Just before Thanksgiving, President Glenn Burris Jr., Foursquare Foundation Executive Director Greg Campbell, Area Missionary Dan Lucero and I had the great honor of participating in the installation ceremony of the Rev. Felix Meduoye as the new general overseer of the Nigerian Foursquare Church. What a glorious day! The Nigerian Foursquare Church is strong, vibrant and motivated by a passion for evangelism and discipleship, and Rev. Meduoye has been selected by God to lead them into a new and fruitful season of ministry.
You can imagine the topics a new general overseer might explore in the first sermon of his new term of service. As Rev. Meduoye began to speak, his first words gave praise to God for His grace and mercy; he then thanked God and The Foursquare Church in the U.S. for the gift of Rev. and Mrs. Harold Curtis as missionaries in 1954. Rev. Meduoye’s installation service included an overview of the establishment of the Nigerian Foursquare Church.
The ministry in Nigeria began with a series of open-air evangelistic crusades led by Rev. and Mrs. Curtis upon their arrival and continuing through November 1955. There were many who confessed faith in Jesus Christ, and the first Sunday school and worship service were held in the Yankee Bar in Yaba, Nigeria, on Sunday, November 1, 1955.
Rev. and Mrs. Curtis also began to train leaders, and did so even before the local Foursquare church was established. The Vocational Open Air Bible School and Night Bible School began in the front of the Curtises’ residence in a rented apartment on King George Avenue.
The power of this short testimony and the words of this history were, for me, found in the context of the sharing. We were seated with thousands and thousands of Foursquare brothers and sisters in a gathering place called Foursquare City to celebrate together the 55th Annual Convention of the Foursquare Church of Nigeria. The 2009 spiritual report indicates that the Nigerian Foursquare Church meets together in 2,145 churches and 1,769 meeting places with a total membership of 179,503 brothers and sisters. The harvest continues—they saw 96,973 people respond to the gospel and planted 141 new Foursquare churches in 2009. There are some 3,000 students enrolled in Life Bible College there.
I’m not one to make resolutions as I enter a new year, but my first prayers reflect my hopes and my faith for those things God is placing in my spirit and on my heart.
The Nigerian experience inspires me to believe God for big things even where the beginnings seem to be, or are actually, small. Some may have wondered if a great work of God could begin in a place called the Yankee Bar.
Can we “resolve” as we pray in 2011 that, by God’s grace and with His power, we might have the opportunity to begin or participate in a community-, city-, region-, state- or nation-transforming work of God? Can our faith embrace the possibility that God has plans that are much, much larger than we can even imagine or think, and that these plans include us?
Indeed, God delights in empowering ordinary men and women to do extraordinary exploits for God!
By: Jim Scott, vice president of global operations / director of Foursquare Missions International