Wednesday, 19 November 2014

RCCG Shalom’s season of abundant grace

RCCG Shalom’s season of abundant grace
It was a whole week celebration of God’s grace upon The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Shalom Model Parish, 13 SDP Road, Eket.
This must have informed the theme of the just concluded 20th anniversary of the parish, “Abundant Grace”, signifying God’s abundance grace upon the church and its members.

Grace, according to the Pastor in charge of RCCG, Region 14, Pastor Richard Adeboye, is qualifying the unqualified. 

An aspect of dictionary meaning says that it is God’s kindness to people because He (God) loves them. This must be the testimony of the 20 years existence of Shalom Parish.

Shalom’s grace rooted two decades ago when a group of young-spirited individuals came in unity to advance the vision of Redeem Christian Church of God: 

To make heaven, take many people as possible with them to heaven; to have a member of RCCG in every family of all nations; exuding holiness as a lifestyle; to plant churches within five minutes walking distance in every city and town of developing countries and within five minutes driving distance in every city and town of developed countries. These were; and are still the guiding principles in actualising the vision and goals of RCCG in Shalom Parish.

According to records, it started far back in January 24th, 1994 in the residence of Pastor Tony Sandars - 2 Holmes Street, Eket. That eight-brethren prayer group praying fervently for nine months gave birth to a three day crusade which was conducted from October 14th - October 16th, 1994. The membership at the end of the three day crusade formed the nucleus of Shalom Parish membership.

Since then, the graceful journey of Shalom Parish began and her story never remained the same.

The Parish has been through various Pastoral care and has moved from residential apartments donated by individuals to her current permanent building at 13 SDP Road, Eket.

Shalom’s new birth after the inauguration of the RCCG Akwa Ibom Province 2, Eket in September 2007 includes the following Parishes; Mount of Praise, Citadel of God, Beautiful Gate, Adonai Parish, House of David, Dominion Centre, Shekinah Parish, New Height, Signs and Wonders, The Overflow, Aroma of Praise and House of Comfort.

The Parish has from inception been pastored by distinguished and dedicated passionate leaders in the following order of succession Pastor Ime Udotung, Pastor Godwin James, Pastor Ibanga Udoinyang, Pastor Moses Odifille, Pastor Ibanga Udoinyang (2nd Missionary Journey 2003-2007), Pastor Enobong Abraham (2007-2012), Pastor Wale Ogunsola (September 2012- September 2013) and Pastor Godwin Ukwat (September 2013—Date).It was in the “second missionary journey’’ of Pastor Ibanga Udoinyang building on the structure established by the former pastors, that the parish witnessed a tremendous growth in the membership, structures and strength. In the year 2000 during a normal Sunday Service, Pst. Udoinyang splits Shalom into 5 different Parishes namely Bread of life (Ozodima Elelema), Liberty Sanctuary—Onna (Shedrack Odoh/Udobong Ntia), Grace Arena (Utibe James/Victoria Nkoro) and Treasure House (Mega Parish) (Gbenga Oyedere/Godwin Ukwat)—a special project but still under Shalom Area in the mighty Eket Zone reporting to the Province. Treasure House (Mega Parish) later became an Area, then Zonal Headquarters that hosted the Province (Akwa Ibom Province 2) on arrival in Sept. 2007.Admittedly during this era, numerous parished were planted by Shalom at various Easter and December Lets-go-A-fishing programmes in the then Eket Senatorial geo-political zone. Therefore, this strategic seed—Shalom planted 20 years ago is a pioneer Parish that collaboratively gave birth to the present day Region 14 (Akwa Ibom and Cross River State) of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. 

The arrival of Pastor Godwin Ukwat and wife as Parish and Zonal Pastor on September 01, 2013 has taken the parish to a new level of spiritual revival and God’s blessing at various dimensions. His purposeful leadership style and passion in advancing God’s work made him to acknowledge the seize of Shalom and then expanded her administrative unit to meet with the coordinating needs of the parish. 

He has ensured that the gospel of Christ get to the market place by publishing a monthly bulletin called ‘Shalom Voice’.

The many activities of the Church have culminated to the steady growth of the parish. Youths are gainfully employed, empowered, married, increase birth rate with a good standard of living which speaks of God’s abundant grace. The focus of Shalom 20th Anniversary Celebration includes: Soul Winning, Touching lives of the needy, Co-operate Social Responsibility (CSR), Acquisition of a bus for evangelism and Celebrating God’s Abundant Grace. Further expatiating on the theme of the 20th anniversary of Shalom Model Parish, ‘Abundant Grace’, the Pastor Richard Adeboye in a sermon during the thanksgiving taken from 1st Corinthians 15:9-10 treated God’s Grace in two perspectives.
One, Possibilities of grace; and two, Challenges of grace.

Pastor Adeboye explained under possibilities of grace that in-spite of Paul’s shortcomings, when grace located him, his life was operating in a realm of God’s kindness upon him, where mistakes did not count, and rather, grace took over.
He further said that with grace working in a man’s life, even the unqualified is qualified. Richard Adeboye admonished Christians to be grateful of God’s grace upon their lives and not to abuse grace. 

The Pastor in charge of Region 14 gave an illustration of an instance where grace could be abused by analysing the ordeals of Sampson. He noted that he prayed for restoration of the God’s grace upon him which was lost as a result of his mistakes.

Christians were advised to value God’s grace upon their lives and used it towards the advancement of God’s work.
He thanked the past and current Pastors and members who have contributed to the advancement of the Parish and province at-large.

In his welcome address, Pst. & Dcns Godwin Ukwat, Pst. in-Charge & Host, welcome all the Pastors, Ministers, Workers and members of the church to the Anniversary. He also welcomed invited guests to the anniversary and thanked the Governor of the State, Chief Godswill Akpabio, (CON), and the wife for their passion in putting up uncommon Transformational programmes to add value to human lives which the church is towing the same line.

It is in this vein, that the Church during her 20th anniversary programme, to further impress upon its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) commissioned a water project for Ikot Udoma Community at Excellent Comprehensive Secondary School, Eket.

Also, a launching was made for the acquisition of a brand new coastal bus to oil the wheel of aggressive evangelism in the Parish.

During the gathering, micro finance packages were given to 10 members under shalom zone in need of entrepreneurial and capacity development.
In their goodwill message, Pastor and Pastor (Mrs) Ashegbare Brown, Pst. in-Charge of Province RCCG, Akwa Ibom Province 2, Eket, thanked God for His grace upon the church and prayed for more grace upon the Church in years to come.

In his vote of thanks, presented by Bro. Bassey Ekong, Assistant Parish Pastor, the Chairman, Planning Committee, Deacon Razaq Obe appreciated God for making the anniversary of celebrating God’s abundant grace upon the Parish a success and thanked all Pastors in the Vineyard and members for their support in making the programme an eventful one.

However, Excellent Awards were given to the Deputy Governor of the State, Her Honour, Lady Valerie Ebe, Speaker, Akwa Ibom State, House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sam Ikon, Senator Helen Esuene, Chairman, Senate Committee on Women Affairs and Youth Development and Mother of the Anniversary, Mr. Akan Okon, Hon. Commissioner for Finance, Executive Chairman, Eket Local Government Council, Hon. Aniekan Akpan, Hon. Ayang Ayang, Member representing Eket State Constituency in Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Chief Tony Chukwu, Chairman, ROUBO Group, Mrs L Tombush, Executive Consultant, and Acting Paramount Ruler of Eket. HRH. Obong ECD Abia.

Also, Humanitarian Awards were given to the following; Pst. Richard Adeboye, Pastor in Charge- RCCG, Region 14, Pst & Pst. Mrs Ashegbare Brown, Pst-in- Charge of Province RCCG, Akwa Ibom Province 2, Eket, Pst. & Pst Mrs Emmanuel Bassey, National Secretary, Pst. & Pst. Mrs Ibanga Udoinyang, Pst. in-Charge of Province Akwa Ibom Province 3, Pst. & Pst. Ime Udotong, Pioneer Pastor, Asst. Pst. In-Charge of Province (CSR), Akwa Ibom Province 5, Pst.& Pst Mrs Godwin James, Asst. Pst. in-Charge of Province, Akwa Ibom Province 4, Pst. & Pst. Mrs Daniel Adeleye, Pastor in-Charge RCCG Ogun Province 3, Pst. & Pst. Mrs Peter Brown, Pastor in-Charge RCCG, Rivers Province 4, Pst. & Pst. Mrs Austin Brendan, Assistant Pastor in-charge of Province CSR, Pst. & Pst Mrs Charles Otoki, Assistant Pastor in-charge of Province (Admin), Pst & Deaconess Phil Phillips, Regional Prayer Coordinator, Pst. & Pst. Mrs. Enobong Abraham, Pst. in-Charge of Zone Treasure House,  Pst. & Dcns Wale Ogunsola, Pst. in-Charge of Zone Throne of His Glory.

The 7 Day power packed event which was well attended featured, Anniversary Rally, Special Prayer Sessions, Anniversary Special Digging Deep, Football Match, Youths Evening of Creativity, Word Impartation, by Pst. Ayo Akingbade, Water Project Inauguration by the Chairman, Eket Local Government Council, Zonal Festival of Praise, and Anniversary Special Thanksgiving Service of Shalom’s season of Abundant grace!

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