The Apostolic Church Nigeria is one of the first Pentecostal Churches in Nigeria. The Church has over 4.5 million members and a National Temple which serves as the Convention ground of the Church Nigeria. The National Temple which is located in Olorunda-Ketu, a suburb of Ikorodu in Lagos State, seats over 100,000 worshippers in a service.
The Apostolic Church Nigeria was borne out from the Apostolic Church of the United Kingdom through three Missionary delegates who arrived in Lagos, Nigeria on September 23, 1931; they were the late Pastors D.P. Williams (President), A. Turnbull (Vice-President), and W.J. Williams (International Prophet). Prior to their coming, a great revival started in the churches in fellowship with Faith Tabernacle Congregation of Nigeria which resulted to much persecutions in 1930. In 1931, after exchange of doctrines and other fundamental scriptural truths between the missionaries and leaders of Faith Tabernacle Congregation of Nigeria, the leaders of the fellowship decided to affiliate with The Apostolic Church of the United Kingdom and adopted The Apostolic Church as a denominational name together with its principles and practices.
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Doctrine And Belief
The Apostolic Church Nigeria is built on a fundamental doctrinal belief based on the Holy Scriptures. Its theological beliefs are summarised in its confession of faith, known as the Tenets, which read as follows:
- The Unity of the God-head and the Trinity of the persons there-in. Genesis 1:1; Matt 3:16-17; 1 John 5:7
- The utter depravity of human nature, the necessity for repentance and regeneration and the eternal doom of the finally impenitent (i.e. unrepentant). Gen 3:1-19; Isaiah 53:6; Acts 2:38; 17:30, John 5:28-29; Daniel 12:2; Romans 2:7, 6:23; 1 John 1:1-2
- The Virgin Birth, Sinless Life, Atoning Death, Triumphant Resurrection, Ascension and Abiding intercession of Our Lord Jesus Christ. His second coming and millennial reign upon earth. John 8:46; 14:30; Col. 1:15; 2 Corinthians 5:19; Romans 3:25; Acts 2:36; Phil. 2:9-11; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17; Rev. 22:20
- Justification and sanctification of the believer through the finished work of Christ. Acts 2:38; Luke 15:7; Romans 4:25; 5:16; 1 Corinthians 1:30; 1 Thessalonians 4:30
- The baptism of the Holy Ghost for believers with signs following. 1 Corinthians 12:8-11; Mark 16:17; Acts 2:4; and Galatians 5:22
- The nine gifts of the Holy Ghost for the edification, exhortation and comfort of the Church, which is the body of Christ. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
- The sacraments of baptism by immersion and of the Lord’s Supper. Rom 6:4, 6:11, 6:13-14, Luke 3:21; Mark 16:16, Luke 2:22-24, 34; Mark 10:16, Luke 22:19-20; Matt. 26:21-29; Acts 20:7
- The divine inspiration and authority of the Holy Scriptures. 2 Tim 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21
- Church government by Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers, Elders and Deacons. Ephesians 4:11-13, 1 Corinthians 12:28
- The possibility of falling from Grace. 1 Corinthians 10:12, 1 John 5:11, John 15:4, 1 John 5:12, Romans 5:1-2, John 8:51, 1 Timothy 4:1, 16; 2 Timothy 3:13-15, 1 Corinthians 15:1, Colossians 1:21-23
- The obligatory nature of Tithes and Offerings. Malachi 3:10, Matthew 23:23, Hebrews 7:1-4; Luke 6:38; Acts 20:35
The Constitution of the Apostolic Church in the United Kingdom states that “These Tenets shall forever be the doctrinal standard of the Apostolic Church and shall not be subject to change in any way whatsoever.”
Organization And administration
The Apostolic Church Nigeria is administered as a single entity by the National Council and it is headed by a President. The current National President of the Church is Apostle S. E. Igwe, the former chairman of the Igboland territory who succeeded Pastor G.O. Olutola in February 2017. Pastor G.O Olutola succeeded Pastor Eyo Okon in 2011 and retired at the age of 80 in 2017.
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The church is categorized into sections called fields with a view of bonding members in a spiritual and healthy fellowship. The fields include:
- The Lagos and Western/Northern Areas Territory (LAWNA),
- The Igboland Territory,
- The Northern Area Field,
- The Maritime Territory,
- The Uyo Field,
- The Ikot Ekpene Field.
- The Eket Field
- The Ikot Abasi Field
- The Oron Field
- The Federal Capital Territory Field (FCT Field)
The National Convention is a biannual gathering of all The Apostolic Church members at the National Temple, Lagos State, Nigeria.