By SAM EYOBOKA & OLAYINKA LATONA with Agency reports
GENERAL Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye will from today play host to millions of worshippers from different parts of the world at this year’s edition of the church’s Holy Ghost Congress.
The programme scheduled for one week at the sprawling Redemption Camp along the busy Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, has a unique theme; ‘The Overflow.’
The Redemption Camp, now home to many residential apartments, educational institutions, hospitality units and a few banks came into being in 1985 to host the monthly all-night Holy Ghost service that features praise, worship, scriptural exposition, prayers and personal ministrations in answer to Pastor Adeboye’s request that God should rain His blessings upon the congregation.
God had asked him to assemble the people to worship and praise the Lord and the promised miracles have been familiar features of the programme. The Congress, now a six-day event, is an expand-ed version of the monthly programme with the maiden edition in 1998 on the beachside of Lekki Expressway.
Millions of worshippers gathered for an all-night programme to celebrate Jesus in a festival-like atmosphere with the theme; “Divine Visitation”. The crowd was far more than the expected four million people and it took several hours for vehicular and human traffic to clear after an admittedly awesome night characterised by lively music, preaching, and words of prophecies, signs and wonders.
The Congress became a six-day programme in 2003. The development of the Congress Arena and support facilities at the camp was rapid and extensive with the incorporation of a modern altar, prayer foyer, offices, parking lots and massive deployment of plastic chairs which have now almost completely displaced the old wooden pews.
Then came the roofing and the tilling of the floor with further expansion and paving of the access and adjoining roads resulting in a massive auditorium said to be one of the largest worship structures in the world.
Traffic flow within and around the camp is also better controlled; putting an end to the nightmare of the earlier years when worshippers spent several hours on their way to and from programmes.
With the provision of more parking lots and better manning of routes, shuttles between the camp and Lagos or other nearby cities which took several hours are now done in less than one hour.
The amenities around the Arena and other parts of the Camp have also been upgraded and improved upon for the comfort of worshippers and visitors. More toilets—mobile and fixed—have been built. Water and electricity are adequately supplied all-year round.
As the first visitors arrive the Camp, the General Overseer, Pastor Adeboye has sent a word of welcome to all participants at this year’s fiesta. In his welcome address, Daddy G.O. thanked the Almighty God for “keeping us since the last Congress in 2012. I am most delighted to welcome you to a special Congress that promises to overflow with signs and wonders.
“Congratulations for making it to this programme. You have come expectant. As the Lord lives, you shall testify all through the Congress and thereafter. As with the past Congresses, the Lord promises to make this a memorable and fulfilling programme. He is a covenant keeping God and He is faithful to do that which he has promised. In what area of your life are you believeing God for an overflow? All you need to do is to bring your case before Him in humility with praises and thanksgiving in prayerful expectation. He is the One who can do all things,” he said.
Continuing, Pastor Adeboye said: “With Him, nothing shall be impossible. He shall answer you in the mighty name of Jesus. The Lord promises to touch every area of your life through His word and the acccompanying sessions of teaching, prayers, seminars and personal ministrations. All the morning, afternoon and evening sessions are specially planned for you.
“The evening sessions will run everyday from the Opening Day (Monday) to the Closing Day (Saturday). The morning sessions shall run on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The afternoon sessions featuring teaching on Marriage, the Home, Business, Career and other aspects of everyday life will run on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.
“I believe you are here for a personal encounter with the Lord of lords. Just wait upon Him and cry out to him on your own and during the general prayer sessions. Do not let anyone or anything distract you. As you key into the various daily programmes and focus on the Lord, your life will never be the same again. You have come expectant: you shall go home testifying,” he prayed.
PROGRAMME OF EVENTS
DAY 1: Monday, December 9
6:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. Prayer & Intercession
7:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Praise & Worship
8:00 p.m.-8:10 p.m. Opening Prayer
8:10 p.m.-8:30 p.m. Choir Ministration
8:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m. Talk One: “I Will Bless The Lord At All Times”
9:00 p.m.-9:20 p.m. Greetings & Announcements
9:20 p.m.-9:40 p.m. Thanksgiving for Past Con- gresses
9:40 p.m.-10:10 p.m. Offering
10:10 a.m.-10:40 p.m. Choir Ministration
10:40 p.m.-12:00 a.m. Talk Two: “Beyond Salvation”