“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations…” Matthew 24:14 (NIV) God is most certainly moving mightily in the churches in Nigeria with the successful planting of the Owerri church on Sunday 8th of July, 2018. It was indeed a glorious day at the inaugural Sunday worship service as more than 270 people were in attendance including more than 100 visitors! With this laudable milestone, Owerri officially becomes the 16th church in Nigeria. Owerri is the capital of Imo State in Nigeria, set in the heartland of Igboland. It is also the state’s largest city and has an estimated population of about 1,118,489. The Owerri Slogan is Heartland. It is currently referred to as the entertainment capital of Nigeria because of its high density of spacious hotels, high street casinos, production studios and high-quality centers of relaxation. The preparations towards the Owerri church planting’s inaugural service was intense and positive. In faith, we had lots of disciples from various churches in Nigeria volunteering to join the Owerri disciples with the focus on sharing their faith and scatter godly seeds in the city. Morning devotionals were organized every morning to motivate missionaries and prepare their hearts for their daily tasks and several bible discussions took place prior to the inaugural service at strategic locations in the city. Midweek services were great times for disciples to come together and share great news of what our God had been using them to do in Owerri. Benevolence activities were also arranged in the city as we had the privilege to visit an orphanage home to fellowship and present them with gifts.
Then came Sunday! God really encouraged our hearts at the worship service on Sunday as most of our friends that we reached out to prior to the service came early with their friends too. The Heartland Choir which comprised of several song leaders all over the country did a great job in lifting the hearts of the congregation as we sang to the glory of our awesome God. The sermon titled “Forward by Faith” was powerfully presented by the ever-supportive lead evangelist of ICOC Nigeria, Chris Ogbonnaya. The message went a long way in convicting and encouraging the hearts of many visitors and disciples also as most visitors were willing to study the word of God. A special award was presented to the Emeteole’s in appreciation for their efforts and contributions in starting up the Owerri seed fellowship and a special prayer was offered for all the Owerri disciples by a visiting elder from the Lagos church, Imagbe Igbinoba. Two souls, Emeka Samuel and Abraham Madubuko were added to the kingdom of God in Owerri on the week preceding the inaugural service. Everyone was so excited to see the wonders of God. Most volunteers left for their various destinations after the inaugural service while some remained to follow up on the visitors that came. God’s name was truly glorified and the Owerri disciples are eternally grateful for all the prayers and support received so far from disciples of Jesus in Nigeria. Please continue to remember disciples working in the open harvest fields of Owerri in your prayers as we live out the mission of Jesus Christ and continue to seek and save the lost in the Heartland City. Shared from ICOC Nigeria