THE BIRTH OF GOD’S HERITAGE CHRISTIAN CENTRE AND VITAL LESSONS LEARNT THUS FAR……..
As narrated by the Senior Pastor; Pst Akinola Akinyemi at the occasion of the 10th year anniversary on 29th July 2021.
It’s amazing, 2021 Marks 10 years since the humble beginning of God’s Heritage Christian Centre (with only 4 members in Jalingo Taraba State), which now has branches in Lagos and Gombe state.
All glory to the Sustainer of the vision- God Almighty.
How it all started:
On the 6th September, 2006, I journeyed to the North-Eastern part of Nigeria; precisely Taraba State where I was, by Divine arrangement, posted for my mandatory National Youth Service (with NYSC).
Five (5) months to the end of my service year (May 2007), God opened my eyes to His plan for me to stay back in Taraba State and continue (now on full time) what I did as a registered project (of which I was awarded a state honor at the end of my service year); affecting youth’s lives positively through free seminar alongside notable personalities which resulted in proven testimonies.
This instruction I struggled with, till the end of my service year in October.
I later learnt that:
THE PATHWAY TO GREATNESS IS FOLLOWING GOD’S LEADING.
OUR JOURNEY TO SCALING NEW HEIGHTS BEGINS WITH A CLEAR REVELATION. WHEN GOD LEADS US, HE WORKS FOR US.
Like everyone else I wanted to go to Lagos or Abuja after the service year.
Hmmm! I had my own plans but had to give in to His plan.
I also learnt
TO STEP TOWARDS ONE’S DESTINY, ONE MIGHT HAVE TO STEP AWAY FROM ONE’S SECURITY.
This led me to spend more personal time with God in prayer and fasting asking specifically 3 questions:
- Staying back in Taraba State, is it you or me?
- Doing a teaching ministry, is it you or me? and
- How should I go about it?
So as to be able to hear God effectively, I decided to embark again on seven days fasting and prayers (this was in the month of October, 2007; the same month I finished my NYSC program.
On the very first day of the fasting and prayers, God dropped a scripture in my heart: ISAIAH CHAPTER 7, which I read over and over but had no revelation.
However on the 4th day of the fasting and praying, a light came from heaven that left me crying like a baby on the bed in the single room apartment. From verse 21 to 22 of the same Isaiah 7, the answer to the 3 questions I was asking, came.
And it shall come to pass in that day, that a man shall nourish a young cow and two sheep;
And it shall come to pass, for the abundance of milk that they shall give he shall eat butter: for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land.”
Holy Spirit went on to give me the private interpretation of the scripture to my questions:
“…….The man” – is me,
“nourish a young cow, and two sheep;” – is the teaching ministry and the composition of the audience,
“……for the abundance of milk that they shall give he shall eat butter”- need for me to focus on the Ministry alone and not to look for job( doing it on full time),
“……..for butter and honey shall every one eat that is left in the land.”- I should stay back in Taraba State after my service year.
Reluctantly , amidst many fears but in obedience to God’s leading, on 30th November, 2007 (one month after the service year), ACHIEVERS’ POWER HOUSE INT’L ( my first full-time teaching ministry) was inaugurated in the city of Jalingo.
I also learnt:
WHATEVER GOD PUTS IN OUR HEART OR ASKS US TO DO, WE SHOULD START IN OBEDIENCE, BY RELYING ON THE HOLY SPIRIT, WE SHOULDN’T WAIT FOR ANY FAVOURABLE CONDITION, WE SHOULD LET THE ALPHA BE OUR FAVORABLE CONDITION.
The growth of Achiever’s House was so rapid that unlike my early fear, within a year we changed venue 5 different times.
Within 5 years (July 2007 to 2011); Achiever’s Power House successfully organized over 40 uninterrupted free monthly seminars, with over 1500 people having benefited, 2 teens summit, 5 Annual Leadership Conference (that had the presence of Sam Adeyemi, Fela Durotoye, Biodun Fatoyinbo, Godman Akinlabi , Yemi Davids amidst others in the City of Jalingo), several leadership training as well.
Through her Foundation (established to cater for God’s Ultimate People; the blind, deaf, widow, orphans and the poor), smiles have been put on the faces of people.
This, I must confess was our greatest joy in Achiever’s; putting smile on the face of the hopeless.
We went to Murkuni (Kona) village twice to reach out to the less privilege through free medical treatments, feeding, clothing and Spiritual upliftment. We also extended same kind gesture to Orphanage home.
With this unusual speed, unusual open doors, unusual accomplishment and unusual impact, I was praising God in an unusual way on 30th November, 2008 ( one year of Achievers’ House) and the unexpected happened.
In my normal way of doing things, I sat down with the Word after a session of prayer and praise. At a point, a scripture jumped at me. It was so dramatic that I spent quite a long time meditating on the verse of scripture that will yet change my life.
1 Peter 5:2-4
“Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof ,not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over GOD’S HERITAGE, but being ensample to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fade not away.”
To further gain insight into what God was communicating to my heart, I decided to go to my pastor, teacher and mentor; Pst Emmanuel Maha (who was the Senior Pastor of Living Faith Jalingo, Taraba at that time)…
I also learnt:
ONE WHO REFUSES TO SEEK THE GODLY COUNSEL OF OTHERS WILL EVENTUALLY BE LED TO A PATH OF RUIN.
Pst Emmanuel Maha, an uncommon secure and humble pastor with a loving heart requested we both wait on the Lord with a fast and come together at a specified time the following day.
ONE OF THE GREATEST VALUE OF MENTORS IS THE ABILITY TO SEE AHEAD, WHAT OTHERS CANNOT SEE, AND HELP NAVIGATE A COURSE TO THIER DESTINATION.
The following day, after a time of prayer, He told me God is calling me to another assignment other than my usual teaching ministry. However, he advised me to still spend time personally with God to understand not just the WHAT, He wants me to do but also the HOW, WHEN and WHERE. This I did for 3 years.
I also learnt:
THE SWIFTNESS OF MAN CANNOT WIN THE RACE OF LIFE.
I must say that I wish every older pastor or mentor would be like Pst Emmanuel for the upcoming Ministers around them, unlike what we see today.
Pastor Emmanuel didn’t stop on that note but for 3 good years, he invested in me by all means. I could remember, he gave me wonderful platforms on two occasions to speak to the youth of Living Faith Church in a major program he organized and he eventually received Rev. Sam Adeyemi to town on 29th July, 2011 for the inauguration of GHCC Jalingo.
I also learnt:
MINISTRY, CAREER OR LIFE GENERALLY IS NOT A COMPETITION, BUT RATHER ABOUT HELPING AND INSPIRING OTHERS SO WE CAN EACH REACH OUR POTENTIAL.
January, 2009, I was privileged to be with God’s servant, my father in the Lord; Rev. Sam Adeyemi. I casted the vision to him amidst other things. He confirmed what God was telling me and agreed to come down to Jalingo for the ordination and church inauguration when I’m set
I also learnt:
A MENTOR IS SOMEONE WHO SEES MORE TALENT AND ABILITY WITHIN YOU, THAN YOU SEE IN YOURSELF, AND HELPS BRING IT OUT OF YOU.
I must confess, this is something I will never forget. When he agreed to come for the inauguration (slated for July, 2011), it was the peak of Boko Haram activities in the North and with one or two incidences of Bomb blast in Yola where he’s expected to land (Jalingo Airport not in operation by then).
The day finally came , he landed in Yola Airport and together had to journey for about 2hours on road from Yola to Jalingo, only a real father, with a heart for God would have done this. He did not stop there but went on to bless the young church with a huge amount of financial Seed. Till date he’s been an exceptional father.
From the inauguration on 29th July, 2011 at the Banquet Hall of Jalingo Motel and the first Sunday service on the 31st of July, 2011 at the Taraba State University Guest House, No 61 Hammaruwa way besides former Finbank, with 15 people in attendance of which 4 people- Myself, my wife, Bro Tola Gbore and Min.
David Kwasi became a member), till date (at the present location; Heritage Hall, Tawa plaza besides FCMB, Hammaruwa Way Jalingo), it has been an interesting journey of God’s faithfulness.
The Church now has expressions in Lagos, Gombe and with plan for many more places following God’s leading.
On a final note I learnt:
- IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN YOURSELF FIRST, NO ONE ELSE MIGHT REALLY BELIEVE IN YOU AS IT SHOULD BE.
At God’s Heritage, we feed God’s people with undiluted word of God, care for them and prepare them for relevance here and ultimately for the chief shepherd.
And to the Glory of God, we have recorded countless testimonies of changed lives: this we call: our greatest advertisement.
Heritage Hall Tawa plaza beside FCMB Hammaruwa way Jalingo, Taraba State.
Heritage Hall TANTALIZER BUILDING, beside GT Bank Ogunlana Drive, Surulere Lagos.