Sunday the 7th of December 2014 will remain indelible in the annals of one of Nigeria’s fastest growing churches and in the memory of two beneficiaries of car gifts from the founder and senior pastor of the church. It was the day that Champions Royal Assembly, a prophetic, healing and deliverance commission based in Kubwa, Abuja, Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory marked its 8th Anniversary and groundbreaking service at its breathtaking new site aka Champions City of Wonders.
As early as 6 a.m., the hundreds of hectres City of Wonders was milling with church members, new worshippers, well wishers and sight-seers from all over Nigeria and beyond. Bulldozers were on standby to create ad-hoc parking lots as the prepared spaces were over-filled with cars of all sizes, make and models.
This was followed by Testimony Time during which testifiers unveiled their encounters with the wonder-working power of God operating in the Commission through direct contact with the Servant of God and via televangelism.
Highlights of the testimonies
- A woman’s genotype was reversed from SS to AA via Champions TV anointing. She presented multiple medical reports confirming her status before and after the miraculous healing
- Zambian national soccer team coach testified of how prophecy and blessings from the Man of God during his outreach in Zambia helped him to qualify his country for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations even as citizens were mourning their dead president
- Three sisters became pregnant simultaneously after attending a Fruit of the Womb programme at Champions Royal Assembly. There were several other testimonies of this nature as well as other mega miracles bordering on healing, deliverance, financial breakthrough and divine open doors
Brother Joshua Iginla, as the humble, charismatic and philanthropic General Overseer of the church prefers to be called, could hardly contain his excitement as he presided over the awe-inspiring event. He mounted the altar amid adoring applause and proceeded to render a moving lyrical adulation and worship in his native Yoruba tongue that catalogued the many blessings of God in his life.
In an unusual move, he broke service routine and immediately commenced prophecy and healing that saw a crutches-dependent guest discarding his crutches and walking in the congregation.
Prophecy, healing and deliverance
Brother Joshua Iginla issued specific prophecies concerning Nigeria as a country. He said the 2015 general election would be tough but Nigeria will survive it. He prescribed serious prayers on the day of the Presidential Election and 6 days thereafter. He said anyone who shed innocent blood in search of political power would be recompensed in greater measure and advised winners to run an inclusive government.
- The military will record major victory against the insurgents
- Lagos, Rivers, Adamawa and Yobe states should be watched closely
- A prominent politician will record a strong political blow
- There will be betrayals during the election period
- Zambia should pray against further mourning
He ended the impromptu prophetic session with a coded caveat: Tiger is Tiger
The message of the day was anchored on Deuteronomy chapter 8 verse 18: But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.
The man of God pointed out that prosperity is not the prerogative of unbelievers but the right of believers. He decried the attitude of those who condemn men of God for owning private jets when they find nothing wrong with unbelievers who have a fleet of them. He enjoined the children of God to take charge and prosper in their areas of operation, stressing however that what you do with your prosperity is what matters.
Highlights of the sermon
- God ordered man on creation to be fruitful and multiply
- God’s wish is for you to prosper; Prosperity is a covenant right therefore the first people to prosper should be believers
- Prosperity obeys those who obey kingdom principles
- Prosperity is the means to spread the word (Zech 1: 17)
- Prosperity is to fulfil purpose in life
- Without Prosperity anointing becomes annoyance
- Anyone who fights a man who has result finds insult
- Prosperity is not just about financial surplus; having children, being a generational blessing, ability to get the rejected and dejected directed and to reconfigure the destinies of the destitute are all elements of prosperity
Reasons God wants you to prosper
- To be a blessing
- To spread the gospel
- To prove his ability to supply all your needs (Philippians 4: 19) Prosperity is not by labour but by favour
- To silence your enemy
Goliaths of prosperity: Factors that hinder prosperity
- Unredeemed vow
- Ignorance of God’s plan
- Foundational curse
Keys to kingdom prosperity
- Obedience (Proverbs 28:27)
- Sowing into the kingdom. No giving is convenient; those who want to give when it is convenient will never give
- Love for God.
- Prayer, fasting and giving is combined spiritual dynamite that explodes prosperity.
- The hand of the giver is on top
The major highlight of the anniversary service was the groundbreaking ceremony of the multi-billion naira, 80 000-seater church known as Champions City of Wonders. According to the prophet, the church with facilities including 9 lifts, 12 escalators, over 400 restrooms and a variety of social services will be the only one of its kind in Africa and will host worshipers from all over the world, including presidents. Yet Brother Iginla says God has revealed to him that there will be a bigger one which will serve as the permanent site.
Cutting of the anniversary cake
The groundbreaking ceremony was followed by the cutting of the anniversary cake, witnessed by the congregation and invited special guests, including the prophet’s mum and eldest sister.
Nothing was left to chance. Uniformed and plainclothes security operatives as well as colourfully dressed protocol officers were deployed to maintain order and an ambulance put on standby for emergencies. In addition, there was a food tent and mobile toilets while the media crew was up and about.
Two lucky beneficiaries went home with car gifts – a permanent feature of Brother Iginla’s benevolence and passion for helping to interpret the dreams of the less privileged.
Pastor Moses Imoneli received a 2008 Honda Accord. Pastor Imoneli who said he met Brother Joshua in 1993, was with the prophet in the trying days of the ministry when it was known as the Overcomers Prevailing Evangelical Ministry but quit when it seemed that they were neither going to prevail over nor overcome the hardship at that time. Presenting him with a car was a practical demonstration of the prophet’s teaching about forgiveness, tolerance and not bearing grudges. The icing on his cake was a further cash gift of half a million naira.
Pastor Moses was overwhelmed with joy. He told Champions TV anchor, Lynda Dave in an interview that the car gift, which he said he did not deserve, came to him as a shock.
“I was so shocked, so surprised. I never dreamt of getting a car gift. It’s my first car ever. Now, I’m a car owner? This can only be God. As I knelt by the altar, all that I could say was ‘Thank you God. I don’t deserve this. Thank you God’,” he said.
He also disclosed that he immediately called his wife to break the good news to her: “When I called her, her reaction indicated that she was dancing. I’m sure she can’t wait to see the car,” he added.
The second lucky beneficiary was Mr. Femi Oyewole, a journalist with Encomium magazine. He got a 2012 Toyota Matrix. Femi had come in public transport to cover the 8th Anniversary and groundbreaking ceremony but left with a breath-taking gift as a car owner.
He told Lynda: “When my name was being called, I didn’t associate the name with myself. It was when he called it the third time and mentioned Encomium that I realized I was the one. When he gave me the key I had to pinch myself to wake up from a dream. I had made a list of 28 prayer requests as the prophet directed everybody to do and the request for a car was number 8 on my list. My prayer was that God should make it possible before the end of 2015 but He made it possible before the end of the service”
When asked what his mood was when he received the keys he said, “The best I could do was just to smile because words could not express my mood at that point in time”
Femi went on to describe Brother Joshua as a man with inborn compassion, unusual kindness, a natural and not make-believe giver; A man who understands the act of giving and gives like God Himself, who gave His only son to save mankind.
Giving of car gifts has become a tradition with Brother Joshua Iginla. On the occasion of his birthday earlier this year, he gave out 8 cars estimated to cost about 50 million naira. Nollywood icon (now pastor) Larry Koldsweat was one of the beneficiaries. He came with the likes of Zack Orji, Alex Usifo-Omiagbo, Paul Obazele, Bimbo Manuel, gospel singers Tope Alabi and Chioma to felicitate with the prophet and left with a 2014 Infiniti SUV valued at about 10 million naira. He also gave various gifts ranging from sewing machines to hair dressing equipment to widows and full academic scholarships to indigent members of the congregation as well as cash gifts to visiting children from an institution for the disabled.
Also, during the year, a handicapped trader, who attended Champions Royal Assembly service returned home with a brand new Infiniti SUV.
The trader, Mr Godwin Okpera , a native of Mbaino in Imo State, had attended the church with his wife and was contemplating how the 200 naira left in his pocket could take them back home when the Man of God visited him with the miracle.
According to him: “I was thinking of how to travel back with my wife, as the N200 I had would not take us back to Suleija. I was still thinking when the man of God came to me and said: ‘The battle is over’ before he announced the car gift.”
Some of the other beneficiaries:
Brother Joshua, who offered to pick the bills for the maintenance of the cars for three months, said on that occasion: “I know a lot of people would think that it is because I am a show man, but that is not true. Larry is not the only person who got a car gift from me because I also gave some of my aides too. I gave them the cars not as a show off but to appreciate God. I never believed that I could drive a car not to talk of owning one. When people labour with you and they are not blessed, it’s not good. I told them not to thank me but God. It is a joy for me to help people interpret their dreams. I give to those who can’t pay me back. Of what purpose is it when the pastor is rich and his workers are poor? If God has lifted me up to this level, it’s my joy to lift others”.
Talking about lifting up, today Champions Royal Assembly has its own television channel that takes mega dollars to run. But it was not always so. Brother Joshua uses every opportunity to remind his congregation where he is coming from and to inspire them to believe that they too can be lifted. According to him:
“I am a Muslim-turned preacher; a barracks boy turned a clergy. I had an Islamic background with abject poverty, struggle and lack. God took me from such obscurity to limelight. That has taught me a lesson that God can use anybody. He uses foolish things to confound the wise.
I never thought I would be where I am today. However, based on the prophetic grace and word He gave me, I believed His word would come to pass. I remember the days of trekking from Sango to Ajilete in Owode in Ogun State due to lack of transport fare. I remember staying in a one room apartment for years at Ibadan, Oyo State. After much frustration, God began to speak to me about the next level of my life and how I would be a channel of blessing to people. The situation of my life was not an assurance that things will be okay. Therefore, my current level is a miracle. I can’t boast or brag about it and that is why I prefer living simple because I never felt I could get here. That informed why I have a simple approach to life.
The ministry you are seeing today started in a one-room apartment at Millionaire’s quarters at Kubwa, Abuja. We didn’t have chairs. We used my wife’s Bible as offering bag in our first service. It’s a miracle that God has brought us to this arena. My neighbours used to mock and gossip about me in those days.
I remember the ministry was not growing and our landlord chased us away. We erected a temporary tent on a leased land. Prior to that, I had a ministry which I handled for seven years. It’s called Overcomers Prevailing Evangelical Ministry; it didn’t work. It was a membership of 120 that dropped to 40 and seven pastors left. I was now praying to God for a change. I was on fasting for seven days. On the last day, which was a Sunday, I was preaching a message entitled, “The Power of Resurrection.” It was in the process that a member who came with her mother dropped dead. Her name was Mama Twins. It all lasted 35 minutes. The members brought her to the altar. The two nurses in the church checked her pulse and whispered to me that she was dead. They told me we should quietly take her to the hospital. Meanwhile, some members had gone out spreading the tale in Abuja that someone had dropped dead in the church. Before you realised it, the place was jam-packed with people mocking me. That was when I broke down in tears. I prayed to God that it is not my shame but God’s shame. I was led by the Holy Spirit to slap her and cry out ‘receive the breath of life’. I obeyed and she sneezed back to life. There was wild jubilation all around Abuja, and the following Sunday, there was a surge of worshipers and that was how the breakthrough came. That miracle brought about my turn around.”
JESUS IS LORD!