November 13, 2017
Joyful Saints Dedicate Two Churches in Ibadan, Nigeria
From the Superintendent's DESK
We enjoyed a great Lord’s Day with the Lagos saints at the headquarters church in Anthony Village. It began with a ministers and workers meeting, attended by a large number, which was a reminder of how thankful we are for the many faithful volunteers who make up this work.
Following the meeting, the sanctuary and platform soon filled in anticipation of Sunday school. The choir opened the session by singing “To God Be the Glory.” Then the children marched onto the platform singing “Isn’t the Love of Jesus Something Wonderful?” They presented a skit of the Prodigal Son with different ones taking part in the drama, narration, and singing. All involved did a great job, performing with much enthusiasm. Before being dismissed to numerous class locations, the different age groups recited their memory verses and the choir sang “Ancient Words.” After class time, everyone met back in the sanctuary for a review of the lesson. Then the choir sang “Fully Alive,” and we transitioned right into the morning worship service.
There were many wonderful music specials throughout the service. The orchestra opened the prelude with “Holy, Holy, Holy,” and then was joined by the choir for “How Excellent Is Thy Name.” We also enjoyed a double octet singing “Open Your Eyes.” Before the Scripture reading, the choir sang “O Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness,” and before the sermon, a quartet sang “O Master, Let Me Walk with Thee.” One special moment during the meeting was when Brother Bayo asked the congregation to stand and observe a moment of silence for the tragic event that took place in Roseburg last week. In response, the congregation of over four thousand rose and stood solemnly in remembrance.
On Monday, we traveled to the Ibadan region for two church dedications. The first was in Akinfenwa. We were met out front by a very large crowd of joyful saints lining the roadway. Then the Sunday school children came forward in rows, and three young girls presented flowers. Inside, we first went to the prayer room and then headed to the platform in the sanctuary. So many were present—over one thousand—that the church could not contain the crowd. The local saints were asked to give up some seats, and about one hundred went outside to watch through the windows.
The dedication started with a children’s program and continued with several musical selections. Brother Bayo gave the dedicatory prayer, and during the service a brief history of the church was read. The work in Akinfenwa began in 1995 with a small group meeting for Bible studies in the house of Edward Dairo. In January 2000, a parcel of land was donated, and a second was purchased adjacent to it. The foundation of the church was laid in November of that same year. A third parcel of land was purchased in 2011, and the foundation of a children’s hall was laid there in 2016. Today’s dedication marked the completion of both buildings.
To close the service, the congregation sang “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory.” The altars filled until there was not a place left open, and everyone prayed earnestly. Afterward, we received a tour of the two buildings.
The second dedication was in Olorunsogo. Many were gathered outside the church for the ribbon cutting and prayer. Afterward, the orchestra led the way inside playing “To God Be the Glory.” Again, the crowd was too large to be contained, as there were about six hundred present. Once we were seated, the children came in singing joyfully, “Hurrah! Hurray! You are all welcome here.” They presented a program of songs, narration, and Scripture recitations, concluding with the words, “The old time religion is good for us, as it was for the patriarchs of old.”
The service continued with a congregational song of “Praise the King of Glory.” Before the dedicatory prayer, a the history of the church was recounted. The work here began in 1986 with a Bible study held in the home of Marian Adedeji. In 1990, outreach efforts by the youth led to an increase in Sunday school attendance, and a weekly evangelistic service was added. Later, land was donated by E.O. Akande, who became the pastor, and in September 1996, the foundation of the church was laid.
The dedication closed with the choir singing the “Hallelujah Chorus” and a congregational song before the benediction. Again, there was an altar call, and the benches were filled.
We are back in Lagos now, and I expect to spend the next couple of days here before returning home the evening of November 16.
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