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PROJECT TOPIC: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE GROWTH RATE OF PENTECOSTAL CHURCHES IN OYO TOWN AND ITS IMPLICATION ON OYO WEST BAPTIST ASSOCIATION

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CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1     Background to the study

          The existence of the Pentecostal Churches is a challenge to the existence of Mainline and African Independent Churches. Some of these Churches are: Redeemed Christian Church of God, Deeper Life Christian Church, Living Faith Church, New Testament Church, Rhema Church and so on. It is observed that many of them have contributed significantly to the needed religious, political and socio-economic infrastructure for Sustainable Development of Nigeria in the 21st Century. For instance, the establishment of Private universities, hospitals, banks, campaign against HIV/AIDS, scholarships, road maintenance and rehabilitation of drug addicts.

          A phenomenal growth has been witnessed in the establishment of Pentecostal Churches. They have become uncountable in number. It is argued by Chris Obi, quoting Larry Christensen that Pentecostal Churches are seen as: “a supernatural manifestation of the Holy Spirit, whereby the believer speaks forth in a language he never learned, and which he does not understand”[1]

      It has been observed that the claim of some Churches to the exclusive repository of the Holy Spirit is not justified because the promise in the book of Prophet Joel and Acts of the Apostles are meant for all Christian believers in Jesus Christ.

            Ruth Marshall once said: One of the most remarkable trends of the last decade among the Christian population of Southern Nigeria has been the dramatic rise of the so-called “Charismatic” or “Pentecostal” churches.[2]  The churches often started as “Christian fellowship” centers before they metamorphosize into Churches, such as, the Deeper Life Bible Church with the headquarters in Lagos, under the leadership of Pastor W. Kumuyi, Redeemed Christian Church of God (Pastor E. Adeboye) based in Lagos, Living Faith (Winners) being led by Bishop David Oyedepo (Otta, Ogun State), Rhema Church (George Adegboye (Ilorin), New Testament  Church (Pastor M.R. Popoola (Ilorin), Trumpeters Church, Pastor T. Oludare,( IIesa), Church of God Mission, Benin-City was founded by Late Benson Idahosa and now being led by his wife Bishop Margaret Idahosa. Others are the Household of God’s Church. Oregun, Lagos (Revd. Gabriel Oduyemi), Pastor Partrick Anwuzia’s Zoe Ministries. Revd. Tunde Bakare’s Latter Rain Assembly: Revd. Tunde Joda’s Christ Chapel International; Bishop Francis Wale Oke;s Sword of the Spirits; Prophet T.B. Joshua of Synagogues Church of All Nations, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of Christ Embassy Church, and the Dominion Life Bible Church (Pastor Bode Amoo) Ilorin.[3]

       The writer’s interest in writing this topic awakens daily as he reflects on how the Pentecostal churches in Oyo town increases faster numerically than those of the mainline churches.

    [1] Rotimi Omotoye, “Communication and the universality of the gospel in Yorubaland” in Science and Religion in the service of Humanity; Ade P. Dopamu (ed) etal Ilorin, Local Society Initiatives (LSI), 2006 p. 42.

    [2] Ruth Marshall, “Pentecostalism in Southern Nigeria” in New Dimensions in African Christianity (1967-2006), India; Richard Burgess, 2008 p. 5.

    [3] Rotimi Omotoye, “Communication and Universality of the gospel in Yorubaland”, p. 43.


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