Afrika Shrine Lit-Up with Praise

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Sandra Ukele

The New Afrika Shrine came alive recently with an extra-ordinary gospel event tagged ‘Encounter at The Shrine’. The event, which featured a wide range of known and upcoming artistes in gospel world the likes of Sammie Okposo, Mike Aremu, Olufunmi, Mike Abdul, Spirit of David, Pastor Ituah Ighodalo and many other top gospel ministers, had many participants baffled at the choice of venue.

The Afrika Shrine, which is known for Afro-beat genre of music, Felabration celebration and “free-Africa-cry” calls, was taken unawares the first time ever with a gospel festival.

When asked about the significance of the location, Glo ambassador cum gospel artist Sammie Okposo had this to say: “I am just here as a person to support what Gig Entertainment is doing. I have always been unconventional from day one. It is just the Afrika Shrine this is not the kind of event that happens here, bringing a gospel event to this place.

“When I was holding up the flier some people asked me ‘what are you going to do?’ As far as I am concerned it is just a venue and it has been proven so. For the management of the Shrine to agree for a gospel show to hold here is a miracle,” he affirmed.
The hosts Pastors Diran and Olufunmi Olajoyegbe of GiG Time Entertainment aimed at ministering the love of Jesus Christ to souls at the Afrika Shrine, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.

It was an unprecedented ‘Everyone say Jesus’ evening as over 100 people positively responded to the call to improve their lifestyle by accepting Jesus as their Lord. This line filled the Afrika Shrine when Pastor Itua Ighodalo of Trinity House preached a sermon.

He held the crowd who had enjoyed several performances from thrilling artistes bound when he preached a message titled ‘I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back’. He called for the people to embrace and accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. He prayed specially for those who decided after his brief message.

Ighodalo said, “What transforms a man’s life is an encounter, what brings you from zero to hero is an encounter.” He recalled his lifestyle prior to accepting Jesus as “I did a lot of things in my life, the best thing is to follow Jesus,” he concluded.
There were gifts won at the event which culminated in a keenly contested Dance Battle which will be concluded at the next ‘Wajo’ Event. Okposo led everybody to a wonderful experience of praise that would make one totally forget the location and focus on the praise.

Pastor of the Unlimited Waters Ministry, Pastor Ladi Thompson, later mounted the stage to minister in songs. Thompson particularly appreciated the Ransome-Kuti family for their contribution to Nigeria. He also prayed for the family before ministering in an Afrobeat fusion with highlife gospel song.
Saxophonist, Mike Aremu featuring also at the event, ministered in songs while Mike Abdul of the Midnight Crew group took the crowd through a session of high praise and worship.

In a release earlier signed by Pastor Olajoyegbe, on behalf of the organisers, he said, “The event is an unprecedented full blown gospel outreach at the shrine, and by the grace of God, will also ignite the building of a passion for the gospel at venues like this.”

Olajoyegbe stated that, “The Encounter at The Shrine is aimed at demonstrating the joy of being in Christ, expressing the love of God and the manifestation of His power.”
Other artistes that ministered at the programme include Society for the Performing Arts in Nigeria (SPAN) with Sarah Boulos, Spirit of David (SoD), ICE who thrilled the audience with a painting right there on stage, DJ Mow, Jo Deep and other acts.
The organisers GiG Time Entertainment began in September 2003 as a Wednesday morning fellowship, focusing mainly on Christians in the performing art.