The scene was the modestly but tastefully furnished office of Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye, the General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God. It was late morning of Saturday, December 18, 2010 - the last day of the year's Holy Ghost Congress. Pastor Adeboye’s unusual guests virtually took over the spacious office. It was the crew of the Cable News Network (CNN) led by Christian Purejoy, a lanky 6-footer-plus. His back-up team took quite a while setting up their elaborate equipment - a wide array of cameras and lightings mounted on tripods of varying heights. Seats, framed paintings and pictures where moved and rearranged for the pre-interview rehearsals. At the team leader’s nod Pastor Adeboye was contacted in his exclusive office. The well informed correspondent was ready to fire his questions in his no holds barred interview.
It was not Christian's first time at the Redemption Camp but the interview was certainly a scoop. He had read up everything he could about Pastor Adeboye, the RCCG and the Holy Ghost Congress as his questions revealed. He had also seen much of the sprawling Camp ground. His sojourn in the jungle of the south west Nigeria beside the busy expressway linking Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos and the ancient city of Ibadan, known as Redemption Camp, he paid off.
CNN is well known for its worldwide coverage of wars, natural disasters, the environment, the economy and politics. Coverage of a religious meeting inside an African jungle is not its usual kind of story. So, what brought the crew of the most viewed Global Network to the Redemption Camp, now a major landmark in the geography of south west Nigeria?
Redemption camp, now home to many residential apartments, educational institutions, hospitality units and a few banks, hosts the monthly Holy Ghost Service came into being in 1985 as an all-night programme of praise, worship, scriptural exposition, prayers and personal ministrations in answer to Pastor Adeboye’s request that God should rain his blessings upon the congregation. God had asked him at the time to assemble the people to worship and praise the Lord and the promised miracles have been familiar features of the programme. The congress, now a six-day programme, is an expanded version of the monthly programme with the maiden edition in 1998 on the beachside of lekki expressway. Millions of worshippers gathered for all-night programme to celebrate Jesus in a festival-like atmosphere with the theme “Divine Visitation”. The crowd was far more than the expected four million people and it took several hours for vehicular and human traffic to clear after an admittedly awesome night characterised by lively music, preaching, and words of prophecies, signs and wonders.
The second edition was held from December 16 -18, 1999 at the Redemption Camp with an even larger attendance. With the success of the second edition the “Congress Arena” as it was then known was expanded to accommodate the expected increase during the third and fourth editions which were also three-day’s programmes. The Congress became a six-day programme in 2003. The development of the Arena and support facilities at the camp was rapid and extensive with the incorporation of a modern altar, prayer foyer, offices, parking lots and massive deployment of plastic chairs which have now almost completely displaced the old wooden pews. Then came the roofing and the tilling of the floor with further expansion and paving of the access and adjoining roads resulting in a massive auditorium said to be one of the largest worship structure in the world. Traffic flow within and around the camp is also better controlled. Putting an end to the nightmare of the earlier years when worshippers spent several hours on their way to and from programmes. With the provision of more parking lots and better manning of routes, shuttles between the camp and Lagos or other nearby cities which took several hours are now done in less than one hour. The amenities around the Arena and other parts of the Camp have also been expanded and improved for the comfort of worshippers and visitors. More toilets - mobile and fixed - have been built. Water and electricity are adequately supplied all-year round. (Originally published in rccg.org)
The Redeemed Christian Church of God - Annual Holy Ghost Congress 2011 – which promises to be the greatest Christian gathering in the world and themed “A New Thing” has started ... Dec. 12th- 17th 2011. Be there and you can also join online. You will be blessed. See Trailer below for details.