With high expectation of anointing and miracles during the three-day Special Holy Ghost Service of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, its two auditoriums at the Redemption Camp were nearly packed to capacity, particularly during the peak on Friday.
But unknown to the congregation they were to be told about a great miracle that took place in Bayelsa State days before.
The key beneficiary of the miracle, the Governor of the State, Douye Diri, clad in an all-white Niger Delta attire, was at the service, but it gave nothing away about what he was going to say because the presence of State Governors and even Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was a common sight at the services.
The Holy Ghost Service itself was birthed in 1986, when God asked Pastor Enoch Adeboye, the General Overseer of the church, to make a birthday wish, to which he responded with a request for miracles for members of the church.
It has since become a tradition to expect special miracles at the anniversary of the commencement of the service in March 1986.
On Friday, Pastor Adeboye, who reminded the Congregation of that encounter with God, expressed his happiness for people who were present for God’s special promises: “I want to rejoice with you that you are here tonight.
“And the reason is simple: In 1986, I was in the United Kingdom to prepare our Sunday School Booklet for the year when I heard clearly God saying: ‘My son, what do you want for your birthday?’
“I wasn’t sure God would be interested in anything called birthday, particularly that of somebody like me.
“So I had to say: ‘Daddy, if that is You, would You please repeat the question.
“And He repeated the question!
“I said: ‘In that case, all I want is that every member of my congregation will have a miracle.’
“He asked if that was all I wanted and I affirmed that was all.
“Then He said: ‘When you get back home call them together, and whatever they ask, I will give unto them.’
“The few of us who were there at that time would remember that we had a week-long programme and miracles were so many!
“You know the Church in Ebutte Meta (National Headquarters Parish of RCCG in Ebute Meta, Lagos Nigeria) was very tiny then.
“For the service that was going to start 7pm, the Church was already full by 10am because everybody wanted to be near the altar.
“It was after God moved so mightily that week that I begged Him to allow as to hold the service every year and He granted our request.
“And after some time, I said: ‘Can we have it every month?’
And He said: ‘Why Not!’
“That is why we have been having the Holy Ghost Services every Month, since 1986, and it keeps growing because its foundation is in God.
“Now, today is the anniversary of the First Holy Ghost Service, so I have it on the authority of my Father in Heaven that whatever you ask for tonight, you will get!
“Secondly, He told me He would be doing some ‘Specialised Healing’ tonight.
“That He will begin from the head and go down to the feet.”
That drew more excitement from the congregation.
The service had started with prayers and went through its usual course – praise and worship songs, a ministration by Rev. Joe Olaiya, who made an altar call; songs ministration; prayers for All Nations by Pastor Folu Adeboye, which inspired hope at difficult times like this; and got to the time for testimonies by people who had received the touch of God recently.
The testimonies, including miraculous healing and babies for couples who had waited on the Lord for many years – in one case a couple who had waited for 22 long years to be blessed with twins.
After a momentary break that was presumed to be the end of the testimonies, a face that was remotely familiar from newspaper photographs and television footages, beamed a mirthful smile at the congregation.
Without any introduction, he went straight into his testimony, which announced him.
He said: “Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!
“Brethren, I went into governorship elections in Bayelsa State on the 16th of November.
“Thereafter, I was alleged to have lost the elections.
“I promptly rejected the results and started a judicial process in Nigeria.
“During the process, I visited this church on the 11th of January, during the programme of The Great Turnaround.
“After the service, I went to see Daddy GO (Pastor Adeboye) at around midnight.
“He prayed for me and said: ‘Go and when you receive it come back to the church.’
“The judicial process continued until the 13th of February, about 24 hours to the swearing in of the alleged winner.
“Brethren, a miracle was accomplished.
“The Supreme Court declared me the winner of the elections.
“I have come to return the glory to God and to Him alone.
“I want to thank Daddy GO; I want to thank all of you who stood with me in prayers.
“Today I am the Governor of Bayelsa State.”
Soon after he was sworn in, the Governor had described his accession to the Bayelsa Government House as “miracle” but he did not explain.
On Friday, he made it open to the Glory of God.
The other Bayelsa miracle
That was the second major testimony at the Redemption Camp from the Bayelsa State Government House in less than a year.
In December, last year, the former First Lady, Dr. Rachael Dickson, shook the large congregation with excitement when she mounted the altar with her set of quadruplets.
In 2016, Nigerians rejoiced with the first family of the state when she gave birth to quadruplets in the United States, after many years of childlessness.
That Friday, on the altar of The Arena, the three-kilometre-by three-kilometre auditorium at the Redemption Camp, she told the world her story to the glory of God.
Dr. Dickson testified: “Praise the Lord!
“My name is Rachael Dickson.
“I want to thank God for taking away my shame and reproach for 15 years.
“For 15 years, we had been waiting for the fruit of the womb.
“In 2013, when Daddy (Pastor Adeboye) visited Bayelsa State, he prayed for me, and in 2015, I was here for the Holy Ghost Congress.
“In 2016, the shame and reproach were broken with four children – one boy and three girls.
“I have come to give this great God of Heaven and the God of Daddy GO all the glory and all the honour.
“Thank you, and God bless you.”
Let there be Light
Pastor Adeboye’s sermon, the third in the Series: “Let There Be Light,” was kept short to allow ample time for congregational prayers.
Reading from Judges 15: 9-16, he recalled how Samson was bound by his people and delivered to the Philistines to prevent a major attack, but as the Philistines were jubilating over him, “the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon Samson, and he snapped the ropes on his arms as if they were burnt strands of flaxy.”
He said because God is Light and indeed the Father of Light, so the prayer: “Let there be Light,” also means “Let God Arise.”
The consequences of the Almighty God arising on behalf of an individual, he explained, are many
He said when God arises and focuses on an individual, certain things happen instantly:
• The yokes of the enemy or death are destroyed with the speed at which the ropes used to tie Samson snapped.
• With that touch of God, whatever the individual touches prospers. For example, after the encounter with God in the Burning Bush, the ordinary staff of Moses, became the staff of God, which was used to part the Red Sea.
• When the Light shines on you all your enemies scatter or are destroyed.
• All plots against you by the enemy – both internal and external – are aborted, and long after the enemies are scattered you will be rising.
• When the Light shines on you as God arises for you, all your internal enemies, who masquerade as relations and friends will be humiliated and come to bow before you like the brothers of Joseph, who sold him into slavery, did.
• When the light shines on you your promotion becomes very rapid and nobody can stop your upward movement and nobody can stop your upward movement.
• When God’s light shines on you, you laugh last and laugh best.
The night ended with congregational prayers on prayer points he had read out.
Expectedly, he anointed handkerchief for people who waved them as he prayed from the pulpit.
The three-day programme had started on Thursday with a service conducted by youths and young adults from various regions of the church.
Praising them later for their performance, Pastor Adeboye said he was moved to tears by the sermon of one of them.
Saturday, the last day, was for combined Holy Communion and Anointing Service, during which members of the congregation were anointed with oil he had blessed.
PHOTO CREDIT: SEGUN KOMOLAFE.