The Apostolic Church Nigeria

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Apostolic Church Nigeria
The Apostolic Church logo.jpg
ClassificationEvangelicalism
OrientationPentecostal
TheologyTrinitarian
StructureNational Temple
LeaderSampson Igwe
AssociationsChristian Association of Nigeria
Origin1931
Members4,500,000 (2009)
Tertiary institutionsSamuel Adegboyega University
Official websitetacn-lawna.org

The Apostolic Church Nigeria is a Christian church in Nigeria. It is one of the biggest churches in Nigeria with over 4.5 million members and a National Temple that seats up to 100,000 worshippers in a service.[1]

History[edit]

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).[2] 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.[3]

In 1931, after many 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.[4]

Doctrine and belief[edit]

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:

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. 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
  8. The divine inspiration and authority of the Holy Scriptures. 2 Tim 3:16, 2 Peter 1:21
  9. Church government by Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers, Elders and Deacons. Ephesians 4:11-13, 1 Corinthians 12:28
  10. 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
  11. 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."[5]

Organization and administration[edit]

The Apostolic Church Nigeria is administered as a single entity by the National Council and it is headed by a President. The current President is Apostle E.S Igwe, the chairman of Igboland territory who succeeded Pastor G.O. Olutola in February 2017. Pastor G.O Olutola who succeeded Pastor Eyo Okon in 2011 retired at the age of 80 and handed over the mantle of leadership to Apostle E.S Igwe.[4]

The church is categorized into sections called fields with a view of bonding members in a spiritual and healthy fellowship. The fields include:

  • 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)

Lagos and Western/Northern Areas (LAWNA)[edit]

Lagos and Western/Northern Areas (LAWNA) is a child of a unification process. Historically, in order to unite and centralize the activities of the Church, the Parent Areas (Lagos, Ilesa, Zaria and Kabba) agreed and formed a platform then known as The Apostolic Church, Federal and Western, Northern Areas Council (FAWNAC) which was later changed to The Apostolic Church, Lagos and Western/Northern Areas (LAWNA) Territory in compliance with the spoken word of the Lord through prophetical ministry in 1969. LAWNA Territory which was a unification of those four Areas in 1970 has today grown into 79 Areas across the country; and seven missionary fields overseas. The Territory covers 27 states out of the 36 states of The Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Samuel Adegboyega University[edit]

In 2011, the church founded Samuel Adegboyega University, a tertiary institution located in Ogwa, Edo State, Nigeria and named after LAWNA's first territorial chairman Samuel Adegboyega.[6]

National Convention[edit]

The National Convention is a biannual gathering of all The Apostolic Church members at the National Temple, Alapere, Ketu, Lagos State, Nigeria. which also include matching on white uniform with the motto: (GOD FIRST) as the slogan for the witness all over the states of Nigeria.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "World's largest church inaugurated in Lagos". Vanguard Nigeria. 6 December 2011. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  2. ^ Rufus Okikiolaolu Olubiyi Ositelu (2002). African Instituted Churches: Diversities, Growth, Gifts, Spirituality and Ecumenical Understanding of African Initiated Churches. LIT Verlag Münster. pp. 90–. ISBN 978-3-8258-6087-5.
  3. ^ "History:Origins". The Apostolic Church, LAWNA. Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  4. ^ a b "HISTORY OF TAC WORLDWIDE". Retrieved 12 July 2015.
  5. ^ "Constitution of the Apostolic Church". p. 8. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  6. ^ Gabriel Enogholase (26 August 2011). "Oshiomhole lauds Adegboyega varsity". Vanguard News. Retrieved 25 August 2016.

External links[edit]