Grace is a programme/Karis Award based on charity, founded by the Pastor Chris Okotie in 1990 with a vision to reaching out to the less privileged. The ceremony held at the church auditorium in Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos, with the environment wearing an awesome look as Christmas comes closer.
For 25 years, the church has been pushing the cause of the underprivileged that look forward to the love feast every year with great expectation.
In 1996, the KARIS Award was launched and was listed in the GRACE programme. It is an award to unsung Nigerian heroes/heroines who due to some errors was not duly appreciated by the government.
Stella Adedevoh, the late medical doctor, who died during the controversial treatment of the Ebola case of the late Liberian diplomat, Patrick Sawyer is the 2015 Karis Awardee.
The annual church programme has grown to become an international event which attracts high class society people from the entertainment, fashion industry and corporate sector.
Included in the programme is an annual beauty pageant tagged, Queen Esther and every year a queen must be crowned. The evening usually features the parade and display of beautiful women in costumes inspired by popular female Bible characters. It is indeed an evening of glamour in the unique costume pageant, the contestant with the most creative costume is then crowned Queen Esther and gets a cash price of N1 million.
But this year, all past queens showcased their costumes on a first of its kind parade of queens to mark the 25th anniversary of Grace. Michel Isikalu, a student of UNILAG emerged the Queen Esther 2015.
The beneficiaries of the church GRACE charity are the Spinal Cord Injuries Association of Nigeria, The Pacelli School Orphanage, The Strong Tower Mission, The Sunshine Foundation.
Reverend Dele George, spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries, “I say a big thank you, there are no enough words to quantify what you have done.”
The Little Saint Orphanage started in 1994. The pragramme which the church uses to reach out to the needy in the spirit of Christmas, it is organized in response to the needs of the poor and the under privileged.
The GRACE anthem which was written by Rev Chris Okotie in 1990 says, “Some may never see…hear…walk…and talk, but its up to you and me to show the love of Jesus, let them know that he cares. We need to love them, we need to bless them, we need to take away their sorrow, who knows tomorrow, it may be you or may be me.”
Dr. Ameyo Adadevoh is worthy of an award
Late Dr Ameyo Stella Adadevoh has been announced the winner of this year’s prestigious Karis Award. For the church members, the occasion was a twin celebration of the 25th anniversary of GRACE and the 19th of Karis. More important, it’s the celebration of the late medical doctor, whose courageous fight against the deadly Ebola virus disease prevented it from spreading into a pandemic proportion that would have claimed several lives.
The deceased medical doctor demonstrated the unusual service last year by physically preventing Mr. Patrick Sawyer, a diplomat and Ebola disease carrier from Liberia from leaving the hospital, which led to her death in the process.
The opportunity to reward and recognize her came and Rev. Chris Okotie’s decision to give her Karis Award for 2015 and the award carries a cash price of N1.5 million. The award was received by her son, Mr. Bankole Cardoso on behalf of her family.
ENCOMIUM Weekly in an interview with Rev. Chris Okotie, he spoke about what inspired the event. “It is our 25th anniversary, a demonstration of the fidelity of the Almighty God to this church, the concretization of the promise of Almighty God that at the fullness of time, Jesus will come to us through the incarnation, what is known as the hypostatic union which is 100 percent God. This is what we are demonstrating by this programme.
“Tonight, we have the privilege of giving the Karis Award to Dr Ameyo Adadevoh, who might describe as a martyr, whose devotional perpendicularity to service caused her to lay down her life for a cause that is so beneficial to us, in demonstrating a level of patriotism uncommon, we thank God for he rlife, that merficul spirit can be found in many Nigerians today.”
He further advised Nigerians to join hands with President Muhammadu Buhari in prayers so that he can take Nigeria to the next level and end corruption for the country to be a better place.
‘I feel great being the queen’ – MICHEL ISIKALU
ENCOMIUM Weekly also had a chat with the winner of the pageant, Michel Isikalu (new Queen Esther), who also expressed her feelings…
I really do not know how to express my gratitude to God. I have been a House holder since I was five. I grew up in this church and emerged the queen. It is a great feeling to be the queen of the church where I worship and grew up. It is very good.
What gave you the edge over other contestants?
Honestly, I don’t know because all the contestants look and dress like queens. We are all queens, nobody is a loser.
Can you explain what you are wearing?
The character I am wearing is Queen Esther. Queen Esther was a very simple woman, a very simple queen in the Bible. There is really not much to what I’m wearing. Today, we are celebrating 25th anniversary. It is a silver jubilee for us. So, I thought of wearing black and silver.
Have you missed any edition of GRACE since you grew up?
No, I have never missed any edition.
What made this edition different?
It is the 25th edition. It is not easy to organize a programme for 25 years and meet up with the expectations of people. It is awesome.
Can we meet you?
My name is Michel Isikalu. I was born on October 30, 1992. I am 23. I am a student of UNILAG. My hobbies are dancing and organizing shows.