•Advocates reintroduction of House of Chiefs
By Sam Eyoboka & Olayinka Latona
THE 66th annual convention of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) which promised great manifestations of God’s power and grace upon the lives of participants may have ended but the reverberations will linger for yet a while.
The convention, which began on Thursday, August 2, with a Ministers Conference, formally started on Monday, August 6 and ran till Sunday, August 12 with the ordination of 1,603 full pastors and 50 honorary elders. The theme of the event that attracted unprecedented number of participants from across the globe was: “Dominion.”
Besides the numerous spectacular testimonies that attended the programme, one of the high points of the annual convention was the gathering of traditional rulers from across the country for an unusual fellowship with the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Pastor Enoch Adeboye on Saturday morning where he charged them to unite and speak against the ills in the society.
Speaking at the special fellowship with the royal fathers at the prayer foyer of the three-Kilometre-by-three-Kilometre auditorium in the Simawa area of Ogun State, Adeboye lamented that Nigerian politicians have eroded the authority of the royal fathers, wondering why the royal fathers no longer have a voice when there was a House of Chiefs.
According to him, before the white men came, the royal fathers owned the land. “Don’t let the people tell me that we don’t know how to rule, because the royal fathers ruled our people before the white men arrived our shores,” he argued, saying that any form of government that wants to rule and leave out the royal fathers is completely unacceptable.
Stressing that he is not a politician and neither is he an activist, but the truth must be told, the General Overseer blamed the traditional rulers themselves who didn’t protest the removal of the House of Chiefs from the nation’s statutes.
“There was a House of Chiefs; but it’s not there anymore and we didn’t say a word,” he stated, noting that whatever you allow on earth will be allowed in heaven, and whatever you disallow on earth will be disallowed in heaven.
“I think we have allowed too many things we should not have allowed,” Adeboye stated, adding however, that it’s gratifying that the politicians would soon be knocking on the royal door, campaigning for votes even as they have already been speaking of restructuring. I believe it’s time we should say a word or two. They will soon be coming to you to solicit for endorsement or support.”
Drawing inspiration from Bible accounts of Daniel and David, he stated: “We can tell politicians this is what we want and this is what must be done. Let us unite and come together as one.
“You have your domain, I have mine. Let us come together and speak with one voice, they will listen and very soon, the royal fathers will have all their glory restored to them,” he maintained.
He lamented that traditional rulers cannot leave their domains without permission of their local government chairman, describing it as “absurd and wrong,” noting that politicians come to the royal fathers, prostrate and promise them heaven and earth when soliciting their support but once they get the power, they start to dribble them.
“I am not a politician, nor am I an activist. I am a pastor but issues like this must be addressed and am happy that the politicians are talking about restructuring and issues like this should be looked into so that the royal fathers will take their rightful positions in the scheme of things in Nigeria,” he added.
Assuring the royal fathers that God rules in the affairs of men and gives dominion to whomsoever He pleases, Adeboye said: “You are royal highnesses not by accident but it is God’s doing. Then give Him His place in your palace.
“Please do not submit to forces that want to share your throne with you. God will take care of you. You must not allow any high priest to have dominion over your throne or businessmen to dictate how you run your throne,” he counseled, assuring them of God’s protection and providence for all his faithful children.
Another soothing highpoint of the convention was Pastor Adeboye’s prophecy that a ‘Significant “Goliath” would fall,’ this year, and assured Nigerians that the unending orgy of killings of innocent citizens in parts of the country would soon end.
Addressing a large crowd of worshippers at the Holy Communion service of the convention, Adeboye said God would establish His enduring peace in the nation. “My Daddy will silence all violent situations in the country,” he said, stressing that all the current killings in parts of the country will soon come to an end.
Rounding up his prayers at the end of a holy communion service also known as Last Supper, he urged participants to use the Dominion, they have received to work for all round peace not just for the nation, but for generations yet unborn.
The ordination of the full pastors and Elders by Pastor Adeboye, brought the number of ordained ministers during this year’s convention to 16,300. Pastor Adeboye also announced that 110 babies were delivered during the convention.
The convention which was preceded by a 4-day Ministers conference featured prayers for the peace of the nation, deliverance service, a Welcome Service with the teens and the youth making spectacular presentations, special seminars, group seminars, Melody Hour, Service of songs, Children and Youth Hour, the ordination of ministers, while another set of students from their mission’s Bible College and Mission School graduated.
A Pentecostal preacher from Thailand which is predominantly Buddhist, was overwhelmed by the unprecedented crowd of worshippers that he had to appeal to the leadership of the Nigerian church to always remember Thailand and its neighbours—Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam—in their prayers. According to the man of God who was visiting Nigeria for the first time, “I have never seen this kind of crowd in a single place to proclaim the name of Jesus Christ. Please remember Indo-China or South East Asia in your prayers so that one day the over 259 million population of the area will belong to Jesus like you people in Nigeria.”
Pastor Adeboye openly acknowledged that this year’s convention was spectacular, saying: “You can see the large crowd of people at the Old Auditorium. And you can see that the New Auditorium which is three kilometres by three kilometre, is also filled to capacity.”
The Friday service was attended by the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Governors Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos and Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom and their spouses as well as the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Gabriel Olonisakin and traditional rulers from across the country.
Announcing that the church now has presence in 197 nations of the world, Pastor Adeboye hinted that it would soon establish a Wall of Fame in honour of all those pioneer pastors who had taken the church to foreign nations.
The founder of the church, Rev. Josiah Akindayomi and 196 others were appreciated for their efforts in planting RCCG in 197 countries of the world. One of the family members of late Akindayomi was decorated on behalf of the founder of the church.
Appreciating the pioneers, Pastor Adeboye described them as heroes of the church, stating that the church now has 16 parishes in Libya. In his words: “We want to celebrate our pioneers, we will establish a wall of honour for those who pioneered churches in foreign land.”
Some of the places where RCCG now has parishes include, Libya, Sudan, Afghanistan, Cambodia, UAE, India, Samoa, Nicaragua, United Kingdom, and United States of America.
He maintained that preparations for next year’s convention with the theme “And God said,” have begun.