GOODWILL MESSAGE BY THE CHAIRMAN OF THE EXECUTIVE BOARD OF GOD’S KINGDOM SOCIETY, (GKS) – The Church of The Living God – BROTHER GODWIN O. IFEACHO TO THE 40TH ANNUAL GKS LAY MEMBERS CONFERENCE HOLDING IN SALEM CITY WARRI ON SATURDAY MARCH 26, 2016
Dearly beloved Brothers and our Sisters here present,
HAIL JEHOVAH AND JESUS CHRIST!
May holy fear, glory and true worship be to God Almighty, the Owner and Controller of the universe through His son Jesus Christ, our Advocate and Shepherd, for His goodness in preserving our lives and sustaining us in His way of truth and salvation by His grace through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.
On behalf of the Lord’s Ministry of God’s Kingdom Society, (GKS), The Church of the Living God, I thank our heavenly Father, for the protection and guidance given you all to arrive Salem City safely for the 40th edition of the Laymembers Conference. I most sincerely welcome you all even as I thank God Almighty for preserving us in His Kingdom and helping us to cope with the challenges of the times by His grace.
The political, social and economic landscapes have been tentative, difficult and unsettled as the nation has largely been in transition mode for the past one year. We thank God however for the peaceful change of democratic baton at the federal level and in many states across the country. Mercifully, the dire predictions of many that there would be a breakdown of law and order in the country in the aftermath of the 2015 elections did not materialize. This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes. – Psalm 118:23; See also Psalm 121:3,4; Daniel 4:25.
However, because we are still in the last days, we entered the year 2016 with series of disconcerting developments including the news that killer viruses, hitherto almost unknown to scientists, are on the prowl – from China to Saudi Arabia, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Canada to Nigeria. (The Guardian Monday, January 25, 2016, page 1) The rising wave of gangsterism has made the security situation in many parts of the country to be precarious as criminal gangs and cult groups armed with dangerous weapons engage in savage fights with one another, thereby unleashing mayhem on the citizenry. The prevailing dire economic situation is breeding so much discontent and criminality on the part of so many unemployed youngsters and many innocent people are no longer safe in their own homes. Many civil servants in a number of states are being owed months of unpaid salaries even as we are daily regaled with mind-boggling revelations of large sums allegedly diverted by a number of public officers into their private pockets. Apparently due to these problems, Nigerians who were in a World Values Survey in 2003 rated as the happiest people on earth, have now dropped to the 103rd position out of 157 countries listed in the global happiness ranking.
It is pertinent at this point to highlight the fact that as times are getting harder, there is need for us to join hands together to work out programmes for assisting our members, especially the youths by way of intensifying our empowerment programmes and providing grants, loans, to those who are diligent, faithful and who have viable projects to pursue. This will go a long way to boost the economic base of the Church, enhance the quality of marital unions, enable the single ones to marry and to remain focused within the Lord’s Organization.
In spite of everything, Brothers and Sisters, we should always be grateful to God Almighty for helping us to weather the challenges of the times by His grace. It was in spite of these difficulties, that we were able to host the National Youth Assembly, the Freedom Day celebrations and the 2015 Feast of Tabernacles successfully. Thereafter, we have proceeded to hold public Bible lectures and Doctrinal Services at Ogwu-Ikpele, Nara, Okparabe, Imode, Orerokpe, Koko, Bikorogha, Ugboroke, Agbor, Odi, Ota and Oko-Afor by God’s grace.
That apart, the Lord’s Ministry has by God’s grace been able to start work on the Sub-Bethel Home project at a No. 1 Pike Street, Lagos. The building, which will be a two-storey structure is being put up behind the Service Hall. The ground floor has been decked and the block work on the first floor is now on-going. We pray God Almighty to continue to provide the means so that it would be completed soon to ease our accommodation problems in Lagos and give the premises a befitting facelift.
God Almighty has also made it possible for us to act proactively in order to get our own Service Hall in Accra and thereby avoid embarrassment when the 15-year lease arrangement we entered into in 2007 in regard to the Service Hall we are now using expires in about six years time. As God would have it, a Brother in Accra who joined us only a few years ago, Brother Theophilus Akatugba, donated two plots of land, along with the building materials on the site for the building of a Service Hall. The land is situated at Tetegu, in Greater Accra. Accordingly, the foundation for the Service Hall was laid on Saturday, February 27, 2016 by the Chairman of the Executive Board, Brother Godwin O. Ifeacho, while the First Phase Launching for N10 Million (GHC 130,000) for building of the Service Hall, took place on Sunday, February 28, 2016. By the grace of God, the target was over-subscribed in that we were able to raise over GHC 135,314.13 (including promisory) on the spot - an equivalent of N10,800,000.00
Furthermore, it would interest you to know that we have continued to pursue with energy the Dakibiyu land case at the High Court in Bwari, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Matters have now gotten to an advanced phase, following the examination and cross-examination of a number of our witnesses, by our lawyers and the defendants. The last hearing was on Monday March 14 and Tuesday March 15, 2016. It has been adjourned to May 17, 2016 for further hearing.
However, things have taken a somewhat different turn in regard to the St. Urhobo Square project. This is because at the Joint Meeting of the GKS Laity Officers Committee (LOC) and Conference Coordinating Officers, a consensus was reached that the project should be cited in a more spacious location outside Salem City. The Laity Officers also resolved that while we are raising funds and looking for a more commodious location, efforts should be geared up to improve the standard of the St. Urhobo Square, to enable us use it under any weather condition. Whichever way it pleases the Lord, we believe Jesus Christ is carrying the burden of the Church which God has placed on His shoulders. We must submit ourselves to be guided by him who is our Advocate with the Father. King Solomon stated, “There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.” (Proverbs 19:21) Moreover, he also stated, “When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee.” (Proverbs 2:10,11) We should also pray for God’s direction so as to apply wisdom on how to raise funds early enough for Feast of Tabernacles expenses, including the Feast supplement in newspapers, as well as for evangelism generally.
Since we cannot carry on the Lord’s work successfully, without unity of purpose, I believe that is why you choose as your theme for this year “UNITY, AN EFFECTIVE TOOL FOR GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT IN NEW JERUSALEM”. The basis of members of one faith is the truth, which Jesus Christ said will make us free. (John 8:31, 32) Unity is therefore based on the truth, which our Lord Jesus Christ has imparted “in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth”. - 1 Timothy 3:15.
Indeed, two cannot walk together except they be agreed. (Amos 3:3) Where we are determined to hold fast to the truth, we shall not lean to our own understanding or strive to do our own will but would be humble enough to seek the truth at all times and to submit ourselves to it. Keeping to the tenets of the truth and the promises expressed therein, should engender love, singleness of purpose and therefore unity which would enable us to fight the good fight of faith and enjoy more of God’s favours by his grace. – 1 Corinthians 1:10; 2 Timothy 2:19-21; Psalm 133. Compare Matthew 5:23, 24; Galatians 5:13-15; Matthew 18:19.
It is imperative therefore that where we have differences of opinion on issues or feel certain things are not being done right, we should know how to approach matters and discuss them dispassionately and follow the right course, since no one can do anything against the truth but for it by God’s grace. – 1 Corinthians 14:33,40; 2 Corinthians 13:8.
It is with this spirit that the Lord’s Ministry is handling one of the decisions reached at the Joint Meeting of the GKS Laity National Officers and Conference Officers at Asaba on Saturday, February 20, 2016. At that meeting, the Laity Officers were mandated to “interface with the Executive Board in order that the church operates in accordance with the law as entrenched in the Church constitution so as to avert any consequences that may be calamitous”. The Lord’s Ministry hereby assures Conference that we have held a number of consultations with our lawyers on the issue of the GKS Constitution and that the GKS Lawyers Forum further deliberated diligently on the matter yesterday, Friday, 25th March 2016. At the end of their meeting, the lawyers advised that we should strive to conform with the provisions of the constitution. The Assembly of Lord’s Ministry Elders (ALME) has therefore decided to conform with the provisions of the constitution as advised by the lawyers.
We should recall that the Laity Officer’s Committee, by a letter dated 9th June 2012, submitted to the Executive Board a 25-page draft of their “Suggested Amendments to the Constitution of the God’s Kingdom Society (GKS), (the Church of the Living God)”. Among those who worked in the Constitution Review Sub-Committee of the Laity were, Brothers J. E. Legbedion (Chairman); Luckie Umukoro; U. L. Osa-Uwagie, (Secretary), Joe Oweibo, Otenuda Okpako, Joshua Okah (Youth Representative) Johnson Oyawiri, Solomon Nwadike, Josiah Bakpa, and Israel Iyamu, (members). We hereby assure Conference that the review of the GKS constitution, 2001, taking into consideration the draft constitution and suggestions from the Laity would be concluded soon by the Assembly of Lord’s Ministry Elders (ALME) by God’s grace. We should be reminded however that the primary guidebook of the Church is the Holy Bible and that God Almighty has put the Church under the direction of the Lord’s Ministry. (Deuteronomy 17:8-12; 19:17; 21:5; Ezekiel 44:24; Haggai 2:10-13; Psalm 122:4, 5) Those of us in the Lord’s Ministry “bear the iniquity of the sanctuary”; if we fail to do the work properly - that is, sincerely and diligently - we shall suffer punishment. -Numbers 18:1, 22; Exodus 28:38; Leviticus 22:9; Ezekiel 3:18,19; Acts 20:26,27; Hebrews 13:17.
In the meantime we advise members to be calm and prayerful, to wait on the Lord and cooperate with the Lord’s Ministry, as far as the matter of the constitution and indeed other matters affecting the Church are concerned. Scripture says, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.” - Psalm 122:6.
I pray God Almighty, the Keeper of His kingdom to strengthen you and guide you with His holy spirit to enable you address the weighty issues before you in this Conference so that you will arrive at resolutions that are in harmony with His will, all by His grace through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.
Godwin O. Ifeacho,
Chairman, Executive Board, GKS
Dated at Salem City, Warri, Delta State this 26th day of March, 2016
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