Rev. Fr. Ejike Camillus Anthony, Ebenezer Mbaka is a Catholic Priest of Enugu Dioceses. He is the Parish Priest of Christ the King Parish GRA Enugu and the founder and Spiritual Director of Adoration Ministries Enugu Nigeria (Amen).
Father Mbaka is by birth from the noble family of late Chief Humphrey Ogbuefi and Felicia Mbaka in Amata Ituku in Awgu L.G.A of Enugu State. Ogbuefi Mbaka’s family is renowned for their special talent in palm wine tapping in the community (Ituku). Being the only son of the parents his birth was greeted with full encomium and thanksgiving to God. This Special gift to Mbaka Family was named Ejike perhaps in realization of the fact all powers belong to God including that of sex determination.
With the arrival of the new born, his father late Pa Ogbuefi heaved a sigh of relief that at last his successor has arrived. Little did he know that his little infant prodigy had a different covenant with his creator. Right from infancy, the tiny Mbaka, though fully consumed by his domestic chores, still spared enough time to commune with God. He assisted the beloved mother in the kitchen and other domestic duties, accompanied his father to their famous business of wine tapping and ensuring that all that was tapped was sold except the one reserved to entertain their daily visitors.
Once through with the home demands the little Mbaka would quickly ran out to organize their Block Rosary Prayers where he usually assumed the role of Francisco (one of the three children visited by Blessed Virgin Mary in Fatima in Portugal in the year 1917) He was also deeply involved in the rejuvenation of Charismatic group in St. Anthony’s Parish Ituku where he led the prayer warrior team. His unassuming nature, great sense of humility and piousity endeared him to the entire Christian Community in Ituku.
At home he was equally loved pampered and generously taken care of for his docility, zeal and dedication to his domestic responsibilities. His father though a pagan at that time cautiously tolerated his local runs in the Christian activities in the town, but as soon as “Cami” declared his desire to join the priesthood the story changed drastically. Pa Ogbuefi and his kinsmen not only opposed the idea but also persecuted their little boy and made life one miserable experience for him.
One can pathetically understand his father’s position at the time because as the only son the news of his priesthood quest was tantamount to obituary, that is to say (that) the young man was perpetually lost with the irredeemable consequences of foreclosing their linage (in igbo culture) Ejike was therefore made to pay dearly for his supposedly act of obstinacy and insubordination.
Determined, he remained unruffled, undaunted, and resolute to the divine call to serve his creator. After his secondary school education at St. Vincent’s secondary school Agbogugn in Awgu L.G.A of Eungu state, he proceeded to Seat of Wisdom Seminary Owerri and St Joseph’s Ikot Ekpene for his training, and nurturing to priesthood. For want of space his testimony filled life in the seminary schools and the subsequent apostolic works activities and exploits are better consigned to history.
In 1995, precisely on July 29th, Rev. Ejike Mbaka was ordained a priest of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, a priest forever in the order of Melchizedek. This historic event marked the triumph of light over darkness to the glory of God. Instantly, the Catholic Church in Nigeria knew that the eagle has landed.
The young Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka was posted to the Holy Ghost Cathedral, the headquarters of Catholic Church in Enugu Diocese as the Assistant Diocesan Administration. He not only distinguished himself as a seasoned administrator but also gave the church in Enugu diocese the long desired apostolic spice and fillip to forge ahead.
This was a welcome response to the church longed for radical shift from the business as usual ways of doing things and celebrating the Eucharist for her people. This request was duly answered by the arrival of this budding priest as the anointing in him overflew and lubricated all that came in contact with him. People discovered something very special in this young priest and followed him to wherever he went. His office hours at the cathedral expectedly became a beehive of activities as the crowd continually besieged him with one spiritual problem or the other.
With this yearning, this young man who feels the pulse of his people started exposing the Blessed Sacrament so as to enable the people pray and receive answers to their requests.
He later discovered the need to embark on evangelical missions outside the cathedral with a bid to reaching out to more people. Such moves took him to Capuchin and G.T.C Enugu where he celebrated masses for the congregation. It was at G.T.C that the idea of having adoration to the Eucharistic Jesus was conceived; hence, the birth of Adoration Ministries Enugu Nigeria (AMEN). It was previously called Word Prayer Centre of the Eucharistic Jesus. Just like the biblical mustard seed, the ministry has grown beyond the little G.T.C hall prayer activities to a global assembly of people of God.
The good, the bad, and the ugly events while at G.T.C Enugu led to the migration to Christ the King Parish (CKP) GRA Enugu, especially with the barbaric and gruesome murder of fourteen (14) adorers (including a pregnant woman) by the Chimaroke administration in Enugu State, May their soul rest in peace amen. It is also worthy of mention that Rev. Fr. Mbaka started and completed both the big church and the parish house at CKP GRA Enugu within a record time of six months.
To the glory of God, the Adoration ministry Enugu Nigeria (AMEN) is happily and permanently situated at Umuchigbo Ije-Nike near Enugu Nigeria through the instrumentality, foresight, doggedness, zeal and commitment of one man, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka.
It is germane at this junction to crystallize some of those few salient attributes that made the man what he is today:
Rev. Fr. Mbaka is a strong believer in the power of the Eucharist. For him the Eucharist is the essence, soul and life of the church. He is also of the strong view that prayer is the key to the door of all human requests to heaven. He insists that the people must pray their way out; with his popular injunction to pray until Something Happens (PUSH).
A great philosopher, highly talented, creative, innovative and resourceful mind. A great thinker who can turn out new ideas from near impossible corners. An amiable soul-winner who knows those little things the people need to be happy and fulfilled. Hates discrimination in all its ramification. Relates with all irrespective of class, race, religion, colour etc
A social crusader that believes in the equality of all before God –poor or rich, beautiful or ugly, tall or short, male or female etc. Likes encouraging and giving people opportunity to excel. He is always of the view that the best way to identify the talent in any person is by giving him/her opportunity to perform.
A philanthropist and employer of labour. Today it is pretty difficult to successfully count the number of people under his charity- the students, the sick and discharged, the homeless, the widows and orphans, the jobless and many more. He can sit down clear a cheque book of more than ten million naira (N10m) at a seating. In fact people close to him jealously think that Fr. Mbaka is generous to a fault. He even extends his kindness and generosity to his fellow priests.
A great achiever who believes that nothing is impossible with God. Attains unimaginable heights once his mind is made up, very focused and always destination driven. Always an optimist. A celebrated musician and lover of music. Plays original, highly inspirational, creative soul-lifting, librating, sanctifying and prayer focused. In fact once he is at peace, in good mood and inspired you find him chumming out new songs. Most of his songs usually originated while he is sleeping. Has so many albums to his credit and variously honoured by Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PIMAN).
Indomitably energetic. Rev. Fr. Mbaka is hugely blessed with power and energy such that he can talk and work for hours without getting tired. A lover of the word of God. He will readily tell you that his secret lies in the Eucharist and the ever abiding word of God. Hence, he is so familiar with most chapters and verses in the bible such that he can reel them out at will.
Keeps to his words. Very frank, truthful, genuine and honest. Detest falsehood. His yes is his yes. Hates gossip! Serious and humorous. Can crack jokes and bring himself to the level of all. Hates injustices. Fights for the poor and oppressed in the society. Wicked and corrupt leadership disgusts him so much that he wastes no time in fighting and correcting such maladministration.
This perhaps informs the ill-informed opinion of those who accuse him of fighting the government. Fr. Mbaka only fights bad and vicious administrations because the problems created by such misrule normally fall back on him. The poor, the unemployed, the oppressed etc will still run to him for one assistance or the other.
Preaches vehemently against equating him with God or giving him the glory that belongs to God (Hyperdulia). In fact he does not tolerate that at all. That is why he always directs people to the Eucharist once they start pestering him. He makes it clear that he has no power of his own other than that from God
It is thus not out of place to describe this man as a genius and an enigma. Humble and meek as a dove but hold and vibrant like a lion. He is simply a special gift from God to Catholic Church world over.
Little wonder also why Adoration Ministries Enugu Nigeria (AMEN) has blossomed and flourished by leaps and bounds under his leaderships, direction, guidance and mentoring.
This is the man Rev. Fr. Ejike Camillius Anthony Ebenezer Mbaka.
- From: Adoration Ministry Enugu Nigeria (AMEN)