The era of great worship in Benin-City coincides with the Era of great Benin Pastors. Arch Bishop Benson Idahosa of the Church of God Mission and Apostle Dr Samuel Ogbomwan of the Christ Apostolic church of God Mission were stand out pastors. Whilst in Benin, I attended the Christ Apostolic Church of God Mission with my step mother or the Methodist church with my father. The voice of Dr Samuel Ogbomwan meant I always preferred the Christ Apostolic Church so getting an invitation from Pastor Monday Ibude to their annual thanksgiving in London was something I really looked forward to.
The Thanksgiving was full and people were singing graciously. It was like Benin except for the church size but I could feel the spirit of the Founder was not lost on the London congregation and neither were the miracles. No sooner was my arrival acknowledged when I saw 2 Non-Nigerians take the stage to give a testimony. Chancellor Terry Paul and Chancellor Tony Mcalmont from Newham Council were on the stage informing us how happy they were to see us worship. Chancellor Terry Paul told the crowd of a very disturbing day where Pastor Igbineweka called him that they had no place to worship. They have been asked to leave the building in Newham without provision of any alternatives. Terry Paul explained to the crowd the need for God’s word to continue, how the church’s influence has been a good for the borough and how he used all his influence including prayers to ensure Christ Apostolic Church of God mission continued to work in Newham borough. The good work they have done in the borough of Newham will not go unnoticed but will be rewarded where ever is possible.
The Thanksgiving sermon was delivered by Rev Jeremy Frazer, the vicar of St Pauls and St James and the Dean of Newham and was rounded up by Pastor Friday Igbineweka. Dr Taiwo Idemudia from the Odionwere -in-council UK & Ireland was present at the thanksgiving. When called upon he explained his joy of seeing a place where a lot of Benins worship. He reminded the crowd of our own thanksgiving (Igue festival) coming up. Dr Idemudia asked that we pray for peace and progress in our land Edo state, pray for our Oba, our people, our state and our Government.
There was food, drinks, children, families, womens prayers and it was great. I did get time to catch up with Pastor Friday Igbineweka who told me they have been getting eviction notices from Colegrave Primary School since 2015. Colegrave is who they rent the church space from. Pastor Friday says God has been good and the importance of the Church to the community has triumphed. With homes very expensive in London, add insurance, vulnerability, noise and categorization laws then you can see how a church can struggle. However Christ Apostolic Church of God contributes to the community. We visits the homeless, prisons, courts and deportation centres and God’s mercies has never failed us. He says they are in the process of acquiring a permanent building but that may take some time yet to complete. I believe and I work as the Bible says. Faith without work is dead.
I have found home,. See you on Sunday.
See attached picture gallery of harvest.