Bishop Mrs. Chioma Dauji, founder of Amazing Grace Pentecostal Church had every reason to roll out the drums. Sunday, November 28 was the church’s grand-finale of the Church’s silver jubilee celebration.
As she stood on the altar recounting the church’s story, she was overwhelmed. She could not resist the temptation of mentioning one by one, names of people God used for the church to get to where it is.
Chioma Dauji recalled the days of little beginnings when the pulpit of the church stood on a soak-away pit in downtown Ojuelegba. She recalled the various outreaches to street urchins and how miscreants would pour smokes of their cigarettes and hemp on her while she preached to them.
Chioma Dauji: I never want full-time
She recalled how she never wanted to obey God and how God humbled her to the point of total surrender.
Dauji, a successful businesswoman had her own understanding of God. She said,“I resisted the call to go into ministry head-on. Instead, I believed my business comes first and that I could do whatever God wants me to do at my own pace.”
But she was wrong. The more she tried to run away from God, the more doors of ministry opened for her. In her former church, she got the responsibility of ministering to folks with difficult cases. And people got answers to their problems. In no time, people began to gravitate towards her for spiritual succour. Her husband, Apostle Edward Dauji sensed the call of God on her life; encouraged her to embark on theological education.
But then she never wanted to be fully committed. She wanted to be running business and also do ministry work simultaneously. That didn’t go with God’s plan for her life.
The crises and the surrender
Perhaps for God to get her attention, He allowed things to go wrong. Her business began to crumble. Her daughter took ill. It was in the midst of these crises that more people began to come for prayers and counseling. She began to hold vigils on weekly basis. That was the point it became clear she had nowhere to run.
Pronto, she gave in. She closed her business and went to Bible school. It was at the Bible school the church began. One of the regular faces in her home fellowship donated seven benches to her to begin her ministry. Shortly after that, a woman God healed of leukemia through her ministration offered her home for fellowship.
The hurting came to church
But then many of the people God gave her are the hurting, the downtrodden, drug addicts and people who indeed needed the transforming power of God in their lives. She was up to the challenge. Gradually, the lives of these people were transformed and in no time, they became strong members of the church.
That Sunday, she was effusive with praise to God seeing the various lives that God had used her remould. She brought back memories of the years gone back.
Ejike Nnabugwu’s amazing transformation
Indeed, God’s grace had worked miraculously among the people. One of the outstanding testimonies is that of Ejike Nnabugwu who was raised from ground zero to a respectable minister of the gospel and a businessman.
Though the celebration had taken the whole Sunday, Nnabugwu insisted he had to share his testimony. He came rolling on the floor and thanking God while appreciating Bishop Dauji for the great work God did through her. He told the congregation how he was brought to the church a complete wreck.
“Nobody believed in me. I was a drug addict. I was worse than a mad man. My family members had given up on me. But when I was brought here, Bishop took me in along with many other people. I had dropped out of school by then. But one day she called all of us and asked what we would like to do. I said I was willing to go back to school. My family could not afford to send me to school. But I was given the assurance that I would go to school.”
Shortly after, Nnabugwu was enrolled in a continuing education centre. He sat for WAEC made his papers. He wrote JAMB and passed after two attempts to gain admission to Delta State University where she studied Social Studies Education. Today, Nnabugwu lives in Ghana doing well. His life has been completely transformed.
He poured encomiums on Bishop Dauji saying, “I really gave her trouble”. Bishop Dauji recalled that her labour on Nnabugwu was seemingly unending. But God gave the victory at last.
Centre of God’s grace
Nnabugwu is just one of the many lives that have been transformed through the ministry. The church is indeed a centre for the manifold grace of God. The impact is undeniable. The outreach to widows and orphans has remained a regular feature of the ministry.
The ebullient preacher also shared testimony of how God brought the church to prime property in the Palmgrove area of Lagos. The church had been ejected at the Ojuelegba centre and it had no money to pay for a new location. But the Lord led Bishop Dauji to its present site. The location was then occupied by mechanics who were owing rent for 10 years. After so much intrigue, the church was able to rent the place and the landlord later gave the church the opportunity to buy the property.
The church is today strategically located on Bakare Avenue by Keystone Bank, Palm grove Bus Stop.
Apostle Edward Baba Dauji
At the event, Bishop Chioma Dauji who cuts the picture of a go-getter said her husband was the only one who could have married her. “Don’t blame me, there are seven boys after me in the family, that is why I tend to behave the way I do. God used my husband to teach me patience. I would talk, talk and talk, he won’t respond. He is the quiet dealer. But he gave me all the support. My husband has superb writing. Apart from being able to write well, his writing is fantastic. I used to place his writings on the wall. He is a great lover and versed in the writing of love letters.”
Turning to her husband, she said, “I love you so dearly”.
Apostle Dauji, noted at the event, “Anyone who is 25 years is no longer a child. Amazing Grace is no longer crawling. Today’s celebration, therefore, is to thank the Lord God who has kept us this 25 years.”
Time of celebration
Indeed, it was a time for celebration. The congregation was agog as the choir did not disappoint. Earlier in the week, notable men of God including Bishop Prof. Dapo Asaju had ministered in the church.
That Sunday, Africa’s second richest woman, Apostle Mrs. Folorunso Alakija charged the congregation and encouraged them to press on doing the work of evangelism.
Alakija said there is always another level for the work for God noting that there is no end to it. She said until we evangelise the world, Jesus would not come back. “We keep moving to the next level.”
She said there is hope for Nigeria as long as we hold unto him. “God will never give up on us. My message is one of hope.”He pleaded with the youth to be patient and understand that we serve a living God that can bring an end to our challenges.