How RCCG Apapa Family Started.
Apapa Parish started out at one location: Roxy Cinema, Apapa, in 1991. Five years later, it had blossomed into over 45 parishes within and outside Nigeria, with a workforce of over 500 people emanating from the then current hub at Freedom Hall. Central to the effective management of the workforce was the Workers Directorate unit which worked with the Office of the Pastor. The unit including Nigel Cookey Gam, Odo Bassey and Marion Akinlotan was responsible for maintaining up-to-date information on members of the workforce.Several factors were integral to successfully managing the workforce which operated like an army of invasion.
The Vision Of The Apapa Family
The vision of the Apapa Family, in line with our mandate, can be summarized as follows:
- To make Heaven, not compromising Holiness
- To take as many people along with us
- To raise leaders who will fulfil their calling, and
- To build a people manifesting the Spirit of excellence, faithfulness, character and integrity, who will do the following:
- Evangelize and positively impact the world
- Establish God’s government, order and structure
- Demonstrate the relevance of Christianity through contemporary and creative expressions of our faith.
There were various training programmes that members of the church could go through in order to get involved in the work. After the foundational classes, members could go through discipleship classes to be built in the faith and then join any of Prayer, Music, CARE (the house fellowship which had a training institute) or the select workers trainings run about once a year. The specific workers groups raised from commencement at Roxy in 1991 to Freedom ELISHA, FREEDOM, REFORMER, Hall in 1996 included the PIONEER, GOVERNMENT & TERRITORIAL WORKERS GROUP.
The trainings were highly impartational, created a high level of passion and engagement in the workforce. You could remark then that the only training most of the leadership had received was the Apapa Parish Workers’ training. This obviously served many well for the “work” they are still engaged in today throughout the world.
Anyone who had gone through some training in one form or the other had their data captured in the database maintained by our I.T. “guru” Odo Bassey. It was from this pool that candidates were selected whenever postings were required for departments, parishes, even for foreign postings. Accountability was a key requirement to selection of anyone for postings.
Dynamism / Flexibility
One saying that characterised Apapa parish was, “the only thing constant in life is change”. Everyone had to be able to adapt to changes that came about from fresh thrusts out into new areas. One of such times was when 10 parishes were established in Orile area of Lagos in one weekend. 10 teams of workers were sent forth and the departments from which they were sourced had to be quickly replenished to sustain operations at the base, Freedom Hall. Other initiatives at times resulted in postings of ministers and workers to places such as London, Germany, Netherlands, Haiti, Washington and other locations. It was not unusual for workers to embark upon such “tours of duty” for varying periods.
There was a high level of discipline in the workforce. A clear understanding of the principle of Authority & Submission was a distinct hallmark of the workforce.
Prayer / Worship
The workforce was well grounded in prayer, worship and spiritual warfare. Hardly would any project be undertaken without adequate preparation spiritually. Subsequent to the decentralization of Freedom Hall in 1996, each Parish was handed the responsibility of identifying, training and managing its own workforce. Invariably, this has occurred with different results.
Much of the leadership of Apapa Family can today look back at the foundation provided them in Apapa Parish and still apply the lessons and spirit imbibed then as they forge ahead in different facets of ministry today.