Nigerian church leader receives annual alumni recognition

Published: August 16, 2015

Obed Dashan, pastor and church leader in Nigeria, is receiving the 2015 Alumni Ministry and Service Recognition from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary.

Obed will speak in our noon Forum on Thursday, September 24, and we will have an opportunity to honor him for the ministry he is doing.

Visitors who wish to join us may reserve a meal in advance: By Tuesday noon, Sept. 22, contact the AMBS receptionist: 574.295.3726 ext. 0 or [email protected] The cost of the light lunch is $6.50 and serving begins at 11:45 am in the Lambright Center.

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Obed Dashan earned a Master of Divinity degree from AMBS in 1990. In addition, he completed Clinical Pastoral Education in Fort Wayne, Ind., and Chicago, Ill., studied at the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education (SCUPE) in Chicago, and completed a Doctor of Ministry degree in pastoral care and counseling from McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago.

Obed was ordained in 1986 in the Church of Christ in Nations, formerly the Church of Christ in Nigeria. He was a pastor, teacher and administrator at Gindiri Theological Seminary for 16 years. Since 2011, he has been a leader of the Church of Christ in Nations, which has two million members. He currently serves as vice president of the denomination and oversees 85 regional church councils.

In the last several years, as the Boko Haram group has targeted Christian churches and institutions in northern Nigeria, Obed has drawn on the peace theology he learned at AMBS. Much of Obed’s ministry is encouraging people to live faithfully in the midst of persecution.

“AMBS gave me insights for living effectively and faithfully with ambiguity,” Obed wrote. “What do you do when your members are being killed on a daily basis by those who hate the faith? How do you tell them to respond? Responding in love is not natural. It is a supernatural behavior that comes with a deep relationship with the Risen Lord Jesus.”

In the face of these challenges, Obed says it is God’s word and the stories of Jesus and Paul that sustain him. “I anchor my life in my relationship with God and entrust my life into his life and ask for his daily presence and peace. Here, I include death in my daily budget. That helps me to live each day aware that I am a sojourner here and cannot hold on to the world as if it will not end.””

Phena, Obed’s wife, also earned a Master of Divinity at AMBS, completing studies in 1991. Their two sons were young boys when the family came to AMBS; their daughter was born in their apartment on the campus.

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