As Nigeria marks the 58th anniversary of her independence, we take a look at some of the churches that were born after the colonial era.
Monday, October 1, 2018, marks the 58th anniversary since Nigeria gained independence. Before that eventful day in 1960, there were a couple existing Christian denominations like the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), founded by Pa Josiah Akindayomi in 1952. Since then, there have a lot more churches. Here are the top five definitions since 1960:
Deeper Christian Life Ministry
This denomination also known as Deeper Life Bible Church started in 1973. It was founded by the General Superintendent, Pastor William Folorunso Kumuyi. At the time of its inception (August 1973), Kumuyi was a Mathematics Lecturer at the University of Lagos. There, he started a Bible study group in his official Flat 2 residence at Unilag with 15 members who had a desire to understand the scriptures, hence the name - deeper life.
Pastor Philip Oluwi, one of the pioneer members of the church, describes the beginning of Kumuyi's ministry. In his words, "I was anxious to have a deeper knowledge of God. All along I wasn't satisfied with what I was receiving from the churches. A friend told me about the Deeper Life Bible Study…so in January 1975, we went together to Flat 2. After the Bible Study that night, I knew I had arrived at where I really wanted to be."
This laid the foundation for his ministry, which became the Deeper Life Bible Church after the study group started holding Sunday service in November 1982.
Living Faith Church Worldwide
This church is also known as Winners Chapel. It was founded by Bishop David Oyedepo in 1983 after a divine experience. Reportedly, the then 26-year-old founder had a vision that lasted for 18 hours in May 1981. During this vision, God said: "Now the hour has come to liberate the world from all oppressions of the devil, through the preaching of the Word of faith; and I am sending you to undertake this task".
This mandate led to the establishment of the first Living Faith in December 1983. The first church, located in Kaduna state had only four members. Years later, this tiny church has grown into a megachurch with branches all over the nation with the headquarters located in Canaan Land, Ota. Living Faith can also be found in at least 49 countries.
Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries
MFM was founded by Dr. Daniel Kolawole Olukoya (DKO) who held a prayer meeting in his home on a Wednesday in 1989. Reportedly, only 24 people showed up. This number continued to grow until the meetings had to be moved from Olukoya's living room to 60 Old Yaba Road, Yaba, Lagos.
Eventually, an abandoned place at 13 Olasimbo Street, Onike, Yaba was bought and turned into what we now know as the International Headquarters of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries. The church held its first official service on April 24, 1994. Fun Fact: The name was revealed to the founder while he was praying. The church can be found all over Nigeria, London, the United States, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, and Asia.
Synagogue Church of All Nations
SCOAN is founded and led by an unusual prophet named Temitope Balogun Joshua (born June 12, 1963). Reportedly, he spent 15 months in his mother's womb and escaped death seven days after his birth.
His ministry started after he received a vision. During this encounter, he is said to have received divine anointing and entered a covenant with God who gave him permission to start his ministry. This led to the birth of SCOAN with started years ago with eight members in Agodo-Egbe in Lagos state.
Now, Prophet Joshua's church is an architectural masterpiece located in Ikotun-Egbe where over 15,000 people visit every Sunday. Unlike other ministries, SCOAN can only be found in two places - Accra, Ghana and Lagos state which makes it a major tourist attraction. According to The Guardian, it gets more people than the combined number of visitors to Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London.
Prophet Joshua explained his reason for having only one branch during a Sunday service on August 24, 2014, the Daily Post reports.
He said, "I would have loved to have branches all over the world because people want T.B. Joshua everywhere. But it is not yet time because it will be too much for my character. When the load is too heavy for you, it will become a burden."
Also known as Believers' LoveWorld Incorporated, this church was founded by pastor Chris Oyakhilome in 1990. Like MFM, it started as a prayer group led by the founder who was studying architecture at the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma in Edo state. It was initially known as Believer's LoveWorld Fellowship and then Believer's LoveWorld Inc.
Since then, it has become a global network of churches with over 13 million members across the world. Reportedly, the headquarters of Lagos has 40 000 members alone.
Happy Independence day guys!