By Bisi Daniels
On the second day of its 2022 National Convention, the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) ordained over 15,000 clerics, comprising 10,584 Deacons and Deaconesses and 4,424 Assistant Pastors.
The ceremony, which was supervised by the General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, was held at the three-million-seater old auditorium of the Redemption Camp, now renamed City, at Mowe on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, yesterday.
In the tradition of the church, the clerics were presented to the General Overseer for prayers by the outgoing National Overseer of RCCG, Pastor Joseph Obayemi.
The ordination by the laying of hands was handled by the Assistant General Overseers of the church.
While the several deacons and deaconesses were ordained by the laying of hands, the assistant pastors were ordained by the laying of hands and anointed with oil.
In a short ordination sermon, Pastor Joseph Olaiya congratulated the church for its 70th anniversary and advised the newly ordained clerics to go out and enforce the jubilee that Christ made available to all men, through prayers and continuous preaching of the gospel.
The plenary session, which usually headlines each day of the Convention, kicked off around 7 pm with prayers, followed by songs of praise from the sophisticated band of the church with modern musical instruments and the Mass Choir of over 2,000 members.
The thrill in the packed auditoriums (the old and the new) continued with a spectacular, richly choreographed performance of children in a parade, coordinated by the wife of the General Overseer, Pastor Folu Adeboye.
They did so well that they earned the promise of the General Overseer, who prayed for them, to lay hands on each of them at the end of the service. That was quite a number but he is used to it. Until the church’s membership grew into millions, it was his practice to lay hands on each member of the congregation at the end of a service.
The high point of the day was his sermon, titled “Born Free.”
Likening, the freedom provided in the season of Jubilee to the life of a baby, he said babies are born into total freedom and cared for.
Babies, he noted, eat without worrying about where the food is coming from; dress without worrying about the source; and travel without bearing the cost. They also have divine defence or protection.
“However, as they begin to grow, they lose some of these privileges; and by adulthood, they have to fend for themselves,” he said
“Like babies, when you are born again at salvation, you are born free and with a new beginning, which is one of the components of Jubilee.
“To be born again means you can have all you have lost restored to start afresh, with a new name. Indeed the day you are born again is a great day of Jubilee.
“As a newborn in Christ, God provides for all your needs, as well as being your Protector.
“As a newborn, you exhibit traits of a child in your relationship with God.
For example, when you praise Him it is done dedicatedly without distraction.
“You also surrender completely to Him, and you are easy for Him to carry.
“It is the child God carries that He blesses; and as He carries you, He carries all your problems – nothing to worry about.
“When we are born again, we rely completely on God. We are not alive because we worry but because God is taking care of us.”
The reverend Pastor, who punctuates his sermons with testimonies and the Word of Knowledge (prophecies) he receives for God to share at the pulpit, also explained sad moments in our relationship with God.
Those are moments we backslide and lose the status of babies in God’s sight.
He listed some of the features of a backslider.
* In that state, you begin to worry about many things.
*You find it difficult to forgive people, oftentimes pretending to do so.
*Your faith in God wavers and you harbour doubts about His Almightiness
*Then you become a hypocrite, pretending to be a true Christian when you are not.
*And you become a liar, despite the warning that lairs will be kept outside the Kingdom of God.
Recommending the solution to backsliding, he said there is the need for us to fact-check from time to time whether we are the same children of God as on the day we were born again.
“And if we are not, there is the opportunity to have a new beginning by running back to God.”
That when he made the altar call for salvation, hundreds of people dash to the altar to give their lives to Christ.
Considering the size of the congregation on that second day of the Convention, more seats may be required heading towards Friday, when attendance peaks.
By the time the sermon started 25 babies had been born at the medical facilities in the City – 15 boys and 10 girls.