By Gbenga Osinaike
It seemed to be a routine at the Holy Ghost Fellowship located at Johnson Sam-iye Street, Canal Estate, Okota, Lagos. But for this reporter, it was one event akin to the early days of Pentecostal move in Nigeria.
As this reporter stepped into the venue of the Holy Ghost Ministry, which holds regular meetings on Sunday afternoons, he could feel the warmth and the presence of God. The programme was to start by 3 pm but just few minutes past 3pm, the hall was almost filled to capacity with enthusiastic worshipers raising hands in admiration of God.
The leader of the fellowship, Rev. Tony Mbamali was visibly overwhelmed. You could read from his voice his zest. He was simply lost on the altar as he led the congregation in praise songs that ignited the entire auditorium.
It was a special service. First, it was time to dedicate a new album titled, In the Highest and also a time to celebrate the birth of two babies by members of the fellowship. The babies came in answer to prayers after a rather long wait by the couples.
Giving insight on the need for dedication, a pastor in the ministry, Dr. Ernest Ochonma said the art of dedication which started as Jewish practice was a culture that had caught up with the church over the years. He reasons that “whatever you dedicate to God will be protected. It is an invitation to God to come and take over the thing or person”
Giving further insight, Rev Mbamali said “it is deep seated wisdom not to own anything but rather to handover all that we owe to God. God will protect whatever you handed over to him. You must realize that you are a caretaker not a owner. God is able to protect and promote what is dedicated to him. Anytime you talk about divine ability it is always in superlative terms.”
While declaring that every dedication celebrates God’s faithfulness, he said, “There is a close relationship between praise and fruitfulness. One visitation from God can terminate 430 years of bondage as experienced by the children of Israel.”
Shortly after his exhortation, parents of the new babies and well-wishers danced to the altar, praising God with an unprecedented zeal. One of them, brother and sister Chieme had waited for 8 years before the Lord blessed them. The other had waited for 11 years before they were blessed. As God would have it they had three children in quick succession. Incidentally, the couples are related. The testimony of one inspired the other. Rev. Mbamali described the ways of God as awesome noting that the couples were faithful worshippers of God.
The album, which drew instant patronage from worshipers is a collection of victory songs written by Rev Mbamali. He had earlier told the congregation that he was not an instrumentalist neither was he a singer. He would rather prefer to be addressed as a worshiper of God.
Why noting that every work of art has a spirit behind it, he said, “The songs in the album were songs that the Holy Ghost gave to me at my private worship moments. They are songs I cherish so much and you can be sure that they will liberate you from every form of bondage as you listen to the wordings.”
A Zonal Pastor of Mountain of Fire and Ministries, Martin Eluemuna; who is also a close friend of Mbamali conducted the dedication of the album. He described Mbamali as a great instrument in the hands of God.
He recalled their days on the other side of life noting that it was great to see that they are both serving the Lord using the gifts he had deposited in them to His glory.
Two albums had earlier been released by Rev Mbamali. They were Higher Ground and Wind of Restoration. The latest, In the Highest, which was dedicated that Sunday afternoon, has 10 tracks. The songs are simply soul lifting and immensely inspiring.
Mbamali, a teacher of God’s word is currently working another album. Not a few of his associates and fellowship members wonder how he is able to combine his musical passion with the arduous apostolic task.
By Gbenga Osinaike