What struck one first at the 66th annual convention of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) on Friday was the massive attendance — a sea of heads everywhere at the Redemption Camp.
Everywhere one turned, there were lots of people, with yet more flooding in. The three-million seat Old Auditorium at the camp was overflowing and the completed sessions of the new three-kilometre-by-three-kilometre auditorium called the Arena was full.
Confirming that, Enoch Adeboye, general overseer of the church, announced that they had been planned for the church’s pastors to lay hands on members of the congregation towards the end of the programme but with the number of people in attendance, the exercise was not possible. It was postponed to 11am on Saturday.
With both auditoriums full, estimated attendance must have been between five to six million people.
Yet, there was no incident throughout the programme and the camp was kept neat – no thrash around and no dump sites. The massive flow of people was also noticeable during the call on mothers who had been blessed with the fruit of the womb through prayers at the church to take their babies to the altar for blessings. For about 10 minutes, mothers carrying their babies proudly and dancing, poured in from various angles of the auditoriums to the altars. Soon, pools of heads formed at the altars.
“When you consider that in all these homes there used to be crying every month but now there is joy, join me to rejoice with them,” Pastor Adeboye said.
“You know how much I love children, but my wife loves them more.” Then he let out a secret. “My wife wanted 12 children but we had to stop somewhere. Now we have many spiritual children (the name he calls church members, who in turn call him Daddy).”