Monday, 2 May 2011

Nigeria 50 Powerful Pastors

When on April 9, 2000 , Jeremiah
Ejikeme, general superintendent
of Faith Pentecostal Ministry,
Umuahia, stood before a large
congregation to testify that God
raised him from death, January
29, 2000 , it sounded incredible.
He claimed to have been certified
dead at the Model Hospital and
Maternity, 4, Oboru
Street ,Umuahia, Abia State on
January 25, and was transferred
to the morgue before his
dramatic "resurrection" five days
Ejikeme thanked God for using
Victor Onukogu, popularly
known as Daddy Hezekiah,
founder of Living Christ Mission
for the miracle.
In a less dramatic but no less
amazing circumstance, a woman
who attended a crusade
organised by Francis Wale Oke,
founder of the Sword of the
Spirit Ministries, attracted the
attention of the congregation
with screams of joy and
halleluyahs while waving a
newspaper in her hand.
Her testimony was in 1999. She
had approached Oke in London
to pray for her as she faced an
immigration order to deport her
back to Nigeria . It was her last
chance and she just had to win.
A day after the prayer, the House
of Parliament in London decided
that all asylum seekers in Great
Britain for a certain period be
given automatic residence. About
56,000 people were affected and
the woman was among them.
Gabriel Akubueze, 24, a trader in
textile materials at Agege was
among the thousands of people
that trooped into one of Pastor
Chris Oyakhilome�s Total
Experience crusade in Lagos . "I
want a miracle for my business,"
he said.
Ejikeme, Akubueze and the
asylum-seeking woman aptly
portray the various reasons why
millions of Nigerians search for
miracles, signs and wonders.
They have continued to attend
religious crusades to seek
miracles to their numerous
problems such as barrenness,
unemployment, financial
difficulties, deliverance from
ancestral curses, sickness and
In Nigeria today, there are more
than 50 of such powerful pastors
in whose areas of speciality are
miracles, prophecy, healing,
teaching, preaching, marriage
counselling, and are attracting
people with such problems. They
include Pastor Enoch Adeboye,
general overseer of The
Redeemed Christian Church of
God. Humble, the mathematician-
turned preacher has impacted on
the lives of millions of Nigerians
with his monthly Holy Ghost
Night programme.
On every first Friday of the
month, all roads virtually lead to
the "Redeem Camp" at Kilometre
46, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway,
venue of the crusade. The
programme attracts thousands
of miracle seekers every month.
And they come from as far as
Kaduna , Benue , Ilorin , Ibadan ,
Lagos and Port Harcourt .
The RCCG is one of the fastest
growing churches in Nigeria
with branches all over the 36
states of the federation and in
London and the United States . In
Lagos alone, nearly every street
has a branch or fellowship centre
of the church. It has been said
that this is in line with Adeboye �s
vision to spread the gospel.
David Oyedepo, general overseer
of Living Faith Ministries aka
Winners Chapel has grown to
become an oak tree in
Christendom. His 50,000 capacity
worship centre known as
Cannanland in Otta, Ogun State ,
has attracted Christian
worshippers from within and
outside the country. Newswatch
learnt that in the last 10 years of
his ministry, many barren
women have given birth to
babies after attending his miracle
programmes. Many more claimed
that they received healings,
secured employment, financial
breakthroughs, turn-arounds in
their respective businesses and
deliverance from ancestral
Oyedepo�s motivational, faith-
building teachings have also
endeared him to many. As part of
his outreach programmes, the
church acquired an aircraft in
1996 to facilitate his evangelism
programmes to countries
outside Nigeria . Tagged "Gospel
on Wings," the programme was
launched as an arm of the World
Mission Agency Incorporated -
the organ responsible for foreign
mission operations.
Today, the church is said to exist
in every state of Nigeria and in
some other African countries.
Oyedepo has more than 20
books published by his Dominion
Publishing House to complement
his soul- winning efforts.
Samuel Abiara, 59, founder,
Agbala Itura World-Wide, faction
of Christ Apostolic Church is
known for his healing services,
evangelism and prophecies.
Abiara told Newswatch that he is
not a miracle worker but said
God has used him to perform
miracles. "The blind see, barren
women conceive and bear
healthy children, among others
that God has used us to perform
in the name of Jesus,"he said.
The church headquarters in
Ibadan , Oyo State , is capable of
seating 5,000 worshippers at
each service . Abiara enjoys the
perks of his ministry. "Our God is
God of prosperity and wealth.
Nobody that does the will of God
would lack anything," he said.
The name Chris Oyakhilome,
pastor, Christ Embassy, is almost
synonymous with miracles. He is
widely known for his
Atmosphere for Miracles, a
television serial which advertises
the numerous miracles
performed by him. The
programme is a hit on many
state and private television
stations all over the country.
Oyakhilome �s recent outing at
National Stadium, Lagos , early
this year attracted about 50,000
Another man of God who has
continued to hold sway in the
miracle arena is Pastor
Temitope Joshua, founder of the
Synagogue Church of All Nations,
Ikotun Egbe, Lagos . His miracle
programmes which is aired on
television stations have
continued to elicit reactions from
church leaders and the public.
Particularly, his genuflection of
the hand during every miracle
healing process has been widely
described as reflection of occultic
Scathing as the criticisms are, he
has remained unperturbed and
has continued to dazzle the
public with his feats. Located at
Ejigbo, the Synagogue has turned
out to be Mecca of a sort for
miracle seekers. Among them are
Europeans and Americans, who
flock to his ministry for miracles.
It was this same curiosity that
compelled President Chiluba of
Zambia to visit the Synagogue in
On June 19, this year, Paul
Dhanakran, an Indian but
internationally acclaimed
evangelist and mentor to world
pentecostal leaders such as Pat
Robertson, Oral Roberts and
Benny Hinn, visited the
Synagogue to receive healing for
an intractable ailment that defied
any cure. Barely four days after,
Dhanakran left the Synagogue a
new man. He had not been able
to walk in the last five years.
Joshua has in store, films of his
healing powers. One of the films
shows that he had also raised a
man from the dead. He also
claims to heal people of AIDS,
cancer and other deadly
Victor Onukogu became born
again in 1967 and changed his
name to Hezekiah. Between then
and now, he has grown to
become one of the leading
miracle workers in Anambra
State . Popularly known as Daddy
Hezekiah, and founder of Living
Christ Mission, Onitsha , Anambra
State , he told Newswatch that
the first miracle that God
performed through him was to
raise from death a young girl at
Inland Girls Secondary School ,
Onitsha , November 21, 1982 .
Ever since, he said God has
performed many other miracles
and blessed a lot of people
through him.
As part of efforts to
accommodate the geometrically
growing congregation, Hezekiah
has started work on a new
church headquarters at Onitsha .
Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Ede, founder
of Catholic Prayer Ministry of the
Holy Spirit, Elele, Rivers State, is
perhaps the first Catholic priest
whose miracle works remain
immensely popular. Ede has a
penchant for breaking of curses
and healing the sick through the
inspiration of the Holy Spirit. The
monthly miracle programme he
organises at the Pilgrimage
Centre, Elele attracts Christians
from all parts of the country who
desire breakthroughs in life.
Beyond the transformations Ede
has brought to the style of
worship in the Catholic church,
he has also established reputable
academic institutions. He is the
proprietor of OSISATEC, a
polytechnic in Enugu and
Madonna University , Uli, where
emphasis is placed on academic
excellence and moral upbringing
of students.
Ejike Mbaka, another Roman
Catholic reverend father in Enugu
is known for his firebrand style
of preaching. Signs and wonders
follow his ministrations. Mbaka �s
weekly all-night adoration
crusade at the GTC field, Enugu ,
has never ceased to inspire
Catholic faithfuls to attend his
programme. At one of his crowd-
pulling crusades March 7,
disaster struck and 14 of the
worshippers died under
mysterious circumstances.
Though the ill-fated event
generated a lot of controversies,
it did not diminish the rising
profile of the priest.
His miracles have checked the
drift of Catholic faithfuls to other
miracle-happening churches. It
has also brought Pentecostals,
Methodists, and Anglicans to
swell the crowd: "People fly from
abroad to come to our crusade
and fly back," Mbaka told
Christ Mustard Mission, Port
Harcourt , carved a niche for itself
with the divine revelations of
Glory Chika Nsiegbe. He predicts
future events on January 1, every
year. One of his predictions was
that the then gubernatorial
aspirant in Rivers State , Rufus
Ada-George would become a
governor in 1992. It came to
pass. He also predicted the death
of Sani Abacha, former head of
state, in 1996. He is popularly
known as the Anointed Man of
God in Grace because of his
miraculous exploits.
Primate Theophilus Olabayo,
founder of the Evangelical Church
of Yahweh Worldwide has
equally been named in such
fashion for his predictions.
Although, he has not been visible
of late, Olabayo was one prophet
whom the nation looked up to
for his prediction of the nation at
the beginning of a new year. His
predictions on political matters
and leaders were profound.
Olabayo manifested that much
even in his writing of letters to
leaders of thought, traditional
rulers and world leaders to come
together and find solution to
perceived looming problems.
His predictions were published in
his book: The Book of
Revelations for Today and
Tomorrow. Some of his major
predictions, however, created
bad press for him because they
didn�t come true. When
Newswatch sought to interview
him last week, one of his able
pastors explained why the
request could not be granted,
"There is a divine revelation that
he (Olabayo) should cease from
talking to the press untill such a
time when there is a counter-
instruction," he said.
There are some other pastors in
Nigeria whose divine calling
transcended miracles and
prophecy. They have the power
of oratory and teaching of the
word so convincingly. Often
times, their power-packed
inspirational teachings create a
new life for the hopeless, the
down-trodden, the widows,
single parents and youths.

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