Celebrating the vibrant growth of a youthful and dynamic ministry: Christ Embassy aka Believers’ Loveworld Incorporated.
The Nigerian evangelical revival of the second half of the last century was led mainly university staff and students. From the early apostolic startups in the 1930s and 1950s to the ivory-tower revivals in the 70s, various small room churches which have become “Nations” in their own rights emerged. The Believers Loveworld aka Loveworld Nation is one of these.
At 30 years, Christ Embassy has become a church, numbering over a million, which has grown into a major group of several Mega-Churches, with a reach and spread internationally that she is now a veritable source of influence within and outside her foundational Base and as such is now respected all over the world.
From a gathering of visionary students mostly emerging from the then Bendel State University and now Ambrose Alli University, the ministry has spread with these characteristics :
*Physical presence in terms of membership, structures and facilities in all Nigerian states and her capital (100 percent local coverage).
*Physical presence in 5 continents and not less than 100 foreign nations.
*Online presence in at least 180 nations.
*Membership of not less than 1 million people.
*Facilities and infrastructure to administer followers and organise large gatherings.
*Over three thousand branches in Nigeria and another 500 branches cumulatively in other nations of the world.
*Self funded: No sponsorship or funding any external agency or organisation.
*Annual budgets running into multi-million dollars or same size with several other nations.
*An established international headquarters with functional administrative structures.
*Numerous other organisations such as welfare organizations, banks, media houses and other institutions with inherent power to influence nations in which she has been domiciled.
*An organised system of succession.
Christ Embassy also known as Believers’ LoveWorld Incorporated, is a Christian denomination founded Pastor Chris Oyakhilome in 1987. The Church has since become a global network of about 3,500 churches and congregations in many countries. The ministry was founded at the Ambrose Alli University, Edo State, Nigeria. The church numbers over 1 million members.
Pastor Chris, a protégé of the Archbishop Benson Andrew Idahosa has an anointed ministry spanning over 30 years, a Pastor, teacher, healing minister, television host and bestselling author. He is the author of the bestseller Rhapsody of Realities, the number one daily devotional around the world. Several millions of copies of the best-selling daily devotional and Bible-study guide have been distributed in over 242 countries in over 800 languages of the world including Afrikaans, Arabic, Cantonese, Croatian, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Hindi, Icelandic, Italian, Mandarin, Myanmar, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili…and still counting! New languages are added regularly, making the devotional accessible to many more in different parts of the globe. The devotional is referred to as the, “Messenger Angel”.
Presiding over an ever-widening network of Christ Embassy Churches and campus fellowships on all five continents, Pastor Chris also pastors one of the largest congregations in Africa. He holds massive teaching and healing crusades like the Higher Life conference and Night of Bliss with acclaimed millions in a single night’s event.
The Church in the year 2003, pioneered the first 24-hour Christian Network from Africa to the rest of the world, and this has given rise to three satellite stations, the LoveWorld TV in the UK, LoveWorld SAT in South-Africa and LoveWorld PLUS in Nigeria and still counting. Through this medium, millions of people have been reached with the beautiful message of salvation and many lives have been transformed . These stations are also available on the mobile platform.
Pastor Chris is also the host of “Atmosphere for Miracles”, a programme airing on major television networks in the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Asia, Europe and around the world. Pastor Chris Oyakhilome established the International School Of Ministry, specifically to train and equip ministers of the gospel of Christ.
Pastor Chris also pioneered the establishment of the Inner City Mission of Christ Embassy, a ministry to children living in the inner cities of our world.
The vision of Christ Embassy is to take the divine presence of God to the people of the world and to demonstrate the character of the Holy Spirit.
The publishing house Loveworld Publications, affiliated to the network of churches, published Chris Oyakhilome’s first book in 1995, “Recreating Your World”. Loveworld Publications has published all the books of Chris Oyakhilome, including “Rhapsody of Realities” which sold more than 280 million copies in 2016. It is said that at the end of 2017, 1 billion copies would have been sold.
Christ Embassy has a magnificent glass building, LCC 3 which serves as residence of Pastor Chris (White House). Its blue and gold colours stand it out in the crowd of old buildings on Oregun Road, Ikeja, Lagos. The building which is a few poles away from the old Suzuki Motorcycle assembly plant glitters like the corporate headquarters of a very progressive new generation bank. It is the headquarters of Believers’ LoveWorld Incorporated, otherwise known as Christ Embassy. The ministry has set up various institutions involved in banking, publishing, broadcasting, entertainment and the hospitality industries.
The major arms of the ministry include LoveWorld Cyber Ministry, LoveWorld Television, Love World Christian Network, LoveWorld Multimedia Ministry and LoveWorld Publishing Ministry. Another, the LoveWorld Records Limited located in Ikeja was incorporated in 2008 to promote gospel music. From this have emerged reknowned gospel ministers like Sinach, Joe Praize, Frank Edwards, EBEN, Bishop Chikansy, Jahdiel, Buchi, Samsong and a host of others. Christ Embassy have been the most obvious Christian ministry in the promotion of Gospel Music and myriads of songs composed her ministers have filled Nigerian and African churches, even reaching out to other continents.
The record studio has produced many other talented music artistes who are members of the church. It is the first record label dedicated solely for the publishing, production, marketing and distribution of gospel music and promotion of gospel artistes. Barely two years after its establishment, it is said to have broken into international markets like the United Kingdom, Canada, United States of America, South Africa and Ghana.
Christ Embassy has also set up a sole private television station called Loveworld News Media. The studio is located within the church headquarters and is said to operate a 12-hour daily service airing church programmes, Pastor Oyakhilome’s messages and news about the church activities worldwide.
National Standard hit the news-stands in July 2004 as a monthly glossy magazine. Its office is at 25 Ogunlowo Street, off Adeniyi Jones. Today, the publication has gone weekly. Its sister publication, National Daily is located on Emina Crescent, off Toyin Street, Ikeja. The printing press also prints the church’s magazine National Standard, and its other publications like Rhapsody of Realities. Christ Embassy also owns CFI Pictures, a company that produces Christian movies. In 2008, it bought over a warehouse belonging to a shoe making factory along Oregun Road which was converted to an event centre called K and G Event Centre. The event and recreational centre which is located at 8a, Oregun Road is also used for church services. The church also has an eatery called Dicksons as well as two microfinance banks, Paralex and Moneycom Microfinance Banks.
Christ Embassy as a ministry does not use signposts for her churches or any of her institutions. The printing press is responsible for the printing of all works of the church including Rhapsody, books and the magazines. The major advertisers of the media network are members of the church, satellite parishes and other establishments of the Nation-Church. Pastor Chris has written more than 30 books. Apart from the foreign partners, there is a selected group of members that belong the ‘Haven.’ The Havens ensure that the ministry is not short of funds to run church activities. The Haven assist in the sponsorship of key projects of the church. Their financial commitment to the church runs into billions of Naira annually. Another group which is open to everyone is the group of partners who sow seeds in ‘Partnership’ to various sectors of the ministry. The ministry has aggressively spread its branches to the entire African continent, Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania.
In the past few years, the church has intensified its acquisition of properties around the Oregun, Billings Way and Alausa areas of Lagos in furtherance of its expansion drive. The church also has acquired large expanse of land along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway which she aims to develop for major programs. The LoveWorld Camp ground is on Kilometre 47 of the express road, close to Redeemed Church camp ground. The ministry also has another major property, the Christ Embassy Campgrounds on the Benin-Sapele Expressway where she holds all her major conferences for the Edeo/Delta axis. The speed of development there makes it a potential venue for future major conferences of the church.To complement the camp ground is a massive structure along Billings Way which serves as the International Conference Centre of the Church. This is the 17,000 capacity Loveworld Convocation Arena (LCA).
The ministry has an aircraft managed Bristow Helicopters. She also charters commercial aircraft when the need arises. In Nigeria, the National Broadcasting Commission, NBC, banned the airing of the Atmosphere for Miracles on local Tv in 2004. Pastor Oyakhilome’s ministry seemed to be the main target of the ban because during that period, he was the biggest patron of Nigerian television stations. The Atmosphere of Miracles has since given way to Pastor Chris teachings ran seven days a week on more than 20 television stations. On Sunday, March 7 2010, Christ Embassy held a concert to raise funds for the victims of the recent earthquake in Haiti. It raised funds through the selling of tickets. The church focussed on the children of Haiti. The relief materials sent included food, drugs and clothes.
The ministry is organized in regions, zones, parishes, central pastoral unit and cells. A region comprises of thousands of zonal churches, groups and parishes. There is the president/founder, the vice president, the trustees, the Central Executive Council, The International Pastors and Partners Conference, regional directors/pastors, zonal directors/pastors, group pastors, parish pastors, church pastors and coordinators.
The source of all powers is the Founder and the Central Executive Council.
The supreme organ of the Believers’ Love World /Christ Embassy is not the registered trustees. It is rather the Central Executive Council (CEC), the foremost executive committee of the ministry. It has about eight members including Pastor Chris Oyakhilome. Pastor Ken Oyakhilome, the presiding pastor of Christ Embassy, Westheiner Road, Houston, Texas, USA and Pastor Tom Aniekhanan. Pastor Chris’ maternal cousin. Pastor Tom is the the de facto second in command to Pastor Chris and doubles as Director of Church Ministry and Organisation (CMO), the central administrative and co-ordinating office of all Christ Embassy churches worldwide.
Rev. Ray Okocha is the Secretary General of the CEC while Evangelist Eddy Owase is a regional pastor in Benin. Another member of the CEC is Pastor Biodun Lawal, Assistant Secretary General, BLW. He leads Christ Embassy in Ghana.
Evangelist Katty Worghiren, sister of Pastor Chris is also a senior pastor in Christ Embassy. Evangelist Katty is the Director of the Loveworld Music Ministry (LMM) of the Believers’ Love World Inc. She is also the Director of the Loveworld Children Ministry (LCM) and the Loveworld’s Creative Arts Academy (LCAA) and Chairman, Loveworld Records. She has been working with her brother (Pastor Chris) from the inception of the ministry. She has raised many music ministers including Sinach. Katty is also a songwriter, composer, music arranger and choreographer. She composed the Believers’ Love World Anthem and the theme song for Haiti children entitled Hope Haiti, used for a concert to raise funds for Haiti disaster victims. Katty also composed the theme song, I believe in Nigeria (BLW’s annual reach out campaign, Reach Out Nigeria).
In conclusion, the IPPC Exhibition captures every aspect of the Ministry’s work around the world.
Declaring the Exhibition open once, the Chairman of the Exhibition and Zonal Pastor of Christ Embassy Warri Zone, Pastor Siji Dara noted that the exhibition will be an opportunity to expand and spread the work of the Ministry further and farther through the different arms and affiliates of the Believers Loveworld Nation.
The chief executive officer, CEO of the Believers Loveworld Nation, Pastor Yemisi Kudehinbu in her own remark said that “God has given us as a ministry to accomplish much more on every side”. She thanked the Partners for their increasing commitment to the spread of the gospel through different ministry platforms.
The usual list of the exhibitors include the Global Plus Publishing, BLW Staff Training Digital Library, Loveworld Publishing Ministry, The Experience, Opportunity to Work in Ministry, Loveworld Music Distribution Network,BLW Campus Ministry,Global Distribution Network, LoveWorld Audio-Visuals, Believer’s Loveworld Pastors/Deaconery Nominee Training Program, Exhibition Social Centre, KingsChat, Healing School, International School of Ministry and Paralex Micro-Finance Bank.
Others are Believer’s Loveworld Teens Ministry, Future Africa Leaders Foundation, Sunfield ,Curry’s, Loveworld Partnership Shop, One Zone Global Impact Ministry, Love World Pay, Internet Multi-Media Cyber Suite, Love World Plus, Rhapsody of Realities, Rhapsody of Realities Bibles, Christ Embassy Lagos Zone 1,Trauma Care, Love World U.S.A and the Love World SAT.
The rest are The Haven, Love World Children Ministry, Inner City Missions, Southern America, Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island Virtual Region, Love World Radio, Loveworld Television Ministry/Radio Response Centre, Translators Network International, Believer’s Loveworld Secretariat, Global Youth Leaders Forum, Love World Ministerial College, Love World Plus, Love World Schools, Yookos, HolyLand Tours, Refuge Mortgage Bank, and the Loveworld Skill Acquisition and Development Institute.
In 30 years, Christ Embassy has grown from a gathering of students in a young Nigerian university to become one of the leading Churches in the world today.
Source: Leke Beecroft