The Rock Cathedral
The new Cathedral of the House on the Rock Church is a solid purpose-built facility designed and rendered to provide unparallel comfort to worshipers, writes Bennett Oghifo
Through time, rock is used to describe anything of permanence; anything that cannot be destabilised and impenetrable, even outside normal temperature and pressure. A facility can only lose its rocky status if it is compromised like the Alcatraz, a maximum correctional penitentiary, fondly known as the rock because of its seemly impenetrable profile, but which, unfortunately, was shutdown, following a successful escape of some inmates.
Jesus Christ set Peter apart as the Rock on which His Church will be built. The Rock Cathedral, the worship facility of the House on the Rock Church is pleasing to the eye and invokes a nicer and homely feeling.
The cathedral is built in Lekki, Lagos on a street behind Gemaine Autos that is located on the left side of the fourth roundabout, enroute the Victoria Garden City from the Admiralty Toll Plaza.
The Rock Cathedral is planned as a multipurpose facility that will soon house the headquarters of The Rock Foundation and the House On The Rock. The building with a total floor area of 32,000 m2, which the church’s officials believe is the largest footprint for a single building in Lagos State. It will accommodate facilities for worship, education, healthcare, community development, reformation training, recreation and social rehabilitation, among many other initiatives. The user-friendly main auditorium, multi-purpose halls and overflow spaces will comfortably seat up to 14,000 people at full capacity. “The state-of-the-art designed facility is structured to permit the efficient evacuation of human traffic in less than 10 minutes,” the officials said. The project has been developed and is fully serviced, fully air-conditioned and “will greatly assist the Rock Foundation to do its part in bringing healing and reformation to this great nation.”
Construction of the edifice began in 2003 when a building plan was obtained and, in 2004, the main contractor was mobilised. The contractors moved into site and work progressed for about six years and then in 2010 the finishing began and ended in 2012. This was when the developers of The Rock Cathedral rested.
The church project’s promoter is Pastor Paul Adeolu Adefarasin, the Metropolitan, Senior Pastor of House On The Rock Church where over 8,000 multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and multi-cultural worshipers congregate every Sunday morning.
“Effective and strategic prayer underpins our faith and is critical to the necessary reformation of our nation. The Rock Cathedral has been designed to provide all visitors with an ambience that is both inspired and uplifting. This unique environment will be created, not just by the wonderful décor and amenities of the building but more so by an atmosphere bathed in the heartfelt prayers that will be offered up within the facility 24 hours a day. Much of this praying will take place within a 500-seater prayer chapel located in the Cathedral,” Adefarasin said.
The Rock Cathedral is designed and built purposely to accommodate 10,000 people. It is fully air conditioned facility. The promoters described it as “an ostensible monolith built to serve God in the community. This state-of-the-art facility, archetypal of Cathedrals the world over, symbolises both the glory of God and the church.”
The Rock Cathedral is built on a total land area of 3 hectares but the gross built-up area is 32,000sqm. The main auditorium of this 32,000sqm is fitted with theatre-style foldable seats with acoustic qualities on four levels of raked sitting and one platform level.
The facility has state-of-the-art high impact auditorium sound systems, including surrounding sound installations; sound absorbing acoustic wall and ceiling panels; two sided auditorium-wide giant linear screens; twelve 55inches high definition LED media screens two sided. The lighting has fit-for-purpose ambience for both stage and special lighting; and back-lit frosted glass walls. Most classroom and office lights are installed with a presence detector system. Recycled waste from the treatment plant, they said could be used for landscaping, adding that periodic maintenance would be carried out.
Officials said the edifice was conceived not just as a place of worship because it was “built to cater to all-from the secular to the ecclesiastical, the individual to the community, the physical and cerebral, the academic to the practical, the state to the federal, the national to the international. The Rock Cathedral is a manifestation of House On the Rock’s vision to be a Home for all.” Thus, the executors of the project attended to fine details.
There are two 400-seater multi-purpose halls; shop-front styled mall, including two cafes: one for continental and another for African dishes; a media store and vintage shop.
There is a 45-person choir loft to which music is piped from a 4-step state-of-the-art Allen Organ and sound system as well as a Samick Grand Piano. There is also a concealed stage baptismal trough.
According to officials, the church’s principal religious function is being advanced with a 4,000-person overflow facility, complete with full audio visual and acoustic treatment; children and teens’ Church ministry; administrative offices for 250 personnel; 500-person capacity fully air conditioned Prayer Chapel with stained glass treatment to façade wall. The main office corridors are cooled through a roof-mounted wind-powered extraction system.
The Rock Cathedral is also designed to meet its obligation to community, educational, recreational or social needs. These amenities include; 25 air-conditioned classrooms that are equipped with modern learning technology; e-library; nursery and primary school; artisan skill training centre; leadership and entrepreneurship training centre and international Bible school.
The Rock Cathedral will serve as a centre for the worship services of the House On The Rock as it fulfils its vision to be the hand of power, the voice of healing and a bridge of hope to her generation. The Rock Foundation is committed to the reformation of our nation. Specialised training will produce future leaders who are virile, visionary and equipped with the relevant secular skills to excel in the various sectors of industry. The centre is designed to run four separate educational systems. These are; primary school, an adult education centre, a skills acquisition centre and a Bible College.
Each of these schools will provide a quality of learning at par with the best corresponding educational institutions around the world. They will run a robust curriculum that promotes the underlying guiding principles of stewardship, integrity, diversity, empowerment and social responsibility, all of which are required to build a strong nation.
There is also provision for recreation. “In support of our strong belief that the family is the basic unit of society, the Cathedral will provide recreational facilities the whole family can enjoy. These include a fully equipped gymnasium and games room all situated within the serene and beautifully landscaped grounds.”
The recreational centre has fully equipped male/female gymnasium; cafeteria/restaurant that is fully fitted with industrial kitchen for indoor and outdoor catering. The restaurant can accommodate 150 people.
The Cathedral, according to the church’s officials, has a functional clinic incorporated to assist the Lagos State Government “in its bid to deliver affordable, qualitative and accessible healthcare services to its citizenry.”
The modern community medical centre has a waiting area; two offices for doctors; consultation rooms; two rooms for in-patients and a Pharmacy.
There is also a mobile clinic bay, designed to hold state-of-the-art mobile clinics, “one to serve each of the Local Government Areas in Lagos State.”
A place of Reformation
Reformation is one of the key areas the church can help meet the needs of her society. The Rock Cathedral will house a Reformation Centre, which will run a curriculum to assist young people realise their full potential and become leaders of impact in their various fields of endeavour, of the requisite calibre to contribute positively towards a greater Nigeria. There will also be programs to assist previously disadvantaged person re-integrate into society. The course run in the Reformation Centre will be specifically designed to inculcate proper values and work ethic through reorientation, mentoring and leadership. In addition, the centre will provide participants with capacity building exercises and vocational training to empower them to live successful lives as productive members of society.