A REVIEW OF THE CHURCH IN 2021
Part 2-SERVICE TO A GENERATION
One of the most interesting Church project news was the release of the 3D image of the Apostle Johnson Suleman led Omega Fire Ministries’ (OFM) Houston based Church project.
OFM also built a mega church in Owerri as well as another in Nassarawa while it laid the foundation for a Prayer House at the PFN Headquarters in Benin.
The biggest rural church project in probably the whole world in 2021 was the commencement of the construction of 10,000 churches which was flagged off with the first 1,000 in January 2021. By December, LFC had completed 1,020 with 30 more at the finishing stages.
According to Bishop Oyedepo, on completion of the 10,000 churches in Nigeria, the Church will build another 10,000 in West Africa, 10,000 in East Africa, many more in other parts of Africa, Europe, Americas and Asia. It thus implies that over the next few years, LFC will be planting church structures in various nooks and crannies all over the globe.
If any project took the world by storm in 2021, it was the Ark or Legacy Project of the David Oyedepo led LFC. This project by the time it is completed will turn what was formerly the world’s largest church auditorium in the Guinness Book of World Records as at January 2008 and up till June 2015 to a mere large overflow facility.
After an initial 5 year delay in which a Shiloh Sacrifice was taken for what was to be known as the Faith Theatre in 2015, Bishop David Oyedepo suddenly went silent.
All kinds of questions started coming up. According to many online Church haters, as a result of the handover of former President Goodluck Jonathan, the Church did not have the required funds to move on with the mega project which at that time was estimated to be about N50 Billion or $100 million (Exchange rate as at then). In 2020 as the lockdown was rolled back, Bishop Oyedepo started dropping hints on the pulpit about a coming Ark Project.
Eventually in March 2021, details with pictures and 3D videos were released while Bishop Oyedepo narrated how he had been directed by God concerning the project.
According to him and as had been reported on this blog, he had not gotten a release to go on with the project which was to be located somewhere close to the Mandate House and behind Covenant University.
As Oyedepo prayed concerning the matter, he eventually heard God say-Do not talk to me concerning this matter anymore. That was the situation until he got the prompting and reminder that Shiloh grounds which had been dedicated for Faith Tabernacle construction back on 29th August 1998 remained the place of God’s appearance. All of a sudden Bishop Oyedepo’s eyes opened according to him; how would the tens of thousands of commuters at the gate reach the Ark for service on Sundays?
How would Covenant University with its serenity handle hundreds of thousands of worshippers on Sundays? The idea of relocating Faith Academy from its Moriah grounds came and with the cost of N4 Billion ($8 million), a new Faith Academy was built during the lockdown just behind Covenant University while the old one was razed thus creating space for the Ark next to Faith Tabernacle.
Putting together Faith Tabernacle’s 50,000 capacity auditorium with her 52,000 capacity overflow facility with the estimated 109,345 Ark facility, the Ark, Faith Tabernacle and the space in between will take a minimum 211,000 people at once on completion of the legacy project. At Shiloh 2021, it was revealed that after 26 weeks of construction, the basement which takes 330 cars and could easily take 44,000 people (almost the size of Faith Tabernacle) has already been completed.
The Foundation of the Ark was laid on Thursday 25 March 2021 and the progress of this mega multi-billion naira project is ongoing.
The parts needed for the roof and many other future aspects of the project have already been purchased.
We will reveal more details as at when due and as time goes on but one thing is for sure; for a church, this is simply scary as many states in Nigeria do not even have the capacity or income to dare such. The foundation laying took place some weeks before the 40th Anniversary of the Liberation Mandate as delivered to David Oyedepo. Note that September 2021 was actually the 38th year of the commencement of the Living Faith World Outreach Centre or the Church Arm of the Liberation Commission.
One more major church project that filled the headlines was the construction and dedication of the Love of Christ Generation Church Cherubim and Seraphim, a white garment church in Nigeria’s elite Victoria Island led by Mother Esther Ajayi.
The response was mixed with both approval, surprises and disapproval especially at the statement ‘God told me to come here’ by Pastor Enoch Adeboye.
Some church members found the statement denigrating. The reason why is not exactly clear…yet.
For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell asleep….
David Yonggi Cho of the Yoido Full Gospel Church went home to be with Jesus. He served his generation. He was the leader of the first single mega church as it is known today. He showed us the cell system and as if in tribute, the Church which now administers the largest single congregation established 20,000 new home cells above her previous 20,000 in the year Cho departed. It was with shock that we heard of the departure of Pastor Dare Adeboye a few days after the ministration of Daddy G.O at the 40th Anniversary, The Founder of Victorious Army Ministries International, Rev Victor Agboli also went to be with the Lord. Rev Ezekiel of Christian Pentecostal Mission also went home to sleep. He went home with dignity and no form of scandal ever. An example to many. Rev Wilson Badejo, former General Overseer of Foursquare Gospel Church, Nigeria also said his goodbye and a few days after his homegoing ceremonies, his wife also joined him at the feet of Jesus. Towards the end of the year, it was painful to experience the departure of First Lady, Fountain of Life, Nomthandazo Odukoya.
Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end
There was no major clash between the Church and government this year unlike last year with the CAMA Act. The Lock down of Churches was eased in 2021 however some churches like Tunde Bakare led Latter Rain Assembly-now the Citadel Church, Daniel Olukoya led Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries as well as Poju Oyemade’s Covenant Nation though they initially refused, eventually reopened their churches. Pastor Tunde Bakare also warned President Buhari with quite some venom threatening never to go to the Aso Rock Villa anymore since they claimed his ‘mouth was smelling’ and also revealed the vision that led to Buhari winning 2015 Presidential election. A few weeks later, he was back to see the President at the Presidential Villa.
We do not intend to discuss Pastor Tunde Bakare’s Citadel Church/Wema Bank loan issue. We generally advise however, that all churches avoid taking loans whether they have the means to repay or not because according to scriptures, the borrower is servant to the lender.
The Church of Christ must not serve two Masters.
The ENDSARS’ 1st Anniversary took place on 20th October and the Lagos State Government revealed the report which indicted the government.
The released result was eventually submitted to a committee to come up with a white paper. The white paper report is quite unpopular.