Encouraging progress in south-east Nigeria
Our seventh annual Reformed Bible Conference in Port Harcourt saw 209 pastors and 60 others from twenty different churches gather together.
Before it even started, we were able to enjoy ministry from Chris Buss (Metropolitan Tabernacle, London). He preached to thirty seminary students on: ‘Teaching believers about personal prayer’; ‘The biblical necessity of the Lord’s day’; and ‘Fundamental principles of the canon of Scripture’.
The next day he preached at both Sunday services and spoke to the Sunday school children, as well as to a group of converts preparing for baptism.
Monday began with a live radio programme. Pastors Jacowitz, Murrell and Ekpo were the hosts and Mr Kay of Treasure FM supported us as co-anchor. We were thrilled by the response. Many listeners phoned in with questions, and we received several text messages encouraging us to stand against the tide of ‘prosperity teaching’ so prevalent in Nigeria.
The conference proper began on Monday evening with two papers from Chris Buss on ‘The Christian and business’. These were extremely relevant for the many business people in attendance, who face issues arising from popular ‘health and wealth’ teaching. Pastor Buss also gave three messages on the Beatitudes.
We enjoyed further conference ministry from the early chapters of Revelation. Joe Jacowitz (California, USA) spoke on ‘Recovering first love’; Stanford Murrell (Florida, USA) on ‘False prophets and the church’; Tony Okoroh (Lagos, Nigeria) on ‘Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain’; Amadi Ahiamadu (University of Port Harcourt) on ‘An open door’; and Ani Ekpo (Port Harcourt) on ‘Neither cold nor hot’.
Paul Crossley (Leeds, UK) expounded the Epistle of Jude; Charles Achonwa (Port Harcourt) gave the charge to matriculating students from the Reformed Theological Seminary of Southern Nigeria on ‘The need for the theological education of pastors’; and Paul Cookey (Port Harcourt) brought the conference to a close with a rousing sermon.
The conference was an occasion to share encouragements. Pastor Useh spoke about his work as founding pastor of Christ’s Reformed Baptist Church, in Ikot Ekpene. After six years the Lord has blessed the church with 60 members and many ministries. Abraham Affiah, a second-year student, testified to the spiritual peace he has found from Reformed truth. He started an independent congregation this year.
Nsikak Dick also shared his experiences. Asked to leave his original church when he started to question its aberrant teaching and practices, he has since started an independent congregation of 70 people.
We eagerly anticipate the next conference, scheduled for November 2009. The theme will be ‘Earnestly contend for the faith’.
Pastor Ani Ekpo