Do Jet-setting churches care for the poor? by Leke Beecroft

As early as April 1984 in a service in the young Living Faith Church where the total offering was ten naira (N10.00), the whole amount was given to one person who had come to Church looking very gloomy to sort out his personal issues. All other jet owning Churches in this category namely the Adeboye led RCCG, Oyakhilome’s Christ Embassy, Ayo Oritsejafor’s Word of Life and please permit me in this instance, the man in the Synagogue, I know as the most vibrant and generous Churches with regards to giving to the poor even though most of them do not have a system of broadcasting it.

Is it Ayo Oritsejafor’s annual program where he gives cars, keke NAPEP (Marwa), grinding machines, motor cycles etc while doling out large sums of money in Warri regardless of their religion or denomination? Is it Chris Oyakhilome’s Inner City Mission which takes special interest in feeding little children? Are we looking at tons of otherwise unemployed youth who have crossed from poverty to wealth on the basis of the foundation given by him? Have we forgotten that Frank Edward was a hawker before God changed his story miraculously? Why do great people like Sinach, Buchi, Joe Praize, Samsong, Frank Edward, Eben and others always seem to get on our nerves when appreciating Pastor Chris? Is it not because he was the one that gave them the required push and we all now wait for and rush any latest material by any of them? How many of them could be termed as rich before meeting Pastor Chris?

Is it Winners Chapel annual N500m non-interest loans or help to crisis ridden areas like Sierra Leone and Rwanda? Her gift to Osun State workers, rescue mission with food supply and provision of Pipe-borne water on Koma Hills, Heavy consignments to Ikeja blast victims, mission in Southern Sudan, face lift of Omu Aran, fixing of road in Ota which was to be done at N560 million naira while the State Government had billed the same road for N4.4 billion naira? Are we talking about Oyedepo’s mandate that no primary school aged child should be out of school in the Church? Have we forgotten Nkechi Okwuone’s testimony at Shiloh 2017 where she said as directed by the Bishop, members should all have a ‘help list’ (most will ignore this but attack tithing). All those good at listening to stuff from church to criticize all played deaf to that testimony by her where she said 5% of her income was kept specifically for the needy on her her help list. It becomes more interesting when you find that the Church according to her 5 year old
constitution, the Mandate allocates some percentage of her income to the poor annually in her posterity mandate which is aimed at feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, providing shelter for the homeless and total emancipation of humanity. It is also humorous that all the critics are too blind to see it. I will not forget to mention the multi-million naira David Oyedepo Scholarship Scheme which thousands of indigent student have benefited from as well as the fact that Landmark University awards more scholarship than any other university in Nigeria.

The RCCG is another major example of a Church ministering to the needs of the poor. Infact the RCCG is addressing the elephant in the room. At least 50% of the young people reading this article are on some form of cheap illegal substance or the other. That is where CADAM of RCCG presently headed by Dokun Ayodeji comes in. Statistics have it that 7 out of 10 youth in Nigeria are engaged in drugs. Calabar and Warri are particularly notable cases where the statistics are probably higher.

The N200 million CADAM Ultra-Modern Rehabiltation Centre in Araga-Epe, Lagos is a case in point.
Christ Against Drug Abuse Ministry-CADAM, a rehabilitation centre for drug addicts and abusers is an initiative of the RCCG established In 1991, CADAM was started as a department in church
CADAM has assisted more than 2000 beneficiaries, most of whom have become professionals and well-to-do persons in the society.

What about the refurbishment, upgrade and equipping of Intensive Care Unit of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital. The Intensive Care Unit equipped with multi-million naira facilities including 5,000 ICU Beds, four Alpha-Active Mattresses, B-Braun Infusion Pumps, Syringe Pumps, Multi-Parameter Patient monitors and bedside lockers?

The influence of THE REDEEMED CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF GOD is beyond the four walls of Nigeria as the church’s presence is in over 190 countries of the world.

Thousands of CSR activities has been embarked upon by the Church both home and abroad. They also have many sponsored mission fields all over the world irrespective of the denomination. Yet, the passion to do more is an undeniable thirst for Enoch Adeboye.
Here are some more of the contributions of this jet-setting Church to humanity; I will list only 20 for want of time and space:

1. Donation of the Enoch Adeboye Community center for the homeless in Delaware, USA.

This community center serves as a place of refuge for the homeless and those in need of help. Some of its benefits includes a free health care services, Internet access, bed spaces, bathrooms, feeding etc.

2. Construction of a road at Eliada Community, Rumuogba Town, Obio/Akpor LGA of Rivers State, Nigeria which links the church, an estate and a clinic.

3. Sponsoring of some less privileged children. This includes the payment of their school fees in Wesley Methodist Nursery and Primary School, Ikom and other basic needs of the children.

4. Donation of free diapers to Nursing mothers at Meiran Health Centre in Ijaiye LGA, Lagos

5. Renovation 57-year-old Police Station in Lagos.

6. Fixing of Abandoned and unmotorable 15km stretch of road in Osun State; From the Palace of the King in Ile-Ife to the Palace of the King in Ifewara (Adeboye’s place of birth) such that farmers might be able to get their harvest to potential buyers in urban areas.

7. Building & equipping a 12-classroom block as donation to Ojodu Primary School.

8. Countless traders smiling to the banks during RCCG Conventions.

9. Donation of foodstuff to unpaid Oyo State civil servants.

10. Donation of chairs and tables to Meiran Community Primary School in Ayobo Ipaja LCDA in Lagos.

11. Free Feeding of about 7 million people from 80 nations during RCCG Annual Conventions

12. Free Clinics and hospitals such as ‘healing stripes’ where Nigerians can walk to and receive treatment for free.

13.  Donation of sports complex in Lagos in a bid to ensure that more young souls are won for Christ.

14. Provision of Medical Supplies to the People of Vanuatu.

15. Feeding of prisoners in Nigeria’s major prison, Kirikiri Maximum Prison on Sunday.

16. Training of 5000 Ilupeju residents on vocational skills as part of the CSR of the church to members of its community.

17. Over N350million has been donated to an Educational initiative called "Pastor E.A. Adeboye Professorial Chair of Maths".
This money was donated to State owned universities in Nigeria to improve the educational situation.

18. Free allocation of landed property to Church members to build houses.

19. Renovation of 4 police stations in Surulere area of Lagos State.

20. Payment of education bills for its full time national staffs children up till University level. This applies to the first three kids.

Effectively, we have a situation where the Church is busy filling so many many gaps that government has been unable to fill but ironically still receives the flak from the indiscernible public for not doing more to help the government. Where should energies be directed? If the Church manages just a tenth of what the government earns, truth is, we would have a different Nigeria already.

On a tour of Covenant University (CU) and during a private conversation by former President Obasanjo and Bishop Oyedepo, they came across the CU-Library, one of the biggest in Africa. ‘How much did you spend to build this’? asked President Obasanjo. Oyedepo responded that it cost N500 million naira. Obasanjo exclaimed loudly in amazement “Even if you hit your head against the ground, you will never get this out with that amount in government. Officials at all levels of government will take out theirs before leaving the remnant for the job”.Obasanjo should know because he built a presidential library for which about N50 billion naira was raised while he governed Nigeria for over 11 years cummulatively. I have visited that library and I know the difference between the N500 million naira CU Library at Ota and the N50 billion naira Presidential Library at Abeokuta. You can go see for yourself.

As regards cost of her schools, a simple illustration. The secondary school at the University of Lagos the International School, Lagos (ISL) a day school charges same amount of fees as Faith Academy (FA), Canaanland, a boarding school. In a discussion with a student who had crossed over from one of the schools to the other, she noted that there were an average of 20 students in a class at FA while there were up to 50 in a class at ISL. ISL, a government owned school only deals with students during the week days while FA accommodates and feeds the students-for the same amount. Do the maths.
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