”…and on this rock I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” – Matthew 16: 18
It was a fantastic and electrifying journey and inauguration for disciples in Akure as more than 200 people (including 40 virtually on Zoom) witnessed the inaugural worship service on Sunday April 25, 2021. Akure now becomes the 17th church to be planted in Nigeria since the Lagos planting in 1989.
Akure is one of Nigeria’s emerging cities. Located within Ondo State in the country’s south west, it’s a settlement about 350kms from Lagos where roads meet from major towns such as Ilesa, Ondo, Owo and Ado-Ekiti.
Its population is climbing fast. In 2006 it was home to about 484,798 people. Today the population is estimated to be about 637,458 and growing as people move to it from rural areas.
The planting of the Akure church was indeed epic event as weeks before the planting, disciples from neighboring towns led by church leader of the church in Ilorin, Abideen Muritala and lovely wife, Bukola and students from the Nitchie Emeka Oguagha School of Missions, ably lead by the Lead Evangelist, Chris Ogbonnaya arrived town heralding a beehive of activities in the City of Akure.
For a city renowned for hospitality, Akure held loads of opportunities for disciples who discovered that the people really are open hearted and sincere towards God’s words. Several bible discussions were held in some locations within the city, including the Federal University of Technology, Akure and God gave them untold victories as studies grew and the hearts of the people became more and more receptive to God’s word.
Every last Saturday of the month, the city observes a compulsory clean-up exercise, and the missionaries were not left out as they stormed the Beggars Colony sharing food items among the needy. It was a deeply moving and encouraging experience for disciples as they count it worthy to be a vessel to be used by God to meet the needs of people around them.
The climax of the series of event was the inaugural worship service on the 25th of April as it was a day of celebration, joy and thanksgiving to God.
We witnessed the presence of a university professor, campus students, business women, officers and wives of the Nigerian police force, 98 years old Pa Adejuwon who is arguably the oldest disciples in Nigeria, and people from all works of life.
The sermon was preached by the Lead Evangelist of the Movement in West Africa, Chris Ogbonnaya whose message was taken from the theme of the service, ‘Freedom in Christ – A Call to Discipleship’. In his sermon, he challenged people to focus on their lives and to examine themselves in line with the Word of God. He also encouraged us that Christ has set us free; Lets stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. We have received a free gift of “the righteousness from God that depends on faith” in Christ (Philippians 3:9) — a mind-blowingly glorious truth!
He also expressed how Jesus purchased and gave to us a life-governing, joy-producing, experiential, and radically free reality that begins now. He sets us “free indeed” to live in the world as long as we are in the world (John 8:36) The secret to experiencing this freedom all depends on where home really is for us – This world is not our home!
In conclusion, he called the congregation to pursue a life of holiness and righteousness and also encouraged them to hold on to the truth regardless of the evil practices in our society. Christ has brought you freedom, lets live as people who are free Let Jesus be the Lord and Messiah in your life. Repent and be baptized. Whatever it takes, don’t settle for anything less than the full freedom God has for you. Seek with all your heart to get right with God. Make time to study the Bible with someone who has invited you.
For those who are freest in the world are those who are freest from the world.
After the sermon, the members of the Akure Church were officially introduced to the congregation. A team of 18 disciples make up the Church. A thanksgiving of praise, anchored by Shadrach Obasa (Abuja) was later on offered to God for the incredible victory He brought that day to the city of Akure.
The service was brought to an end with a prayer as many stayed behind to study the Bible and a glorious day ended in the city of Akure.
Kindly keep the Àkúré Church in prayers for multiple harvest of souls that will last.
Our Church planting team is praying, hoping and planning to plant new churches in Lokoja and Aba later in 2021. Please keep this plans in your prayers!
Thank you and God bless you!