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Inside Bishop Mike Okonkwo’s N20 billion TREM

TREM is big enough to contain you, small enough to reach you and powerful enough to deal with anything the devil brings against you.

This is the articulated vision statement of the Bishop Mike Okonkwo led The Redeemed Evangelical Mission, which was launched on January 4, 1987. The ministry, which took off from a humble beginning in an uncompleted building, has grown into a household name with over 160 branches in 10 nations of the world. The ministry, with presence in Africa, Middle East, America and Europe, is making waves and reportedly raking in a monthly income of N20 million from tithes, aside offerings and special donations.

Also, the ministry which has their world headquarters at Obanikoro/Anthony Oke, Lagos, dedicated their cathedral on Saturday, July 2, 2011. The multi-million naira auditorium would comfortably seat over 20,000 worshippers. The intimidating auditorium has an oval shape of a standard stadium and the equipment were all procured abroad. The funds for the cathedral came from pledges by friends and worshippers.

Bishop Okonkwo operates a prisons’ outreach which ministers to inmates of various prisons and remand homes across the country. He also runs the Care Ministry, which caters for the less privileged with relief items, food stuff, soft short term loans and encouraging petty trading in order to be self subsistent. He spends an estimated sum of N5 million monthly on this ministry. This includes his popular project, Forte Competition for young inventors.

 

His Dunamis Publications is also a source of revenue for the ministry. It is a department charged with the responsibility for church publications such as, The Power in the Word magazine and books authored by the bishop and his wife. This department nets an average of N50 million annually as the magazine is in huge demand across their 160 branches. Aside that, The Power Media also brings income to the ministry. The Power Media is subdivided into two which is the video unit and the audio unit. This unit records all the programmes, messages and crusades by the ministry. They are then replicated in audio tapes, CDs and VCDs. This ministry makes an average of N1 million every week from its teeming worshippers.

It was alleged that the presiding bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission, Bishop Mike Okonkwo at the annual conference in 2011, informed the excited guests that the ministry will soon own a jet which would facilitate the new phase of the ministry.

Okonkwo was born in Enugu on September 6, 1945, to the family of Pa and Ma Okonkwo of Ogbunike in Oyi local government area of Anambra State. He started his primary education at Salivation Army Primary School, Enugu, but later moved to Ijero Baptist Primary Schol, Ebute Metta, Lagos.

He, however, completed his primary education at St. Marks Primary School, Offa, Kwara State. He started his secondary education at Mayflower College, Ikenne, Ogun State and completed it at Merchants of Light Grammar School, Oba, Anambra State in 1963. He joined the Nigerian Ports Authority in 1964, where he worked only for three months before crossing over to the defunct African Continental Bank, with the mind of making a career in banking. A pioneer member of staff of the Martins Street, Lagos branch from 1964 to 1966, Okonkwo was deployed to the western branch of ACB during the civil war, which eventually interrupted his career.

During the war, he underwent the military training but had no opportunity to practice what he had learnt because the war ended the very night he was deployed to the war front. He later “had an encounter with Jesus” in November 1970 and for the first time, he started attending church services before launching his ministry on January 4, 1981.

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