deeply touched by Rev. Canon Ugwuoke’s conversion story and how he’s followed the Lord doggedly since he was saved. His is clearly a genuine salvation experience, something that is increasingly becoming a rarity in our days. I pray that the Lord grant him grace to stay true to the end and finish strong

    • Thank you for that wonderful prayer, Aniekan. I appropriate it for all of us that are saved and say a big “Amen” to it in Jesus’ name.

  2. God this piece just humbled me, God can use anyone, anytime and anywhere…

    The first time Rev. Joel entered our class grace hovered around, unlike my class there was absolute quietness then he opened his mouth wisdom followed suit… He said I will not ask you to stop making noise or scold you but one thing you should know is that I’m a man of God and grace speaks for me. Rather than disturb myself, I will allow the Holy Spirit to do his job. His attitude, dress sense, giving and approachable nature points to the direction of Who he is representing. May God who choose him continue to strengthen him and give him the grace to continue to worship in spirit and in truth. Thanks, ma’am, this piece is indeed inspiring.

    • Thanks for sharing, Judith. When we have the help of the Holy Spirit, we don’t struggle in the flesh to make our presence felt or be obeyed. In fact, His dweeling in us makes the difference in everything that pertains to us. Have a wonderful day!

  3. This story is really interesting. Especially getting to know that it is not always something bad or terrible that brings people to God’s Service. May he grow in faith and work more in God’s vineyard. Amen. I miss your warm conversations but a read from this blog makes me feel like you are around.??

  4. “Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you”. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
    This captures the quality that Rev Joel displayed which gave God the opportunity to use him and sanctify his people. The biblical saying that “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) is that which we ought to work for and ask for his sufficient grace to sustain us to the end.

  5. The road to success is like the road to the promised land. You struggle everyday to pass through hectic situations just to achieve your dreams. Some people go the extra mile to get to the top but after all this find it difficult to cater for their needs thereby applying what we call scale of preference. But in my own view, I think academic success is different from success in the real world because there is a difference between riches and wealth. Some people are rich but we don’t know what they are made for while some create wealth in terms of invention, innovations and technology but I am very much happy for our humble, kind nd smart lecturer, Dr Joel Ugwuoke, for going this far in creating wealth and also improving his career.

  6. Rev. Joel is indeed an epitome of selflessness and true service to humanity. As his student, I’ve personally come to the understanding that God uses even the unlikely to get his work fulfilled. This understanding came one day in class when he told us about his undergraduate stories, just as you describe here. Even in admonitions, he does that as resounding as possible. He takes reality into consideration when admonishing anyone that comes his way. Imagine when I went to him to explain why I got the score in one of his continuous assessments, he gladly accepted my request, explained it clearly and I got myself to blame at the end for misplacing some photographs and placing them in the wrong side…
    May God bless you for me sir. You are not there yet. My assurance is that you will get to that level where your accolades will know no bounds. Bless you, Ainty Edith. I’m blessed!

  7. Wow! I bless the name of the Lord who in His infinite mercies delivers us from iniquity. The story of Rev Joel Ugwuoke is a clear example that God can use anybody irrespective of who we are. Thank God for the salvation of Rev Joel. Even when he was not yet a believer, that didn’t stop him from being a blessing to the people around him. May God bless him richly and more grace to his ministry. God bless you, ma, for this post.

  8. WOW. THIS WRITE UP REALLY ENCOURAGES US THAT AT ANY TIME WE TURN BACK TO GOD HE IS READY TO ADMIT US BACK. THANK YOU MA. I AM INSPIRED

  9. This is great.This story reminds me of a certain man named Paul in the bible who was converted on his way to persecute the Christians it shows that God is not a respecter of human status he uses who he wants no matter his/her background..

  10. This is superb, it’s really encouraging, that means no matter what we do we will still turn back to God, the source of all

  11. Very motivating story you have here. Our ears should always be open to listen to God when he calls

  12. Wow! there is this feeling in my heart that God want me to serve him on his alter. Well i start rethinking. Rev. Joel Ugwuoke is an amazing simple man. I am truly inspired by his story, “Super Jacksonites” indeed. Surely when men walk rightly with God, all doors of favor and grace will continue to pour in.

  13. Very lovely and inspiring write up, God can use even the worst criminal to bring Glory to his name and I pray that as God used Mr.Joel may he also use me to glorify his name. Thanks for sharing this testimony with us ma.

  14. What an inspiring story, God always calls us in different ways, just like Rev father Obayi who was once in a secret society but he later became a Catholic priest and now he is performing a lot of miracles. That is why I call God unchangeable changer because he can make make all impossibility to become possible. I really thank God for the life of Rev. Joel. I pray that the good Lord will equally touch our hearts so that we can turn from our bad behavior to a good one because I know God is a merciful God. I’m really happy to have read this post…

  15. What an inspiring story, God always call us in different ways just like Rev. Fr Paul Obayi who once in a secret society but he later became a Catholic priest and now he is performing a lot of miracle, that is why I call God unchangeable changer because he can make all impossibility to become possible. I really thank God for the gift of Rev. Joel, I pray that the good lord equally touch our heart so that we can turn from our bad behaviour to a good one because I know God is a merciful God. Am really happy to be part of people that participated in reading this post…

  16. It is amazing how God can turn or change a man’s life and make him a mighty vessel in the house of God. I pray that God will continue to uphold Rev Joel.

  17. God can use anyone for his work..even the ones we never expect him to pick,,Mr. Joel ugwuoke would never had thought he was fit enough to work as a servant of God…but suprisingly God had other plans for him am glad he obeyed the call,am sure the rejection from the female corper must have really shocked him down to his bone marrows?God is really full of suprises??

  18. it’s good to know that we still have men like this guy, who can be trusted to set an example in repentance and strict self discipline and application to bible principles.

  19. To say i am touched is to say the least. coming to know God and choosing to follow him in our world is one decision that is hard, but you make it and you are made for life. may God help us all who seek him to find him like you did Sir, amen.

  20. Indeed God uses the very least of his children for his good works, though I have not had any calling by God, neither am I doing any thing really good for him like winning souls, but I’ve really been inspired by this story and I believe God can also use me for his good works.

  21. Am so touched by Joel’s patience and love for God. It shows that God can use anybody irrespective of your background or qualification.

  22. Very inspiring story MA, I have learnt that God does not call the qualified but he qualifies those who he has called.

  23. This story indeed touched me. If Joel can turn from the ladies’ man to an Anglican priest, who am I to say no when God calls me? Also his dedication to serve the Lord and his humility are two things I like about Joel. Thank you, ma, for sharing this.

  24. Rev Joel Ugwuoke’s incidently my namesake conversion story reminds me of Saul of Tarsus’ persecution Our Lord’s Jesus followers but was struck blind on the road to Damascus. Paul as he was later called devoted his life, time and energy for a cause he fought against with relish. I pray Rev canon Joel Ugwuoke is endowed with such zeal.
    Permit me ma to ask why he had to share one room with his wife when he was supposed to be of wealthy background in his undergraduate years? His parents disowned him for turning to the Lord? Or he took vow of poverty as some Catholic priests do? Just Curious ma no offence intended

    • My dear, no offence taken. I didn’t ask him but I know that most parents can only carry their children so far. Not many will continue to cater for you after you are married. Or perhaps he chose to prove God for himself.

  25. A very touching story. Is to show us that before we come into this world God has already say what we are going to be. My God continue to guide him in his ways

  26. This story is motivational and spiritual. It tells the youth that if they have a calling from God and they are falling into social vices that they should return and answer to God’s call before it becomes late. Endurance, patience and humility are the key attitudes an individual needs to succeed in life.

  27. It’s really a nice life story, captivating and with lots of lessons. Most times disappointments can lead us to our destiny. I also have learnt to stop lusting after girls and serve God in my own little way. I wish him greater heights in his ministry.

  28. Wow, this story is really touching. Joel was really led by the Holy Spirit. He never gave up in any circumstance. Joel’s humility is what I really liked about him and I pray that after reading this story, I too will be led by the Holy Spirit to fulfill my dreams

  29. The journey to success is not an easy one. It requires hardwork, courage and steadfastness. Finally, you need God: “one with God is majority”.

  30. I am deeply touched with this story – the conversion of Rev. Joel.
    The truth is that God has chosen some people to serve at the altar before the foundation of the world. That is why the devil – the enemy of our soul will try everything possible to useless the potential men/women of God at the initial stage so that God will not call him as he has planned. I also know that God through Bro Gbile Akani of Gboko Benue State ministered revival message that led to his final conversion. May God be praised forever. Amen!

  31. No matter how bad one’s life is God can still use you to do get things just as seen in Joel’s life

  32. God works in mysterious ways…. Who would have believed that Joel would become a man of God… I’m so happy he followed his spirituality with faith and he never gave up in times of his financial difficulties.

  33. God bless the Reverend for paying attention to God’s voice. Now he is a blessing to this generation. He was patient and fervent in God’s service, and that is what God requires from his children.

  34. This is a challenge to many who are afraid of saying the truth for fear of disfavour from colleagues.

  35. I’m very inspired by this story. It takes a lot of hard work to conquer the world and the devil.
    Rev Joel had been chosen by God all along to serve him, this is his destiny, and it’s such a beautiful thing to see him blossom in his destiny.

  36. Sometimes we stray from the path God marked for us from the beginning but for his grace we are always brought back. Thank God for his life

  37. No matter the plans we feel we have mapped out and all our worldly deeds, when the Lord wants to use us, He washes us and lets our trespasses pass away.

  38. No matter how disobedient you think you want to be to God, if he needs you, he will still get you

  39. Waoo!!!! God is great.. God choose ones to work for him irrespective of who you are… He can use a native doctor or prostitute to glorify His name… Let’s pray for God’s grace, to hear God’s voice when He is calling us to work for Him…. Indeed, our God is a merciful God!

  40. What we do in our youthful age do not determine what we become. God can still use us for his work.

  41. Wow! God can really pick people up from anywhere, that is why a song writer said “their is nothing the Lord cannot do”. May the Lord that brought him this far continue to energize him IJN, amen.

  42. This is great. This story reminds me of a certain man named Paul in the bible who was converted on his way to persecute the Christians it shows that God is not a respecter of human status, it’s really encouraging, that means no matter what we do we will still turn back to God, the source of all

  43. I bless God for leading him to where he is meant to be and also giving him the strength to be a priest, a father and a lecture. Many people do not have such grace.

  44. You cannot resist the call of God. His ways are not our ways. It’s a great and remarkable thing that Rev. Ugwoke allowed God to use him sincerely. More Grace!

  45. This is really a touching story. If God wants to use one as an instrument for dissemination of his words, you can’t run away from it. For instance, Saul later converted and become Paul.

  46. God is the creator and director of the essence in our existence. He chooses his ministers regardless of their circumstances or past just as He chose Rev. Joel Ugwuoke to heal and save lives. Thank you, ma, for this story.

  47. There’s something that confuses m,most of those great man do start their life with un-seriousness behavior, but his way is different from ours,he mercy for whom he will mercy for,

  48. Don’t judge a book by its cover, every one has a role to play on earth, all we need is the grace…. His life is an inspiration…. What a beautiful piece! ☺ ☺

  49. Wow! From the way the story is told I don’t think he had a good past life but God arrested him. His life is a testimony. Thank God he listened to the voice that spoke to him during his service. I admire his humility and his service to both God and man. Our God is intentional. His plans are always the best. May God bless Rev. Joel Ugwuoke.

  50. Wow!

    Nothing can stop God from making His Choice. The story of Rev. Ugwuoke is proof that no matter how filthy a sinner you were in your past, God can still pick you up and transform you in the most divine way

    This is a success story no doubt

  51. It seems it a trend that most great men of God usually had a sinful background. when some of them tell their you will know that God is really faithful. The devil will want to play with great destinies, he knows the people God has designed to use to put his (devil’s) kingdom in confusion, so he (devil) tries to mar destinies before the y blossom to become a terror to his kingdom. But God is faithful and is ready to watch His word to bring it to fulfillment. as long as God had made a pronouncement upon our lives He will surely purpose it. No matter how clever the devil may claim to be God’s knowledge is superior to the devil’s.

  52. its true that all men have a thing for women they cant just pass good thing and let it go free {women} and the evil devil will always want to use this against thier christain faith but the Good lord will never allow this of his own people,God said in his holy book the bible that only those with sins are whom he seek not the righteous ones as his children and sinners we should always cling onto him for support against the devil and his crew this is a nice one Ma, you have taught us a great lesson that people can also change.

  53. This story of the conversion of Rev. Joel chinedum ugwuoke makes me to understand that everybody can be save, no matter your sinful background, as far as you have accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and saviour. You will surely be saved

  54. God is a merciful and still works in mysterious ways beyond human comprehension. The story of Rev Joel from when he was still an unbeliever till God called him remends me of God’s conversion of st Paul on his way to Damascus. This means that God call’s the least expected to work in his vineyard.

  55. God really arrested Joel. When God is set to use someone His grace shall forever follow that person. I thank God for his favours upon Rev Joel Ugwuoke.

  56. This is a call for the contemporary youths to change their ways. Time waits for no one. You may think that you are enjoying yourself as an undergraduate, that when you graduate you will give your life to Christ. Who knows tomorrow? What if death occurs? Remember, you’re not Joel. Change your ways and let God use you now.

  57. Every human is a divine project. Rev. Joel is an epitome of a worker in God’s vineyard. Selfless and serving humanity truly.

  58. Courage and boldness helps us to stand out.
    No matter the mistakes we’ve encountered In life we shouldn’t give up

  59. When the devil sees a man destined to be great he will look for an avenue to destroy that soul.That is the more reason why we should pray for our loved ones for God to open there eyes,that the way they are heading to is a way of doom.Thank God for the holyspirit that arrested Joel.

  60. One wonderful thing about our God is that he is able to pick us up from the dung hill and set us up on high. No case is too hard for him. If he could save Rev Joel Ugwuoke, then he can save anybody!

  61. Thanks to God that he was willing to change despite the fact that his past was not really okay but the most important thing is that he Finally used his live to serve God and he reaped the fruit of his labour because God is not a user of people but a rewarder of faithfulness and secondly like his perseverance and determination which he applied during the Time of difficulty

  62. When GOD needs his creature to serve him,he has a better way of getting them to do it. It would have not been easy for the young man but he was able to scale through and has become what GOD wants him to be.
    GOD can reshape and remould our destiny even when we doubt that no such can happen.

  63. When GOD needs his creature to serve him, he had a way of getting them to do it. It would have not been easy for the young man but he was able to scale through and has become what GOD wants him to be.
    GOD remoulds and reshapes our destiny even when we doubt that no such can happen.

  64. I think the life of Joel should be a challenge to Christians today who often stray from their faith for one reason or the other.

  65. It is heartwarming that men of God who finally turn a new leaf always end up doing great things in the kingdom of God? I thank God that he who is lost is now found and he is serving well in the kingdom of God.

  66. The bible makes us to understand that the heart of a king is in God’s hands to turn as He (God) wills. little wonder new christian converts do great exploits for God not minding their pasts. If Christ can arrest Saul who later became Paul, am not shocked at this story, but i sincerely thank God for your life sir.

  67. It is pleasing that after all the hardship he suffered he didn’t give up.
    This is a real moral lesson.

  68. From the popular ”fine” boy to an Anglican priest. This shows God can use anyone at any time and we must be ready to yield.

  69. See how God change his life and began to use him greatly… Every human being is indeed a divine project . He should be great inspiration to us all.

  70. Whenever christ is in our life, there is always a turning point. Things begin to work for our Good. This is an inspiring work; it can turn a sinful heart to God

  71. Rev Joels’ story shows that God picks anyone, irrespective of your background and what you have done in the past.. What’s left is for us to decide if we still want to dwell in our past filled with iniquities or follow God’s will which is filled with grace

  72. Am really blessed with this story, This story made me to understand that God can arrest anybody to work in his vineyard no matter what you have indurged yourself in the past. I pray for more grace in his ministry in Jesus name. Amen

  73. This shows us that God can use anybody at anytime.Most we do get this calling to do a particular thing for God, it must not be priesthood but that calling is still there,why not heed to that voice like how he did and you will be amazed in what God has for you…

  74. We will all be what God has destined us to be no matter how much we run away from it.This transformation story is just wonderful.Imagine leaving your well-paying job back to square one? It takes enough grace for that to happen and in the end, he didn’t regret for choosing to answer God’s call.I only pray for the kind of grace to come upon me too when I am challenged with such trial. Good luck in your race Sir Joel.

  75. “Many are called but few are chosen.” Blessed are those who are called and chosen as well. And blessed are those who answered their call. How wonderful God operates!

  76. God knows how to lift his people up. Yours is just to accept your gospel fate and do things according, dedicate yourself to his work, that’s gonna make you great.

  77. Jeremiah 1:5,”before I formed you in the womb,I knew you”
    This testimony is wonderful, God created us to serve him,he is a wonderful God who will never allow his children to go astray.
    May him be praised.

  78. In the journey of life, only God knows exactly where our path will lead because He made us and plotted that path before we arrived on earth…that’s why we should not recriminate nor hate someone because of his or her attitudes…change is natural and always occurring at Gods time.

  79. God truly work in mysterious ways.when he wants to call you for a purpose he does not look at your unclean past and one should pay attention to God’s call and not take it for granted

  80. The part that caught me was when he left his well paying job to work in a remote village. I am a Jonah and I shudder at the mere thought of giving up my comfort for evangelical purposes but I’m under construction! lol

  81. This is a very touching and inspiring testimony, many are called but few are chosen, God can use anyone to fulfil his ministry,

  82. what is written is written, as can be seen in the life of Joel, despite the kind of life he lived in school and while in the campus, God still use him to do miraculous work.

  83. His dedication to the work of God is really an inspiration to all,his story shows that God can use anybody..i cant wait to come across this great man of God???

  84. God indeed came for sinners. We must endeavor to answer when ever he calls, also our destiny can be delayed but can never be denied.

  85. Hmmm, this shows that no matter what you do or what you believe in, if God want to use you for His assignment, nothing can stop it, not even you no matter how much you try. I never knew one of our lecturers is actually a living testimony to this kind of heavenly calling. I thank God for his life and more grace to him and his ministry.

  86. There is nothing more encouraging and fulfilling than being used by God.God’s roads for us may not be one that appears successful from our human vantage point,yet serves as a part of his divine plan to fulfil his purposes in our lives.

  87. Truly heartwarming to find that in spite of our shortcomings and largely immoral conducts, the grace of God could still write a whole new chapter of redemption in our lives.
    Joel’s story, tells of one who’s new life in Christ as his servant, comes as a surprise to the majority who knew his “old self.”
    However, it is a reminder as well to us all that we should never be the judge of one’s conduct and not to write one off as useless until death.

  88. Whenever God needs a man, it doesn’t matter where you are or what you are doing. He finds you, breaks you and mold you to his standard and begins work with you.

  89. God is the God of 11th hour,his plans are not the ways of men,He can use anybody irrespective of your past life,he would bring out of darkness and set you before the light.

  90. God works in a mysterious ways he always uses people we don’t expect that can render his service.God don’t remember or look at our past ones he want to use us.

  91. Reminds me of Saul in the bible… The way God calls people that should ordinarily be tagged as “unworthy” still baffles me, I just Pray that his past wont let people look down on him

  92. Most people choose a path different from what God has drafted for us. We have tend to use God’s gifts to gain earthly pleasures
    Rev. Joel’s story can be linked to this, thank God he accepted his call

  93. I still find it a little hard to believe, Rev. Joels’ story is amazing. Working for God is the greatest fulfillment one can have. I pray that the lord will keep strengthening him

  94. His past is not judgemental to the present.when God chooses a man no matter what,He has ways of accomplishing it just like bro Jonah in the Bible rev Joel has been arrested by God and God is indeed faithful to him

  95. This indeed shows that God can use anyone no matter how sinful we think dirty or unclean our past life is. Also, this further shows how attentive we should be to the spirit so in case he calls us, we make our self ready for Him.

  96. This post is just a confirmation of God’s excess love for the salvation of mankind.. No matter how big your sins are, God can still save you.. This is reflected in the life of Rev. Joel…. Man Proposes, God Disposes

  97. This is heart touching. Truly, God is able to qualify anyone, transform their lives and use them to his glory. Joel’s passion and doggedness is one worth emulating.

  98. This is really a touching story. God is a miracle worker. No matter what happens in life, if you are meant to be what God has said you will be, no man can change it.

  99. This story truly amazes me, just reminds me of the life of my uncle, who would ever beleive in my family that my uncle could become a man of God reverend for that matter.God works in miraculous ways those we tagged unworthy are actually those he uses, which proves the fact that everybody is equal in the sight of God because we are all his children.

  100. This is really a touching one..the change was from the statement that girl gave..but aftewards i see the zeal he had. He was a ladies man initially but was called and he became the man of God serving zealously and wholeheartedly…very inspiring..gives me something to think about

  101. I believe that even though your sins are as huge as humanity itself,when God wants to use you he doesn’t look back. I just love this.

  102. The post is quite an inspiring one, God uses any one he wants to be his vessel of honour no matter your background, past life or sins committed by you. Is always a good thing to answer Gods calling

  103. The story of Joel is a clear example that every human being in life has a reason for living and that God has a purpose for everyone. Joel’s story is really inspiring. Even in his wayward way of life back on campus, that unique character was still seen in his help for people. His life is a great testimony.

  104. He is a merciful God and his way is different from ours. He can change a killer to be born again; with him everything is possible.

  105. The post is very amazing it shows us that when you are picked by God to be his vessel of honour
    He can use you no matter your circumstances . Regardless of what occurs throughout everyday life, the will of God always come to pass

  106. Woow…what a life,who would believe that a man like Joel owning to the kind of life he lived back then in school, would become a good Christian let alone a priest…. His life simply illustrates that no one is too bad to be uplifted…. Thanks for sharing this amazing post.

  107. isn’t it surprising how God picks from those we least expect to serve and when this happens, we begin to see things in accordance with the will of God. keep up with the good work Sir.

  108. Hm! this is quite refreshing,God made us and have reason for making us therefore we don’t have the authority to conclude on one’s destiny.And when God knock at the door of your heart we should not hesitate to open the door as Rev Joel did not hesitate . The road to success is not easy, struggle and pain is a necessary path way to accomplishment, and God’s spirit seeks and uses the humble heart just as he is using Rev Joel.

  109. How great our father is,he made us and he understands us;he knows our beginning and our end because he knows us even before we were born,we don’t need to judge any body simply because of what we see,all we need to do is advice the person cos our saviour knows best.

  110. You know this story is just trying to tell us not to judge anyone no matter how bad the person might be now, cause you never foresee tomorrow. God can use anybody from a ladies man to a priest who would have thought of that. God is good, nice one ma.

  111. Amazing, it could only be God. He loves us all with an exceedingly great love. And surely, He makes all things new.

  112. It is written in the scripture that “God opposes the proud but give grace to the humble”. Reverend canon Ugwuoke is a humble man of God which is seen in different Stages of His life. What God has destined for us, nobody born of woman can change it and also we cannot run from our call. God uses anybody he like to work for him. I pray that God who have ordained reverend Canon Ugwuoke to work in his vineyard we continue to see him through and gibe him the strength, enablement and power to continue to work for God with all sincerity of heart through Christ our Lord.

  113. God’s Calling is God’s calling .. .no matter how your life has been. Or how u want your life to be structured, When God calls u. U will leave everything behind and follow his call.. This happened here

  114. If we know that the position we are in right now is bad ,we should remove ourselves from there if truly we want a good and great change in our lives.

  115. We great jacksonite always strive and show our marks wherever we step our foot in. God can use and lift anyone as far as you are right with him.Nice one one ma,God really work and operate in different ways.

  116. This story is a very touching one, this story inspires me, trust God in all you do, and you will always be happy.

  117. God is a merciful God. He does not look at our sins neither does He looks at our status or what we are when He wants to use us. He is after our sole. I pray that God will be with Reverend ugwuoke through out his ministry.

  118. Nice story. This story shows that destiny must be fulfilled. What’s meant to be will definitely be. No matter what happens, God’s will, always comes to pass.

  119. This story shows that God can use anyone irrespective of their background or past to do his work. And it also shows that the spirit of God in us makes us better people.

  120. Nice one ma,great jacksonite will always strive and show themselves.Success will chase or rush them wherever they go. God can use anything and show his awesomeness,God really work and operate in mysterious ways.

  121. I have been blessed by this story; it makes me realise that if we give ourselves to God, he would make us great channels of blessings and we would never have a cause to regret our decision. Though the journey might not be a smooth one, he would never forsake us, he would forever be our strength.

  122. I pray God will also call me one day and use me as an instrument in his vineyard. This is an inspirational story. God uses whoever he desires irrespective of their past.

  123. I thank God for Fr. Joel, for being dedicated to God really pays. #All good things indeed comes from God#

  124. When God wants to use you he doesn’t look at your past mistakes because, before him you are a new creature. Sometimes, it’s difficult to answer God’s call, especially when you have gone far in life. Bravo, Rev. Canon Joel

  125. Oh my God, am not aware of all this about photojournalism lecturer apart ffrom the fact that he is a Reverend Father and students always pass his course.
    It’s very rare to see someone as determined and humble like him for instance the case of redoing his master at Ebonyi state, I know that some of us can’t do that. Even when he is married, he still combines it with schooling and ministry. I admire his strength so much to be able to hold till the end

  126. I have always admired Reverned Joel Ugwoke from a distance right from my first year in school. I always thought he was a Catholic priest and this might sound funny, but I’m glad he’s not. I believe a good man like him would have offspring that are just as good. I like his conversion story considering how difficult it is for a man of the world to turn to Christ. God has been using him to propagate his word and this is an evidence that he has God’s calling.

  127. This is a good story about our lecturer. I Know him to be good especially the way he approaches students. God can use us as his vessel. When God truly calls someone to his ministry, the glory reflects on the individual. We should portray good character always because we may never know when such good will become a blessing to us.

  128. Wow!!! He’s really blessed and a favoured man, life wasn’t easy at the early stage but today he’s life is full of testimonies. His life story also showed that God doesn’t look at the sins of man to choose them to work for him… May God continue to bless him.

  129. Indeed,in the journey of life, only God knows exactly where our path will lead because He made us and plotted that path before we arrived on earth. The great transformation of life is always surprising but like the Bible says, the heart of a king is in the hands of God… May the Lord keep using you to bless lives sir.

  130. Wow…
    I’ve heard stories on how God ends up using the least likely of persons for his work, even apostle Paul is an example. Thank God for that turning point in the life of Joel that made him realise that there was a reason for his being here on earth. I pray God opens our eyes to see exactly what he wants us to do both in ministry and career wise. Thank you ma for sharing

  131. Humility is a rare virtue, I commend his humility. For someone to leave what he or she is doing just to render help, it speaks impeccably of him.

  132. Thank you for sharing ma, he is my lecturer and is of humility and human passion.
    The personality profile is a guide.

  133. Thank you, ma, for talking about this amiable person. Every now and then, we need a reminder that God can use anyone anytime no matter how terrible the person might have been or how self-righteous. His story is proof that we can be better, all we need is a firm conclusion and the help of the Holy Spirit.

  134. When I read stories like this, I’m astounded each time. This our God is just too much. The Reverend’s life is so humbling. I’m impressed by his complete surrender to God, starting from the bottom to begin the journey up all over again is not an idea anyone would relish. But he did it and his life is so much better for it. The way God is working through him, performing miracles and healing the sick, all testament that the Holy Spirit lives within him. His kindness too, is so touching. I’d be honored to meet this man one day, aunty, hopefully while I’m still in unn. Beautiful post aunty. Thank you

  135. This is a very wonderful story. Our God indeed, is an Awesome God. God has a way of reaching out to people and I must say that I am humbled with the way God Transformed him. Rev. Joel’s Transformation is similar to that of St Marie Faustina’s Story; who heard a voice calling her when she went to a night party. Finally, God has the power to use anyone at anytime because he will forever be the Alpha and the Omega.

  136. This is a real transformation, and why I also agree with the bible that says ‘the heart of a king is in the hands of the Lord’. God can change whoever he chooses to. I am glad he changed Joel.
    I am also encouraged by this. This is the more reason why you don’t judge a book by its cova. I pray the good Lord transforms me too.

  137. Thank you Ma for this wonderful piece. There is nobody God cannot use and sometimes God breaks our heart inorder to save our soul..
    Am glad he was transformed into an instrument for God’s service.

  138. God can use even the worst criminal to bring Glory to his name and I pray that as God used Mr.Joel may he also use me to glorify his name. Thanks for sharing this testimony with us ma.

  139. Such a touching testimony, I am really inspired by this story. God is really a merciful father, walk in his ways and you will recieve his grace all the days of your life.

  140. God uses anybody he wishes to do anything. He doesn’t care if you are a sinner or a saint, he sees it that we all are made in his image and likeness. Therefore, we shouldn’t discriminate or judge our fellow human.

  141. God’s purpose for our lives can never be averted no matter what, it can only take a longer time but it must surely come to pass. Humility is a very rare virtue and it only takes the grace of God to exhibit such virtue.

  142. Once you are his chosen one, he will definitely locate you at the appointed time. Sometimes our past might be a lesson and a way of God preparing us for the task ahead so that we will preach the gospel not only with explanations but to share your experience so that souls will be converted to our maker.

  143. This epistle is really encouraging. Thank you for sharing this life changing stories. I’m personally molitvated, but I have issue with the story as how Mr Jeol turned from ladies guy to man of God. Now my challenge is what will be the fate of those girls who he might have deceived and probably had affairs with?…Will such ladies be able to believe his contemporary ministration in God’s vineyard? In my opinion I think that the mercy gospel that is prevalent in christaindom waters down alot of suppose life principles that would have been guiding human existence. Anyways, I’m delighted in the article because its an eye opening experience to our young girls out there jumping up and down on flashy guys.

    • I think it’s the girls you speak of who will be most in awe, find it most amazing that God turned his life around. To others, what I’ve written is just a story but those who knew Rev. joel before he repented will be most impressed with the mercy and saving grace of God in all probability. Bless you!

  144. We all have our different purposes on earth. The earlier we discover it, the better for us. I’m very happy for Rev. Canon Joe Ugwuoke, for discovering his own purpose in his youthful age, may God give him all it takes to serve him faithfully and diligently.
    In like manner, I pray that God should guide us to discover our own purpose in life.
    God bless you ma.

  145. the funny thing about life is that, the people that we feel have the lowest tendency of being used by God end up becoming the ones that God uses mightily.

  146. Thanks so much ma for sharing. This story teaches that there is room for positive change if one really desires it .Hardwork and doggedness pays too. Being humble is another beautiful trait of someone that wants to succeed.

  147. This story is really touching. One thing I know is that when God wants to arrest a sinner, He does it in absolutum. Even though he has been stubborn in sin when he’s saved, he will be stubborn in following Christ. St. Paul is a good example. Thank God for this divine restoration and conversion. This is more than a testimony.

  148. It is indeed a story of doggedness, determination and Godliness.Rev. ugwuoke strike me as the type of man that goes out of his way to ensure the comfortability of others.This shows that no one is incapable of change…from being in the world to being with Jesus!! Hallelujah!!
    Thank u ma for sharing this with us.

  149. Glory be to God for this beautiful life experience. We should learn from this that tomorrow is too far for someone you judge and sentence to hell as some churches do, to change. Let us learn that as believers we should not judge because we don’t know anything about tomorrow. Many might have considered Our today Rev. Canon. Joel as a hell fire candidate during his days in the University as an undergraduate but today they will be disappointed to who he has become. I pray God continue to touch the hearts of many youths towards answering his call. Hope to meet Rev. Canon. Joel ugwuoke someday.

  150. There is no one God can’t use. I thank God for his ministry. May the mighty hand of God rest upon his ministry. With my little encounter with him I can attest to the glory of God in his life. It is not good to conclude on anyone instead we should tell them about the love of Christ so that they can be partaker of the blessing of salvation. We don’t know the destiny of anybody we don’t know if the person we all condemn has a great calling we should endeavor to draw friends, colleagues closer to God so that they fulfill their God given talent

  151. God uses whoever He will. Just like he called Saul, He can call anyone today. Let us make ourselves readily available for the work of God.

  152. This story tells that God works in mysterious ways and works through whomsoever he deems fit for his service. I bless the name of the Lord.

  153. God can use you one day ,There is nothing too hard for God to do,he can turn your life around.

  154. Wow! What an inspiring post. I don’t know Dr. Joel in person, but I keep wondering how he combines humour and strictness so perfectly, one minute he is asking us not to talk or laugh in his class, the next minute he tells a jokes and have everyone laughing. Truly, God can use anything, anyone to carryout his work. I am happy that he is saved, may God keep blessing IJN. Amen.

  155. Wow, this story is captivating and inspirational. Reverend Joel really lives a life worthy of emulation. We are all servants of God. We only need to humble ourselves to realize that which we have
    been destined to be.

  156. Just as he used Paul who was a pesecutor, the Lord can use anyone.all we need to do is encourage them and accept them.in so doing it will fasten their spiritual growth.

  157. God is wonderful.
    Our lives here on earth has already been signed in heaven and so no matter what we do, as long as God has chosen you to work for him, he must surely find a way to arrest you.
    This case is almost similar to that of a catholic priest, Rev. FR. Paul Obayi, who was delivered from an occultic kingdom

  158. Wow!Nice one,God is no respecter of person, he does not call the qualified but rather qualifies the called. Service to God is beautiful and is happy when a sinner repents and comes back to him..thanks ma for sharing this piece.

  159. God can arrest anyone’s heart He wants for His use. Imagine the life of a man’s lady becoming God’s vessel. This reminds me of Saul the Christian persecutor now turned a preacher. It doesn’t matter the state of life you live now what matters is what Christ makes of it. Thanks for his transformation. God Bless You ma!

  160. And His word came to Jeremiah: I’ve known you, even before you were born; right when you were still in your mother’s womb, I’ve ordained you for this mission. Does that not reflect in life of this man of God: Rev. Joel Ugwuoke? Was it not said that we, as humans, propose, God disposes. We might be living our life, making plans that are contrary to the will of God. But His words must surely manifest in our lives… His will is our destiny. It might take time., but it must surely manifest.

  161. Wow, Rev. Ugwuoke is like the Saul of our time, his life is indeed a living testimony, a lesson to some, and inspiration to many.

  162. God can use anybody, irrespective of who/what they are. Reverend Joel is a typical example, just like Paul in the Bible. God called him to ministry to spread salvation. His conversion is indeed a real salvation experience. I pray for more God’s blessing and grace in His ministry.

  163. Rev Joel’s conversion story is really touching and inspirational. May God help him to run this race without relenting IJN

  164. Tis is indeed a miracle. Who knew a typical play boy could turn into a man of God overnight. He was my lecturer on photojournalism, and i thank God for his life.

  165. I firmly believe its not right to give up on people especially sinners.You don’t judge from the present state ,surprisingly that person you see as a wandering vagabond and criminal when arrested by God becomes a different person.and used by God wondrously.God works in a mysterious way,His wonders to perform.

  166. The call to serve God is a strong one and no matter how deeply engrossed in our sins we are God always finds a way to call us back and make us new borns in him.

  167. Interesting piece. Reminds me of the story of another man of God, a catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Obayi. God calls his prophets, at the time they least expected, and they must take up the cross of propagating the message of God. Jonah tried to run away from fulfilling the will of God in his life, but ended in regrets. This story of Rev. Ugwuoke goes to insinuate that whatever God has written can never be wiped. What He has written, He has written…

  168. This reminds me of the story of Paul in bible who persecuted the Christians and was later called by God to preach the gospel and serve him. God’s call is unavoidable and no matter how you try to escape from it, holy spirit will locate you someday.

  169. This reminded me of what my mum always said “the best is for God” and indeed God chose Rev Joel ugwuoke for himself no matter how his past must have looked like. If St Augustine can be converted anybody can especially is God has a divine purpose for you.

  170. I learnt from here that since God does not give up on any one, we too should imbibe such attitude towards those we think are not doing their best. It is also an encouragement to those who struggle with some vices, not to give their efforts towards overcoming them since God can reverse their lives even if they are worse.

  171. Wow, what a story,God know whats best for us and at the appropriate time,he reveals his sovereignty, all we all to do is seek him….. We will be pretty much disappointed with offers life gives us but I always have the word of God.”my thoughts for you are for good and not for evil, cause a son won’t ask the father for bread and he gives him stone or for fish and he gives him snake, thus says the Lord “

  172. Before our birth God knew what we will become. I am so happy about this story of Rev Joel ugwuoke also believed that everything has a time and season after being called a ladies’ man, it was time for him to serve God and through that he has won so many lives and represented God in diverse way..more Grease to your elbow Rev.

  173. That’s it,once the saving grace of our lord touches one, the person’s life will not remain the same. The call of Rev.Joel is a clear expression of this grace. Also is the case of Saint Augustine.
    I ask of this God’s grace upon those who are going astray from the way of our lord.

  174. Rev. Joel’s story is one we should learn from. He turned to God the author and finisher of our faith and kept believing Him. I do pray that God will keep him and also strengthen others like me that would want to walk in that path.

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