Patrick Edet, while serving in the Catholic Diocese of Uyo, ran a ‘Pentecostal-styled’ fellowship called Grace Family Outreach within the Catholic structure.
Mr. Edet, who had been a Catholic priest for more than 11 years, stunned the Catholic community in Akwa Ibom when he announced on a live radio programme on August 2 that he was leaving the Catholic Church to live his life as an independent cleric.
The Catholic Church later responded by stripping him of the rights and privileges enjoyed by priests and also barred Catholics from relating with him.
There has been a measure of excitement in Uyo over the recent launch of Mr. Edet’s ministry since his exit from the Catholic fold.
Some Catholic members, PREMIUM TIMES found out, have been attending the programme, even though the Catholic Bishop of Uyo Diocese, John Ayah, had earlier warned that any Catholic member who attends his programme or identifies with him (Mr Edet) in any way “does so at the risk of his or her Catholic faith and membership.”
Mr. Edet on September 1 launched a “mega revival” programme in Uyo, using his outreach.
The eight-day programme, which he tagged “The Great Awakening”, is currently holding in a city hall and has been attracting large crowds daily.
He has also erected billboards at strategic locations within the city to announce the programme which is his first major public outing since he quit the Catholic Church in August.
A member of the outreach, who gave his name simply as Chukwuemeka, told PREMIUM TIMES on telephone that Mr. Edet would be holding subsequent meetings in the city hall.
He didn’t, however, say how often the meetings would take place.
On Saturday, during the second day of the church programme, several people defied the heavy rainfall to attend his programme.
About six police officers were deployed to guard the congregation during the programme.