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Some graduants of RCCG Bible College during the graduation ceremony in the ongoing Redeemed Christian Church of God 64th Annual. Places of Emotion, Objects of Emotion · Faces of History. Redeemed Christian Church of God. Location. Yoruba, Ibo Rd, Sabon Gari, Kano , Nigeria. The Redeemed Christain Church of God Overcomers House Cirencster. 3rd Sunday of the Month - - Venue will be announced nearer the date.

His extreme conservatism explains why he did not allow normal church offerings. Unlike Reverend Akindayomi, whose church was dominated by the uneducated, lower-middle class and the poor, Pastor Adeboye deliberately courted the educated, upper-middle class and the wealthy.

Under Akindayomi, to be too rich and wealthy was frowned upon but under Adeboye to be poor is a curse, because of poverty, according to him, is a curse put upon man by Satan and only God the Almighty through Jesus Christ the savior can remove the yoke of penury.

When preaching, both Pastor Ojajuni of Covenant Chapel and Pastor Akinsiku of House of Praise emphasise the importance of breaking the yoke and chains of poverty and the importance of wealth and prosperity. This prosperity gospel is preached regularly into the ears of the members. RCCG believes that members must, make a deliberate effort to acquire wealth. Prosperity preaching is related to financial contributions to the church by individuals. The RCCG believes that when you give to God without a reservation you will also receive abundant financial blessings in return; it is a two-way street, and the more you give, the more you get.

The pastors of House of Praise and Covenant Chapel exhort the congregation to give plenty to receive more. Giving to God comes in the form of normal church offerings, tithes and voluntary donations and gifts to the church and its pastors. The church insists that the ten percent tithe of members' gross monthly salary or profit is compulsory and non-negotiable; it is a sin against God if one fails to pay it to the church.

Like many other Pentecostal churches in Nigeria, under pastor Adeboye, RCCG is characterised by its African elements such as loud prayers and singing, drumming and clapping, all of which are absent in orthodox Christianity. However, the leadership and congregation preferred Western styles of dressing and listen to Western styles of gospel music.

This preference is because of Western education, exposure to Western culture and the influence of Pentecostal churches from Europe and North America. The new system also emphasises giving leadership positions to educated elites, most RCCG pastors today are university graduates, and it is rare that someone is ordained as a pastor without having a bachelor's degree or its equivalent.

From s, Pastor Adeboye refocused the church and strives to expand the church to every part of the world in fulfillment of its founder's vision that "[t]he church would spread to the ends of earth and would still be serving faithfully when the Lord returned to the earth in the second coming".

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Adeboye eventually moved the headquarters of the church in from its original site in Lagos to its present site, Redemption Camp that measures about 10 square kilometers; Ukah From the s to date, it has successfully carried out a global expansion, and the church can now be found on the five continents. This global expansion was not accidental; rather, it was as the result of a deliberate effort by the church leadership led by Pastor Adeboye. Based on the vision and mission of the church articulated above, the church set out to establish numerous parishes in Nigeria, especially in the southwest and the Lagos area.

The proliferation of parishes by the church, especially in areas where elites can be attracted and near universities and other institutions of higher learning, made the church to become more popular and acceptable among the populace, especially the elites. According to Ruth Marshall, "Pentecostalism is more messianic than it is es-chatological". She argues that the messianic expectation preaches by the Pentecostals is not the end of the world as it is understood, but part of the present time, something that is part of the present chronology and will happen before the end of the world itself or the apocalypse.

The RCCG and other Pentecostal messianic expectations are hinged on the fact that Christ is coming back to the world to defeat Satan and rule for one thousand years before the final apocalypse. This can be seen in the daily activities of RCCG and other Nigerian Pentecostals and the expectation that the messiah or the eventual return of Christ is eminent. Pentecostals preach to their congregations to be prepared and be ready for the coming of Christ and to put all their hope in His coming Kingdom.

This is one of the reasons for the Pentecostal explosion in Nigeria; the message of hope of something good to come resonates with the poor and the rich, the illiterate and the educated. The Pentecostal explosion in Nigeria led to the churches establishing branches in different parts of the world, particularly the Western world, led by RCCG.

In pursuance of its vision and mission, the church established its first parish outside Nigeria in Ghana in The expansion into the Western world signifies what RCCG and some of the Pentecostal Churches refer to as the re-evangelism of the Western world, which scholars have named reverse flow or reverse mission. Ishola kept in touch with the Ayinoluwas, who continued to encourage him despite the lack of an RCCG pastor to head the church.

In latethe Covenant Chapel was inaugurated at the banquet hall of the Quality Inn Scarborough. Pastor Adeloye appointed Ishola as the church agent for Canada but could not make him the pastor because he was not ordained at that time.

Pastor Adeloye went back to Nigeria with the promise of sending a pastor to lead the flock. While the young parish was struggling without a pastor, they were getting help from pastors from the USA who took turns flying to Toronto to conduct Sunday service for the congregation.

The small fellowship continued until May when the General Overseer, Pastor Adeboye came to Toronto to dedicate the church. The dedication of the church was done at Finch Avenue West, the first venue of the new and first Canadian parish, Covenant Chapel. That same day, Pastor Adeboye ordained Ishola as a pastor and the head of the new parish.

According to him, all he wanted was to establish more parishes with the help of other Nigerians. InPastor Demola Odushote established the sixth parish in Scarborough, initially known as the Triumphant Chapel though the name was later changed to Jesus House Scarborough. The seventh and eighth parishes were established on the same day inthese are Kings Court Toronto and Jesus House Toronto.

Beginning with a fellowship of three individuals, RCCG later established a Canadian parish in and now has one hundred and forty-one parishes in all the ten provinces of Canada.

According to Pastor Adeloye, who inaugurated the first parish, the success of RCCG's establishment in Canada is the realisation of its founder's vision and the covenant he made with God when the church was founded in that the church would reach all parts of the world. Although this can be regarded as a justification of the vision of the founder, however, establishing parishes in Canada that are solely dedicated to serving predominantly Nigerian members is far from a reverse mission or re-evangelism.

Currently, there are one hundred and forty-one parishes in Canada, and they are divided into three provinces, headed by provincial pastors; twelve zones, each of which is managed by a zonal pastor. Pastor Fadele reports directly to the General Overseer in Nigeria. According to Pastor Tayo Ojajuni, the current pastor of Covenant House, his parish has grown from a congregation of eighty people in to more than members, and it now holds two services every Sunday.

He also says that more than ten parishes have come out of his parish, and it is the responsibilities of the mother parishes to produce new parishes and nurture them. According to Pastor Wale Akinsiku, the parish pastor of House of Praise Mississauga, his congregation has grown from twenty people to people, and it currently holds three services every Sunday. RCCG is characterised by uniformity in doctrine, beliefs and liturgy among its thousands of parishes.

These are spelled out on the church's website, http: This is followed by the belief in one God who is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. They believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, he is God, and he is the savior and died for our sins. The major doctrinal belief of RCCG that relates to the concept of reverse mission is articulated in the vision and mission of the church, which states that "[t] o have a member of RCCG in every family of all nations.

This doctrinal belief is supported by the vision of the founder who claimed that God had shown him through a vision that the church will reach all parts of the world and will still be serving when the second coming of Jesus Christ occurs. RCCG is encouraged through this statement and belief to evangelise, re-evagelise and plant their church in as many parts of the world as possible.

Responses from the pastors that were interviewed and personal observations from attending the church for over twelve years reveals that both Covenant Chapel and House of Praise adhere to these doctrinal beliefs in their Sunday and weekly services.

However, the two pastors of the churches, Pastor Tayo Ojajuni of Covenant House and Pastor Wale Akinsiku of House of Praise, bring their personalities to bear on the way these beliefs, doctrines, liturgies and dogmas are pursued. The pastoral programs of these two pastors, which are different from the stated church doctrines are guided by the latter and do not contradict each other.

Pastor Akinsiku, a trained pharmacist, is a firebrand preacher and a motivational speaker while Pastor Ojajuni, a trained software engineer, is a gentle teacher and a philosopher. Their different characteristics and temperaments reflect the way their respective services are conducted, the way the administrations are organised and the general behaviour of the church workers.

The two pastors are provincial pastors, meaning they have other parishes and zonal pastors under their supervision. Although the RCCG's globalisation strategy articulated in the mission and vision of the church is deliberate and planned, Pastor Ishola, the man who is responsible for establishing the first, second and fifth RCCG parishes in Canada, did not migrate to Canada for that purpose.

He argues that it was Nigerian migrant workers, mostly educated elites, who settled in different parts of the world that helped expand the church to its current size. Adogame supports this argument and claims that most African churches were established in the Western world by migrant workers and students who started house fellowships that later led to the formation of churches that received the support and blessings from their headquarters in Africa.

Marshall also supports this argument in stating that most Pentecostal churches in Nigeria began as a small fellowship that later became big churches. Globalization might be a deliberate goal of RCCG, but its Canadian success came because of an individual who came for a different reason and was only encouraged once he was there. This encouragement is also a deliberate church policy that was clearly confirmed by S.

Adetoye, the senior pastor of the RCCG National Headquarters in Nigeria who revealed to Ukah that "If you are a member of the RCCG and you decided to settle elsewhere as a result of migration or job transfer, you don't just settle in your new location, you must settle a church too. You start a fellowship that must become a church that is how the church has been growing".

This is evident in both the Covenant Chapel and House of Praise, where the congregations are largely Nigerians and others from African countries but very few Caucasians. In my observation of both Pastor Ojajuni and Pastor Akinsiku of Covenant Chapel and House of Praise respectively, they never use the phrases "reversed mission or reversed flow" however they used words and phrases like "re-envalgelism", "God ordained or anointed" the RCCG and its pastors to spread the gospel to every part of the world including Canada.

Another common saying by the pastors is "The RCCG is on a mission to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to all parts of the world, including people who had heard the word before and backslid and those that have never heard the Word before".

Although both Covenant Chapel and House of Praise donate money to charities annually, this does not constitute reverse mission. RCCG is not the only exception; most African Pentecostal churches operating in Diaspora are only serving their migrant communities.

In most cases, the white host communities in Western nations are not involved in the churches. The majority of the more than 25,member congregation are Ukrainians and Russians. This, however, is the only example of the success of the reverse mission or reverse flow. In my analysis of data of church activities, fliers and posted programs, nothing seems to show a deliberate policy by RCCG parishes in Canada to evangelise white people and make them members of their church.

Their target is the Nigerian community and in some cases the African community at large. My analysis of data from church activities, fliers and posted programs shows that the target of the two parishes studied, is predominantly it's African members. Both Pastors Akinshiku and Ojajuni believe that re-evangelising Canada is part of their God given responsibilities and the success of their parishes signifies the success of reconverting Canadians to Christianity.

However, the evidence of ethnic, national and racial provenance of the churches is contrary to this claim on the success of re-evangelising Canadians. For RCCG to attract non-Africans or whites into their fold, they must deemphasise the Afrocentric nature of their church and explore avenues that can attract non-Nigerians and non-Africans.

The contributions of RCCG to communities in Canada RCCG is one of the fastest-growing churches in the world; it is found on every continent and even in countries like Malaysia, Pakistan and Iran that are traditionally hostile to Christianity. There is no doubt that RCCG is a big church by any standard of measurement and its influence is global.

The leader of the church, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, is regarded as one of the most influential people in the world. In DecemberNewsweek Magazine recognised Pastor Adeboye as one of the fifty most influential people in the world. In an interview with Lisa Miller, the Newsweek Senior Editor, Pastor Adeboye confirms that RCCG has roughly 14, parishes in more than countries and more than five million members all over the world. Since the establishment of RCCG Canada inthe church has steadily grown and now boasts of one hundred and forty-one parishes across the country.

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However, based on my observations, RCCG Canada is an immigrant church and has not broken the barrier to become a truly Canadian church or a church that represents the general Canadian population. A Canadian church in this sense would be a church that is populated by the different racial configurations in Canada. The situation is the same with the UK parishes studied by Burgess that are dominated by Nigerians of Yoruba origin.

Because it is an immigrant church, it has succeeded in creating a central point for Nigerians to come together to worship and socialise. It fills the vacuum created by the distance from Nigeria for most of its members who are new migrants in the country, and it gives value to the identities they cherish.

The church provides an avenue for its African members, especially Nigerians, to name their children, dedicate their children and conduct marriage ceremonies within the ambit of what was possible in Nigeria. Based on my observations, the church satisfies sociological and psychological aspects of African life that are otherwise missing in Canada. The church also serves as a focal point for community services.

New immigrants can solicit help from other members of the church who have been in the country for a longer period on essentials such as employment, housing, immigration matters, and education. One can draw a parallel between what is happening in Canada and what is happening in the United Kingdom.

Far from penetrating the host communities regarding the reverse mission, RCCG parishes in the UK according to Burgess, are Nigerian churches operating and catering to Nigerian immigrants.

Most of the members of the congregation are black Yoruba Nigerians, and there are very few whites and non-Africans among the congregation. From my observations of the people who attend Covenant Chapel and House of Praise, most are Yoruba from the southwest region of Nigeria where the church has its roots.

I have occasionally seen a Caucasian in the congregation, but otherwise, all the members are black. It is difficult for the RCCGNA to remove its ethnic identity from its profile as the church is currently constituted in Canada; it is simply a successful ethnic-based immigrant church. Based on my observations, the church in Canada is not converting new Christians in the host community, does not target non-Africans and is far from success as far as the reverse mission is concerned.

Most members of the congregation were members in Nigeria before they moved to Canada, and RCCG in Canada is largely providing a home for its immigrant congregation from Nigeria rather than saving new souls for Christ among the non-African population.

Based on my observations, the RCCG currently provides an avenue for human development. On a regular basis, the parishes organise seminars, conferences and lectures where experts in various fields are invited to share their successful stories and advise others on how to follow the path of success.

Through these events, the church can provide an avenue for networking and business links among its members and non-members who attend these programs. African Mission Canada has drilled several bore-holes in Kenyan villages to provide clean drinking water for the people. These activities are particularly concentrated in the villages of Turkana and Obaga in the Rift Valley Region. African Mission Canada also opened a women's skills development centre in Nairobi that specialises in training former prostitutes for semiskilled labour.

The African Mission program also conducts a fundraiser called Toonies for Africa in which parishes encourage its members and non-members to donate two dollars or more to help alleviate water problems in African communities. The program also sponsors medical missions, training and mentoring, educating and equipping young girls and boys, and supporting missionaries proclaiming the gospel in remote areas of Kenya. Looking at all these activities, one can conclude that most of RCCG Canada's charity programs target immigrant members and Africans who truly need the assistance.

Despite the fact, that the RCCG is largely a Yoruba immigrant church, it has succeeded in keeping the flame of Christianity alive in Canada. Church attendance has greatly declined among the white majority in Canada, and only Pentecostals churches like RCCG have succeeded in maintaining a large congregation.

All the orthodox churches, namely, the Catholic Church, the United Church, the Anglican Church, the Methodists, the Lutherans, the Presbyterians and the Baptists, have lost most of their congregation.

The churches are mostly empty or half empty and once-full pews are now being turned into museum pieces. Moreover, "The effects of immigration can be seen across the denominational spectrum.

People of African and Caribbean stock have revived Catholic communities in the metropolitan countries".

It is obvious that new interests in Christianity and Christian faith in Canada has been rekindled and kept alive by the efforts of immigrant churches like RCCG. All the evidence available here simply attest to the fact that there is a general decline in church attendance and general interest in Christianity by Canadians compare to years ago.

Adogame rightly describes the reverse mission concept as rhetoric. It will remain so unless the African Pentecostal churches reconsider their approach towards evangelism in the Western world. This article also analyses the activities of the main actors and key players that were responsible for the growth and sustenance of RCCG in Canada as well as the activities of the church in the present. The process of transplantation to Canada was not deliberate, though it forms part of a deliberate plan orchestrated by church leaders in Nigeria.

Ishola was not sent to Canada to establish RCCG, but the church encourages its members to start new fellowships, and he received this encouragement even when he did not have a permanent residence in Canada. Although RCCG Canada remains an immigrant church that is largely dominated by Yoruba people from the southwest region of Nigeria, it has so far failed to integrate non-Africans into its congregation.

However, it has successfully catered to the social, civic and spiritual needs of migrant workers seeking a religious and ethnic identity in Canada. The RCCG has a future, and it has the chance to become a real Canadian church if deliberate efforts are made to bring non-Nigerians and non-Africans to its congregations. Because the church is continually growing, it has the chance to become a dominant church in Canada.

With Christ Embassy and Winners Chapel, as well as other smaller denominations from Nigeria, they represent a very strong and potent force representing the Christian religious interest of immigrant Nigerians and Africans. Each of these independent African Pentecostal churches presents an avenue for possible academic research in the future.

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A daily Guide to close fellowship with God, 4. Struik Christian Books Ltd. Transnational Pentecostalism in Africa: Arrowhead of Nigerian Pentecostalism: The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Running with the Prophecy: Europe a prodigal Continent?

Who do they think they are? The Appropriation of a Scattered Heritage, edited by A. The Rhetoric of Reverse Mission: An African Story, edited by O. Contesting the ambivalences of modernity in a global context: Studies in World Christianity, 10 1: The name of the group later changed to Egbe Ogo Oluwa Glory of God Society and due to their growth they soon needed a bigger place to meet. Someone in the group donated his property for the use of the new group. This is marked as the official starting date of RCCG.

The affiliation ended in when Nigeria gained independence. When he woke up he wrote this down. Akindayomi came to the conclusion that God had revealed the name of the Church.

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God told Akindayomi that He would provide for the Church. God also told him that the Church RCCG would be unique becoming a model for other Churches and that the Church would spread to the ends of the earth.

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One of the objectives of the Church as documented by Akindayomi and the other Elders of the Church is to evangelise and establish Churches throughout the world. It is this vision that is translated into what we are seeing today. Perhaps the greatest achievement of Josiah was in choosing his successor in the person of E.

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