CHURCH OF NIGERIA, ANGLICAN COMMUNION

The Most Revd. Nicholas Dikeriehi Orogodo Okoh

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Primate, Church Of Nigeria Anglican Communion.


INTRODUCTION

The Church of Nigeria has experienced eventful years of her history as an autonomous Province in the Anglican Communion worldwide.

The story can be traced to 1906 when a conference of Bishops in Communion with the Anglican Church held in Lagos. The Rt. Rev. E.H. Elwin, then Bishop of Sierra Leone, presided at the meeting. The Rt. Rev. Herbert Tugwell (Bishop of Western Equatorial Africa) was there with four of his Assistant Bishops: Charles Phillips, Isaac Oluwole, James Johnson and N. Temple Hamlyn. It was there that the need for a Province of West Africa was first highlighted.

A second conference for the purpose came up again in Lagos in 1935. But it was the conference of 30th October – 3rd November 1944, also in Lagos, that made a clear headway on this matter, leading first to the inauguration of the Church of the Province of West Africa in Freetown, Sierra Leone. This was done on the 17th of April, 1951 by the then Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Revd. Geoffrey Fisher. The Bishop of Lagos, The Rt. Revd. L.G. Vining was elected first Archbishop of the new Province compromise these five Dioceses: Sierra Leone (1852), Accra (1909), Lagos (1919), On the Niger (1920) and Gambia (1935).

Between 1951 and 1977, the two Dioceses in Nigeria (Lagos and on the Niger) gave birth to fourteen new ones: Niger Delta, Ibadan, and Ondo/Benin (all created in 1952); Northern Nigeria (1954); Owerri (1959); Benin (1962); Ekiti (1966); Enugu (Ilesha (1974); Egba/Egbado and Ijebu (1976); Asaba (1977).

These sixteen dioceses in Nigeria soon began to sense a growing need for contextualization of their Christian witness. The opportunity eventually came at an Episcopal Synod at Ado-Ekiti on the 31st of January, 1974. There they resolved to set in motion the process of becoming an autonomous Province within the Anglican Communion. This was closely followed by the Standing Committee of the Church of Province of West Africa, which gave it their blessing and referred it to the Synod, which held on the Campus of the University of Lagos on the 14th of August 1975 and passed the resolution that the machinery for the actualization of this desire be set in motion.

Known then as the Association of Anglican Dioceses in Nigeria (AADN), a Constitution Drafting Committee was set up under the Chairmanship of Sir Louis Mbanefo (of blessed memory). The Anglican Consultative Council meeting in Trinidad (23rd March – 2nd April 1976) considered the draft to be “in order”and adopted it as “Resolution 34 on the proposed Province of Nigeria.”

Finally, a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Province of West Africa held in Benin City on the 13th of August 1977, the resolution was adopted for the Church of the Province of Nigeria to be inaugurated in the month of February 1979.

With the election of The Rt. Revd. Timothy Omotayo Olufosoye, DD, the Bishop of Ibadan to take the lead, he was presented at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina as the Archbishop, Primate and Metropolitan of the Province, which was designated as “The Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion”. The Church of Nigeria was inaugurated on St. Matthias Day, 24th February, 1979.

Evangelism

There have been very significant milestones in the undaunted advance of the Church of Nigeria especially during the tenures of the man who has been rightly called the Visionary Primate. The Most Revd. Joseph Abiodun Adetiloye, DD (1988-1999). He it was who opened up the unreached areas to the gospel as part of our response to the Decade of Evangelism proclaimed at Lambeth in 1988. a significant achievement of his tenure is the creation of ten (10) Missionary Dioceses in 1990, a feat that was virtually repeated from 1996 onwards. It was during his tenure that the idea of internal Provinces gained ground with the first creation of three internal Provinces covering the three broad geographical regions of Nigeria. These earned the Church of Nigeria the reputation of being the fastest growing Province in the Anglican Communion.

A paradigm shift was launched in March 2000, when The Most Revd. Peter J. Akinola, DD,CON (2000-date) was presented as the third Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion. On the assumption of the primacy of the Church, Archbishop Akinola did not hide his granite determination to take the Gospel of Christ to the nook and crannies of Nigeria; and with the cooperation of his brother bishops the number of dioceses has risen astronomically. From 76 in year 2000, we now have 121 as at May 2007! He has focused his attention on consolidation of previous efforts to keep the banner of the gospel flying higher over the land, and the Church of Nigeria standing tall and taking its rightful place in the Anglican Communion.

One of the greatest challenges before the Church today is to embark on aggressive evangelism and discipleship that will build the Church into a strong witness for this and future generations. The Church of Nigeria is now actively reaching out to the UK and the USA through the ministry of our Chaplains in those parts. Our members who visit those nations or have settled there are the major focus of our ministry, while looking out for all others who are willing to respond to the gospel. We must pray that the Lord will raise more labourers for His work. Some of these are already in the seminaries undergoing training in our institutions and we look forward to a generation of faithful workers in the Lord’s vineyard. Much attention is being given to our theological institutions through the Church of Nigeria Endowment Fund which is aimed at making the Church self-reliant financially to carry on the work of mission.

The Church of Nigeria has over the years become established as the champion of mission efforts and has maintained its reputation as the fastest growing province in the Anglican Communion. That reputation has carried with it important and challenging responsibilities not only to model biblical ethics but to condemn every compromise or departure from the position held out by the Scripture. The Church was founded through the missionary effort of the CMS (Church Mission Society) and is being expanded in like manner. The mission arm is the Church of Nigeria Missionary Society (CNMS), which holds out the gospel flag to different parts of the country.

10 Ecclesiastical provinces, one indivisible church

Considering the sheer vastness of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), it was split into three Provinces on 20th September 1997 for effective management.

Province One, consisting of the Dioceses in the West, was headed by Archbishop Adetiloye who remained Primate of All Nigeria; Province Two consisting of the Eastern Dioceses had the Rt. Revd. Ben. Nwankiti of Owerri (now late), and after his retirement in 1998 J. A. Onyemelukwe, Bishop on the Niger, as Archbishop, while Province Three consisting of the Northern Dioceses had the Bishop of Abuja, the Rt. Revd. Dr. Peter J. Akinola as Archbishop.

In pursuance of pragmatic evangelism and for ease of administration, a 10-Province structure for the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) was proclaimed at the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina Lagos, on January 19, 2003. The provinces are: Lagos, Ibadan, Ondo, Bendel, The Niger, Niger Delta, Owerri, Abuja, Kaduna and Jos. Presented at the event were new Arcbishops Agbaje, Abe, Akinfenwa, Okoro, Nglass, Idowu and Mani. These Archbishops constitute the Primate’s Council which meets from time to time.

Forging ahead vigorously

There can be no organisation as large and complex as present day Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) without problems. But problems do not worry the incumbent Primate, who, since he was presented on 25 March 2000, has made several efforts in pursuit of peace.

Archbishop Akinola has, together with the entire leadership of the Church, evolved a Vision for the Church of Nigeria, which by the grace of God and the co-operation of all will take us to our “Eldorado” in a record time.

The Vision is clear. In summary, it is to the effect that the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) shall be bible-based, spiritually dynamic, united, disciplined; self-supporting, committed to pragmatic evangelism, social welfare and a church that epitomizes the genuine love of Christ.

This vision statement has opened up fresh vistas of ministry which hitherto had been non-existent – all in a bid to become more relevant to the needs of our members and nation.

The machinery for achieving the set goals and establish a CARING CHURCH has been at work. The initial goal of being bible-based has led to the championing of adherence to scripture worldwide. The goal of being self-supporting is being actively pursued through the Endowment Fund and thesocial work is going on in the oft ignored hintherland and villages nation-wide.


Constitution

WHEREAS on St. Matthias’ Day, the 24th day of February, 1979, sixteen Dioceses of Anglican Communion within Nigeria were constituted into a separate Province of Nigeria with Archbishop Timothy Olufosoye as the first Primate; WHEREAS the said Province of Nigeria constituted herself into the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) and enacted a Constitution to regulate her affairs and promote her well-being; WHEREAS the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) operated the 1979 Constitution until 20th day of September, 1997, when it was amended under Archbishop Abiodun Adetiloye; WHEREAS the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) operated the Constitution and Canons of 1997 until the General Synod meeting held between 3rd and 8th of September, 2002, with the Most Reverend Peter Jasper Akinola presiding; WHEREAS it was considered desirable to further amend the Constitution and Canons of 1997; The General Synod of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) hereby enacts the following Constitution:

CHAPTER I
THE GENERAL PROVISIONS
CITATION 1        
This Constitution shall be known as the Constitution of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), 2002.

UNITY  
2.1          The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), hereinafter called “the Church of Nigeria”, shall remain one united and indissoluble Church under God.

AIMS, OBJECTIVES AND PRINCIPLES       
2.2          The aims, objectives and principles of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) are:
a.            To evangelize, and promote the knowledge of God and the adherence to the teaching and examples of Jesus Christ;
b.            To promote Christian education, values and morals;
c.             To assist in the care and welfare of the people, particularly the poor, the aged and the needy;
d.            To provide for the spiritual welfare of her members;
e.            To acquire land for the attainment of her objectives;
f.             To raise funds through launches, contributions and any other lawful means;
g.            To undertake all other things which are reasonably incidental to the foregoing objectives.

MEMBERSHIP   
2.3          Subject to any Canon or Regulation made in that behalf, the membership of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) shall be open to all persons who accept the aims and o b j e c t i v e s ,

SECRETARIAT    
2.4          The Secretariat of the Church shall be in Episcopal House, 23 Douala Street, Wuse Zone 5, Abuja or in such other place in Nigeria as the General Synod of the Church may decide.

SEE OF CANTERBURY     
3.1          The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) hereinafter called “The Church of Nigeria” or “This Church” shall be in full communion with all Anglican Churches Dioceses and Provinces that hold and maintain the Historic Faith, Doctrine, Sacrament and Discipline of the one Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church as the Lord has commanded in His holy word and as the same are received as taught in the Book of Common Prayer and the ordinal of 1662and in the Thirty-Nine Article of Religion.

3.2         In the interpretation of the aforementioned formularies and in all questions of Faith, Doctrine and Discipline, the decisions of the Ecclesiastical tribunals of the Church of
Nigeria shall be final.
4.           The Church of Nigeria shall have three Orders of the Ministry, namely:

ORDERS OF MINISTRY   
a.     Bishops who shall have a special responsibility and authority for the preservation of the truth of the doctrine of the Church for the purity of its life, and the worthiness of its worship;
b.      The Priests who in co-operation with and under the guidance of the Bishops have a special responsibility for preaching the word of God and administering the Holy Sacraments and generally for the cure of souls; and
c.       The Deacons, who have a special responsibility for the care of the poor and distressed, for the instruction of the young and the ignorant and for giving assistance to the Priests in Divine Service.

CHAPTER II
THE GENERAL SYNOD POWERS
6        The General Synod as hereby constituted shall be the Legislative body of the Church of Nigeria and every enactment, resolution or directives thereof shall be binding upon the Church of Nigeria and on every Province, Diocese, Officer, and member thereof.

COMPOSITION  7             
The General Synod shall consist of:
a.           The House of Bishops;
b.           The House of Clergy; and
c.            The House of Laity constituted in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.

HOUSE OF BISHOPS       
8.          The House of Bishops shall consist of:
a.          The Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of the Church of Nigeria.
b.          The Dean of the Church of Nigeria;
c.           The Provincial Archbishops;
d.           The Diocesan Bishops;
e.           Suffragan and Assistant Bishops;
f.          Retired Bishops who are not engaged in remunerative work outside the ordained Ministry: provided that they shall have no right to vote.

HOUSE OF CLERGY         

9.1          The House of Clergy shall consist of Priests and Deacons who hold the Licence of the Bishop of the Diocese they represent, elected in such manner and in accordance with such rules as the Diocesan Synod may make in that behalf.

9.2         Unless the General Synod or the Standing Committee otherwise decides, every Diocese shall be represented by t w o Clerical representatives.

HOUSE OF LAITY
10.1        The House of Laity shall consist of such communicant members of the Church of the age of 18 years and above elected or appointed Lay Representatives of the Diocese they represent in such manner and in accordance with such rules as the Diocesan Synod may make in that behalf.
10.2       Unless the General Synod or the Standing Committee otherwise decides, every Diocese shall be represented by three Lay representatives which shall include the Chancellor and at least one woman.

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11.          Each Diocese shall make rules to provide for the filling of vacancies in Clerical and Lay representation of the Diocese which may occur through death, resignation, loss of qualification or any other cause between the time of the election or appointment and the subsequent meeting of the General Synod.

MEETINGS OF THE GENERAL SYNOD SESSIONS 
12           Ordinary Sessions of the General Synod shall take place every THREE years; provided that the General Synod shall meet whenever the Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate decides that the circumstances of the Church require it and provided also that the General Synod shall be summoned by the Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate whenever requested to do so by at least one-third of the membership of a House.

PRESIDENT OF THE GENERAL SYNOD     
13.1        The Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) shall be President of the General Synod and shall preside at all sessions thereof.
13.2       During a vacancy in the office of Primate or the absence of the Primate from any meeting of the General Synod or any Committee, Council, Board or Commission constituted under the Constitution or any Canon, unless otherwise provided, the Dean of the Church of Nigeria or in his absence the Provincial Archbishop senior by presentation as Archbishop, and if none be present, the Bishop senior by consecration, shall preside.

NOTICE OF GENERAL SYNOD     
14.1        The Primate shall give to all the Bishops of the Church of Nigeria at least six calendar months notice of every ordinary session of the General Synod, and the Bishop of each Diocese shall cause such notice to be published throughout his Diocese and sent to all members of the General Synod in his Diocese through their registered address within four weeks of receiving such notice provided that when a special session of the General Synod is convened, two months notice shall be sufficient.
14.2       The agenda for the General Synod shall be prepared by the Primate in consultation with the Standing Committee of the Church of Nigeria.

QUORUM           
15           At least one-third of the members of each of the three Houses of Bishops, Clergy and Laity representing at least three-quarters of the number of Dioceses in the Church of Nigeria must be present for the transaction of business in the General Synod, and it shall be competent for any member of the Synod, at any time to call for the counting of the members present.

VOTING 16         
The three Houses shall sit together and unless a greater vote on any question is required by the Constitution or by the Canons or any regulation made hereunder in cases not specifically d e a l t with by this Constitution or unless a vote by Houses is required under this Constitution, the affirmative vote of the majority of all the members present and voting at a duly constituted session of the General Synod shall suffice to carry any question.

VOTING BY HOUSES      
17.          Where any member present at a session of the General Synod so demands, voting shall be by Houses and shall be conducted in the following order: first, the House of Laity, then the House of Clergy and then the House of Bishops.

MAJORITY WHERE VOTING IS BY HOUSES           
18.          Where voting is by Houses the assent of the majority of members present of each of the three Houses shall be necessary.

PROLOCUTOR AND CHAIRMAN OF HOUSE OF LAITY      
19.          During every session of the General Synod the House of Clergy shall elect one of its members as Prolocutor, to preside over the House of Clergy and over a joint assembly of the Clergy and Laity and the House of Laity shall elect one of its members as Chairman, to preside over the House of Laity, should the Houses of the General Synod deliberate separately.

TENURE OF MEMBERS  
20.          The members and officers of the General Synod from the Houses of Clergy and of Laity shall remain in office until their successors have been appointed or elected.

FAILURE IN REPRESENTATION NOT TO INVALIDATE PROCEEDING             
21.          No proceedings or enactment or resolution of the General Synod or of any House, Committee, Commission or Body thereof shall be invalidated by any vacancy in the membership of the body concerned or by any defect in the qualification, election or appointment of any member thereof; neither shall failure or neglect on the part of any such representatives to attend invalidate the enactments or resolutions of the General Synod which enactments and resolutions shall have the same force in that Diocese as if such representatives had been present.

CHAPTER III
FUNCTIONS, JURISDICTION AND POWERS OF THE GENERAL SYNOD FUNCTIONS OF THE GENERAL SYNOD
22.    It shall be the duty of the General Synod –
a.       to consider matters concerning the Church of Nigeria and make provision for the administration of its affairs and for the promotion of the spiritual welfare and well being of its members by Canons, Regulations, Resolutions, Directives or other instruments as may be appropriate; and
b.       to consider and express their opinion on any matters of religious or public interest.

LEGISLATIVE POWER     
23    For the avoidance of doubt, the General Synod as hereby constituted shall be the legislative body of the Church of Nigeria and every enactment, resolution or directive of the said Synod shall have effect and be binding upon the Church, every Ecclesiastical Province or Diocese therein and upon all officers and members thereof and, subject as hereinafter provided the General Synod shall have authority and jurisdiction in all matters affecting in any way, the general interest and well-being of the whole Church and in particular:
i.         the constitution and organisation of the General Synod including the regulation of the time and place of its meetings, the order and conduct of its proceedings, and the appointment, functions and duties of its officers, committees and other organs;
ii.         the national character, constitution, integrity and autonomy of the Church of Nigeria;
iii.        the relations of the Church to other religious bodies in Nigeria and elsewhere;
iv.         the relations of the Church to other Churches of the Anglican Communion;
v.        the election, retirement or resignation of the Primate of the Church of Nigeria, the Provincial Archbishops and Diocesan Bishops including the consecration of Diocesan Bishops;
vi.        discipline of Clergy and of Laity of the Church of Nigeria;
vii.      the constitution and powers of and procedure in courts of original and appellate jurisdiction for the trial of offences and the enforcement of judgements;
viii.     the revision, adaptation and publication of a Book of Common Prayer and a Hymnal for the Church;
ix.       the establishment of minimum standards of theological education and minimum qualifications and training of candidates for the Ministry of the Church;
x.        the regulation of inter-diocesan transfer of clergy;
xi.       the relinquishment or abandonment of the Ministry of the Church;
xii.      the administration of all funds and trusts established in respect of the Church;
xiii.     the administration of a group insurance plan for the benefit of the Clergy and lay employees of the Church;
xiv.      the sub-division of the Church into more Internal Provinces and the Constitution of any number of Dioceses into a new Internal Province provided that no new Internal Province shall consist of less than seven Dioceses and that such separate Provinces shall be geographically contiguous and related to one another by such common organs as the General Synod may determine provided that to start with there shall be ten Internal Provinces as specified in the schedule hereto which shall include any Diocese or Dioceses created hereafter out of the Dioceses listed within the Provinces therein.
xv.       exclusive authority and jurisdiction in respect of all matters of common concern to the whole Church as well as matters affecting relations between the Church and the Dioceses and between the Dioceses including (without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing) the subdivision of Dioceses and of Provinces, the rearrangement of existing Dioceses and Provinces and the creation of new Dioceses and all such other matters that affect the communion of the Dioceses with one another as the General Synod shall think fit;
xvi.    after such consultation as may be deemed necessary by the General Synod, the determination of the location of headquarters of Dioceses, Ecclesiastical Provinces and of the Church of Nigeria including power to relocate such headquarters; and
xvii.   either by itself or its Standing Committee to give directives either directly or through the Archbishop and Primate to any person appointed to, or holding any office under this Constitution or the Constitution of an Ecclesiastical Province or of a Diocese therein on any matter appearing to it to relate to any powers conferred on it by this Constitution, or to the well-being of the Church, and it shall be the duty of any such officer or person to carry out such directive.

CHAPTER IV
FAITH AND ORDER DOCTRINAL
FORMULAE 24   A provision touching doctrinal formulae of the service or ceremonies of the Church of Nigeria or the administration of the sacraments or sacred rites thereof shall, before it is finally approved by the General Synod, be referred to the House of Bishops, and shall be submitted for such final approval in terms proposed by the House of Bishops and not otherwise.

APPROVAL OF DIOCESAN SYNODS          
25           An Article or Canon or Regulation for permanent changes in the services of Baptism or Holy Communion or in the Ordinal, or a scheme for a constitutional union or a permanent and substantial change of relationship between the Church of Nigeria and another Christian Body, being a body a substantial number of whose members reside in Nigeria, shall not be finally approved by the General Synod unless at a stage determined by the Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate, the Article or Canon or Regulation or Scheme, or the substance of the proposals embodied therein, shall have received the approval of the Diocesan Synods of at least two-thirds of the Dioceses of the Church of Nigeria.

POWER OF HOUSE OF BISHOPS               

26       The House of Bishops or Episcopal Synod shall have power to make such adaptations and abridgements of, and addition to, the services of the Church as may be required from time to time and the General Synod may prescribe the manner, extent and circumstances in which a Bishop may authorize the use of any alterations in a service approved by the House of Bishops:
“Provided that such issues as are raised in sections 24, 25 and 26 of this Constitution are first referred to the Theological and Doctrinal Department or Committee of the Church of Nigeria, whose recommendations shall be submitted for consideration to the Episcopal Synod”.

CHAPTER V
THE ARCHBISHOP, METROPOLITAN & PRIMATE
PRESIDENT OF THE GENERAL SYNOD     
27.1        The President of the General Synod shall be the Archbishop, Metropolitan and Primate of the Church of Nigeria who shall be elected and shall hold office under, and have privileges, powers, authority and duties as are defined by the Constitution, Canons and Regulations made by or under the authority of the General Synod and shall exercise all the rights and perform all the duties of the office of a Metropolitan.
27.2       The Primate shall summon and preside over meetings of the General Synod, Episcopal Synod, and the Standing Committee, and is the Principal Minister of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).

EX-OFFICIO
MEMBERSHIP    28
The Primate shall be an ex-officio member of all Committees, Boards, Commissions and Councils appointed under any provision of this Constitution or of any Canon enacted by the General Synod or under any resolution of the General Synod or of its Standing Committee.

THE DEAN          
29.1       During a vacancy in the Office of Primate or during the illness or other incapacity of the Primate, the Dean of the Church of Nigeria shall have authority to perform all the duties of the Primacy and shall be styled Acting Primate.
29.2      In the absence of the Primate from any meeting of General Synod or any Committee, Council, Board or Commission, constituted under the Constitution or any Canon of the synod, unless otherwise provided, the Dean or the Provincial Archbishop senior by presentation as Archbishop, or if none should be present, the Bishop senior by consecration, shall preside.

VACANCY IN PRIMACY 
30          The office of the Primate shall become vacant when –
30.1       he dies;

30.2    he has held office for ten years from the date of his presentation or when he attains the age of seventy years, whichever first occurs;
30.3    having given notice of his intention to resign or retire, the Dean has in consultation with the Episcopal Synod accepted the resignation; or
30.4      upon representation made to the Dean by at least two Diocesan Bishops his appointment is terminated or he is required to retire by a resolution supported by a majority of two-thirds of the General Synod: Provided that he shall be given the fullest opportunity to defend himself against any charges that may have been brought against him.
31          In addition to his functions as Diocesan Bishop, the Primate shall have the following functions –

OTHER FUNCTIONS OF THEARCHBISHOP, METROPOLITAN AND PRIMATE
31a.   to have a general authority and supervision over the whole of the Church of Nigeria in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution and the Canons of the Church.
31b.  to confirm the appointment of any person duly elected a Bishop in the Church of Nigeria and to arrange for his consecration if he be not already consecrated;
31c.  to preside when he is so required by Regulations pertaining thereto at the hearing of appeals in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution concerning the trial of Bishops, the Clergy, and the Laity and also on other occasions when the House of Bishops sits as a court.
31d.   to visit officially the Dioceses of the Church of Nigeria whether at the invitation of the Bishop of the Diocese or on his own initiative;
31e.  to represent the Church of Nigeria in its relationship with the rest of the Anglican Communion and other Churches in communion with it and on its behalf to correspond with other Metropolitans;
31f.    to perform such other functions prescribed by this Constitution or as may from time to time be entrusted to him by the General Synod or the Standing Committee.

CHAPTER VI
POWER TO APPOINT COMMITTEES AND COMMISSIONS COMMITTEES AND COMMISSIONS
32.1    The General Synod may appoint or provide by their Standing Orders for the appointment of a Standing Committee and such other Committees, Commissions, Departments and bodies, which may include persons who are not members of the Synod and such Officers as they think fit.
32.2     Each House may appoint or provide by their Standing Orders for the appointment of such Committees of their members as they think fit.
32.3     The Primate may invite an expert on any relevant subject to address the General Synod or the Standing Committee on that subject: Provided that such person shall not have the right to vote.

CHAPTER VII
POWER TO MAKE STANDING ORDERS
STANDING ORDERS        
33.1   The General Synod may make, amend and revoke Standing Orders, providing for any of the matters for which such provision is required or authorized by this Constitution to be made, and consistently with this Constitution, for the meetings, business and procedure of the General Synod.
33.2   Provision may be made by the Standing Orders that the exercise of any power of the General Synod to suspend the Standing Orders or any of them shall require the assent of such a majority of the members of the whole Synod present and voting as may be specified in the Standing Order.
33.3     Standing Orders of the General Synod may provide for separate sittings of any of the three Houses or joint sittings of any two Houses and as to who is to take the Chair at any such separate or joint sitting.
33.4      Each House may make, amend and revoke Standing Orders to regulate its own proceedings.

CHAPTER VIII
ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCES PROVINCIAL COUNCIL
34.1     There shall be for each Ecclesiastical Province created within the Church of Nigeria a Provincial Council which shall consist of:
34.1a.   The Provincial Archbishop who shall preside as Chairman;
34.1b.   All Bishops of the Church of Nigeria having Sees within the Ecclesiastical Province;
34.1c.   Suffragan or Assistant Bishops within the Ecclesiastical Province; and
34.1d.   One clergyman from each Diocese elected at the Diocesan Synod.
34.1e.   One lay member from each Diocese elected at the Diocesan Synod.
34.1f     Any such persons not exceeding two to be co-opted on ad hoc basis for their expertise; but they shall have no right to vote.
34.2       The Provincial Council shall meet on regular basis as determined by each Province or as provided by the Canons.

TERRITORY OF ECCLESIASTICAL PROVINCE          
35      The exact territorial limits of each Ecclesiastical Province and of each Diocese therein as well as the location of the Headquarters of the same shall be determined by the General Synod or its Standing Committee.

CONSTITUTION OF A PROVINCE               
36         The Constitution of a Province shall be contained in a Canon enacted by the General Synod, provided that a Canon approved by the House of Bishops shall be operative until approved or amended by the General Synod.

PRESIDENT OF COUNCIL              
37.1     The Provincial Archbishop shall preside over meetings of the Provincial Council or in his absence, the Bishop senior by consecration shall preside.
37.2       Any dispute within a diocese which cannot be satisfactorily resolved by the Diocesan Bishop shall first be referred by an aggrieved party to the appropriate Provincial Archbishop.

POWERS OF PROVINCIAL COUNCILS      
38        Provincial Councils shall have authority and jurisdiction to meet as often as occasions may demand either on the invitation of the Provincial Archbishop or at the request of two Bishops to discuss all matters of general interest and the well-being of the Church within their territorial jurisdiction and to implement their decisions on the following matters:
38.1     The training of priests;

 


The Primate

The Primate of Nigeria
The Most Revd. Nicholas Dikeriehi Orogodo Okoh

THE BIOGRAPHY OF THE PRIMATE OF ALL NIGERIA
The Most Revd. Nicholas Dikeriehi Orogodo Okoh was born on 10th November, 1952 at Owa-Alero, Ika North East Local Government Area, Delta State to Mr. Stephen Chinakwe and Mrs. Nwagho Okoh. Without intending to be modest, his parents were poor peasant farmers, who carried out mere subsistence farming.

He attended St. Michael’s (Anglican) School, Owa-Alero from 1958-1964 where he obtained his First School Leaving Certificate. He had a four-year stint in business under one of his uncles. He later established his own business, only to abandon it and joined the Nigerian Army in 1969, while still a confirmation candidate. He was to be confirmed 6years later by Bishop Idowu at St. Stephen’s Cathedral Ondo while at VCLC, Akure. The terrible experience and uncertainty of life in the war-front made the young Nicholas to surrender to God. In 1970, at the end of hostilities, under the wrong influence of fellow soldiers, he backslided, until early 1971, when under a circumstantial experience he broke down completely and offered himself to the LORD. Within three months, he read the whole bible from Genesis to Revelation. His life was transformed. Thereafter he became a freelance Evangelist, gathering and leading many young people in his group. He continued his education and passed his O/L G.C.E. in 1974 and A/L G.C.E. in 1976, by which time he was already at Vining Christian Leadership Centre, where he trained as Catechist from 1975-1976. He was admitted to Immanuel College of Theology, Ibadan for his Pastoral Studies (1976-1979). There he obtained a Diploma in Religious Studies, and Diploma in Theology.
After his Ordination in July, 1979 he was appointed 3 Armoured Division Garrison Chaplain, Jos. Later that same year, he left for the University of Ibadan (1979-1982), where he obtained his B.A. (Hons). He returned to the same University (1984-1985) for the M.A. Degree.

He got married to Miss Nkasiobi Amaechi on October 4, 1986. The marriage is blessed with 5 children.

The Most Revd. Nicholas Okoh had the following appointments in the Nigerian Army:
Garrison Chaplain, 3 Armoured Division, N.A, Jos in 1979
Vicar – St. Luke’s Military Church, Yaba Lagos – 1982-1984
Vicar – All Saints (A.H.Q) Church, Abalti Barracks and A.H.Q Garrison Chaplain (PROT) from 1984-1989.
Assistant Director, 2 Mechanized Division Chap. (PROT) and Vicar, All Souls Military Church, Ibadan from 1990-1991.
Vicar – St. Augustine’s Military Church (PROT), Mokola, Ibadan and 2 Division Garrison Chaplain from 1992 – 1993
Deputy Director Chaplain, 3 Armoured Division and Vicar – All Saints Military Church, Rukuba, Jos from 1993-1997
Deputy Director, 1 Mechanized Division Chaplain (PROT) and Vicar – St. Luke’s Military Church, Kaduna from 1997-1999.
Assistant Director Chaplain (PROT) AHQ Group of Churches, Lagos from 1999-2001.
Colonel Co-ordinate, HQ DCSP – Lagos.
Vicar – All Saints (HQ) Church, Abalti Barracks, Western Avenue, Surulere, Lagos.

Archbishop Nicholas Okoh was commissioned a Lieutenant on November 1, 1982.
He was promoted Captain on November 1, 1986. Again he rose to the Rank of Major on November 1, 1991 and on November 1, 1996, he was promoted Lieutenant Colonel in the Nigerian Army, a position he held before the House of Bishops elected him Bishop of Asaba in March, 2001.

With his election, Archbishop Nicholas Okoh became the second Bishop of the Diocese of Asaba. He was elected Archbishop, Bendel Ecclesiastical Province by the Episcopal Synod on 22nd July, 2005.

SUMMARY OF CHURCH PREFERMENTS
Ordained Deacon – July, 1979
Priest – July, 1980
Canon – 1987
Archdeacon – April, 1991
Consecrated Bishop – May, 2001
Elected Archbishop – July, 2005
Elected Primate of All Nigeria – September, 2009
Presented as Primate of All Nigeria – March, 2010

FOURSQUARE GOSPEL CHURCH NIGERIA

Rev. Felix Meduoye

General Overseer, Foursquare Gospel Church Nigeria. order depakote, order clomid.


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INTRODUCTION:

The Foursquare Church, officially named the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, is a Pentecostal denomination that resulted from the dynamic evangelistic ministry of Aimee Semple McPherson, who opened the historic Angelus Temple on Jan. 1, 1923.

Following the opening of Angelus Temple, our founder did not take time to rest on her laurels. The first “branch” church from Angelus Temple had its beginnings in Oct. 1923 in Long Beach, Calif. Other Los Angeles-area church plants rapidly ensued in Pasadena, Santa Monica, and Santa Ana; all four churches are still open today. As time passed, Foursquare branched out to the rest of the United States; we now have churches in most of the 50 states, including Hawaii and Alaska.

The launch into foreign ministry fields also began in the 1920s. In 1927 Sister McPherson commissioned Vincente and Teodora DeFante as missionaries to the Philippines. Foursquare is still alive and well in the Philippines, which has a very strong national church presence. A former missionary herself, our founder’s desire to go around the world with the Foursquare Gospel led to The Foursquare Church’s being known as a missionary movement. At this time we have approximately 100 missionary units deployed throughout the world. From our earliest days, foreign missions was a primary emphasis—and remains so today.

Another early Foursquare initiative was establishing an educational institution to train Foursquare ministers and missionaries. The Echo Park Evangelistic and Missionary Training Institute opened in 1923, not long after Angelus Temple opened. The institute’s name was changed in 1926 to L.I.F.E. (Lighthouse of International Foursquare Evangelism) Bible College. Today the school is known as Life Pacific College in San Dimas, Calif.; it is a WASC accredited college.

Foursquare Gospel

The term “Foursquare Gospel” came about during an intense revival in the city of Oakland, Calif., in July 1922. To a crowd of thousands, Aimee Semple McPherson explained Ezekiel’s vision in the book of Ezekiel, chapter one. Ezekiel saw God revealed as a being with four different faces: a man, a lion, an ox and an eagle.

To Sister McPherson, those four faces were like the four phases of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the face of the man, she saw Jesus our Savior. In the face of the lion, she saw Jesus the mighty Baptizer with the Holy Spirit and fire. In the face of the ox, she saw Jesus the Great Burden-Bearer, who took our infirmities and carried our sicknesses. In the face of the eagle, she saw Jesus the Coming King, who will return in power and victory for the church. It was a perfect, complete Gospel. It was a Gospel that faces squarely in every direction; it was the “Foursquare Gospel.” The four symbols perhaps most identified with Foursquare today are the cross, cup, dove and crown which stand for Jesus the Savior, Jesus the Healer, Jesus the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit, and Jesus the Soon-Coming King, respectively.

An Evangelist Is Born

From the beginning of Sister’s McPherson’s ministry in Los Angeles, she made headlines. She had traveled from the East Coast to Los Angeles in 1918—along with her mother, two young children and a secretary—at a time when women could not even vote. By the time the Nineteenth Amendment (which gave women the right to vote) passed in August 1920, she was gaining world renown as an evangelist.

Her penchant for doing the unexpected and unprecedented never ebbed. During the Great Depression in the 1930s, Sister McPherson oversaw a commissary ministry from Angelus Temple that fed more people in Los Angeles than government programs were able to care for. During World War II she sold more war bonds than the most famous Hollywood stars. Local Foursquare churches today follow in her footsteps to be sensitive to social issues and to the needs of disenfranchised people.

Having devoted her life to making the most of every opportunity to spread the gospel, Aimee Semple McPherson met an untimely end. She died in 1944 at the age of 54, and the leadership of The Foursquare Church passed to her only son, Rolf Kennedy McPherson. He served as the president and chairman of the board of directors for 44 years, retiring in 1988. At that time the denomination comprised more than 1,300 churches.

Passing the Mantle

Following Dr. Rolf McPherson’s retirement, John R. Holland became the third president of The Foursquare Church, serving until 1997. The fourth president, Paul Risser, served from 1998-2004; Jack Hayford served from 2004-2009. Glenn Burris Jr., was elected president by the convention voting body in June 2010, and is now serving as president. Each successive president has intentionally preserved the evangelistic and missionary emphasis that characterized Foursquare’s founder from the very beginning of her ministry.

Currently The Foursquare Church has more than 1,700 U.S. churches; globally, The Foursquare Church has more than 66,000 churches and meeting places in 140 countries and territories. That is a significant impact in the less than 90 years since Angelus Temple opened in January 1923

 

THE HISTORY OF THE NIGERIA CHURCH

The work/Organization now spread across 2064 branches in Nigeria was the result of a Foursquare missionary family in the persons of Rev. H.J. Curtis & Mrs. Faye Curtis and their two sons.

This family arrived the shores of Nigeria on November 4, 1954 from the United States of America with a clear goal of starting the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria. From all available records it took about one year before an official stamp was given to the individual work of this Godly couple. The work effectively started in 1955. The records showed that Rev. H.J. Curtis, on arrival to Nigeria rented a flat at King George Avenue (now Herbert Macaulay Street) from where he started a Vocational Bible School in his apartment frontage from where the movement’s first pioneering students and eventual national leaders were discovered and trained. These were; Rev. James. A. Boyejo, Rev. Friday C. Osuwa, Rev. Samuel O. Odunaike and a few others.

At this Vocational Bible School, God also granted the Curtises the privilege of working with another independent foreign missionary sister by name Margaret Season who also graduated from the LIFE Bible College in Los Angeles in 1948 to assist in lecturing the students.

All the pioneering students and close associates who were undergoing training at the vocational Bible School were not actually converted freshly by the Curtises as they were believers who have given their lives to Christ in their various denominations. Rev. F.C. Osuwa was in fact already an ordained minister of God with the Assemblies of God Mission. The street meeting was actually one of the street meetings held by Rev. Harold Curtis in several places in Yaba. It was at one of these meetings that Bro. Boyejo first met Rev. Curtis in December, 1954.

First Place Of Worship:  As a result of several street meetings that brought about a great crowd, Rev. Curtis rented a building which was formerly used as a beer parlour. It was during the semester break when after the discovery, rental and renovation of 68, King George Avenue, then known as the Yankee Bar, the inauguration exercise took place on Saturday, October 31, 1955. The occasion was colorful. The frontage of the building was lit brightly with several fluorescent lights and with chairs set up in the open air.

The following people actively took part in the never – to be forgotten historical event:

1. Rev. Harold J. Curtis

2. Mrs. Faye Curtis

3. Rev. Margaret Season

4. Bro. Odunaike S.O.

5. Bro. Boyejo J.A.

6. Rev. F.C Osuwa

7. Ronald Curtis

8. Gerald Curtis

9. Other Bible School students

The Open Air Inauguration Service started at about 7.00pm with an announcement and invitation to passersby. This was followed by Gospel Music from the trumpet played by Ronald Curtis and the accordion played by Bro. Odunaike. Gospel songs followed. The sermon was preached by Rev. Harold Curtis and interpreted by Bro. Boyejo. At the end of the message, altar call was made and many souls gave their hearts to Christ. The meeting closed with an invitation to everyone, to attend the first Sunday school and church service at the same venue the following day, which was Sunday.

FOURSQUARE ANTHEM

Foursquare we stand for the living word
For the word of God
Telling to all the story of Jesus, stem of Jesse’s rod
Man of sorrow and of grief, dying on the tree
Mighty Redeemer, glorious Saviour
Jesus of calvary

Chorus
Preach the Foursquare Gospel
The Foursquare Gospel
Clear let the Foursquare message ring
(Let it ring)
Jesus only Saviour, Baptizer and Healer
Jesus the coming King

Unfurl your banners and forward go
Oh ye ransomed host
Trusting in Jesus Mighty Baptizer
With the Holy Ghost
Lion of Judah, King of kings, Lord of lords is He
Clothing HIs church with power to  witness
Leading to victory

Catch up your shield oh ye living Church
Christ of Galilee
Bore all our sickness, carried our sorrows
Set the prisoners free
Lift the fallen, help the faith, dry the weeping eyes
Come bring your sickness
to thy physician, for He is passing by.

Lift your eyes, then unto the hills
Lift your voice and sing
The cloud of heavens aflame with glory
greet the coming king
Swift as wings of eagle’s flight
shall He come again

NIGERIA

Rev. Felix Meduoye

The church has a major presence in Nigeria. It entered Nigeria in 1955 through the ministry of Rev. & Mrs Harold Curtis who established the LIFE Theological Seminary at Herbert Macurley Road, Yaba, Lagos. The missionary couples trained a group of young boys and taught them the doctrines of Foursquare as contained in the 22 tenets of faith of the movement. Today, the church is the second largest in Nigeria. The church is currently headed by Rev. Felix Meduoye in Nigeria

 

OUR PHILOSOPHY
We believe that the education of the church in Biblical principles comes first after salvation. We believe that God has provided His church with gift of teachers who are gifted and empowered by the Holy Spirit in building of the body of Christ. We also believe that the church leaders have genuine interest in the education of her people through formulation of policies that will enhance smooth operation of the directorate.

OUR  VISION
Our vision is to help believers discover their God-given abilities for ministry and to assist them in developing in such a practical and applicable way. We encourage deployment of these abilities rightly and properly in all areas of living on earth. We aspire to provide educational resources  that will help develop personally strong, socially responsible and eternity sensible believers.

OUR MISSION STATEMENT
Our mission as the educational arm of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria is to create a unique Christian Education Department that is focused on providing adequate services to meet the church’s educational needs with an absolute commitment to quality.

THE  OBJECTIVES AND PHILOSOPHY OF FOURSQUARE CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
The objectives of the Foursquare Gospel Church Christian Education are outlined thus
1. Outreach – The christian education through the Sunday School will strive to enlist as many persons as possible in a systematic study of the Word of God. People must be reached before they can be taught. The Sunday school is used as an agent whIch continually reaches out into its community to gain new persons to fulfill this objective.

2. Education – Education involves not just teaching, but also learning and learning involves change. The Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria objective of christian education is to teach the entire Word of God and to indoctrinate persons in the fullness of the gospel as interpreted in the declaration  of faith of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel.

3. Evangelism – Evangelism is the key purpose of the total church. The Foursquare Gospel Church christian education department is to lead a person into a personal experience of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ,and that each believer be stimulated towards missionary vision and to support the Foursquare Gospel Church world-wide mission.

4. Ministry – The Foursquare Gospel Church Christian Education Department is to train believers to participate in the ministry of the church according to the gifts given to them by God; to encourage them to join the local church and actively serve the Lord Jesus through that body of believers.

5. Fellowship –  The christian education department of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria is to provide opportunities for participation in true fellowship with other believers and Christ.

Finally, we as the educational arm of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria align ourselves with the statement of Kenneth O.Gfangel that , “… the overwhelming and all encompassing objectives of the church is total christian maturity for all its members. Total christian maturity includes an individual and collective life of biblical worship, biblical fellowship and biblical evangelism, all of which are stimulated by and produced through proper funding programmes of biblical church education.

The  Foursquare Gospel Church philosophy of christian education is based on the biblical injunction in Deuteronomy 6:4 – 9, Ephesus 4:11-13, 2 Timothy 2:2,15;3:16-17 and the command of our Lord Jesus Christ for teaching in Mathew 28:19-20  since we believe that a teaching church is a growing church, hence, christian education is an integral part of the church because “it allows the church to do the Lord’s work in the Lord’s way and in the Lord’s method.”

Being the main trust of Christian education, teaching is a serious ministry which must be done with all commitment and transparent holiness. Based on these facts, we as a directorate of Christian Education of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria has a specific philosophy as follows:

1. It is God- centred – God is acknowledged in His attribute of self existing and real. The concept of God in all the ministries of Christian Education in the Foursquare Gospel Church begins, progresses and ends with Trinity. The Father is well acknowledged in His position of Fatherhood who sent His son to redeem the lost world and give His spirit to empower His son in accomplishing the purpose and plan of redemption.

2. It is Revelation-Centred: Truth is God’s revelation revealed in the Bible. The Bible is the source of true knowledge without which a good christian character cannot be developed. Foursquare Gospel Church takes the Bible as the sole authority for  God’s revelation to mankind, It is on this fact the organization based its philosophy of educating mankind especially its worshipers and members.

3. It is Eternity-centred: Foursquare Gospel Church philosopy of Christian Education centred on programmes that soul for eternity. Programmes of ministries such as Youth, Sunday School, Children, Adult, Men, Women, Music and so forth set forth teachings that build individuals in such respective ministries unto maturity in Christ (Eph. :11-13) This is why the Foursquare Gospel Church does not just appoint leaders for these ministries but take time to pray and evaluate the qualities of leaders as relevant to the post or ministry.

4. It is Christ-centred: Christ is the center of the scripture and all things evolve from Him. This concept is seriously held by the Foursquare Gospel Church in formulating its philosophy for Christian education. With this background, Christ is projected in all the teaching materials of the Foursquare Gospel Church as the only saviour of mankind.

5. It is Bible Based Curriculum: The Curriculum of Foursquare is Bible based with the hope of approaching every human problem the Bible in order to have solution for them. The Bible is never substituted in any way with any other book. Systematic teaching of the Bible subjects is a priority which is reflected in the Foursquare Gospel Church curriculum.

6. It is Growth-centred: Growth of the individuals in the church is the concern of the Foursquare Gospel Church. Hence, its philosophy of Christian education in helping individuals to develop unto maturity in Christ. This is reflected in the Sunday school of the Foursquare Gospel Church organization in particular and other ministries in general. All the basic organs of christian education in the Foursquare Gospel Churches gear their programmes to affect every individual either sinners unto salvation or saints unto maturity.

The major focus of Christian Education Directorate of the Foursquare Gospel Church is on the Sunday School aspect of the Christian Education. The first Sunday school service was held on 1st November,1955 with about 150 students. The Sunday school has been waxing stronger. Today the attendance has grown from 150 – 132,484 students and workers. The Foursquare Gospel  Church has provided opportunities for people to hear God’s word in a suitable environment and confined places such as hospitals, remand homes, prison yards and settlement centers.

Sunday school teaching as an arm of Christian education is being held for one hour maximum on Sundays in every Foursquare Gospel churches. The time of holding it varies from church to church. It may be held preceding the worship service or in between worship where more than one service is being held.

In 1978, the organization of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria decided to discontinue with the use of the Sunday School manuals produced by the Assemblies of God in Ghana and began to use materials from its mother church in Los Angelos, California. In 1980-81, the General-Secretary of the organization, Rev. (Dr) E. Ola Adeogun started the development of Nigeria Foursquare Gospel Church Sunday School curriculum. He worked with some ministers among who was Rev. Rogo to achieve this objective. The adults (14 years and above) and (2-13) were the two categories of people the curriculum focused on. The materials were produced both in Yoruba and English languages.

Rev. (Dr) J.A. Boyejo, one of the leaders of the church in Nigeria was saddled with the responsibly of preparing other curricular to meet the needs of people both physically and spiritually. The need for better and broad classified curriculum arose for effective ministering to the people in 1987. This led to the re-organization of Christian Education directorate. The curriculum was reviewed and the revised curriculum covers the following areas.

1. Children Curriculum
The curriculum for children was classified into two groups with visual aids.
These two groups are the Kindergarten  (2-5years), the primary and Junior (ages 6-11)

2 Adult Curriculum
The curriculum for this group is designed to serve those of 12 years upward.
There is Yoruba translation of manual used by this group as well.

3 Discipleship Curriculum
The discipleship curriculum covers the following areas of teachings.
i. New Comers or Visitors or Reception class
ii. Baptismal Class
iii. Soul-winning class
iv. New converts class
v. Membership class
vi. Workers-in-training class

NEW COMERS, VISITORS OR RECEPTION CLASS
The curriculum here is mainly focused on salvation message. The  teaching materials reveal the lost state of man without Christ (Rom.3:23), the need of man’s soul in order to meet the standard of God for reconciliation and present Jesus Christ as the only saviour of the World. This class runs for four weeks.

BAPTISMAL CLASS
After spending four weeks in the newcomer’s class, the student moves to the baptismal class. In this class, student is taught the necessities of water baptism by immersion which is one of the ordinances instituted by Christ Himself. Other lessons taught in this class are Stewardship of the believers which covers the use of the believers time and the importance of giving of offerings.This class runs for four weeks.

SOULWINNING CLASS
The commission for winning of souls otherwise called Evangelism is a command given to every believer.This class is run for four weeks in which soul winning techniques are taught and the students are challenged and encouraged to practicalized without which he or she may not be allowed to move to the next level.

NEW CONVERT CLASS
The new convert class needs specific teaching to established him in the Christian life. Special curriculum is written and available through Foursquare Gospel Church National Christian Education Directorate for establishing such a class.This curriculum is available on two levels; children with Youth and Adults.These manuals covers the basic items which new believers need to understand as they begin the Christian walk. The teachings cover: You and the Bible, Believers and the Holy Spirit,You and Money, the believer’s stewardship promises to claim during problems, believers and prayers. The new converts are expected to spend nothing less than eight weeks in this class.

MEMBERSHIP CLASS
Getting to this class is not compulsory and neither is it automatic but believers are encouraged to become members of the Foursquare Gospel Church especially if such persons are interested in joining the workforce of the church. The teaching materials in this class are based on the twenty-two tenets of faith of the Foursquare Church, drawn out from the Bible by the founder for thirteen weeks after which the student is interviewed by the local pastor or designated leader. This is followed by public acceptance into membership on a Sunday morning service with hands of fellowship by the ministers and council members, while a membership card is issued to the students which is renewable yearly.

WORKERS-IN-TRAINING CLASS
At the expiration of lessons in the membership class, the student is encouraged to be a worker in the church. Training of workers is worthy goal of the Foursquare Gospel Church education department. II Timothy 2:15 admonished workers to study to be “approved unto God….” This is inferred that each must apply himself to the task of being better equipped to carry out the assignment God has given him. If a student submits himself to training according to the above admonition, then he is able to “rightly divide the word of truth” both in explaining doctrinal issues and passing across God’s message appropriately.

The curriculum here covers every areas of ministry based on Ephesians 4:11-16, Romans 12: 6-8, I Corinthians 12. It also deals with other area of ministry as needed by the challenges of today’s world system. Curriculum is divided into two general sections which take about six weeks. Students are sent to their various areas of calling for details teachings are required by such service area. For example, if a student is called to teaching ministry, he/she has to move to teaching ministry class and expected to spend another six weeks (all totaling 12 weeks from specific to general areas of ministry) and the 13th week is for examinations and interviews.

After fulfilling above condition, the student is posted to the area of his/her calling for Christian work. From time to time, refresher courses, seminars, conferences are organized either locally, or on a larger body to make them current and relevant to their generation. In addition, there are other planned curriculum for specific needs of the church.

 

MISSION STATEMENT
The Foursquare Church exists to glorify God and advance His kingdom. Jesus Christ’s command is to preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19). Therefore, we are “Dedicated unto the cause of Inter-denominational and Worldwide Evangelism.”* These words express our spirit and our focus.

Our call is to preach Jesus Christ, God’s Son, as The Savior, The Baptizer, The Healer and The Coming King.

Our assignment is to develop healthy, growing churches.

Our commitment is to plant national churches around the world led by loving servants of Jesus Christ. Churches developed in this manner will reproduce again and again.This makes possible the spread of the gospel to those who have not heard or accepted the message of God’s Son.

Our Name – The Foursquare Gospel Church
“Foursquare” is a Biblical term used of the tabernacle in the Book of Exodus, of the Temple of the Lord in Ezekiel 40:47, and of Heaven, as described in the book of the Revelation. The term “Foursquare Gospel” was given in the inspiration of revival to the denomination’s founder, Aimee Semple McPherson, during an evangelistic campaign in Oakland, Calif., in 1922. It represents that which is equally balanced on all sides, established and enduring. Such confidence in the power of the Gospel is also expressed by the verse, Hebrews 13:8, displayed in Foursquare churches proclaiming, “Jesus Christ the Same, Yesterday and Today and Forever.”

The name represents the four-fold ministries of Jesus as:

THE SAVIOUR
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him…” –Isaiah 53:5 (Titus 2:14, Isaiah 55:7, Hebrews 7:25, Isaiah 1:18)

THE BAPTIZER WITH THE HOLY GHOST
“For John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit… Uou shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:5,8 John 14:16-17, Acts 2:4, Acts 8:17, Acts 10:44-46, 1 Corinthians 3:16)

THE HEALER
“He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses…” –(Matthew 8:17, Mark 16:17-18, Matthew 9:5-6, Acts 4:29-30)

THE SOON COMING KING
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout… the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” –1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (Titus 2:12-13, Matthew 24:36-44, Hebrews 9:28, Luke 19:13, Luke 12:35-37.)

BIBLICAL TRUTHS. ITS WHAT THE FOURSQUARE CHURCH BELIEVES IN.

 

The Holy Scriptures – 2 Tim. 3:16-17

We believe that the Bible is inspired by God

 

The Eternal Godhead – I John 5:7

We believe that God is triune: Father, Son and Holy Spirit

 

The fall of Man – Romans 5:12

We believe that man was created in the image of God, but that by voluntary disobedience and transgression he fell from perfection

 

The Plan of Redemption – John 3:16

We believe that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us, saving those who believe on Him from condemnation

 

Salvation through Grace – Ephesians 2:8

We believe that the salvation of sinners is wholly through grace, that we have no righteousness of our own and must come to God pleading the merits and righteousness of Christ the Saviour

 

Repentance and Acceptance – I John 1:9

We believe that upon sincere repentance and a whole-hearted acceptance of Christ we are justified before God.

 

The New Birth – John 3:3

We believe that the change that takes place in the heart and life at conversion is a very real one.

 

Daily Christian Life – Hebrews 6:1

We believe that it is the will of God that we be sanctified daily, growing constantly stronger in the faith.

 

Water Baptism and the Lord’s Supper – Matthew 28:19, I Corinthians 11:28

We believe that water baptism by immersion is a blessed outward sign of an inward work. We believe in the commemoration and observation of the Lord’s Supper by the use of the broken bread, a type of Christ’s body which was broken for us, and by the juice of vine, which reminds of the shed blood of the Saviour

 

The Baptism of the Holy Spirit – Acts 2:4

We believe that the baptism of the Holy Spirit endues the believer with power from on high, and that His incoming is the same as in the Bible days

 

The Spirit-Filled Life – Galatians 5:15, 25

We believe that it is the will of God that we live and walk in the Spirit daily.

 

The Gifts and Fruits of the Spirit – I Corinthians 12:1-11, Galatians 5:22

We believe that the Holy Spirit may bestow upon the believer the gifts of wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophesy, discernment, tongues and/or interpretation; and that the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance) is evidence of a Spirit-filled life.

 

Moderation – Philippians 4:5

We believe that the moderation of the believer should be known of all men, that his experience and daily walk should never lead him into extremes of fanaticism.

 

Divine Healing – James 5:14-16

We believe that divine healing is the power of the Lord Jesus Christ to heal the sick in answer to the prayer of faith.

The Second Coming of Christ – I Thessalonians 4:16-17

We believe that the second coming of Christ is personal and imminent.

 

Church Relationship – Acts 16:5

We believe that having been born into the family and invisible body or church of the Lord, it is the duty of the believer, whenever this lies within his power, to identify himself with the visible church of Christ upon the earth; and that such visible church is a congregation of fellow believers.

 

Civil Government – Romans 13:1-5

We believe that the civil government is of divine appointment, for the interests and good order of human society; and that rulers should be upheld at all times except in things opposed to the will of God.

 

Judgment – 2 Corinthians 5:10

We believe that all shall be judged one day before God and receive either eternal life or death.

 

Heaven – I Corinthians 2:9

We believe that Heaven is the glorious habitation of the living God, and that His Son Jesus has gone ahead to prepare a place for those who believe in Him.

 

Hell – Revelation 20:10,15

We believe that Hell is a place of suffering and torment made for the devil and his angels, and where the unbelievers also go, until both are cast into the lake of fire.

 

Evangelism – James 5:20

We believe that bringing unbelievers to a saving knowledge of Christ should be the Church’s primary concern in this world.

 

Tithing and Offerings – Malachi 3:10, 2 Corinthians 9:7

We believe that tithing or the giving of ten percent of one’s income will be blessed and honoured by God, as will be offerings above and beyond that.

CHURCH OF GOD MISSION INTERNATIONAL INC.

Rev. Dr.  Margret Idahosa

Archbishop & General Overseer, Church Of God Mission International Inc.


THE JOURNEY

About

Church of God Mission International Incorporated was divinely born by the urge of the Holy Spirit with specific instructions of the Lord to Archbishop B.A. Idahosa as stated:

“Raise up an army for me, to go with the gospel to all Nations. Gather together those whom I have called and I will send them with the fire of my spirit. Give my word and your example to many who will go to teach, preach and heal”

Church of God Mission International, as it known today, grew from a very humble beginning in 1962 as a prayer group first named Calvary Fellowship at a shop on Ivbizua Street, off Mission Road. It was officially inaugurated in 1965 by Rev. Edgar Perkins. On October 26th 1968, Rev. Perkins approached the Assemblies of God to release Benson Idahosa, then a Sunday School Superintendent, to oversee the prayer ministry. The fellowship moved to No. 26, Forestry Road, Benin City with Pastor Benson Idahosa fully in-charge. The membership of the fellowship grew numerically. Pastor Benson Idahosa decided to build a church and this began his building ministry. He moved the members to Iyaro Church and on 18th of September, 1974. The church was registered under the Land perpetual succession Acts and Certificate number 1245 was issued. By the time Church of God Mission Iyaro was completed the membership had risen tremendously. The church was declared opened by Papa Gordon Lindsay and Papa Elton.

Church of God’s primary ministry was evangelism-Living up to her motto: Evangelism our Supreme Task, the church engaged in street evangelism and open air crusades. Through these activities souls were daily added to the church and everywhere papa went with the gospel churches were planted and solid structures erected.

In keeping with his belief of a ministry building that keeps up with the times, and to accommodate the influx of converts, the Archbishop laid the foundation of another church called Miracle Centre, on airport road, Benin City on Saturday 1st December, 1973 which was dedicated on Sunday 9th November, 1975 by Mrs. Freda Lindsay.

The continued growth of the ministry led to the building of Faith Miracle Centre auditorium, which many refer to as a marvel and was a vision fulfilled. In 1983, in far away Australia, the Archbishop heard God told him to build Him a building that will bring glory and honour to his name. The auditorium which is believed to seat over twenty thousand people was the first stadium church in Africa. It was dedicated and opened on 2nd November, 1986. Coinciding with the growth of churches in Benin was the planting of branches. Today Church of God Mission International has presence in all parts of Nigeria and the world over.

The ministry has developed infrastructures to strengthen her ability to fulfill her mandate preparing an army to rescue humanity for God. This she had done through the establishment of a viable Bible School – All Nations for Christ Bible Institute, to fulfill the educational need for pastors and contribute to building a vibrant society. The ministry has schools ranging from pre-Nursery (Word of Faith Group of Schools) to the university (Benson Idahosa University) and also functional medical facilities (Faith Mediplex Group of Hospitals) for all people. The ministry is resolved in her quest to produce whole persons in Spirit, soul and body.

All these accomplishments could not have happened without a focused, dynamic and spirit filled leaders by our father, Archbishop B.A. Idahosa. The ministry is still being maintained and enhanced by our go getting Archbishop M. E. Benson-Idahosa.


STATEMENT OF FAITH

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ARCHBISHOP BENSON A. IDAHOSA

About

There goes the popular aphorism: “birds of a feather flock together.” However, there is an exception to this saying. Eagles, though they are birds, do not fit into this epigram. As a matter of fact, eagles never fly in clusters, they fly singly. That perhaps, aptly describes why eagles are so distinct from all the other birds. So also are some men, who bear semblance to the eagle.

No doubt, there are a great number of successful people across the globe, each of whom represents an institution. They are authorities who have distinguished themselves in their God-given endeavors. The truth is, these “success stories” are rare to come by; however, for four decades, the entire world has been shaken to its very foundation by one man, propelled by a force of curiosity over the signs and wonders that followed him.

This great man stands out in the crowd. Without mincing words, this man is synonymous with faith; he is an institution; an international figure; a statesman whose finger print on national issues is readily sensed and his influence on all issues concerning life cannot be waved aside with the back of the hand. He is a legend who has left an indelible mark in the sands of time.

This man has been known by different appellations: a father of fathers, a spiritual dynamo, an exemplar of faith in our generation, a world acclaimed preacher, a great teacher with special pedagogic abilities and excellent vision, a “possibilitarian,” an epitome of justice, equity and fair play, an advocate of peace, a man whose life is replete with immense charisma, a trail blazer, a visionary leader to whom none compares, a prolific writer, an evangelist, a philanthropist and above all, a very good husband and father. Wherever this man’s name is mentioned, the world stands at attention.

This man is Archbishop Benson Andrew Idahosa.

Archbishop Benson Andrew Idahosa was one in a million. A rare gem! Possibly, that is why he is an enigma to all those who have known or heard about him. He was born on September 11, 1938 in Benin City to an Edo family, the Idahosa – Ezomo family.
He was the fourth of nine children of Late Pa John Idahosa. He was only a few months old, when on the order of his father, he was dumped on a rubbish heap because he was a sickly child. However, because of the unfading love of his mother, the Spirit of God stirred her up to rescue him.
As a toddler, he often experienced fainting spells. This re-occurring phenomenon, in the thinking of his father had brought disgrace and dishonour to the family. This forced him to resolve that the infant Idahosa be dumped on a refuse heap just behind their little house and left to his own fate. His father gave a stern warning that he should not be rescued from the garbage but because he was destined for greatness he lived to become one of the kingdom of God’s greatest men.

As the years rolled by, the sickly lad noted for fainting spells grew in strength and wisdom. He chose to change. Like the plant Saxifrage, often noted for its rock breaking abilities, Archbishop Idahosa surmounted the many obstacles that lay precariously on the road to success.

Benson Idahosa had a penchant for education and a great desire to study. At the age of eight, he was enrolled into primary school. Through thick and thin, he managed to scale through an initial western education in the Salvation Army School, Benin City and the Methodist School, Owo, Ondo State. However, this only whetted his appetite for more knowledge. Accordingly, through a correspondence programme with the London Benneth College, he obtained a Diploma in Business Administration, and a Higher Diploma in Office Management, while he worked in the Bata Shoe Company as a salesman.

As a result of his desire to excel and through hard work, coupled with God’s favor upon his life, he soon ascended to a supervisory position at the company. Little did he know that his experience as a supervisor was part of God’s way of preparing him for leadership in the ministry.

The young Benson Idahosa was ready to be an instrument in God’s hand and in 1962, at the relatively young age of 24, he launched into the ministry. He had great zeal for the work of God and his uttermost desire was to carry out the command of the Lord to finish the work which God had assigned to him.

Quite a lot can be said about his pastoral life. At the very beginning of his evangelistic crusades, he used his cultural advantage as a Bini to gain access to the surrounding Bini villages. His evangelistic crusades consisted of taking his team to the villages where, with the permission of the heads of the communities, he would preach to the people and pray for the sick. His first crusade was at Ajagbodudu, near Sapele, in 1961. His crusades were followed by signs and wonders.

In 1962 after his first evangelistic crusades, he enrolled as a correspondent student of a Bible College at Illorin. That same year, he held a crusade at Abraka. Over the years, he continued his theological education, and the following is a list of some of his degrees.

Papa (as he was popularly called) had a phenomenal popularity predicated on his achievements, and the seeds he has sown in the lives of the hopeless, and those who needed a touch from the Lord Jesus Christ. Little wonder then, that during his ministry he raised many persons from the dead, much to the consternation of many who doubted the efficacy and power of the word of God. With signs and wonders his popularity spread like wild fire.

HONORARY DEGREES

 

  • Christ For The Nations Institute, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A
    • a. Professor – Consultant
    • b. Professor de Philosophie Evangelique, The International University, Brussels, Belgium
  • Doctor of Laws, (March 1984), Oral Roberts University Tulsa, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
    Membership of Organisation and Recognitions
  • President, Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria
  • President, All Nations for Christ Bible Institute
  • President, Idahosa World Outreach.
  • Member, International Ministerial Association for Community Concerns in Washington, D.C.
  • Life membership, Bible Society of Nigeria.
  • Certified member, World Prayer Group, Dallas, Texas.
  • Executive member, World Council of Churches.
  • Chairman, Board of Trustees of Church of God Mission International.
  • Executive member, International Communion of Charismatic Churches.Member, International Evangelical Church Missionary Association.
  • Executive Council member, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
  • Executive Council member, British Society of Commerce, Nigeria.

 

 

HONORS & CITATIONS

 

  • Certificate of appreciation for Active and Co-operate Leadership.
  • Certificate of Commendation from Detroit City Council, USA for Outstanding Evangelistic Work.
  • Certificate of recognition, Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches and Ministers International.
  • Certificate of membership, International Evangelical Church and Missionary Association.
  • Special tribute from the state of Michigan, USA.
  • Honourary Citizen of Loves Park, Illinois, U.S.A.
  • Honorary Citizen of Rockford, Illinois, U.S.A.
  • Patron – British Society of Commerce Nigeria.
  • Honorary Fellow – British Society of Commerce Nigeria.
  • Honorary Citizen of the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
  • Regent: Oral Roberts University, Tulsa Oklahoma.
  • International Honorary Vice Chairman, Charismatic Bible Ministries (CBN).
  • Associate Regent, Bethel Christian College, and Bethel Graduate School of Theology, Riverside, California, U.S.A.

 

ARCHBISHOP MARGARET BENSON-IDAHOSA

About

Archbishop Margaret Benson-Idahosa was born into the Royal lineage of the Benin Kingdom. She was ordained into the ministry on the 24th of May, 1983 and consecrated Bishop on the 5th of April, 1998. This position makes her the first female Pentecostal Bishop of a ministry of this magnitude in Africa, she was consecrated as Archbishop in November, 2009.

Together with her husband, she has preached the gospel of Jesus Christ in more than 140 nations covering all major continents of the world. She is not just a female preacher; she is a father and mother to many spiritual children all over the world. Her vision and mission is to

“reach the unreached”

irrespective of whether they are in the desert or riverine creeks.

Since her consecration as Bishop, she has frequently travelled to America, Europe and parts of Africa and in communities far-flung from major towns and cities preaching, teaching and healing the sick.

Archbishop Margaret Benson-Idahosa’s love for children and the strong belief that they be trained and raised properly led to the establishment of the Word of Faith Group of Schools, which now has more than one hundred (100) branches all over Nigeria. She also has to her credit an Orphanage for abandoned babies.

The women’s arm of the ministry, which goes by the name Christian Women Fellowship International (CWFI) is a non-denominational body founded by Archbishop Idahosa, to teach the woman how to discover their true potential, to be a good mother, wife and an instrument for end-time evangelism. Members of this body can be found in the Americas, Europe, Africa and Nigeria.

In line with this is the building of a multipurpose facility called the Restoration Centre with a capacity to seat more than 10,000 women. This centre will serve as conference venue, office space, a skill acquisition centre and a place to rehabilitate destitute young women.

Thousands have been delivered from the bondage of evil tradition, spiritually and have been economically empowered. A recent addition to the Restoration Centre is a Mobile Medical Clinic which offers free medical services to rural dwellers.

 

OUR VISION STATEMENT

About

“To build people into leadership, with a global passion, deeply rooted in Christ.”

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THROUGH THE PROCESS OF OUR FOUR CARDINAL POINTS;

OUR MISSION STATEMENT

Evangelizing the lost for their total transformation spirit, soul and body, developing them into leaders.