NATIONAL SECRETARY’S REPORT TO THE NATIONAL MINISTERIAL COUNCIL (NMC) MEETING HELD ON MONDAY 10TH NOVEMBER, 2015 AT AJEBO CAMP
“Praise ye the Lord, praise ye the name of the Lord: Praise Him, O ye servants of the Lord. Ye that stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God. Praise the Lord: for the LORD is Good; sing praises unto His name; for it is pleasant. On this appreciable note, it is my privilege to present to this august body some highlights of important events during the period under review.
OUR MACRO ENVIRONMENT
Some important events in the country that captured our attention could be outlined as follows:
At last the long-awaited list of ministerial nominees was finally released in two batches. The first batch had 21 names, mainly political associates and stakeholders while the last 16 names contained technocrats and thereby bringing the total list to 37 ministerial nominees. The screening of the nominees in the Red house has been full of drama, intrigues and political trade-offs. Let us hope and pray that these men and women will be the change agents that Nigerians are waiting for.
WORRIES ABOUT NAIRA VALUE
To douse the worries of many on the value of Naira in the face of dwindling foreign reserves and sluggish foreign Direct Investment, the Federal Government has ruled out the possibility of devaluing the nation’s currency. Nigerian Leadership believes that devaluation of Naira would offer no solution to any of the country’s economic problems. This position agrees with the argument of many financial experts that the currency was appropriately priced despite a sharp fall of oil revenues whacking public funds. Let the saints continue to pray that the Lord will heal our economy.
- THUMBS DOWN FOR U.S GOVERNMENT ON GAYS’ RIGHTS To the chagrin of many nations of the world, the government of the United States elevated gay rights from mere practice of abnormal act to the rights to marry each other even to convert from one sex-gender to the other. This action by the highest level of US Judiciary has now brought the sacred institution of marriage to the base and banal level. The church of Christ must raise her voice to condemn such ethical compromise.
FOURSQUARE MOURNS A ROYAL FATHER
The shock, the pain and the incredulity that greeted the sudden transition of Atuwatse II, the Olu of Warri would take a long time to die down. The departed royal Father was an uncompromising Christian leader in the National consciousness. We will miss his numerous sacrificial contributions to the development of our organization, especially his invaluable service to our University. May the Lord comfort his family, the Church and the people of Iwere kingdom.
FOURSQUARE RIDES IN HIGH PLACES
We thank God for the appointment of Dcn. Femi Adesina as the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity. He was formerly the Managing Director of The Sun Newspapers and The President of the Nigeria Guild of Editors. Another daughter of the church, Rev. (Mrs) Akeredolu was appointed the chairperson of the Society of Women Accountants of Nigeria (SWAN) Ogun State. We owe constant prayers to these our brethren and others in high positions to enable them succeed.
OUR CORE ACTIVITIES
Our Decade of Multiplication is on course to the glory of God. Two hundred and forty-nine (249) churches were planted this year as against Three Hundred and Sixty Six (366) planted in the previous year. Though we had marginal decline this year in the number of churches planted, our evangelical efforts paid off in several other areas of our operation. On the other hand, ninety five (95) new zones were created (Missionary and full-fledged zones) this year as compared with eighty-seven (87) that came into operation last year. In the same vein, six (6) more Districts were added to the former 131 Districts to bring the total number of Districts to 137. The Districts are as follows: Zuru Missionary District, Morogbo District, Kaltungo Missionmary District, Ayingba Missionary District, Tomori District and Ubeji District.
ORDINATION OF MINISTERS
Two Hundred and nine (209) ministers were ordained during the 2014 National Convention. Again this set of ordained ministers donated the sum of Eight Hundred Thousand Naira (#800,000) towards the ICT project at the National Office. We pray that the Lord will reward them appropriately.
INDUCTION OF MINISTERS
Three Hundred and Eighty Four (384) ministers were formally inducted during the International Conference for Ministers and Leaders (ICML) in April 2015 at Ajebo Camp. The inducted ministers were given their letters of appointments and ministerial credentials at the end of the ceremony.
- APPROVAL FOR LICENCING
In comparison to Twenty Four (24) ministers approved for licensing in the previous year, one hundred and thirty seven (137) ministers were elevated to LICENSED status this year after thorough screening and approval by the General Overseer. Their letters of licence were given to them after the formal ceremony during District Convocations.
PRE-REFRESHING VIGIL PRAYERS
This programme has continued to be a veritable platform for all ministers to fellowship and pray corporately for the organization, the nation and for one another. The awareness and the participation of ministers in this programme has been on the increase to the glory of God.
ASSISTANCE TO MINISTERS
Our General Overseer is deeply concerned about the general welfare of the ministers. Consequently ministers in distress received substantial assistance from the National Leadership meanwhile, the augmentation of salaries of pastors in the rural areas has brought tremendous relief to the beneficiaries to the glory of God.
REMUNERATION OF MINISTERS
The National Leadership has made it mandatory that every minister (whether full time or part time) should receive some form of remuneration from the church, even if it is as small as #500 every month. Such remuneration should be decided by the church council and properly approved by the appropriate supervising authorities. For example, the Zonal Superintendent shall approve for church pastors, the District Overseer to approve for Zonal Superintendents while the General Overseer will approve that of the District Overseers. In every case, the copy of the approved remuneration for each minister should be forwarded to the National Office.
IMPORTANT CHURCH MATTERS
NEW TIME REGIME FOR WORSHIP SERVICE
A new time regime has been put in place for Sunday Worship services in all our churches. Every church is to close the worship service by 10.30 a.m or latest 11 a.m. Those running multi-shift services are to close at 12p.m or latest 12.30p.m. The new time regime is to accommodate worshippers with different time preferences and to encourage prudent time management by the ministers. All ministers are also encouraged to properly manage the time that is spent in all church programmes.
To God’s glory, the long-awaited Television Ministry of our dear organization has successfully taken off. The Foursquare Gospel Broadcast can be watched on Sundays on AIT Television by 4.30 to 5.00p.m and on TVC Television from 7.30 to 8.00pm. Efforts are in progress to take the broadcast to Network and Cable platforms.
- BETA TESTING
The Beta Testing seminar was held on 14th August, 2015 at the International Conference Center Idimu. The seminar was designed to gauge the spiritual health of the church and it was anchored by Dr. Brown and his partner, Rev. Plummer. It was a worthwhile exercise which has been passed down for replication at other levels of our operations.
DEDICATION OF CAMP RESTAURANT
History was made on 16th of September, 2015 when the new Idimu Conference Centre’s Restaurant was dedicated to the glory of God. The dedication was done by our General Overseer and the members of the Board of Directors. The befitting Restaurant and Kitchen will add value to the facility and further boost the patronage of the conference center.
OUR G.O AT AIT’S KAKAAKI PROGRAMME: It was another superlative performance by our father in the Lord as he fielded questions from Television presenters during the KAKAAKI programme at AIT Television network. It was a joint presentation with the Chairman of Diamond Jubilee Convention, Dr. Afe Mayowa. The widely publicized programme was an image booster for our organization and a publicity blitz for the Diamond Convention.
2ND DIAMOND LECTURE SERIES
The 2nd Diamond Lecture Series targeted at publicizing the Diamond Jubilee Convention took place at National Christian Center, Abuja on 17th September, 2015. The theme of the public lecture was “the role of the church in nation building”, guest speaker, Dr. (Mrs.) Oby Ezekwesili did justice to the theme as she expertly reviewed the tortuous struggle of Nigeria nation in her effort to attain true nationhood. The lecture was well attended and was graced by the representative of the speaker of the House of Representative, Honourable Dogara.
NEWS FROM THE NATIONAL OFFICE
UPGRADE OF OUR REPORTING PORTAL
We thank God for the improvement from our Ministers using the e-portal platform. It has further been upgraded to accommodate the following feartures:
- Template to capture ministers’ and members’ data bank
- On-line e-payment platform called REMITA
NEW SECURITY ARRANGEMENTS AT THE NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS COMPLEX
In order to boost internal security in our National Headquarters complex, a new security arrangement has been put in place. Every visitor should be properly identified before proceeding to any part of the office complex. This may cause regrettable inconveniences.
- CHANGE IN OFFICIAL WORKING HOURS
In an effort to boost productivity among our National Staff and to reduce loss of man-hours spent on traffic gridlocks, our working period has slightly been adjusted to run from 8am to 4pm instead of the former period of 9am to 5pm.
BRIEF FROM MINISTRIES AND ARMS
COUNCIL OF FOURSQUARE MEN (CFM)
- The arm in conjunction with the ministry of Agriculture expanded their collaboration as more people were now being empowered.
- 8 units of National CFM Cooperative Society were established with one in Lagos and seven in Ogun state.
- FOURSQUARE WOMEN INTERNATIONAL
- The Arm went to Cote De Voire in February, alabaster was conducted and the host country was supported financially.
- June Rally was held with the theme “Compassionate God”. It featured Messages, Seminars, Workshop, Trainings and so on. 18,289 were in attendance.
- NATIONAL YOUTH MINISTRY
- “Save Our Youth” forum where training session on entrepreneurship were facilitated by Dr. Christopher Kolade and DHM.
- March for Jesus was organized in March, about 627 youths participated
- NATIONAL TEENS MINISTRY
- Teenagers fully participated in the Convention, Grace Power Nights, Refreshing Vigils and ICML in April
- Camp meeting was observed on Regional basis, North/East Region used Jalingo, while Lagos and South West converged at Ajebo.
- Prayer summit with the theme Revive thy work Hab.3 vs 2 was held.
- Operational manual was developed for the National Executive
- 18 new fellowships were planted during the year
- Leadership training was organized for members.
- PASTORS WIVES
- About 3000 Pastors’ Wives and 18 of their counterpart from other denominations attended Lady Ministers Biennial Conference titled “Take Heed”
- Modeling Good Character seminar was well attended
- Widows, singles Joyful mothers and orphans were ministered to.
- NATIONAL DIRECTORATE OF HOME MISSIONS
- A separate crusade was organized in 3 places at Ajebo in order to Evangelize our host community.
- The department held a Mission Summit for Lagos Areas Missions Coordinators.
- NAFFs is now in 72 campuses across the country
- 3 Districts created at the last quarter of 2014 were inaugurated on 1st July, 2014, Zuru Missionary District was created during the National Convention while additional 5 Districts were created during the ICML and they had since been inaugurated.
- NATIONAL DIRECTORATE OF FOREIGN MISSIONS
- Wuse church in conjunction with National leadership of Tanzania church pioneered Arusa church.
- 4 students from Rwanda resumed at LIFE Theological Seminary.
- 31 delegates from 9 countries attended our 59th National Convention and 2015 ICML respectively.
- Sunday School manuals, Home fellowship materials, Discipleship manuals, a book titled “Foursquare Gospel” were added to the publications during the year under review
- Trainings were organized for leaders, workers and members at all levels
- AJEBO CAMP BOARD
- 2nd wing of Hall of comfort and block 10 of former block 24 site were completed
- Access road to Lagos/Ibadan expressway and Administrative camp office site were constructed and solar street light installed.
- All pending land cases were resolved and Osiele Family Dispute and Pakerike land issues were settled out of court
- INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE IDIMU
- The centre built a modern restaurant with lock up shops and industrial kitchen
- Drainages within the centre was completed
- Modern equipment was provided for security personnel
- National prayer tower continue to witness 24 hours prayer chain
- Regional fire conference was held in Lagos
- The weekly Hour of Transfiguration every Tuesday was held regularly
- Osankan Orukan (One day One Night) is gaining momentum with outstanding miracles
- The ministry bought musical instruments worth #4,000,000.00
THE LOVE MINISTRY
- The Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) project in the North East was a success. So far, #2million had been spent
- A lady with protruding belly who needed Rafa Life service was equally supported
- 38 large bags filled with clothing materials and kitchen utensils sent to the IDP
- MUSIC MINISTRY
- The Directorate of Music with the support of the Convention Committee produced a National Choir Songs booklet.
- The music ministry celebrated her annual prayer and praise night on February 2015 in Regions and Axes.
- Hoodlums that attacked police men during the Refreshing Vigils were arrested.
- The security unit with the help of the National Office got some sophisticated hardware.
- TRANSPORTATION UNIT
- Corporate bodies, schools, churches outside our organization and various church arms now enjoyed our services.
- Preventive and breakdown maintenance were promptly carried out during the year.
- NATIONAL USHERS
- 16 Ushers represented the organization at PFN meeting held in January, 2015.
- A special training/manpower development seminar for Head Ushers was held during the 2015 ICML
- The ministry took part in the Grace Power Night that was held at TBS on 3rd January, 2015 and the one held at Akure.
- It also participated in the Diamond Jubilee lecture that took place at National Headquarters Church, Yaba
To God alone be the glory for His faithfulness towards us. We thank God for giving us a worthy leader, who is wise and full of grace and a father with a heart of Gold. Thank you sir for being a blessing to Foursquare. Many thanks to the Board of Directors and the NEC for their understanding. I salute all my colleagues, the ministers and the National Office Staff for their cooperation and dedication to duty. God has blessed me with a wonderful wife, Chinyere and godly children. To this I am so grateful.
Rev. Ikechukwu Ugbaja