Pastor Olaitan Aromolaran, the Senior Pastor, Joy Cometh Ministry, Ikorodu was a pastor with the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) until he was called to establish his own ministry one year ago.
In an interview with Adegbola Temitope, the founder of 365 Halleluia, an annual praise programme which began five years ago in Ikorodu, Lagos, spoke on issues pertaining to his calling and others. Excerpts….
How did the vision to praise begin?
The birth of CONVOCATION TO PRAISE is answer to a request made in prophecy 2002. Just before the December 2002 RCCG Let’s-Go A-fishing in lkorodu town hall when Daddy G.O. Pastor E.A Adeboye was expected to minister but I noticed that the rug on the podium had lost its honour as a result of age and use. l was restless and I approached my pastor if we could change it and he told me it belonged to the rental company.
So I went to meet the managers of the hall to seek permission to remove the old rug and get a newer one. Permission was given. So, I went out to get a brand new rug for the podium with some money I borrowed from a friend. After the programme, I removed the new rub which became my prayer mat and most valuable possession until age caught up with it.
Meanwhile, while Daddy G.O. was preaching that day, I prayed that God should pull for me such a crowd He pulled for Pastor Adeboye and use me to gather people to praise Him at the town hall. For years, it appeared a dead dream until we began to see the hand of God in an unusual dimension in the ministry, He committed into our care.
Ten years after Daddy G.O.’s visit to Ikorodu, that was five years ago, God gave me the go ahead to begin a praise programme in that same venue. Diverse faith boosting testimonies and verifiable proofs of God at work were recorded in our first meeting. The first programme was the one God used to encourage us.
Though there were challenges but the testimonies and miracles God wrought on us during that event, encouraged us to continue. And it has steadily increased in subsequent editions. As a sign of appreciation, God said He would require a gift from me. I thought it was monetary until He told me to gather people together to praise Him in a single night and shout 365 Hallelujah to subdue the year ahead with one Hallelujah for each day. So every year since 2012, thousands converge to give praise to Him who had already seen the year ahead.
Were you still in RCCG when it started?
Yes. God gave me the mandate to begin the programme in 2012 while I was still a pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
So what is 365 Halleluyah?
Actually, people call the praise programme 365 Halleluyah, since the directive of God to praise Him. I want participants to talk about Jesus; that was what actually gave birth to CONVOCATION OF PRAISE which is a night of 365 Halleluyah. It is a way of paying back all what we are owing Him. God is a God of numbers. He has been truthful with all He said. 365 represents all the days in a year; as we know that there are 365 days in a year except leap year. So if we give God one Halleluyah to represent a day, He’ll give the year to us. It is a way to secure the year ahead. Those that experienced the past ones can testify they saw God in action during the night of 365 Halleluyah.
What does God have in stock for His people at this year‘s event?
First of all, Joy Cometh Ministry is one year old this November. Through out the week, we are ministering to souls through distribution of food and other items all over Ikorodu and its environment. We are visiting some hospitals and places to bring people into the knowledge of Christ and to also deliver and save everyone with one challenge or the other.
God has promised that during the night of 365 Halleluyah, which would be starting by 7.00 p.m. on December 1, 2017 till dawn, He would give unimaginable testimonies that everyone will know and say this could only be done by God. He said He will do a new thing that all eyes shall see it.
He promised the blind would see it. The deaf would hear, the lame would walk and every one seeking God’s face for the fruit of the womb, should make sure they are there. But most importantly, we are expecting a harvest of souls and we are expecting God to beat our imagination.
Who are those expected to minister and what shape is this year’s programmer going to take?
Everyone is expected to attend. From different tribes, religion, denomination or class. Young and old. The programme is a divine demand from Almighty God. We are launching into the new year with faith and great expectations in our hearts. By midnight, we would shout the first set of 73 Hallelujahs. 1:00 a.m.- second set, 2:00 a.m.- third set, 3:00 a.m.-fourth set and 4:00 a.m. – the final set of 73 Hallelujahs. We shall prophesy into the lives of participants and then see God taking the lead in every other activity to glorify His name.
Seeing the great population during past programmes, when will you consider a bigger alternative venue?
God has not given us the go ahead to use somewhere else. We receive directive from God. For example, this programme is held on the first Friday of the last month of the year. We don’t wait till the last day of the year to give God what He deserves, and also key with faith to receive from God even before the year ends.
You described your ministry as a busy brand. What does that mean?
Yes, Joy Cometh Ministry is a busy brand for the Lord and we have many activities lined up to better the lives of people. For example recently, I travelled abroad, people were just asking me about ‘Badoo’ in Ikorodu. I tried explaining but they thought Ikorodu was a fearful place no one dares to behold. This ministry is not just about prayer but we render hope to the hopeless and help to the abandoned and rejected. We involve the youths in activities that would get them engaged and still be focused on God. Our football team is a redefined way to assist them. And so I advise everyone involved in any diabolical practice to desist from it because of the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and I pray that you’ll receive power over premature death and to rule in the midst of enemies.
During the first 365 alleluia, what were the challenges faced?
None, because God got there before any challenge surfaced and He subdued them.
How many years has Convocation to Praise been in existence?
Five years now. It’s an instruction God gave me even before I left the Redeemed Christian church of God.
How many years has the church been in existence?
We just clocked one year this November and we are celebrating it this week.
What are the activities the church is doing to celebrate its one year anniversary?
As we celebrate our one year anniversary, we are enjoying the mega mercy of God, everyone meet here daily to praise God for hours, it is a week celebration, we are doing visitation to prisons and Hospitals and also to the less privileged. We are also out for Community outreach and members are coming together to do what we call church in the street. This is a situation where as we take the activities and service we have in church to various locations.
Though, it is done every Sunday for a month but because of our one year anniversary, we are doing it now and also using that means to reach out to souls and the needy and we are distributing provisions to immediate communities around Ikorodu.
How was the attendance when the church started?
Great! We maintained the starting population and increase daily.
Do you have other branches outside here?
We are working on opening other branches as God leads us immediately after our one year anniversary.