It was unlimited praise, singing and dancing recently as members of the Grace Nation International, a Pentecostal church in Lagos, celebrated the church’s 16th anniversary.
Men and women of the church, which is better known as Liberation City Worldwide, were beautifully dressed as they danced to songs from the choir.
The church was completely filled up such that some congregants had to remain standing while the service lasted.
Besides singing and dancing, the anniversary was celebrated with different activities that those who attended would not forget in a hurry.
Senior pastor of the church, Chris Okafor, also used the occasion to give succour to the needy, as he empowered at least 48 members of the church.
In his sermon, he stressed the importance of thanking God for His goodness and mercies. He said that giving thanks and praise to God attracts more blessings from above. He also emphasized the benefits of giving to the needy and explained why the church must take care of its members as well as the less privileged in the larger society. The pastor implored Nigerians not to wait till they became millionaires before helping the needy among them. He pointed out that every gift given out, no matter how small has an impact on the receiver.
While noting that there were many spiritual gains in helping the needy, the man of God used different verses of the Holy Bible to buttress his point. He reiterated that givers shall never lack.
Okafor blessed 48 members of his church with N100,000 each, which the urged them to use to start their own businesses. He also gave scholarships to students, foodstuff to widows and offset the medical bills of some patients. He also announced the payment of house rent for some of his church members.
The beneficiaries were selected across all cadres by a special committee in charge of welfare in the church.
Said the pastor: “Christianity is beyond prayers and deliverance; it also entails how to sustain those delivered so that they can carry on in life with the deliverance done on them without any compromise. We are celebrating 16 years of existence and winning souls into the kingdom of God. It is 16 years of depopulating the kingdom of darkness and taking the good news of Jesus Christ to all the nooks and crannies of the world.
“For people to sustain their deliverance without compromise, they need to be assisted on what to depend on and sustain their lives with.”
While reacting to the gesture, one of the beneficiaries said she her landlord recently gave her a notice to quit, but, with the cash gift from Okafor, God had brought hope to her home.
Meanwhile, recounting his experience in the hand of kidnappers eight years ago, Pastor Okafor said: “If not for God, the Devil never wanted the church to get to where it is today. If not for God, the Devil wanted to cut the mandate short, but God thwarted it and the church is waxing stronger. Enemies will continue to try but they will always fail.”
He explained that, in the middle of gunshots, God protected him and all the people in the car, except his police escort who was shot dead when he jumped down from the vehicle in an attempt to secure his boss.
The 16th anniversary witnessed prophetic declarations, miracles and deliverance ministration by the senior pastor. There were also other side attractions as famous gospel singer, Gozie Okeke, thrilled the congregation with praise and worship songs.