November 14, 2016
Technology Used to Further the Gospel in Nigeria
From the Superintendent's DESK
I arrived in Lagos, Nigeria, on Saturday with Bayo Adeniran and James Olaleye, and went straight to the Anthony Village campground where the Western and Central Africa (WECA) headquarters is located. As we passed through the Resource Development Center, which was dedicated in January 2015, we could see that it was in full operation, printing the latest issue of Higher Way magazine. It is exciting to think that with the use of electronically delivered files, they are able to print on the same schedule as Portland, and now produce up to four times the number of issues that we were previously able to ship to them.
>We proceeded to the basement of the large tabernacle for a unique ministers’ meeting. This was the inaugural gathering of ministers aged forty-one to fifty-five, who are viewed as the "engine" of the church. Brother Bayo explained that the older ministers steer the work while the younger ones provide the wheels. With the attendees representing all regions of Nigeria, the theme was “Unity.” It was inspiring to be part of this group, knowing that these men represent the next generation of senior leadership here. The meeting concluded with a group photo in front of the tabernacle.
The next morning, the Anthony Village tabernacle was packed as young and old alike gathered for Sunday school. It began with a full adult prelude, including the ladies’ choir who sang beautifully. This was followed by congregational singing, the opening prayer, and a greeting extended by the entire audience. Then the children gave their own greeting, and presented the story of the Good Samaritan before everyone was dismissed to their departments. During a tour of the departments, we learned that the individual classes are webcast live throughout the French speaking countries within the WECA district, and many branch churches take advantage of this opportunity by joining Sunday school online.
At the close of Sunday school, nearby branch churches came together at Anthony Village for a combined morning devotional service, which was webcast live throughout the entire WECA district. The service began with an organ piece. Then the choir sang “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” and “Give Me Oil in My Lamp.” Before the message, a men’s quartet sang “I Am Bound for the Kingdom.” The preaching fell to me, and I began by extending greetings from Portland to the saints of Nigeria. Toward the close of the message, things became interesting when the sound system went out. My voice is not the strongest, but I continued while wondering if anyone could hear me. Thankfully, the situation was remedied shortly.
The evening service began as usual with a prelude followed by congregational singing and a music special. Then the remainder of the service was given over to a PowerPoint presentation on the origin of our name, The Apostolic Faith, including what it stands for and how it relates to our flagship publication. This was webcast throughout the WECA district, with all of the branch churches assembling to view it.
At the conclusion, there was a very enthusiastic response to the declaration that beginning with the January 1 issue, our flagship publication would no longer be called Higher Way, but instead would once again bear the name The Apostolic Faith. After I sat down, Brother Bayo asked the audience to express appreciation to me, which they did by standing and stating in unison, “Thank you, Sir!” Their support of the Portland headquarters ministers, staff, and congregation was moving to see, and is also deeply appreciated.