Our second leg of our Houston visit took us to worship at the All Saints Anglican Church on Synott Rd, off Bissonett. The Church, built by Umu Igbo is completely awesome. Occupying a 4 acre tract, the edifice will clearly take your breathe away. Unlike what Nigerians would build, the parking lot is so spacious, there is no need to acquire additional land. The sanctuary, still absorbing finishing touches, comes with all the amenities modern technology can give. There are lots of offices for everybody. The kitchen really will make any Igbo woman so happy she will forgo the next abada. Now comes the biggest winner, the giant hall that can comfortably sit 1,000 people. I look at the monthly statement of the church and I can see why that hall has the potential of paying a lot of bills for the church. Thanks to Dr. Ken Okorie for taking me around. Now I see why he has not been active on the cyber and those other extra stuff. He, Chris Ulasi and others have their hands full. I am told that they are even taking the concept to Los Angeles and Little Rock. Folks, that is what is called growing the ministry.

By the time we got to the 11:00 a.m. service at 12:00 noon, the parking lot was quite a sight. It was typical Igbo people at their best. You know, back home we are taught to go to Church in your best clothes and best everything. That is the case here. One of my daughters, on pulling up to a parking spot said, "Nigerians love SUVs." There were more SUVs than other luxury cars. My wife told her the reason, "Nigerians especially NdiIgbo have lots of children and cannot all fit in a car." "And besides, this is Texas where big things are appreciated" , I chipped in. The service was conducted in the hall since the sanctuary wasn't quite ready. It felt like St Andrews Anglican Church, Amichi. The choir and band were terrific and they kept the service alive. Rev, Ogbunugwu, a senior pastor elevated the ante with a powerful and provocative sermon that I will discuss later. He impressed me a lot especially his command of English and Igbo. He touched everybody's softest spots. He nearly embarrassed my family when he recognized and announced us as first time guests. This interrupted the service for good 20 minutes as members took turns welcoming us by shake of hands and hugs. Until then I did not know there were many old friends in the audience. It was like home coming, having attended school and lived in Houston for 8 years. My first two kids were born in Houston. 

My people, if you are interested in building a community center, because that is what this place is, pay a visit to All Saints Anglican Church, Houston. With that monument, who wants another Igbo Center. Peoples Club International, Galveston Branch held its event there recently. The drive for a lot of people is about 45-60 minutes, but who cares.

We should be proud of what our brothers and sisters have done in Houston. While we may have our issues, this one is one to celebrate and debunk the notion that we can never work together. It does not take a whole village, only a handful of dedicated souls. NdiIgbo in Houston found them and the rest is history. Dallas/Ft Worth, Atlanta, Chicago are you in the house?

Should you want to contact the All Saints Church in Houston, the main number is 281 776 9984.

Have a good and productive week.

Loya Eziokwu 

__._,_.___