interviewBy Ben Atonko
Pastor Josiah Ozomah is the pastor in charge of Porter's House, the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Kubwa, Abuja. The pastor spoke on the strides the church has made in the past 10 years and what it looks up to. Excerpts:
How did this parish come into being?
This parish was established during the December Let's Go Afishing programme in 2002. Redeem holds Let's Go Afishing programme two times in a year--in December and during Easter. The major thing is to plant parishes. So at that time, Potters House parish was planted.
The pastor who planted the parish is by name Idris Umar...he initiated the planting of this parish and selecting its name and nominated the people who became pioneer members. At that time, he was the area pastor of Anointed Chapel. Anointed Chapel is more or less the mother of this church.
The parish started in Ignobis Hotel for some weeks before moving to a member's house by name Arch. Musa. They continued there until 2003/4 when Pastor Bobade came in as area pastor taking over from Pastor Umar. Through his [Bobade's] efforts, the church secured a place in phase 4.
There was Pastor Osobo. He is now in Lagos. Pastor Jimoh took over. This was about 2005. During Pastor Jimoh's time, the parish was able to secure this land as permanent location of the church. The parish moved to this place about 2006.
I came to this parish in 2008. Then Pastor Orji was area pastor. On his relocation to Karu, I became area pastor. I've been here as area pastor from 2009.
What have been the achievements of the parish in its 10 years of being?
To be able to purchase this land which at that time was in the neighbourhood of N5-6 million is a milestone in the history of the church because many parishes planted much earlier are still on rented premises. But through the help of God and assistance from the headquarters and the province, we were able to get this land.
Things we consider in weighing the success of a parish are the number of parishes planted and souls won. Though I can't say this is the number of souls won, I can tell you that since it became an area headquarters in 2008, it has been able to plant seven parishes.
During this anniversary, what are we expecting?
We have a three-day programme. On Friday, we're having a praise night. It's all praising God for how far he has been with us. We're expecting the pioneer members of the parish including the founding pastors, Pastor Idris from Lagos and then Pastor Osobo from Lagos.
On Saturday morning, we have a novelty match between the brothers and the sisters while in the evening we have anniversary dinner where we expect the presence of three provincial pastors, national secretaries and other men of God. It's a time to stay together, listen to the word of God, eat, celebrate and then be entertained by the various choirs.
Sunday is the final day where we'll have thanksgiving service.
What is Potter Parish looking up to?
Concerning aspiration, looking at the theme [of the anniversary], it's Next Level so we're expecting that having being 10 years old, we should be able to lift our present status in all ramifications.
One, we're going to increase our tempo in the area of evangelism so as to win more souls and plant more parishes. As members, through programmes we intend to put in place, we'll make sure spiritual status is enhanced.
Already we have a crèche which is currently only for babies, we intend to open nursery and primary schools and as God gives us the grace, we'll continue to improve the school.
And there is a new wave in the ministry, I'm talking of RCCG on the issue of impacting on the environment. We're looking forward to what we'll do to impact on the people living around us.
As a shepherd of the flock, how do you feel when security men are stationed at entrances of places of worship?
The truth of the matter is that God is our security. We totally depend on him. But then the bible says we should be wise! So we'll do our own and leave God to perfect his plans.
Apart from that, it is not everybody in the church that is spiritually mature--some are just baby Christians and they want to see things put in place. For instance, at the height of this security problem, some churches recorded low turnout. Why? Because some have not actually got to the status of saying "let whatever is to happen, happen". You know what I mean, if it's death, I'm in church--that is good because I'm serving God. Not all of us have got to that status.
So to alleviate fears of people like that, we have to put up some security measures. But the total security depends on God. Even those who man security [posts] are sometimes bitten--they [attackers] force their way. But now the situation is changing in the sense that as you know, the security problem is getting down.