June 8, 2018
Three Churches Dedicated as Nigeria Work Grows
From the Superintendent's DESK
John Musgrave continued in Africa this week, visiting several more locations in Nigeria with Bayo Adeniran, and was present for three church dedications. He sent a report of their activities over the past four days.
On Monday, they first visited the Abeokuta church, which is the Ogun District headquarters in the Ibadan region. It is pastored by Olusegun Adeliyi, who is also the Ogun District Overseer. As they approached the church, they were greeted by Apostolic Faith students in blue and white uniforms, lining the hillside entrance road and waving white handkerchiefs.
The students provided an outstanding welcome program, and a church service followed with about eight hundred in attendance. After the prayer meeting, a tour of the facilities was given, including the three-story Apostolic Faith secondary school, dormitories, and children’s hall. Brother John said a guest house for visiting workers is also under construction, and excavated rocks adorn the front of the building. He added that all the buildings have been beautifully done, and are set on a hillside where they will be seen.
They next visited the Owode Egba church, pastored by Olusegun Adenuga. Located off a dirt road in a dense tropical area that has been cleared, it is currently under construction, yet this did not deter two hundred from attending a short service. Brother John said afterward, everyone readily knelt at the altars on the rough concrete floor. He also said the congregation was so receptive and welcoming that it was difficult to part with them.
In the afternoon, they arrived at the regional headquarters church in Ibadan where Solomon Oyekanmi is the Regional Overseer and pastor. Again, they were greeted by Apostolic Faith students. Several young girls recited a welcome and presented flowers and the service began with a children’s program. Brother John commented that at each location, the light of God’s love could truly be seen on the faces of these children. He said they enjoyed another good church service.
Later in the evening, they returned to the church for a presentation by the Ibadan regional management team, and learned that several churches will be ready for dedication in the near future.
The dedication of the Idi-Ape church, pastored by Samuel Olatunji, was held on Tuesday morning. This church is in the Ibadan District, where Sunday Fadipe is the overseer. The church complex overflowed with almost one thousand who wanted to witness the dedication. It began outside with a welcome presentation by the children, followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Then the orchestra and choir led the way into the church with a song selection. As the building has a capacity of five hundred, the windows were left open so those outside could watch.
The Sunday school children opened with a program of songs, Scripture recitations, and a skit illustrating Solomon’s prayer for the Temple. The orchestra and choir also provided music. Brother John said they sang in both English and Yoruba, including “Great Is the Lord” and “F’Ope F’Olurun,” and their voices were so nice, it would have been enjoyable in any language. He also said there was a great response at the invitation to the altars following the dedication prayer.
A few hours later, a dedication was held for the Mokola church where Edward Akinfemisoye is the pastor. While the church has a capacity of 250, there were 469 in attendance. During the service, the history of the Mokola work was given. It started in 2011 as a Bible study center and quickly grew. On February 28, 2017, the foundation was laid for a church building, and the work was completed in a remarkable fifteen months. Brother John said it was a wonderful dedication service, and the people were so happy as they gathered in front of the church afterward for pictures.
In the evening, the third annual graduation ceremony was held at the Apostolic Faith Technical Training Centre in Ibadan with about three hundred in attendance. This year, eight students graduated in the construction field. The ceremony included music selections and skits performed by current students. It showed that the students here receive much more than technical skills and an opportunity for better employment; they are exposed to the Gospel, and several lives have been changed. The churches also benefit from the school because the students learn in part by working on some church construction projects.
On Wednesday, they drove to the Ado-Ekiti region—a place of rocky hills, lush vegetation, and palm trees—for the dedication of the Iyin Ekiti church. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony outside, the brass section of the orchestra led the way into the church, playing “To God Be the Glory.”
About 759 were in attendance, including four or five kings and queens. As the church capacity was about 250, many church regulars gave up their seats to visitors, and many of those went forward at the close and prayed. Brother John said he will never forget seeing kings and queens of earth go forward and kneel before the King of Heaven and earnestly pray.
To start the service, the Sunday school children marched in singing, and presented a program of songs, recitations, and a skit. For the skit, several who were dressed as priests came in carrying the Ark of the Covenant. They were met by one dressed as a king who recited a portion of Solomon’s prayer at the dedication of the Temple. The children were enthusiastic and the skit was enjoyed by all.
The choir and orchestra played beautifully throughout the service, beginning with the “Star-spangled Banner” and the Nigerian national anthem. Brother Bayo offered the dedication prayer. It had particular significance as this is the area where he grew up. A local news station was there to capture the moment on film.
In the afternoon, they attended a service at the Ado-Ekit regional headquarters church in Ajilosun. Upon arrival, they were greeted by the Sunday school children before going inside the very large church, which has two stories of balconies. The service was attended by 544 and included a special by the Sunday school children based on the theme of “This Is the Day that the Lord Has Made.”
Afterward, a tour of the property revealed that it is a large piece of land on a hilltop. It was donated by a local man who was impressed by some of the Apostolic Faith people. After giving the land, he and his family attended services and received salvation.
Following the tour, a presentation was given by the Ado-Ekiti regional management team. They gave a report of the different districts, zones, and churches, and told of their outreach efforts. By all accounts, they are doing a tremendous job.
On Thursday, they toured a site in Ekiti where a new church complex is under construction. It is on a large piece of land donated by a local king, and boasts spectacular views of a lush valley and hills. The road leading to it is frequented by vendors selling local fruit, roasted corn, large cooked snails, antelope, walnuts, and more.
They continued from there to our Sagamu church where Isaac Adeleke is the pastor. They arrived in the early afternoon and received another warm welcome. The saints were lined up on either side of the stairs singing “Happy Welcome.” Then a precious Sunday school girl recited a greeting and presented them with flowers. The congregation continued to sing as they entered the church, where they held a short service with 185 in attendance.
Brother John is enjoying his time getting to know the saints in Nigeria. He is now in Benin City for the dedication of our I.C.E. church. We look forward to reading of that event in the next few days.
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