June 11, 2018
Hempstead Dedicates New Location in Oceanside, New York
From the Superintendent's DESK
Debbie and I traveled to New York on Wednesday in anticipation of the Sunday, June 10, dedication of our church in Oceanside, which is a few miles from Hempstead. Having outgrown that location in recent years, the Lord provided the congregation with the opportunity to acquire this church last year.
The dedication was preceded by a weekend of special meetings, including evangelistic services on Thursday and Friday, and a concert on Saturday. Representatives from Portland also included Sam Ajayi, Director of Australia and South America Work, and his wife Shade, as well as Samuel Asaya.
Other visitors present included Ene Ekpin, pastor of our church in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with his wife Eunice. Also, Glory Thomas who once pastored our Lafayette church in Brooklyn, New York, and now leads the group in Orlando, Florida, and his wife Carmen. Both of these men were instrumental in starting the Hempstead church, and each testified on Thursday to the early days of the work.
Gabriel Ajayi, the Lagos Region Overseer in Lagos, Nigeria, was also present with his wife, Victoria. He led the congregational prayer on Thursday after his granddaughter, Julia Oladipo, opened the service with a flute solo. Alfred Ikotun, the Oceanside pastor, conducted the service, and Johnny Wyatt, Jr., pastor at Lafayette, who was attending with his wife, Paulette, led the congregational singing. Before the message, Akin Ogunleye sang “Let Me Touch Him.” The sermon was taken from Luke 4:25-27, and brought out that at times, Jesus comes to where we are, and at other times, we need to go where He is. The service closed with a prayer offered by Eugene Segres, the District Superintendent of Eastern and Southern U.S. Work and pastor at Kingstree, South Carolina, who was present with his wife, Gertie.
The Friday service brought more visitors from surrounding church locations as well as local guests. The congregational singing was led by James Timbilla, pastor at Wharton, New Jersey, and the prayer was given by Joseph Lamidi, a former Hempstead pastor. Before the sermon, which focused on the rapture, a male trio sang “I Just Feel Like Something Good Is About to Happen.”
Saturday’s concert was very well done and well attended. It began with the orchestra playing “Hungarian Dance No. 5,” and continued with the choir singing “And the Glory of the Lord.” We enjoyed listening to a variety of instrumentalists and vocalists who were featured throughout the evening, including a pianist who played “Hear Ye Israel.” To close the evening, the orchestra and choir combined to perform “Down by the Riverside.”
On Sunday, the sanctuary quickly filled with 300, and another 200 watched from the large fellowship areas as many joined us from neighboring branch churches for the dedication. The service began with a medley of music specials including “The Heavens Are Telling” by the orchestra, a trumpet solo of “Rejoice Greatly” by Joel Oni, and “Holy Art Thou” by the choir featuring soloist Lydia Adesina.
Brother Alfred formally welcomed the visitors to the dedication, thanking many of them by name for their part in helping to establish the Hempstead work. Then Josephine McElveen, pastor at Washington D.C., gave the opening prayer, and Tony Ademuyiwa of Lagos, Nigeria, sang “How Big Is God.”
The Sunday school children presented a program of songs, Scripture reading, and a skit depicting church workers successfully reaching out to one in need of the Gospel. It was inspiring to see where our next generation of workers will come from should the Lord tarry.
During the service, a brief history of the Hempstead work was read by Brother Joseph and Maruita Kupoluyi, the widow of the Hempstead pioneer pastor, Christopher Kupoluyi. He was one of several college students from Long Island who commuted to our Lafayette church in the 1980s. In 1992, a group of about twelve began meeting in his apartment in Hempstead for Sunday services. As the Lord blessed and their numbers increased, it became necessary to relocate, and in 1995 they settled in the two-story Hempstead church.
In recent years, that location became congested, and the congregation began praying for an alternative place to worship. God provided the Oceanside church, and renovations began in December 2017. Contractors were hired to renovate the sanctuary, residence quarters, welcome center, event center, fellowship center, and other offices in the complex while church workers supervised and participated when necessary. The first service was held in the new building on May 6, 2018, with much rejoicing.
The dedication service continued with a Scripture reading by Brother Sam Ajayi, and the dedicatory sermon, followed by the dedicatory prayer offered by Brother Gabriel. Then Brother Eugene offered the final benediction before the choir closed with “May the Good Lord Bless and Keep You.”
We are thankful for the many blessings received at the Hempstead location, and know God will continue to bless at Oceanside as we pray.
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