By SAM EYOBOKA and OLAYINKA LATONA
WHEN Ogun State governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun was given the microphone at the wee hours of last Saturday to address a mammoth crowd of people at the Redeemed Christian Church of God’s Redemption Camp, along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, he carefully chose his words as he eulogised the person of the General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, describing him as a game of soccer which is the only thing that unites all Nigerians.
The governor, who solicited prayers for the transformation of Ogun State, said no matter the religion Nigerians profess, everybody wants to listen to Pastor Adeboye and that is why “both Muslims and Christians in the country use his Let Somebody Shout Hallelujah as ring tone.
“We are happy to play host to the General Overseer and the Redeemed Christian Church of God in Ogun State. As a matter of fact, contrary to the introduction he made, we in Ogun State do not regard him as a tenant, rather we see him as a landlord,” Gov. Amosun stated, adding “we can never get enough prayers. The peace the state enjoys today is as a result of the prayers of faithful men like Pastor Adeboye and we can only enjoin him to continue his prayers for the nation, Nigeria and especially Ogun State. We need plenty of prayers to rehabilitate the state,” Mr. Amosun solicited, which has aptly confirmed the saying that if a man’s ways please God, He makes him to dine with the high and mighty in the society.
No doubt the week long spiritual event will remain indelible in the hearts of several thousands of people who attended and those who were ordained into ministry at different levels and their relations. The programme with a theme; ‘With wings like an Eagle’, started last Monday with an ordination of some 6,176 deacons and deaconesses drawn from different formations of the church across the globe while in the evening there was a meeting of House Fellowship leaders and workers.
The next day there was the ordination of 2,451 assistant pastors as well as a meeting of the Children of God, six group seminars and the first plenary session/welcome service. It was the turn of Redeemer’s Bible College graduation ceremony on Day Three where about 8,000 graduates collected their certificates, diplomas and degrees of the college—a manpower development arm of the church. In the afternoon, there were special seminars, all centering on the central theme of the programme which was followed by Melody Hour. Plenary session 2 took place during the evening belt.
Thursday started on a very lively note with Plenary Session 3 and 4 which took place during the morning belt which was followed after the break in the afternoon with another round of 14 special seminars, service of songs and in the evening a deliverance service which also served as plenary 5.
By Friday morning, every available space in the sprawling Redemption Camp had been completely taken. The day started with Plenary 6, Bible Study, Youth Hour and the star attraction of the convention, the Holy Ghost Service/Plenary Session 7 & 8 which was attended by a mammoth crowd including at least, two governors (Ogun and Ondo States), politicians, traditional rulers and an army of foreign and local religious leaders.
The president of Living Faith Ministry, also known as Winners Chapel, Bishop David Oyedepo congratulated Pastor Adeboye for the success of the convention, thanking God for all the wonderful works He is performing through the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
He then enjoined members of the church and all those who come to the church activities to activate their faith and believe that all words of prophecy spoken on the altar will come to fulfillment, stressing that the grace that is working for Pastor Adeboye will definitely rub on him and the faithful saints.
In another short exhortation, Rev. Kenneth Hagin Jnr, who spoke on ‘How to receive the blessing’, argued that blessings of God can only be received through an unquestionable faith in the spoken Word of God, explaining that once one is ready and prepared, God will fulfill His promise. According to the American preacher, God is ever ready to take the people into a realm of abundant blessing, warning that we do not enter into these levels of God by crawling…you need to fly high with God…God is never late…
He shows up right on time…It is time to get out of unbelief…it is time to walk in a new faith…to take new steps of faith with nothing under your feet but the promises. Begin to make arrangements and spiritual preparations by making sure the word of God is in our hearts and coming out of our mouth. Expounding on the theme of the 57th convention; ‘With Wings Like an Eagle’, Hagin said those who operate at this level of faith will find themselves entering a new level of God’s promises…and will begin to experience the new things reserved and promised for His children.
Hagin prayed prayers of healing for the millions who attended the main service on Friday night. The special Friday service featured many other ministers preaching and praying for the infirmed—including the main plenary session by the General Overseer, Pastor Adeboye. As the Friday crusade ended with exuberant praise and thanksgiving even as hundreds surrendered their lives to Jesus, a crippled man began to walk again as he joined others to praise God.
On Saturday, Day Six opened with Questions and Answers, followed by Baptismal Service, Elders Meeting and Good Women Forum in the morning while Special Seminars preceded Children’s Hour before the Holy Communion Service in the night. The climax of the convention was the ordination of 534 pastors, a ceremony which was personally performed by the General Overseer, Pastor Adeboye which was immediately followed by the farewell service. On the whole a total of 9,161 clerics were added to the army of pastors in the RCCG during the convention.
State of insecurity
Other ministers of the gospel who ministered at the spiritual fiesta included Rev. Joe Olaiya, Bishop David Oyedepo, Bishop Mike Okonkwo who used the occasion to lament the state of insecurity in the nation, stating that the situation can be arrested if Nigerians embrace God and practice righteous living. According to him, “with God’s unchanging nature and steadfastness, there is guarantee of security for His children,” pointing out that the most crucial thing in the life of any person was not the intensity of his troubles but his ability to locate God in his trying moments.
Pastor Adeboye who preached on each of the days, used every opportunity to explain every syllable of the theme to the amazement of the foreign guests, some of whom including the Israeli deputy premier were visiting the country for the first time.
It was a season of intense prayers, prophetic utterances, Christian dramas, teachings on how to wade through economic hardship. There were also moments of healings and testimonies of breakthroughs. Pastor (Mrs.) Folu Adeboye, wife of the General Overseer led the congregation to pray for the peace of the nation and the world at large.
As at the close of proceedings on Sunday, a total of 106 children were delivered at the Redeemer’s Maternity within the one week of the convention.
In a goodwill message to the General Over-seer of the RCCG, senior pastor of Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, US, Pastor John Hagee greeted Pastor Adeboye and his wife, thanking God that the faith and ministry of the RCCG G.O. is “affectionately known to millions of believers around the world as ‘Daddy’, has been recognised in America and around the globe as one of the top 50 gospel ministers on earth today.”
On the theme of the convention, Hagee said it is a physical fact that an eagle never loses its capacity for capacity for high flight, adding “in its latter years the eagle grows new feathers that carries him higher and higher riding the wind currents to look into the face of God.”
Speaking on the theme of the programme, Pastor Adeboye explained that the benefits of flying high like an Eagle is that “you will be able to soar above fears, failures, traps and snares of the devil, and that with wings like an Eagle, you will reach your goals much faster, achieve more results and become an amazement.” He therefore enjoined Christ-ians to stop being lazy and pray without ceasing while living a holy life.