The Church in Nigeria is on the march with the commissioning and dedication of the world’s largest church in Abuja, Nigeria on Saturday 24 November. It is the 100,000 seat capacity Glory Sanctuary of The Lord’s Garden of the Dunamis International Gospel Centre.
Dunamis Church was founded by Senior Pastor Dr. Paul Idoko Enenche.
The intimidating edifice was built by the U.S. construction giant, Geometrica Inc. which specializes in building sports venues, convention centers, houses of worship, offices, industrial plants and domes around the world. Geometrica is based in Cypress, Texas, USA.
The total cost of the Glory Sanctuary edifice is unknown but the structure’s roofing alone is said to have gulped a whooping $5 million or nearly
N2billion and spans an incredible 22,148 square meters – (that’s over 2 hectares or 5 acres) yet has no interior columns to hold it. It is the largest covered roof on Africa soil.
“We didn’t borrow any money from individuals or take bank loan for this project. We are owing nobody who is either dead or alive to the glory of God.” says Dr. Paul Enenche.
He gave a first-hand account of the visions for the project:
“God gave us that vision; with the vision, there must come location. That was how we began to pray and in the night I had a revelation where I was taken to a land along the airport road with a landmark that showed me this land. We looked for the land but we couldn’t find it. So we decided to buy land somewhere else, almost a thousand acres and another one almost 700 acres in another location. We were almost starting in one of those places when the Lord reminded me that there was somewhere else he showed me and that I should still go ahead and look for the place. I then called one of the surveyors in our church and anointed him with oil and tasked him to go and look for the land along the airport. To the glory of God, within one week, he was back and said he had found a place. And when we got here, I said this was the place the Lord showed. And that was how we secured this place after almost ten years when it was first released via revelation.”
Construction of the Glory Sanctuary started on 14 September 2014, when Dr Paul Enenche’s father in the Lord, Bishop David Oyedepo broke the ground at the site along Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport Road, Abuja, to indicate commencement of the project.
Dunamis International church itself was established on 10 November, 1996. The first Sunday service was held at the Abuja Centre for Arts and Culture, Area 10. Church services were held for two weeks there before the church moved to Abuja Sheraton Hotel and Towers where services were held for another six months. Then they moved to Area 1, Garki, Abuja in June 1997.
Dunamis founder, Paul Enenche, a medical doctor by training, is an Idoma from Benue State. He was born in Oturkpo on 12 June 1968 and is the younger brother to army General John Enenche, who just recently retired as spokesman for the Nigerian Army.
It is said he went into full-time ministry after he had embarked on a personal retreat on the pleateau hills in Jos, putting aside his medical certificate.
He is married to Dr (Mrs) Becky Paul-Enenche, also a medical doctor, and they are blessed with three children.
At the auditorium dedication on Saturday 24 November, the dome was filled to capacity with excited Christian faithfuls from all over Nigeria and beyond.
Guests at the dedication include Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Speaker Yakubu Dogara, Ex-president Goodluck Jonathan, Senator Dino Melaye, Governors of Akwa Ibom and Benue States, Emmanuel Udom and Samuel Ortom, Bishop David Oyedepo, Pastor Enoch Adeboye and many from the United States including Pastor Morris Cerullo.
In his sermon, Bishop David Oyedepo of the Living Faith Church Worldwide urged the people to see the auditorium christened ‘The Glory Dome’ as a fulfillment of the prophecy of God rather than an achievement.
“We have not come to celebrate a vision but a divine visitation. This is not an achievement but a fulfillment of prophecy because God commanded it, He also has executed His project,” Oyedepo noted.
There were a number of goodwill messages. But when former President Goodluck Jonathan was invited to speak there was a thunderous applause from the capacity-filled church. He counselled Nigerians to remain steadfast, that Nigeria will be great again notwithstanding the present challenges facing the country.
Comparing Nigeria to the Biblical Israel, he said the nation had potentials for greatness but was experiencing moments of hardship due to inefficient leadership.
Jonathan stressed that such periods of hardships do not last long because of the perseverance of citizens praying to God to send a helper to liberate the people from their oppressors.
His words: “The story of Nigeria is identical to that of Israel. On some occasions, due to certain circumstances, the nation could go very low. Sometimes the people are taken captives and treated as slaves.
“But because some of the people are constantly praying (for the nation), from time to time, God will send somebody that will bring them out of captivity.
“We all know that the circumstances in Nigeria today are not the best but because of your prayers, Nigeria will be great again.”
On his part, the Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo said the iconic building called for celebration, and declared that the nation would not fail to prosper in the coming years.
“I join my older brother (Jonathan) in rank because he was president to declare on this pulpit that this nation will grow from glory to glory; that all of us will experience the goodness of the Lord in this land and this country will not fail but prosper,” the VP said
Normal church services at the Glory Sanctuary commenced Sunday 25 November.