RCCG Apapa family in double celebration
The seed of change was sown on May 5, 1991 by the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Worldwide, Pastor Enoch Adeboye. Daddy GO, as he is fondly called, had mandated 50 workers of the church to go to Surulere area of Lagos and start a church with like-minded people. In answering the call, the team faithfully launched out and was led by Pastor Tony Rapu. But on getting there, they couldn’t get a suitable venue to kick-start their ministry, and so, they decided to use Roxy Cinema, Apapa, as their launch pad.
Pastor Idowu Iluyomade, who succeeded the late Pastor Asuquo Ernest Mfon, as the head of Apapa Family, said: “It was from this erstwhile notorious centre of seedy activities that the Apapa parish grew, spawning what is now known as Apapa Family, with about 1, 500 parishes spread across Africa, USA, Asia and Oceania including Nigeria.”
The Apapa Family, under the leadership of Pastor Iluyomade, a lawyer, had initiated a yearly programme called ‘Excel,’ which holds every year with different themes. Every year, during the programme, the group uses the opportunity to commission some laudable charity projects. Apapa Family, as a group, is almost everywhere collaborating with Lagos State government and other public sector institutions to establish charity projects in the areas of healthcare, education, infrastructure, citizens’ welfare and capacity building.
They have equipped about 500 primary school libraries, including the installation of solar powered lights in five streets at Akala in Mushin and 40 at Navy Town road, Kirikiri, and Warders Barracks, Lagos, among others.
Penultimate Sunday, the group and the entire RCCG family members, gathered at Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Excel and 26th anniversary of existence of Apapa Family with the theme: “The Pains and Gains of Change.”
The General Overseer of the church, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, his wife, Folu and other dignitaries, including representatives of Lagos State government and popular Nigerian gospel artistes, attended the thanksgiving service.
Head of Apapa Family, Pastor Iluyomade, while welcoming the General Overseer to the podium, expressed the group’s gratitude to God, saying, “Today, we are thanking God for what He has done in our lives and I want you to please thank God for the past 26 years and also 10 years of giant strides, even winning souls to the glory of God.
“In the past five years, 200, 000 souls have come to the saving knowledge of Christ at our Excel programmes, which is why with joy in our hearts, we formally welcome our father in the Lord and invite him to minister this morning at this 10th anniversary of our Excel programme and 26th anniversary of the existence of Apapa Family with his vision.”
Pastor Adeboye, in his goodwill message, said: “We thank God for the leadership of the Apapa Family and the faithfulness of all members. We rejoice with and congratulate you all. Over the years, Excel Conference has been a time to celebrate God’s awesomeness and faithfulness. The unchanging Changer has continued to amaze us in every area of life. The progress has been steady, sure and consistent. It has added phenomenal value to life. We see the Lord’s Hand and it is, indeed, marvellous in our sight. Who could have imagined the impact of the Excel initiative?
“God has helped us to pay the price and upheld us through pain. Growth always entails discipline, sacrifice, risk and faith. In the literal sense, doctors call it
“groaning pain.” Fasting and prayer, diligence and hard work, humility and patience, all come to bear on the change mantra. The result is a real-life experience of a
“New Thing,” which the Lord has continuously wrought in our mission and our lives…”
Governor Akinwumi Ambode, represented by Chief Femi Pedro, former deputy governor of Lagos State, said he was proud to identify with the giant stride achieved by the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Apapa Family, under the pastoral leadership of IIuyomade, said: “The church has witnessed laudable initiatives, which are aimed at not only addressing the spiritual, but also the physical needs of worshippers.
“One such initiatives, the 10th anniversary, which is being celebrated this year, is the yearly conference tagged: “Excel.” It has provided a platform for people of diverse backgrounds to be empowered and inspired through insightful and thought-provoking themes.
“I have noted with deep sense of satisfaction that over the past few years, the theme has revolved around change. The theme for Excel 2015 was “Riding on the wings of change,” last year, it was “Sustaining Change,” and for this 10th edition, the theme is “The Pains and Gains of Change.” The aptness and relevance of these themes can be justifiably located in the change mantra of the current political administration in Nigeria. It also resonates with the global wind of change that has altered the status quo worldwide.
“In another sense, which I regard as very profound, the emphasis on change speaks to the reality of life. Those who seek progress must embrace change, as the only constant element in life is change.”
Ambode, who admitted that the country had not arrive at the Promised Land, said there are positive indications to suggest that the country is making steady progress. He called on Christians to continue to trust in God, and remain steadfast in prayer, as they continue to seek God’s guidance in all endeavours, both as leaders and followers.
After church service at TBS, the church leadership moved to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), where the Apapa Family, in its change mantra, renovated and equipped the Intensive Care Unit at LASUTH. The donation was in honour of Pastors Enoch and Folu Adeboye for their selfless service to God and humanity.
Appreciating the gesture, the Chief Medical Director, LASUTH, Prof. David Adewale Oke, whose speech was read by the Director, Hospital Administration and Human Resources, Mrs. Olatokunbo Adio, said: “We felicitate with RCCG as a whole, particularly the Apapa Family on this occasion of their 10th anniversary.
“The RCCG, under the loving leadership of Pastor E.A. Adeboye and through the Apapa Family in preaching the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, ensuring lives are saved, is passionate to give back to society to touch souls of the less privileged spiritually, physically, and otherwise, irrespective of religion, region or race.”