FULL TRANSCRIPT: PRESS CONFERENCE REMARKS BY PASTOR GOODHEART OBI EKWUEME ON THE 15TH ANNIVERSARY IYTC CELEBRATION OF HOUSE ON THE ROCK THE REFUGE & THE DEDICATION OF THE CITADEL & TOWERS.
This briefing has been called to intimate the press as we prepare to celebrate in a few days our 15th year anniversary of being in the City of Abuja and the dedication of the iconic building - The Citadel & Towers at the City Gate of our nation's Capital.
House on the Rock - The Refuge is the Capital City daughter church of House on the Rock churches with headquarters in Lagos; Nigeria. The founder & Metropolitan over all House on Rock is my Senior Pastor - the Honourable Pastor Paul A. Adefarasin. The Abuja church was birth on the 5th of September 1999, so will mark exactly 15 years on Friday 5th September when the Conference begins.
The vision of House on the Rock is to be a bridge of hope to the hurting and dejected, release the might of God's power to the people who come in contact with us and to stand as a voice of excellence to our generation. This selfsame vision has found expression in House on the Rock - The Refuge in it's own unique fashion. My mind goes back memory lane to 1999 when it was decided in the Headquarter church; Lagos that I would be coming to pioneer the Abuja mission of House on the Rock. I still remember the inauguration service, which took place at the Broadway Hotel at Garki 2 (which by the way no longer exist, having been pulled down). It could barely sit 80 people. That was where this ministry in Abuja was birth. As is evident, God has indeed been faithful to us as a people. What was a tiny seed planted in the City has experienced growth in various dimensions for which we remain grateful to God.
What you see today at the Citadel & Towers did not just appear here, but certainly has been a process through which God has taken us progressively from one phase to another in the last 15 years and the journey continues. In this City, we have had course to be tenants at several meeting venue for years and can readily count over 10 of such venues that hosted us as we sojourned from one part of the City to the other.
In June 2007 we commenced the building of what is today known as the Citadel & Towers. This iconic structure though home to House on the Rock - the Refuge is designed as a Capital City Community Development Centre from where our several initiatives to benefit the City will proceed from. This building has been rightly christened "The Transformation Center".
In House on the Rock, we believe that the church must continue to be a force for progress and development in our immediate communities and the society at large.
The Citadel and Towers has therefore been set up as the development arm of House on the Rock, The Refuge Abuja with a mandate to support knowledge development and management crucial to stimulating desired change in governance, social services development, economic growth and youth empowerment through strategic relationships with the public and private sector concerns in Nigeria. The Centre will plan and implement strategic initiatives designed to bring development closer to the citizens, to serve the underserved as well as reach the unreached with diverse social services; life skills and economic empowerment programmes.
The Citadel and Towers is committed to Social Reformation, education, provision of health care and humanitarian services for the down trodden and disadvantaged. It is an initiative that will be driven by House on the Rock, The Refuge with strategic partnership with a robust governing council, board of faculty, renowned resource centres, facilitators, consultants, and volunteers.
House on the Rock, The Refuge in the last fifteen years has engaged in several outreaches and initiatives geared towards development, empowerment and transformation which includes the following:
The Safe Hands School:
The Safe Hands School, a primary school was set up in 2007 to provide early childhood and primary education and plans to continue to the secondary and tertiary levels.
Annual Scholarships are awarded to indigent students to ensure their families keep them in schools. These scholarships are administered through different ministry groups within House on the Rock, The Refuge.
Health and Mercy Missions
Health care delivery support services are provided to immediate communities around the Church continually and will be a key outreach programme of the Citadel & Towers Social Transformation.
The medical mission is inspired by the understanding of the strategic role of faith based organizations as partners in development. The mission will further be strengthened through the establishment of basic health care facilities and hospitals in the next phase of our social services development support programme.
These will include:
Polyclinics to provide primary healthcare
Maternal and child health centres
Neighbourhood family clinics
Community lifestyle and recreation centres
Integrated Social Outreaches:
The King's Banquet
The King's Banquet is our social and evangelical outreach to people living in communities close to The Refuge. The outreach, which holds twice a year, affords the Church an opportunity to integrate with the communities and offer support through provision of desired social amenities.
Further, the Church community embraces the occasion to show love and reach out to numbers of children, youths, men and women, providing food, clothing and access to on the spot medical checks and treatment.
STRENGTHENING NATIONAL ORIENTATION THROUGH JAM MEGAFEST.
We have engaged music as a potent medium for supporting national issues. The JAM National Praise Festival debuted in 2002 and continues to grow in impact and relevance in the City. It is an interdenominational praise and worship event to intervene on a number of National issues in our nation. Considering the spiritual notions of the potency of praise and worship in activating divine intervention in nations and communities, JAM Megafest, serves as a channel for religious and musical tourism.
The themes for the JAM Megafest in the past years have included:
2004: GOD'S AID FOR AIDS
2005: ONE NATION UNDER GOD
2006: NIGERIA: RAISING THE STANDARD
2007: NIGERIA; ARISE
2008: NIGERIA: ANOTHER LEVEL
2009: NIGERIA: OUT OF THE BOX
2010. NIGERIA: CELEBRATING JUBILEE.
Focus on Leadership Development:
Understanding the nexus between purposeful leadership and development, The Refuge has invested in Leadership Development Programmes which have been core elements of our interventions in social transformation. The Refuge Leadership Academy was established to develop a new generation of leaders who stand as men and women of integrity in the marketplace. The Academy delivers various programmes to equip people with skills to survive and make a difference in the public service and the private enterprises. The programme offerings is being expanded to cover Citizenship and Leadership and are also tailored for children, youths and adults through specific age-appropriate platforms and activities.
As it is obvious, we have our tasks cut out for us in this next phase of what God will have us do in this City and beyond. We certainly do count it a privilege as a church to serve the Capital City in several ways that God would enable us to do.
The events of this weekend are actually four in one. It runs from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th September. On Friday 5th September, 5:30pm we will celebrate our 15th year anniversary "It's Your Time Conference". This conference has played host to several anointed ministers and fathers in the gospel in this nation over the years and on this anniversary we are excited that our father in the faith, my Senior Pastor and Metropolitan over House on the Rock Churches -Pastor Paul Adeolu Adefarasin will be the Chief Host. Also in attendance will be several ministers from within and across the City of Abuja and outside the shores of Nigeria.
On Saturday 6th September, 9am will be the formal inauguration & opening of the Citadel & Towers as a Centre for National Trasformation.
This event will be graced by several notable dignitaries in the nation and also church leaders. The key note speaker at the event is Prof Vincent Anigbogu - DG of Institute of National Transofrmation ( INT) Abuja and will deliver a paper titled - The Church & National Transformation. The Guest of Honour is our nation's first civilian vice - president - Dr Alex Ifeanyichukwu Ekwueme. On Sunday the 7th September 8:30am will be the ecclesiastical dedication of the Citadel & Towers.
The weekend events will climax on Sunday evening 5pm with a Tehillah Live Concert to launch her 3rd music album. The Concert will feature international award winning gospel artistes such as Micah Stampley and Angella Christie and gospel artistes from within the country - Frank Edward and kingsley Ike.
This weekend is not one to miss! It is not one to be told about but to be experienced first hand. Let me invite you to an experience of a lifetime.
I look forward to your favourable coverage of the event (before and after) and your help in noising it abroad that it is happening this weekend at the Citadel & Towers, City gate Abuja. Looking forward to seeing you there.