Redeeming Public Goods
ORGANISATION: The Redeemed Christian Church of God
SECTOR: Education, Infrastructure
There are some wonderful self-organizing structures and entities in Nigeria that has contributed to the national development of the country, amongst them is the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) is a pentecostal megachurch and denomination founded in Lagos, Nigeria. The General overseer (most senior pastor) is Enoch Adeboye, ordained in 1981. The church in Lagos has an average church attendance of 100,000.
The RCCG was founded in 1952 by Rev. Josiah Olufemi Akindayomi (1909–1980) following his involvement in other churches. Enoch Adejare Adeboye, a mathematics lecturer at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, was one of the interpreters translating Akindayomi’s sermons from Yoruba to English. He was ordained a pastor of the church in 1975, and his appointment as the leader (General overseer) of the church was formalized by the posthumous reading of Akindayomi’s sealed pronouncement.
Andrew Rice, writing in The New York Times, calls the RCCG “one of [Africa’s] most vigorously expansionary religious movements, a homegrown Pentecostal denomination that is crusading to become a global faith”. The church’s leaders preach that in the future, “in every household there will be at least one member of Redeemed Christian Church of God in the whole world.”
Redeemed Church Role in Business
It should be said that apart from being a place of religious worship. The church has used its influence to create value in society despite not having government help. The redemption camp, the church ground is powered by a mini power station. According to the Nation Newspaper, “It started as a small place on the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway about 35 years ago. The Redemption Camp’s growth now has the reputation of being the largest Christian estate in the world. Sitting on 1,687 hectares of land, the community of Christians has different exciting places in it that can make it function as a local government in Nigeria. With beautiful edifices springing up weekly, Redemption Camp has over 15 residential estates with over 7000 houses, a mega amusement park known as Emmanuel park, a post office, events centres, a television studio (Dove Television) and two radio studios (RCCG Radio and Liveway Radio)”.Apart from this, it has become a major incubation hub for businesses.
The Nation Newspaper further stated of “the Christ Redeemer’s Ministries, the arm of the Redeemed Christian Church of God that is saddled with the responsibility of running and managing businesses in the camp. Their operations have brought about the proliferation of banks, the establishment of chalets and lodges and shopping complexes. Other businesses in the camp include CRM Press, Redemption Water, CRM Bakery, CRM Supermarket, various restaurants and stores owned by members of the church. All of these businesses are powered off-grid.” Having started from using different generators, power supply evolved into the use of a 25-megawatt power plant using gas turbines. The Federal Government restraints the camp from supplying electricity to communities around it. Camp residents pay for the electricity supply through the prepaid metering system, which is highly subsidised by the mission.
Just imagine if the Federal government agrees, Redeem church can adequately supply power to communities around Mowe and Ibafo.
The Role of the Redeemed Church in the Covid-19 fight
The church through its university – Redeemer’s University in Ede, Osun State, Nigeria (RUN) – has become a centre of excellence in the fight against Covid. Before the pandemic, there have been many interventions in the health care sector and the Redeemed Church had donated to many cancer treatments and screening centres across the country.
The Africa Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) lab at Redeemer’s University (founded by the Redeemed Church) and the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) were the first institutions in Nigeria to sequence the genome of the SARSCOV2 virus. This contributed to public knowledge regarding spread and strains. The Redeemed Church is another example of a self-reliant institution making positive societal change.