It was a season of celebration and thanksgiving at the 56th annual convention of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria
By STELLA SAWYERR and SEGUN ADEOYE
There was love, unity and peace in the air. So pervasive was it that a casual onlooker could feel it. And for members of the Foursquare Gospel Church, friends and invited guests who had gathered on Sunday, November 20, for the 56th annual convention of the church in Ajebo, Ogun State, this could not have been otherwise. The convention was the first to be held exactly one year after a leadership transition at the topmost helm of the Foursquare Gospel Church organisation.
The one-week long programme, which began Monday, November 14, saw worshippers from within and outside of the country, converging on the Foursquare Gospel Church campground, to raise hands in worship, fellowship and brotherhood.
And on Sunday, November 20, the sea of heads, shouts of hallelujah and Amen, at the camp’s main auditorium, marking the grand finale of the one-week celebration, was for many a memorable one. Felix Meduoye, reverend and general overseer of the church, had only about a year ago, been entrusted with the mantle of leadership of the church, which now has branches in every state in the country.
Meduoye, a chartered accountant-turned-preacher, says the theme of the convention, “Spirit of Exploits”, was very much apt for a time like this. “What we are saying is that we need God to help us to do the extraordinary,” he said. “So we are just asking God to help us to do the extraordinary.”
Wilson Badejo, a reverend and immediate past general overseer of the church, who handed over to Meduoye, expressed joy that the work of the church was progressing in leaps and bounds, especially in the areas of missions and evangelism. “We thank God for progress in the right direction, and seeing the fruit of our efforts in the area of missions gives great joy,” he said.
The continuity and peace that reign in the administrative affairs of the church even after a change in leadership baton, was also a cause for great celebration. Muyiwa Oladipo, commissioner for local government and chieftaincy affairs in Ogun State and a member of the church, expressed gratitude to God for a successful convention and smooth leadership change. “Being here gives me great joy and gladness and it is obvious that the goodness of God has been manifold on the church,” he said.
Daniel Lucero, a reverend representing the president of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel at the convention, expressed great satisfaction at the progress the church is making on the African continent. Lucero, who also works with the Nigerian church in the area of missions, said it was gratifying that the church had evangelism as a top priority. “It is gratifying that there is unity among leaders in the church, and this is very much needed for growth,” he said. “The international church is very much grateful to God for the progress,” Lucero added.
The convention marks the beginning of another administrative year for the church. In the New Year, Meduoye said the church would focus more on expansion of its missionary efforts. “We have tagged our New Year, as our season of explosive growth and multiplication,” he said. “We know it would involve more effort, and we believe God will help us.”