It was a fundraising dinner and a presidential visit. But it was more than that. It was the rallying point and the kick-off, of a new era in the Lagos chapter of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria.
The event, which held at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island on June 19 presented a perfect venue for birthing the new PFN phase.
It was put together to host the President of the PFN, Bishop Wale Oke, and also to raise a sum of N200million for the renovation and reconstruction of three newly acquired apartments which will serve as the secretariat of the fellowship.
In 2019, Pastor Williams Kumuyi had donated a sum of N200 million which was used to purchase the buildings. That was during the era of Bishop Sola Ore who passed on in 2020. The current chairman of the fellowship, Apostle Eyinnaya Okwuonu said the money was donated during a casual visit of the PFN executive to Pastor Kumuyi. He described the donation as “Overwhelming support”
But the fellowship still needs an additional N200million to reconstruct these structures located on the Bode Thomas axis of Onipanu, Lagos.
Honour for Bishop Ore
So, this Saturday evening notable faces in the Pentecostal fold gathered at the Oriental Hotel. PFN National President, Bishop Oke, the State chairman, Apostle Okwuonu, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola, Archbishop-elect, Isaac Idahosa, and a host of denominational leaders were present at the event.
There were also notable political leaders like the former governor of Ogun State, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, and a host of others. Otunba Daniel had walked in unannounced with his trademark smile.
Apostle Bamgbola who was chairman of the fund-raising committee, set the ball rolling in his welcome address.
He urged the church leaders to support the reconstruction of the secretariat by donating generously to the project. He took time to welcome the National President recalling how he impacted the Lagos PFN when he was the National Vice President, South West.
A one-minute silence was observed for the late Bishop Ore, whose tenure saw to the acquisition of the secretariat buildings.
The National Vice President, South West of the fellowship; Archbishop John Osa-Oni urged the fellowship to seize the moment. Osa-Oni who was represented by the South West Secretary; Rev Toyin Kehinde; pleaded with members of the fellowship to donate generously to the project.
Indeed, the high point of the event was the donation time. This was coordinated by Archbishop-elect, Idahosa. All, without exception, chose to keep their donation secret.
“It is not in our tradition to divulge what we do. I can assure you that this donation will not be a one-off. It will be a continuous one.” Said Ambassador Aminu Wisdom, one of the main donors.
Otunba Daniel followed in the heels of Ambassador Wisdom. But Apostle Tom Samson caused a stir when he told the church leaders not to hide God’s blessings.
He reasoned that what the PFN needed was just 200 people that would give N1m each and the vision of the secretariat would have been accomplished.
Indeed, there are indications that the impending reconstruction of the newly acquired buildings is a done deal.
PFN not divided
Rev. Olumide Emmanuel, Lead Pastor of Calvary Bible Church said in an interview with reporters at the venue that the PFN had started on a good note.
He said it had taken the PFN this long to have a secretariat because all along, every ministry was building and trying to consolidate on their individual vision.
He however noted that the Lagos PFN is now in the stage of performance. “Even though it is PFN, we have different nomenclature.
“It takes a while to bring people together to achieve a common goal. There are different stages of this. There are the forming, storming, norming, and performance stages. The stage is now set for us to begin to perform” he said.
Significance of Kumuyi’s donation
While commending the awesome donation of Pastor Kumuyi he said, “The way spiritual law works can sometimes be amusing. The N200 million donated by Pastor Kumuyi came through thousands of people. We should not make it a personality issue. He is a father in faith. The donation only tells us it is God’s time for the PFN to perform.
“Many people have done many things for the common good. There are many pastors that may not give N100,000 but they give their time, some, their talent. Some are just interceding,” he said.
He dismissed insinuations that Pentecostals are not united. “When they say people are not united, is it that they greet somebody and the person did not answer? We can’t have all churches come together it is not practicable because we are not on the same level.
“There are people going through different stages in life. Some are literally in debt; some have challenges with their health. We just came out of covid, some have lost loved ones. So, you don’t expect these people to come together at every given point.
“We need to be normal to be united. But then, what I suggest is that people should shine their little light where they are. Let them start by being the catalyst of unity in different corners,” he said.
Apostle Okwuonu: We will be accountable
Earlier, Apostle Okwuonu had requested members of the fellowship to be part of the unfolding miracle in the state. He said, “It is for this noble cause that we have requested you to be part of this miracle through your generous and consistent giving. We are confident that God will use you His people to accomplish this in an outstanding manner this season.”
While disclosing that a 5-month target has been set for the completion of the renovation project, he said, “We, as usual, are committed to utilizing the funds raised with a high sense of responsibility, integrity, and godliness.”
Bishop Oke’s homily
As the event progressed, Bishop Oke, came on to deliver an inspiring homily urging the church leaders to brace up for a new era in Nigeria.
“Every Christian must arise and fight for a new Nigeria on their knees. The investment of God in Nigeria is huge. We must not allow it to waste. Let us arise as one army to build,” he admonished.
While noting that Nigeria deserves judgement, he said, “His mercy will speak for us. There is so much immorality in the land, there is idolatry and all sorts. God will have mercy on us.”
He took time to celebrate Pastor Kumuyi whom he described as a frontline apostle. “He has lived a simple life for over 50 years that he has been in ministry. He is worthy of our emulation,” he said
He thanked him profusely for the huge donation pointing out that three things: Prayer, fasting, and giving are crucial in the life of a believer urging participants to support the reconstruction of the acquired buildings.
“Do it out of love. PFN can’t reward you, only God can. If your seed is on the ground, your harvest is on the way,” he assured.
The event rolled on to a graceful end as the Overseer of Abundant Life Church, Rev Janet Onaolapo took the time to appreciate Bishop Oke for the beautiful message; while also inviting all to the dinner table.
The State Secretary, Apostle Mehmood Akindejoye gave a closing remark while the Vice Chairman of the Lagos PFN, Pastor Leke Akinola closed the event with prayers.
It was indeed a night of great fellowship among leaders of the Lagos PFN and their well-wishers.
Faces at the dinner night