The atmosphere was sublime on Friday, 2nd of February, 2018, at the Youth Chapel, Canaan land, Ota, as loyal souls gathered in honour of the First Lady, first mum fondly called Mama as she turned sixty.
Pastor Mrs Faith Abiola Oyedepo, the ever beautiful, young and exceptional mama, a real gem and a regent who God has blessed beyond measure was the reason for the assemblage to give thanks to God.
It was a blue, white and red night, a night to celebrate the faithfulness of God and not just to mark a birthday. It was a night of showcasing the graciousness and Almightiness of God, a night of lifting of hands, bowing of hearts, waving of hands, clapping of hands, shouting of praise, shaking of bodies and dancing, giving all the glory to the Father of all.
Mama, beautifully dressed in blue and white native attire, and accompanied by her best choice ever – Papa also in a white caftan, arrived while the praise leader, Ola Samuel was doing what he knows best; leading the congregation in a session of praise and worship.
Seeing mama, one will expressly remember the words of Pastor David Oyedepo Jnr. giving a short exhortation, extolling the name of the Lord, the only one who is the expert in the act of sleeping and waking up, the One whose good hands has been instrumental in preserving the life of Mama.
Suddenly the ambience changed, it was all shouting and cheers of excitement as Pastor Nathaniel Bassey, the musical guru garbed in black with sky blue designed native mounted the pulpit. With a team of backup singers, Nathaniel mesmerized the worshippers with his first song; “You are God, from beginning to the end, there’s no place for argument, You are God all by Yourself” Wow! naturally was the exclamation from the mouth of many. And then he slowly segued to “Casting crown, lifting hands, bowing hearts is what we’ve come to do… Adonai … Adonai, You reign on high” The thrilling sound of the trumpet blown to the glory of God filled the church. Again, Nathaniel sang “You are the reason, for 60 years…” The heavens obviously filled up with joy as he chanted “Hallelujah! Eh! Hallelujah, ooh…! the sound of rejoicing, the sound of sixty, the sound of victory over death and the sound of a new dawn saturated the atmosphere. Glory!
The people went woohoo! with angelic claps as Nathaniel continued with his masterpiece slowly again, he transited into imela imela and the worshippers’ mood changed simultaneously worshipping okaoka oyekeruwa… Eze mo oh, declaring that they would worship him forever because God is too much and too good, doing what no man has done by keeping mama for sixty years and will do what no man would do in the next sixty years and more in Mama’s life.
Beautiful Bukola Bekes, a worship warrior, daughter of Zion came up singing happy birthday to mama, her voice celestial as always, Bukola decked in white and red native, effortlessly sang “Great is thy faithfulness morning by morning new mercy I see…” Teary-eyed and passionately the congregation sang jumping in worship to the Almighty. Counting their blessings, acknowledging what God has done for Mama, Papa, David Jnr, Isaac, Love, Joyce and the Winners Family. Gently and smoothly she sang in her native tongue and the response from the people was ecstatic, appreciating God for what he has done, “dansaki Baba” “Kabi o Si… Baba” and then “Gbangban Gbangan … Janron Janron … Kabiti Kabiti…” giving more thanks to Lord for his mercy which endures forever, none is greater him, excellent Jehovah, marvellous Jehovah, the One who honoured Mama, the God that is good and has set her feet on a solid rock. The Church couldn’t help but jump, shout, dance and sing “You are God you not just big o you are a great God…” The delightful Faith Tabernacle choir took the cue and graced the altar in a dance as they chorused “You are big, big … large, large … great, great … you are a great God”!
It was as if the praise night was just commencing when Evangelist Ayo stepped in, wishing Mama more sixty years to come with peace of mind and sang, “what can I say unto the Lord, all I have to say is thank you Lord”. More Wows from the cheery worshippers! The heaven sang the earth and all in it glorified the Lord, blessing the name of the Lord for a daughter of Zion, a Deborah of our time. Evangelist invited the people, “come and join me sing alleluia, Jehovah Jireh has done me well” and “Come and see what the Lord has done, Ewa wo …” Evangelist continued declaring that the mercy of God Mama had receive will endure until she grows very, very old. As he changed the gear, Mama and Papa who had been dancing from the onset kept on the dance, majestically as the Evangelist poured more heaven’s blessings on Mama. The talking drums talked praise in unison, the artistic drummers dazed everyone, and no matter how much the excited worshippers spread their arms to describe the bigness of God, it was clearly not enough to describe Him.
Subsequently, the teeming congregation clapped even more to God’s glory and sent happy cheers to Mama, yes Mama!
for it was Mama Faith’s time to testify, she gracefully approached the altar singing melodiously “to God be the glory”. A lovely voice at sixty!
Mama knelt in worship to the only True God, the one who kept her. Mama said all the arrangement had been a surprise to her, and so she prayed positive surprises will not cease for all who made the event happen. ‘Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name we give glory…’ (Psalms 115: 1), ‘having, therefore, obtained the help of God, I continue this day,’ (Acts 26:22) Mama said.
She spoke to the congregation “if you have had any reason to doubt the authenticity of the scriptures, remember me”, she reiterated that God will positively surprise everyone who came to thank God on her behalf.
Mama Faith, the Sixth child of her parent, got baptized in the Holy Ghost in 1976, and according to her never had any reason for regrets since then, it had been one level of glory to another, God had been her primary focus, “God is too faithful to fail” Mama said, and if you only hold on to the end you will be declared a winner, it is the Jesus in me that makes the difference, his faithfulness and word is too real, she encouraged further.
Mama prayed, “as you have gathered because of the Jesus in me, as you have come to rejoice with me the shout of joy will never depart from your mouth. You have come to honour the Jesus in me He will honour you in return…” Mama recalled that “Satan’s agents were rejoicing when she was ill, but glory hallelujah, Jesus prevailed because the devil is always a liar.” Mama confidently declared that she was waxing stronger and just beginning and If the devil had known that what he did to her would bring so many blessings to many others, he won’t have done what he had done. Once more she told the people; “don’t you ever give up on God” and declared again “your world will celebrate you, You will live long, You will fulfil the number of your days …”
Quoting Psalms 48:14, she said: “this God is my God, He will be our guide even unto the end.” Appreciating everyone and asking God to reward them all. She eulogised her heartthrob, the best decision she ever made, Papa. Where would she have been if God had not brought her to Papa? she asked. It was awesome and very emotional as she returned to her seat amid the applause of the church.
More worship, more raising of hands in adoration as Pastor Elijah Oyelade, God’s own servant of worship took the people through another moment of worship, urging the church to clap their hands to God, bigger, stronger for He is a wonder. “Let your voice count in thanking God, for all he had done, what people call impossible God made possible”, was Elijah’s lyrics “So amazing God changed the life of His own… I remember the place you brought me from…” Elijah sang. With the Saints thanking God for a foreseen future, bowing before His throne, worshipping at His feet and speaking in tongues, the Holy Ghost was evidently present.
In the same vein, Evangelist Bola Are, the ‘mama’ of praise herself, with the golden voice led the people in another sensational session of praise and worship. Celebrating mama Faith’s birthday. Declaring the presence of Angel Gabriel and the host of heaven wishing Mama happy birthday, the God of Abraham, Jacob, Israel, wishing Mama happy birthday. “Nothing spoil, without blemish, hale and hearty” She proclaimed! Appreciating the ancient of days, Lily of the valley, in agreement with others she declared that it had been only God who has brought Mama to her sixtieth year, making that day a reality.
The climax of the night was the presentation by the Oyedepo’s family choir, in their midst was Joyce – the pianist, Kemi – the trumpeter, Pastor David Jnr on the guitar and Isaac the drummer while Love – the vocalist and others praising God for preserving the life of their mother, the Good God, the great God. Teary, smiley and enthralled won’t be enough to describe the congregation who supported the session with applauds, while some watched with admiration. It was an awesome presentation by the first and second generation Oyedepos, daughters and son-in-love all involved to praise God. Proclaiming the greatness of a Good God, everything written about Him forever is great.
An inexhaustible time in God’s presence, the people wanted more and so more came when lovely Evangelist Tope Alabi, a praise and worship icon, taking advantage of the air, kept the tempo and brought down the heavens with songs.
Such a worthwhile, heartfelt, power-packed and inspirational night of praise would have been incomplete without a vote of thanks on behalf of the Oyedepo family by Pastor Isaac Oyedepo and subsequently, a memorable benediction from Papa – Bishop David Oyedepo himself. Singing “to God be the glory…” Papa briefly reminisced on Mama’s ordeal in 2004, noting that the celebration that night was a celebration of resurrection.
Enter; Bishop’s Declarations…
- No one in this celebration will ever suffer such or see it in your family.
- Every battle of your life is declared won
- Receive grace for longevity
- You will see your children’s children
- It will be peace all the way
- Favour will locate you
- Timely help will come your way
- Be rewarded for your love; be blessed for your love
In Jesus’ name, Amen!