We give all praises and glory to God Almighty who in His infinite mercy and kindness answered our prayers and amazed us with many blessings as the Lokoja church was planted with much pageantry on Sunday 8 August 2021 with more than 200 in attendance (Including 102 visitors and 40 virtually on Zoom). We also witnessed 2 baptisms after the inaugural service.
Lokoja lies at the confluence of the Niger and Benue rivers and is the capital of Kogi State. While the Oworo, Bassa Nge and Nupe are indigenous to the area, other ethnic groups of Nigeria, including the Kupa Nupe, Hausa, Ebira, Igala, Igbo, Bini/Edo, and Tiv have recently established themselves. Projected to be the third fastest growing African continent city between 2020 and 2025, with a 5.93% growth.
HISTORY OF LOKOJA SEED FELLOWSHIP
The Lokoja Seed Fellowship started in 2011 with Anthony Echimina, his wife Juliet and their 2 children.
The Echiminas were posted from Ibadan to Lokoja in 2004 but not until his wife and kids joined him in 2011 before the Lokoja dream began with weekly Bible study discussion, fellowship and occasional visit to the Church in Abuja being the nearest pillar Church to Lokoja.
In 2012, Mr. Akinwande joined the Seed Fellowship in Lokoja from the Lagos Church, after his wedding ceremony. At some point, some disciples joined the fellowship in view of their transfers/ posting and employment in Kogi State but later left the State.
To mention but few of these Christians are: Oladele Oladipupo, William Awotunde, Adedayo Fabamise, Seyi Odesesan, Yetunde Adedire, Justice Paul, Alex Nosakhare Usifo and Andrew Atubeh. In 2016, Olorunleke Mathew came to Lokoja from Lagos where he became a disciple but lost his faith for 11 years but was met by disciples in Lokoja and was restored back to his faith in Jesus and the Church. He came with 3 kids; Abigail, Dennis and Favour Mathew. Abigail became a disciple in 2017.
Arrival of Volunteers
The Lokoja Church planting witnessed a great turnout of willing disciples/volunteers from across Nigeria. Disciples started arriving Lokoja city about two weeks ahead of the inaugural service. Brothers and sisters from Abuja, Yola, Kaduna, Jos, Lagos, Akure and Ilorin were fully represented in their good numbers.
Missionaries hit the ground running as soon as they arrived. Some delegates from the Abuja Church arrived earlier and evangelized the neighborhood of the inaugural service for about a week before returning back to their base over the weekend.
Another group of volunteers arrived a week before the inaugural service. They spontaneously and radically paired themselves in groups for evangelism and bible studies regardless of the weather or circumstance. The Word of God was opened to men and women who were willing to embrace the truth of God’s salvation plan. Missionaries continued to work in unity. Daily aerobics, morning devotionals, breakfast, group evangelism and bible studies were part of the events leading up to the inaugural service.
A poor outreach was held on Saturday August 7th, a day before the inaugural service where we visited two orphanages; one at Felele and the other at Adakolo. A final lap of immense reaching out took place afterwards leading up until the night time.
And God heard our many fervent prayers offered in faith: The inaugural service began with worship and thanksgiving. This was followed by a sermon from Wasiu Ajao, titled The Need for True Righteousness. The communion message delivered by Ope Babalola talked about the importance of remembering Jesus, while the benevolence by Abideen Muritala encouraged all to give selflessly to God.
In attendance for the inaugural service was 102 adult visitors. Refreshment was made available for all in attendance while bible studies continued after the service in small groups. The highlight of the service was the baptism and addition to God’s Church of two brothers.
Post Inaugural Service Activities
Missionaries began returning back home but this didn’t deter the work of salvation. In the course of the week following the inaugural service, some volunteers arrived from Abuja and Akure and the strategy then was to focus on those who had attended the inaugural service and indicated a willingness to have a one on one Bible study in the feedback forms. Conversion Bible studies have commenced and are moving forward with our friends. By the special grace of God we look forward to harvesting more faithful souls through baptisms into the body of Christ before the end of August 2021.
It has been an amazing experience seeing God working through His children to plant His Church. Over four hundred people were reached through evangelism and a hundred and two visitors attended the Inaugural service. Over forty of those numbers are currently engaged in conversion studies.
Please keep praying for the good work God has started in Lokoja and for the fruits to bountiful.
To The glory of God, the Lokoja Church will be officially enlisted amongst the over 700 International Churches of Christ in 150 Countries Worldwide.