From 15 to over 20,000 members in 11 years, the meteoric rise of Pastor Femi Emmanuel-led Living Spring Chapel on Adeniyi Jones Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos, is on the lips of many people. What started as a fellowship with only 15 members in his apartment in the ancient city of Ibadan, Oyo state has become a big ministry worth N2 billion.
He pastors one of the fastest growing Pentecostal churches in Nigeria with international headquarters at Ikeja, Lagos. His evangelistic aura flavours the ancient city of Ibadan. His Oyo headquarters in Dominion City, Iwo Road, Agbawo Expressway, Ibadan, Oyo state with a 10,000-seater cathedral worth over N1 billion.
The Dominion City is on over 50 acres. It accommodates the citadel of ministerial learning, nursery, primary and secondary schools, old people’s home and recreation centre, resort centre for ministers/multi-purpose hall and a 10,000-seater worship centre called the Dominion Cathedral with an amphi-theatre for open air crusade. The cathedral was designed by Architect Olumide Osikoya. Its shape is like a man’s palm. With this form, the architect was able to evolve a functional and aesthetic design of a 10,000-seater cathedral without any free standing column which can block the congregation’s view. The hollow of the palm is the centre of attraction. This is where the altar is and the chair stand flowing out from the hollow (centre) are two fingers where the congregation are seated with a good view of what is going on at the altar. The neck of the palm is where offices and counseling rooms are provided with other necessary conveniences.
The gallery, which can seat 3,500 worshippers is accessed through the overflow that serves as a corridor to the eight different stair halls, which also serve as links for the eight different vomits that ushers people in and out of the cathedral. The principal façade with the main entrances are designed with parapet walls in the form of a praying hand. This conveys a message to every worshipper coming.
The cathedral plays host to worshippers every last Sunday of the month during the Super Sunday mega service. However, the international headquarters at Adeniyi Jones Avenue, near Wahum Factory, Ikeja, Lagos, is worth N100 million. It was inaugurated from October 24 to 27, 2002. The two peak services of the ministry are the every Thursday prayer mountain between 12 and 1.30 p.m and the three services on Sunday. The first service is between 7 and 9 a.m, second service is from 9 to 11 a.m, while the third service is between 11 and 1 p.m. It was reported that within the last five years, almost half a million people have attended his insightful and miracle induced programmes in his chapel.
To accommodate the teeming worshippers that throng his ministry, their services run from three shifts. He nets an average of N100 million per annum from offerings. And several millions of naira donation from followers of his radio programme.
The ministry arm of Living Spring Chapel International is uniquely arranged through which members can easily identify and develop their potentials and ultimately to serve God. This is why upwardly mobile young professionals visit the place en masse. The service groups are structured into intercessory units, protocol, counselling, church administrator, living players, tracts and publications, evangelical crusade, sanctuary care, security and others. The fellowship groups are Bezaleels, Hand Moudons, Youth Affairs, Children and Campus.
One of the key groups is the Youth and Singles Affairs International. Established since inception of the church in 1993, it has been the platform for the ministry to bring the youth together and express God’s mind concerning Christian relationships. Under the present leadership of Pastor Femi Emmanuel, the Singles Affair International, along with the campus fellowship has grown in leaps and bounds.
The ministry reaches out through various media such as television broadcast, audio and video tapes, campus outreaches, seminars, symposia and internet. It’s worth N100 million. Some of the ministry’s best seller messages on audio and video tapes are: The Ultimate Search, Test of Love, Developing a Magnetic Personality, Why Marriages Don’t Work, A Night With Samson, Dating Rules, Lost in Action and Critical Assignment. The tapes have raked several millions of naira to the ministry.
Of humble parentage, Pastor Femi Emmanuel’s salvation experience in 1972, when he was still in his teens, changed his destiny. He was one of the four pioneer members of Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship International in 1985. A man of many parts, his interests straddle his professional calling in engineering, politics, business and his first love, the ministry. He is married to Pastor (Mrs.) Hephzibah Emmanuel. She is the President of the Women Handmaiden Ministry of the church in Nigeria and abroad.