On the night of Friday, December 7, Ikorodu, Lagos, was agog. Tens of thousands of excited congregants crowded inside the expansive premises of Ikorodu Town Hall for the annual Christian Praise and Worship Night – A Night of 365 Hallelujahs.
The programme, the seventh edition, otherwise tagged Convocation to Praise (CTP), was hosted by the Joy Cometh Ministries (JCM), Ikorodu, founded by Pastor Olaitan Aromolaran.
As spacious as the Ikorodu Town Hall premises was, it was not big enough for the teeming crowd. The organisers had to temporarily ‘extend’ the hall to all the adjoining streets, with scores of chairs arranged for the attendees.
Mega screens were also placed in conspicuous spots for those seated outside the hall. Security was tight. There were scores of army, police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps personnel parading within and outside the premises. All through the night, vendors of assorted items made good business.
The programme commenced promptly about 8.30pm with songs of praise rendered by the Joy Cometh Ministries choir, with the accompaniment of different drums and instruments.
At 9.30pm, Pastor Wilson Idemudia announced the commencement of the programme. Shortly after, Pastor Yemi Aromolaran, wife of the Senior Pastor, led the session of opening prayers.
The JCM junior choir subsequently took over, with assorted songs and performances. As soon as the choristers were done, the popular group, Footprints of David, began a series of unusual gospel song ministrations seasoned with incredible dance steps and acrobatic displays that got the guests yelling and applauding.
The junior choir then did a short performance, after which the JCM drama unit performed a play.
At 10.50pm, the convener and senior pastor of JCM, Pastor Olaitan Aromolaran, came on stage. He thanked the attendees for turning up and apologised profusely to those within and outside the premises who could not get seats.
He explained that, in anticipation of the large crowd, the church had made arrangements for additional seats,
regretting, however, that the efforts of the organisers were still inadequate. He said officials of the church were combing the streets of Ikorodu for more chairs and pleaded with the crowd to bear with the church.
He explained that his covenant with God was that the programme would hold inside the Ikorodu Town Hall, explaining that he was still waiting on God to know if the programme should be shifted to a more spacious environment.
He pleaded with those not yet at the venue to stay at home, explaining that the programme was being beamed live on a number of local and satellite channels, even as it was being streamed live online.
Aromolaran expressed gratitude to all the ministers and dignitaries at the event for keeping faith with the programme. He thereafter invited the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo Kingdom in Ikorodu, Oba Abdulsemiu Orimadegun Kasali, Emugoriade 1, to address the crowd. Oba Kasali, a Muslim, started by asking the congregants to shout Hallelujah.
The royal father, a lawyer, praised the organisers for the annual praise event. He described the convener, Pastor Aromolaran, as a good son who had impacted thousands of lives in Ikorodu with his charity works and love for
humanity. He also praised the JCM for bringing genuine love to the people of the area.
Oba Kasali counselled the congregation to imbibe the attributes of Jesus Christ, noting that there was too much deceit and unrighteousness in the land. Affirming that righteousness exalts nations, Oba Kasali urged the people to have faith and walk on the godly path, as only then would there be redemption in Nigeria.
He called for prayers for Igbogbo, Ikorodu, Lagos State and Nigeria. He also prayed for the congregants and the Joy Cometh Ministries.
His charge was followed by performances from the youth choir. As the youngsters performed, a young artist, Onigele Godl, did a spontaneous painting of Jesus in minutes, to the delight of the crowd.
A performance by the 2,000-member mass choir heralded the first set of 73 hallelujah shouts, led by Pastor
Olasunkanmi Oriola of JCM. It was followed by a performance of Niger Delta songs by the choir.
Pastor Wilson thereafter introduced some of the ministers at the event, including Prophet Richmond of Light for
All Nations Ministry, Pastor Adenekan, Apostle Jide Adeleye, Apostle Greatness, Apostle Arowolo, Bishop Bartholomew, Prophet Olanrewaju Bankole, Pastor Bunmi Salami, Pastor J. Akosile, Pastor Tayo Adebola and Pastor Olanrewaju, among others.
Bishop Joseph Otaru, who came from Port Harcourt, led the second set of 73 hallelujahs. He spoke on the fall of the wall of Jericho, taking the lesson from Joshua, chapter 6.
The next set of 73 hallelujahs was led by Rev. Bolaji Akinyemi, who praised Pastor Aromolaran’s commitment, adding that everything in the life of the convener had proved that he was genuinely called by God. The Very Rev. Blessing, who led the next set of 73 hallelujahs, also celebrated Pastor Aromolaran and his wife, even as he prayed for more increase in Aromolaran’s ministry.
The event was concluded after the last set of 73 hallelujahs, led by Pastor Aromolaran.
The programme also featured testimonies by a number of people. One Sister Mabinuola said everything she requested from God at last year’s programme was received, while Mrs. Taiwo Ogunyemi said, following her request at the last event, she miraculously got a brand new house this year.
Michael Anibaba said, following his request at last year’s event, God healed his mum of cancer, to the consternation of her Indian doctors. Oloruntoba Modupe said her son was healed miraculously even after consultants in Lagos had told her that the boy could not survive, and Olawunmi Michael, who sent her message from Boston, United States, said after several failed in vitro fertilisation processes, God delivered her of a baby safely without surgery.