Apostolic Faith Church Bexley
Rev Isaac Adigun
13 Penhill Road
Bexley,
Kent DA5 3EP
T: +44 (0) 207 639 8897
M: +44 (0) 795 882 2363
E: bexley@apostolicfaith.org.uk

 

 

Apostolic Faith Church Peckham
Rev Ola Balogun
The Apostolic Faith Mission
95 Fenham Road
Peckham
London SE15 1AE
T: +44 (0) 207 639 8897
M: +44 (0) 7943 807788
E: peckham@apostolicfaith.org.uk

 

Apostolic Faith Church Manchester
Rev Toyin Emitola
The Apostolic Faith Mission
92-98 Wheler Street
Higher Opeshaw
Manchester M11 1DU
T: +44 (0) 161 370 2201
M: +44 (0) 750 5519257
E: manchester@apostolicfaith.org.uk

 

Apostolic Faith Church Birmingham
Rev Mark Mfandarahwa
The Apostolic Faith Mission
Monk Road
Ward End
Birmingham B8 2TS
T: +44 (0)121 328 3032
M: +44 (0) 7724 057403
E: birmingham@apostolicfaith.org.uk

 

“This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

It was the day after Thanksgiving and I was tired. My head was throbbing, and adding to my woes, I discovered the drain for the kitchen sink had plugged, creating a pool of dirty water several feet wide in the basement. What a mess! It took way too many trips up and down stairs, three excursions to the hardware store, and five hours of precious time to get that issue resolved. 

Just a few days earlier, I had read our focus verse from Psalm 118. As I mopped up pools of water and battled mounting frustration, the thought came to me: How can I “rejoice and be glad” in a day like this? As I worked, the Holy Spirit began to remind me of some of the things God has promised through His Word. I thought about His love — that He has pledged to love me with an everlasting love. Proof of His love is that He sent His Son to be my Savior. I pondered His promise to never leave me or forsake me. Yes, that would include a day like this one, when everything seemed to go wrong! I truly wanted God to show me how to be joyful in spite of depressing circumstances, and as I thought about that, I recalled His promise to instruct me and teach me in the way which I should go.

The soggy mess in our basement didn’t miraculously evaporate, and I was really tired when the clean-up task was eventually accomplished. However, I ended my day with a renewed appreciation for the truth of God’s Word and the reality of His care for me. Focusing on Him instead of my woes made all the difference! 

That experience taught me that if we want to follow the psalmist’s example and purpose to rejoice in every day that the Lord grants us, He will help us do so. The source of our joy does not depend upon our circumstances, our physical state, or our feelings. We find our reason to rejoice in God. If we look to Him, He will give us grace to meet whatever challenges come our way. God is with us, and He is completely aware of our situation. And for that reason, every day of our walk with God can be one of rejoicing!

Background

Psalm 117

Psalm 117 is the shortest chapter in the Bible, but it contains a great deal of meaning. Noted preacher and author Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “This Psalm, which is very little in its letter, is exceedingly large in its spirit; for, bursting beyond all bounds of race or nationality, it calls upon all mankind to praise the name of the Lord.”(1) The content is prophetic, pointing ahead to the time when Jesus will come to save all people. The phrase “all ye nations” in verse 1 is translated in other places as “Gentiles”; a different Hebrew word is used in the phrase “all ye people.” The Apostle Paul referred to verse 1 in Romans 15:11. 

Psalm 118

Psalm 118, another song of worship and praise, is the final psalm in the Egyptian Hallel. Some scholars believe this Psalm was used at the Feast of Tabernacles. Its design indicates that portions of it were used as a litany, where a leader recited a phrase and the choir or congregation responded. 

The first four verses urge the giving of thanks to God for His enduring mercy. The groups addressed are the same as those mentioned in Psalm 115: all the Nation of Israel, the priests, and the devout (those who “fear the Lord”). 

Verses 5-14 declare how God had helped and strengthened His people. Verse 14 is a quote from Exodus 15:2, the Song of Moses. “The gates of righteousness” and “This gate of the Lord” in verses 19-20 probably refer to the gates of the Temple where the Israelites went to worship God. 

In verses 22-24 the writer referred to the Messiah who would come to the Jewish people. The New Testament contains four references to verses 22-23 (Matthew 21:42, Mark 12:10-11, Luke 20:17, and 1 Peter 2:7). Some scholars believe verse 23 relates to the miracle of the Resurrection, and verse 24 can be interpreted to mean the day Jesus arose. 

The final passage, verses 25-29, combines prayer and thanksgiving. Verse 26 was quoted on Palm Sunday when Jesus rode into Jerusalem (see Mark 11:9). 

Amplified Outline

(Hannah’s Bible Outlines – Used by permission per WORDsearch)
I.    Book I (1:1 — 41:13)
II.    Book II (42:1 — 72:20)
III.    Book III (73:1 — 89:52)
IV.    Book IV (90:1 — 106:48)
V.    Book V (107:1 — 150:6)

A Closer Look

  1. In the first four verses of Psalm 118, the psalmist pointed to an attribute of God as a reason for thanksgiving. What is that attribute? 
     
  2. In Psalm 118:12, the psalmist said his enemies were “like bees,” rather than a ferocious animal like a bear or lion. What do you think this way of describing his enemies signified?
     
  3. The literal meaning of the Hebrew word distress in Psalm 118:5 is “tight.” How has the Lord delivered you from a tight spot when you called upon Him?

Conclusion

God has given us reasons to rejoice in Him, even when the circumstances of life are no source of joy!

 

1. King James Bible Commentary, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1999), page 642.

Reference Materials

The location of the Western Europe headquarters’ office is in London. This is where decisions are made regarding outreach efforts, mission trips, pastor assignments, and other corporate matters. Operations are led by the District Superintendent (DS) Rev. Isaac Adigun, supported by a five-member Board of Trustees and the backing of some Elders.

All of our church branches within Western Europe have the same mission and uphold the same Bible doctrines because Apostolic Faith churches worldwide are under the same leadership.

The Apostolic Faith Church is a worldwide Christian organization, with global headquarters in Portland, Oregon. As a Trinitarian and fundamental church, our doctrinal beliefs are the basic Bible truths, including the definite experiences of salvation, sanctification, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

The Apostolic Faith Church, Portland Oregon, USA was founded in 1906. The organization grew and established branch churches across the United States and around the world. All of our congregations enjoy a warm and traditional environment, where we endeavour to preach the Word of God in its fullness and integrity. There are about fifty branch churches within the United States of America, and the international outreach extends to most continents, including Western Europe.

Western Europe benefits from evangelistic materials published by the Apostolic Faith Church, Portland Oregon. These materials include printed and distributed Christian literature. They publish a quarterly magazine entitled The Apostolic Faith, which is designed to encourage spiritual growth in believers. They also print numerous tracts, pamphlets and small booklets meant to lead people to the Lord, and most of them are available in their Library. A unique feature of this ministry is that most of these publications are printed and mailed throughout the world free of charge. In over a century of literature ministry, God has provided financially for this outreach through tithes and offerings, though collections are never taken in our services.

Many bear testimonies that music was the major tool that drew them to the Lord. In most of the evangelistic outreach, music usually forms a major part of the services.

The history of The Apostolic Faith Church cannot be complete without mentioning the blessings music plays in the services of the church. Music has always been a special part of our organisation and one of the major ways of communicating the Gospel to people. Many people bear testimonies that music was the major tool that drew them to the Lord and the altar of prayer where the Lord met them. Some came to church out of curiosity to listen to soul-inspiring music and the Lord met them. In most of the evangelistic outreach, singing and playing of musical instruments usually form a major part of the services.

Our congregation is blessed to have many dedicated musicians who sing and play for our services and special events. We love seeing God’s people develop their musical talents to be used for God’s work and glory.

Apostolic Faith Church choir and orchestra sing and play hymns, choruses and classical music by old Christian hymn writers such as Handel, Mozart, Bach, Schubert, etc. The church has a choir and orchestra that perform in nearly every church service. They organise music concerts during the Easter and Christmas where dignitaries and government functionaries are invited to the church. They also do this during the annual Camp meeting which usually takes place in the last week of July.

Dedicated teachers also help young children in organising Children Programs that are held several times during the year.

We encourage our young people to join our junior and youth orchestras and choirs and enjoy hearing from them on a regularly.

Finally, we come into the House of the Lord to enjoy music because Scripture says: “Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.” (Psalm 149:1) “Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high-sounding cymbals. Let everything that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 150:1-6)

What began in the 1970s as a group of students meeting for fellowship now comprises thirty churches and groups spread across Western Europe.

The parsonage at the Western Europe headquarters church at our Bexley location in London, England, was dedicated on Sunday, January 13. At the dedication service, an overview of the construction project was given by Reverend Isaac Adigun, the Western Europe District Superintendent. He explained that the building, located next door to the Bexley church, was purchased in 2011 and put into service a few months later. In 2017, construction began to add a semi-detached dwelling, which is the new parsonage, while plans for the original residence are to convert it to office space for the district headquarters staff.

The dedication service was filled with joyous music. The message from Reverend Mark Mfandarahwa, pastor at Birmingham, England, was based on 2 Chronicles 6:41 and declared that God has directed the work and blessed the efforts of His people for a purpose—to yield more souls. The dedicatory prayer was given by Reverend Ola Balogun, pastor at the Peckham church in London, England. Later, a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in front of the residence with Reverend Victor Okusanya, who pioneered the work in Western Europe, dedicating the building in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, before cutting the ribbon. This was followed by a tour of the new parsonage.

Reverend Adigun had emphasized that this step toward having a Western Europe headquarters office is the continuation of a work which has seen tremendous growth over the last four decades.

In his earlier remarks, Reverend Adigun had emphasized that this step toward having a Western Europe headquarters office is the continuation of a work which has seen tremendous growth over the last four decades. What began in the 1970s as a group of Nigerian students meeting for fellowship, now comprises thirty churches and groups spread across the UK, Ireland, Scotland, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, Denmark, and the Netherlands. The following is a look back at the history of that work, as we continue to look to God for the future, praying He will send labourers for the harvest.

From Nigeria to London

The work in Western Europe began when Victor Okusanya moved his family from Nigeria to the United Kingdom (UK) in 1975 so he could study music at Goldsmiths, University of London. Through Ruth Ashwell, the world headquarters secretary to Africa, he obtained the contact information of other Apostolic Faith members who had moved to the UK from Africa and invited them to meet. In April of 1976, about eight gathered at his sister’s home in Brixton, England, and afterwards decided to continue the fellowship.

The group grew in size, and in 1979 rented a church building for meetings. That same year, they were visited by General Overseer Loyce Carver. Then Reverend Okusanya returned to Nigeria and was ordained as the pastor of the London church (considered an extension of the Nigeria work, the church was under the direction of the Nigerian leadership, and remained so through the 1990s). The congregation continued to grow, and in 1982, the current church location in Peckham was rented.

During the 1980s, the West and Central Africa headquarters church in Lagos regularly sent ministers to encourage the work, including annually for a week of special meetings in August. There were also numerous visitors from the Portland church, including a memorable visit in 2004 by Don Wolfe, the Portland Music Director, who stayed for three months to conduct music workshops. Music continues to be important to the growth of the work, with each of the main churches providing concerts during the holidays.

The London church was initially comprised of Nigerian students who moved to the UK for school and chose to settle there after graduation. As that first-generation married and had families, there became a need for children’s ministries. A Boys’ and Girls’ Club was established and held on Sunday afternoons, and soon neighbourhood children were also participating in the fun activities while learning about the Bible. In addition, music programs were introduced for elementary students who were encouraged to play in children’s church services, special meetings, and holiday events. As the children grew older, their club was renamed Youth for Christ or Y4C, and time was set aside each year for a youth retreat, which today is attended by youth from all over the UK and Western Europe.

By the year 2000, the London congregation numbered about one hundred, and the work had grown to include eight Bible study centres in England and another six in Western European countries outside the UK. Reverend Adigun, who had been serving as the youth leader, was ordained as the London pastor and placed over the work. The next year, the first annual UK camp meeting was held in late July.

During the 2014 camp meeting, a Board of Trustees for the Western Europe Work was appointed, and in 2017 the work was restructured, creating four regions within Western Europe. Following is a brief review of the growth in each of these regions.

Regions of Western Europe Work

The Midlands and Northwest England

The work in this region began in 1983 in Manchester with a university student: Isaac Adigun. With guidance from the London church leaders, he organized other students to hold meetings and distribute Gospel literature. Another group began meeting in nearby Bolton in 1990 when Judith Olowokere returned home to Bolton from Nigeria, where she had received salvation. A third group formed in Liverpool in 2008 when Garikayi Mhike opened his family’s home for meetings after moving there for work. These three groups began praying for a joint place to worship, and soon a church in Manchester (thought to be the church where John Wesley received salvation) became available. The building was dedicated in 2011 after much refurbishing.

In Leicester, work began when Stanislaus Nyakuhwa emigrated there from Zimbabwe in 1999 to study. He distributed literature in his neighbourhood while attending the London church on Sundays. In 2002, Thomas Moyo and his family moved to Leicester, and the next year, a group started as his family, Stanislaus, and a few others began meeting in the Moyo home. The London church often sent workers to encourage the group, and soon a larger meeting place was needed. Today, they hold services in a primary school.

In 2002, Eunice Bolade began leading Bible studies in Birmingham, which was eventually joined by the group in Leicester for combined Sunday meetings. During one of these meetings, Reverend Adigun visited and encouraged the Birmingham group to seek God for a place of worship. The next day, a church building was located. The Birmingham church was dedicated in 2011.

Due to transportation challenges, the Birmingham saints from Coventry and Leicester were encouraged to find a local place to worship. They did, and in early 2017, inaugural services were held for both groups.

Scotland

The work in Scotland began in 1998 when the late John Aina and his family moved to Aberdeen from Nigeria and began holding Sunday services in their home. By 2001, the group had grown large enough to perform a joint Christmas concert with the London choir and orchestra. This has since become an annual event in Aberdeen, and continued outreach efforts under the leadership of pastor Matthew Ibukun have yielded additional groups in Glasgow in 2016 and Edinburgh in 2017. Reverend Ikpaisong Ukpe is currently the regional director for this region.

Southeast and Southwest England and Wales

In August 2007, Michael Owolabi moved to Bristol with his family for work. He began leading worship for saints in Bristol and Cardiff, and the group eventually grew large enough to accommodate a choir. In November 2009, they moved to a rented facility in Bristol, and are praying for an additional place to worship in Cardiff.

While visiting a sick church member in 2007, Reverend Adigun saw an ad in the local paper for a church building in Bexley and submitted a bid for it. The bid was not accepted, but the saints prayed and the seller came back to them in 2008, asking if they were still interested. The purchase was made, and the Bexley church was dedicated in February 2011. In 2017, Reverend Adigun became the pastor while Reverend Balogun was named pastor of the Peckham church, and also the director for this region.

Work began in East Sussex when Ade Akerejola moved there with his family. As they opened their home for Sunday services and Wednesday Bible studies, their numbers grew, and in 2016, they began holding Sunday morning services at the Girls’ Guide Brigade Hall in Bexhill-on-Sea, the group’s current location.

Mainland Europe

Reverend Francis Odudu, an assisting minister at the Bexley church, directs the work in this region, which began in Paris, France when a group started meeting in the home of Mathieu Bobo in 1987. He had immigrated to Paris from the Republic of Benin, and soon more people arrived from Benin and also the Ivory Coast. Their numbers grew, and in 2014 Reverend Bobo was ordained as pastor of the Paris church. More recently, another group has started meeting in Troyes, France.

In the early 1990s, Sylvester Obdinma immigrated to Italy and met fellow believer George Utin. He then corresponded with the Apostolic Faith world headquarters and was encouraged to receive the deeper Christian experiences. He did, and from that time, the two men began to propagate the Gospel in Italy. Sylvester led a group in Treviglio which in 2002 held a Christmas concert in conjunction with the London choir. This became an annual event that was well attended by locals until 2014 when Sylvester relocated to the UK.

A group in the Netherlands was formed by Rita Ngolle after she moved from Cameroon to join her husband in Holland in 2002. Two years later, it was discovered that another Apostolic Faith group, led by Lucinda Hersissia, was meeting in Den Haag. The two groups combined services and continue to meet in Den Haag.

Cottage meetings began in Spain in 2005. On Sundays, the members watch the live webcast of the London church service, and at times they receive an encouraging visit from Reverend Adigun and his wife, Stella.

The work in Ireland started after Adenike Adeyemi, the founder of the work, moved to Dublin with her family in 2006. After connecting with two other families, they started a home fellowship in their living room. The group moved to various venues until April of 2009 when they settled into their current location, the St. Columbia’s Parish Centre. Since then, workers from Portland, London, and parts of Africa have visited to provide encouragement.

The Apostolic Faith group in Heidelberg, Germany, started in 2010 in Bro Stephen Ogbodo’s living room. He and his family continue to be active in nearly every service.

In 2014, Bro Solomon Akano moved with his family to Copenhagen, Denmark, to study, and in October 2015 began holding cottage meetings in the homes of Agnes Enongene and Laura Akinde, who had received salvation after reading an Apostolic Faith paper sent to them from Cameroon. The group distributes Gospel literature and is looking to God for a permanent place of worship.

On Sundays, at our various branches, we welcome newcomers to the church giving them tea and coffee at the end of the service. We are also involved in visiting brethren as well as conducting evangelism within our community to advance the kingdom of God. During our Annual Camp Meetings, we welcome International guests and first-timers; we also give them special treats.

1. God’s Love Day – this is a programme that is held in February every year to enable the church community to share and bond closely. And we do this with our neighbours around as well. We use this time to tell them about God’s love to the whole world and in doing so we give our bouquets, chocolates and tracts during the visit.

2. Mental Health Awareness is an event held to offer our members the importance to stay mentally fit and to provide guidelines and information on how to assist anyone who is directly or indirectly involved with a mental health issue.

3. Business Innovation is also another event where we have the opportunity to enlighten ourselves on how to promote one’s existing business, build a network with potential clients, and gain awareness into various software and training sessions individuals or groups can sign up to, to develop their business know-how or their relationship with other partners.

4. Skill development – this is an event where we share knowledge in various skills that are available in our gathering to enable someone to benefit from someone else who has possessed that required skill(s). This could impact on their work-life as an employee or as an employer who has a business.

5. Jehovah Jireh is usually done in December. This is an amazing time for members to share, give and receive various necessities to ensure they enjoy the Christmas and New Year with enough. Most times there are various foodstuff and cooking ingredients provided for members to select from. This is also a time we distribute gifts to various nursing homes and the elderly amongst us.

Perhaps you have heard a lot about the Apostolic Faith Mission and would like to know more about our church.  The following will hopefully give you some idea.

We have long been described as a church with an open door and a burning message. We welcome all and sundry to our meetings with open arms and rely on the unction of the Holy Spirit to minister the Word of God undiluted. As a fundamental Trinitarian, we believe and preach the whole Word of God as taught and commanded in the Bible without preference or prejudice. Our services are solemn as well as Pentecostal and the message is meant for all. Our ‘God is no respect of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteously, is accepted with him’ (Acts 10:34, 35).

A Focus on Prayer

We believe in the power of prayer. Every service is preceded by a special time of prayer. In James 5: 16 we find the words: “…the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Prayer is the main communication channel that links us to God, and we encourage our members to pray the apostolic way and develop a relationship with God. We believe that praying through to God makes a difference and that one of the most rewarding times of our life is the time spent with God in prayer. In Mathew 21: 22 we find the assuring promise: “and all things whatsoever, ye shall ask in prayer believing, ye shall receive”. What a thrill to know that He is only a prayer away as confirmed in Isaiah 65: 24! A prayerless church is a powerless church.

Practical Holiness

We believe in sanctification as a second definite Christian experience subsequent to salvation from sin and we believe that practical Holiness is the very essence of our worship. In Luke 1:74, 75, we find these words: ‘That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life’. ‘For this is the will of God even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication’ (I Thessalonians 4:3). Fornication is no fun for heavenly-minded people. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?…’Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof…But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life…’ (Romans 6:12, 22). But as he which hath called ye is holy so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy for I am holy (I Peter I:15,16) (Read also Hebrews 12:14).

No Formal Membership

While we welcome anyone to attend our services, we encourage people to pray through to a born-again experience. We have found that those who receive this experience are truly “one in the bond of love.” New converts are not formally enrolled as members and no official membership register is kept. For reference and legal purposes, a baptismal record is kept of those who are baptized in water by our ministry.

No Collections

That’s right! We do not make pleas for financial help, nor do we take collections in our services. Through the years, we’ve often been referred to as ‘the church without a collection plate.” So how do we support this worldwide ministry? There is an offering box near the entrance to our sanctuaries in which tithes and freewill offerings may be placed. We base this method of financing the Gospel work on Genesis 28:22, Malachi 3:8-10, and II Corinthians 9:7.

Link to camp meeting payment page

UK Camp Meeting 2020 Decision

The uncertainty regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic is still very prevalent even up to this present time. Consequently, we have now cancelled our Camp Meeting which was scheduled for July 25 to August 1, 2020

During this lockdown period, the suggestions offered by the Superintendent General of the Apostolic Faith, Rev. Darrel Lee, are worth echoing here too:

• Pay extra attention to your personal walk with God. The daily Daybreak devotionals provide a terrific opportunity to gain a better understanding of God’s Word. Private prayer time before and/or after reading the Bible further nourishes the soul.

• Join others around the world at scheduled service times for the Portland church webcast, or for webcasts offered by your local Apostolic Faith Churches. See UK scheduled service times for webcasts on our homepage. While apart, for now, we can still worship “together” virtually.

• Remember that we are members of a worldwide body of believers. If every member of the body is thriving, the body is thriving. Stay in touch with fellow believers and support each other as you are able.

• Seize this “social distancing” time as a period of spiritual refinement and character development. May we use this time apart from others for time together with God, modelling Jesus’ example.

• Pray for and look forward to the time when we can return to the house of God with all our friends. Let’s look forward to camp meeting 2021! Better yet, anticipate the possibility of the Rapture of the Church well before then.

• Thank you for your prayers and support. Between now and the trumpet sound, may God bless you.