-As RCCG Pastor Celebrates 70th Birthday
The last weekend of July 2017 turned out to be the beginning of many more merry moments for a national elder in Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor (Mrs) R. A. Monehin, as she celebrated her 70th birthday with pomp and pageantry. In this special package, SportsDay Editor, SAM O’FEMI OLUSETIRE reports that the reception on July 29 at Ikoyi, Lagos and thanksgiving the following day at RCCG Throne of Mercy parish were both epochal moments in the history of the church, which left edifying examples of what everyone who witnessed the occasions would cherish for themselves….
July 30, 2017 Becomes Memorable
-As Thanksgiving, Celebrations Reach Climax
Sunday, July 30, 2017 will forever be remembered among the congregation, friends and well-wishers of Throne of Mercy parish of Redeemed Christian Church of God, because it was the day old and young, male and female danced gleefully in celebration of the 70th birthday thanksgiving of their zonal leader, Pastor (Mrs) R.A. Monehin.
Her children had actually chosen the day before – Saturday, July 29 – to throw an elaborate birthday get-together and reception at an imposing auditorium in Ikoyi, Lagos, which only a select few had the opportunity of attending.
The reception had been graced by some of the ministers and choir members at Throne of Mercy, but the day after was one set aside for all, as celebration galore was ignited and the activities extended into dancing, singing, bible messages, photograph sessions as well as sharing of gifts, souvenirs, food and drinks.
The message of the day was given by no less a person than the head of Lagos Province 52, Pastor Olaitan Olubiyi, who acknowledged the need for thanksgiving in the life of any human being that appreciates the love of God.
Also present was a national elder of Redeemed Christian Church of God from Lekki, Lagos, Pastor T. Aiyegbusi, who took charge of thanksgiving prayers, after ‘Mummy Monehin’ and her family – children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, as well as wives – all dropped their offerings at the altar.
They were soon joined by the ministers present, including the assistant provincial pastor, five area pastors, ushers, workers, choir and all members of the congregation, who trooped out happily to drop their offerings as well.
Before all that, the group of married ladies under the banner of Good Women Choir gave another version of their presentation from the day before at the reception, as they rolled out two emotional songs that got ‘Mummy Monehin’ dancing happily in front of all, and was soon joined by her family members in happy gaits.
Series of photograph sessions then took place; with various classifications joining ‘Mummy Monehin’ behind her cakes, as the celebrant made ready to take the ceremonies to a highpoint, while the elegantly dressed Throne of Mercy choir gave praise songs in the background.
Just as Pastor Olubiyi was wrapping up the day’s activities and urging anyone who had not been able to join in any of the group photographs to hold on until after the service, Pastor Enoch Bobby Edegbo, the one in charge of Victory Parish, stepped forward to announce that all pastors in Throne of Mercy zone had a special presentation to make.
It turned out to be a giant portrait of the celebrant, and she was moved to tears of joy as she basked in the glee and euphoria of an unexpected addition to the day’s fanfare, for which she consequently gave an unprepared vote of thanks.
“I love you all,” Pastor Monehin tweeted in a sonorous and hearty voice. “God will replenish you all. I wish you all success and uncommon favour, which will make people gather like this to celebrate with you as well.
“You will grow from glory to glory, glory to glory. God will bless you; your best is yet to come. I thank you for all the support you have given me and how you are celebrating with me.
“God will help me live long to appreciate Him and everyone more than this. Life begins at 80; as you can see, I have just started.
“Those coming behind will see more of God’s glory in my life and in your lives as well. Your lives will be full of more blessings of the Lord. Thank you very much for everything. I love you all.”
Throne Of Mercy Captivates All
The message for the thanksgiving service of Pastor (Mrs) R. A. Monehin held in the sparkling new look auditorium of the parish from where she serves as the head of Throne of Mercy zone in The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).
It is noteworthy that Throne of Mercy parish began to wear a new look right from August 2011, when Pastor Monehin arrived in aplomb to take over from Pastor Abiodun Adediran, who was the founder father of what is often fondly T.O.M.
Situated along the modern yet vastly popular Governor’s Road in Ikotun area of Lagos, next to Barracks Bus Stop, T.O.M. was the first R.C.C.G. parish on the long stretch that used to be known as Association Avenue, until it was developed to make easy access possible to the Governor’s Lodge at 2nd Junction Bus Stop.
While Pastor Adediran succeed in carving out a niche for Throne of Mercy parish, by ensuring they not acquired land for the church but bought it outright, the arrival of Pastor Monehin marked the watershed that propelled it to the status of a zonal headquarter.
Considering her lofty status in RCCG, it was only befitting that the parish from which she operated should also be elevated; hence the promotion to area headquarters and later the zonal recognition, but it also meant the premises should wear a new look.
That led to the commencement of an elaborate church-building project in 2015, with Pastor Monehin as the motivating mother figure and propelling force behind what she called another call to duty for God’s glory.
What appeared like a pipe dream when it was initiated back then has now turned into a testimony of God’s grace and what can be achieved by a united and cooperative congregation, in response to the calls of a visionary leader.
Everyone learnt that it was not the first church ‘Mummy Monehin’ had helped RCCG transform into a modern edifice, but the value of a story is never really felt until you feel it yourself, which is what has been manifest at 85, Governor Road, Ikotun, Lagos.
The testimony to behold is one that has seen a transformation of T.O.M. from the level of a hut-like, low-roofed, corrugated iron covered church building held up by several unpolished planks to an edifice with tiles, upper terrace, elevated altar, ultra-modern doors, banquet chairs, parking space with interlocking bricks and wider space that soon promises to have full air-conditioning.
That was the spectacle everyone was glad to behold on Sunday, July 30, 2017, when the thanksgiving ceremony of Pastor Monehin’s 70th birthday was staged in the comfy ambience and confines of Throne of Mercy, with high class visitors from home and abroad in attendance.
The leader of RCCG Province 52, Pastor Olaitan Olubiyi was apt in applauding ‘Mummy Monehin’ for motivating the dream to come true, through the grace of God on her side, while equally hailing the congregation for supporting her to the fullest.
Pastor Olubiyi joked that Pastor Monehin had actually been stopped from moving straight to The Redemption Camp on being named a national leader of RCCG, in order for her to complete the building project at T.O.M.
“Having come this far,” he declared, “we should be looking forward to the forthcoming National Convention and the ordination of national elder; which means Mama will soon have an office at the camp and she will not be in charge here again.”
That turned the day’s activities into a possible send forth addendum, as 70 years of life on earth had been celebrated to the fullest and thanks given to The Almighty aplenty, and ‘Mummy Monehin’ could be moving on to the next port of call in the labour of God’s vineyard.
However, even Pastor Olubiyi appeared reluctant to let her go, and soon retorted: On the other hand, we may start thinking of an Elders Parish for our province, and Mama could be called on to be the pastor in charge.
“I am sure Mama is not tired of pasturing, so that could be the right way to keep her with us. We shall discuss that later.”
Pastor Olubiyi Harps On Thanksgiving
It was befitting message that came forth from the altar at Throne of Mercy parish of Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) on Sunday, July 30, 2017, as the head of Lagos Province 52, Pastor Olaitan Olubiyi gave a sermon tagged ‘Thanking God All The Time’ for the thanksgiving service of the 70th birthday of Pastor (Mrs) R.A. Monehin.
Pastor Olubiyi led an array of esteemed elders, ministers and leaders of the province and other arms of RCCG in attending the thanksgiving service at Throne of Mercy, where ‘Mummy Monehin’ was pastor in charge of the zone.
So symbolic it also was that an RCCG national elder from Lekki, Lagos, Pastor T. Aiyegbusi, also came around to felicitate with the mother of the moment, who was beaming with all smiles, as she looked resplendent in a flowing traditional attire that further accentuated the elegance she still carries despite her advanced years
Also in the audience were all six children of ‘Mummy Monehin’ – five male and one female – along with their children, as they all turned out in honour of the matriarch of the family, with many of them even travelling in from America and Britain.
The glitterati of noble men and women was one befitting the age, status, relevance, value and impact of a woman who has made her mark – and continues making her mark – as a mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great-grandmother, leader in the vineyard, church-builder, principal, school owner and motivator all rolled into one.
With all those values added to her résumé, there surely could not have been anything short of giving praise to God and honouring The Most High for the life of a woman whose impact has been felt and is still being felt in the body of Christ and among the generality of human beings.
Such it was that one of the ministers in Throne of Mercy parish, Deacon Olaolu Agboola first took the congregation to the bible reading passage of the day, Psalm 136: 1-26, and he urged everyone to recite the second part of each of the verses along with him – for His mercies endure forever.
After the choir ministration, Pastor Olubiyi took over and began the sermon of the day, laced with nostalgic memories of how he and ‘Mummy Monehin’ have been together in the service of God for several years, because she was also under his banner when he was a zonal pastor.
He based the message of the day on Psalm 34: 1-4, which harps on the need for human beings to bless the Lord at all times and let His praise continually be in our mouths, because He delivers us anytime we call upon Him.
Pastor Olubiyi also pointed out that the passage exhorts human beings to call upon one another in times of joy, so that other people will join us in giving praise to God for the great things he is doing in our lives.
He further cited the words of Ephesians 3: 20, which says God will do exceedingly and abundantly above all things we request, and we should not stop praising God because He will continue to bless us and the door of fresh, new and incredible multiplication of blessings for us.
Pastor Olubiyi also pointed out to some passages in the Bible, where Jesus gave thanks to God and achieved great wonders in return (John 6: 5-13 feeding of 5,000), Luke 17: 11-19 one leper receives fullness out of ten that were healed), John 11: 35 – 44 Lazarus brought back to life from the dead and Psalm 50: 14 & 15 encourages us to remain thankful even in the midst of trouble).
He, however, concluded with words of admonition to anyone in the congregation who might not have accepted Jesus as Lord and saviour at that point in time, and made an altar call for someone who needs to be saved.
“The best kind of thanksgiving is to hand your life over to the service of Jesus and work for the propagation of His Gospel,” Pastor Olubiyi concluded.