Sylvester Idowu in Warri
Thousands of worshippers over the weekend attended the much-awaited second edition of the Festival of Champions (FOC) of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Champions Cathedral in Effurun, Delta State.
Popular international gospel artiste, Don Moen, and renowned Nigerian gospel musicians including Frank Edwards, Beejay Sax, Mercy Chinwo, Chioma Jesus, Tim Godfrey, Bukola Bekes and others all performed at the ceremony.
The event held at the popular Urhobo College, Effurun, marked the end of a three-day programme which began on Wednesday, November 20.
The Assistant General Overseer of the RCCG, Pastor Johnson Odesola, was featured at the vigil which also had other prominent artistes such Pastor Kunle Ajayi, Travis Greene, Damilola Bekes and Tosin Bee performing.
Speaking at a press conference, Chairman of the Festival of Champions, Mr. Godwin Abhulimen, said the festival was designed to appreciate God and spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Abolimehn noted that rather do it the secular way, “we thought that there is a better way to enjoy yourself. Now, we have good men and women, good musicians promoting the word of God with their music”.
While calling for support for gospel artistes in Nigeria, A-list gospel musician, Tim Godfrey, pointed out that the Christian gospel is not limited to a particular genre, saying that Christians should focus on the message in the quest of drawing more persons to genuinely follow Christ.
According to him, love songs should not be left for secular musicians, positing thus, “Christians should start doing love songs. God is love. Everything that God represents, it is okay for us to do them. Our sound is not restricted.”
On his part, Pastor Ajayi, emphasised that “sound makes music and music belongs to God,” and at such it is time to “take back” the different music types, whether hip-hop, afro and so on, and use them to “glorify God”.
However, speaking on the vision behind FOC, host of Festival of Champions and Senior Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church Of God, Champions Cathedral, Pastor Emmanuel Efe Emefienim said the programme was aimed at bringing down the presence of God through quality praise and worship.
Emefienim said FOC provides alternative platform for Christians and lovers of Christ to sincerely praise and worship, hence the programme features the best gospel artistes in the world.
He noted that the programme which is an annual event is also an avenue to win souls for Jesus Christ, bring healing, deliverance and turnaround in the lives of people.
Emefienim thanked the RCCG’s General Overseer, Pastor Enoch Adeboye; Mother in Israel of RCCG, Pastor Folu Adeboye; Assistant General Overseer of RCCG and guest speaker at the programme, Pastor Johnson Odesola, for the success of the programme.
He equally commended the Special Assistant to the General Overseer and Pastor in Charge of Region 23, Pastor Sunday Akande and Special Assistant to the General Overseer Gambia, Pastor Emmanuel Kalejaiye for their support.