THE CONTRIBUTION OF FOURSQUARE GOSPEL CHURCH TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA SOCIETY

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✎: THE CONTRIBUTION OF FOURSQUARE GOSPEL CHURCH TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA SOCIETY

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Keywords: THE CONTRIBUTION OF FOURSQUARE GOSPEL CHURCH TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA SOCIETY

 

RESEARCH BODY

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1       THE HISTORY OF THE FOURSQUARE CHURCH IN NIGERIA

The foursquare church officially named the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel is a Pentecostal denomination that resulted from the dynamic evangelistic ministry of Aimee Semple McPherson, who opened the historic Angelus Temple on January 1 1923.

Following the opening of Angelus Temple, Our founder did not take time to rest on her laurels. The first “branch” church from Angelus Temple had its beginnings in October 1923 in Long Beach, California. Other Los Angeles area church plant rapidly ensued in Pasadena, Santa Monica and Santa Ana, all four churches are still opened till today. As time passed, foursquare branched out to the rest of the United States; we now have churches in most of the 50 states, including Hawai and Alaska.

The Foursquare Church came to Nigeria in the year 1955 through the Ministry of Rev. & Mrs. Harold Curtis who established the LIFE theological Seminary at Herbert Macurley Road, Yaba, Lagos. The missionary couples trained a group of young boys and taught them the doctrines of foursquare as contained in the 22 tenets of faith of the movement, among the boys is Rev Samuel. OlusegunOdunaike. Today the church grew and is the second largest in Nigeria.

Samuel Odunaike was one of the founding fathers of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria Nurtured in the Apostolic Church of Nigeria, he was one of the first three Nigerians who came into contact with Rev Harold Curtis and his wife, the first Foursquare Gospel Church Missionaries to Nigeria. Odunaike joined hands with them to start the work of the mission there. He was tremendously used of the Lord to advance the course of the movement right from its inception in 1955 until his death in 1991. He functioned in various capacities and rose through the ranks to become the leader of the church form 1983 to 1996, a period of Eight years.

The time of Odunaike conversion to Christianity is not quite clear, but the genesis of his Christian service can be traced to 1951 in the Apostolic Church. A few years later, he met Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Harold Curtis, who were foursquare gospel church missionaries to Nigeria. He took part in the pioneering work of establishing the movement from December 1954 to November 1955. It is in this regard that he is being referred to as one of the founding fathers of the church.

Like the two other founding fathers, Rev Boyejo and Rev. Osuwa, Odunaike were among the first students to attend the Bible College started by Rev. Harold Curtis. However, due to a shortage of personnel at the time, the trio of founding fathers had to combine being students with lecturing to the junior classes, so they were referred to a student teachers.

Odunaike was the first Sunday school secretary of the foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria form November 1955 and its first national superintendent from 1965 to 1970. His designated as national superintendent was ungraded in December of 1970, at which time he became the first general supervisor of the church, a position he held until May of 1983, in between these appointments, he was ordained on October 23, 1966 as a minister of God by the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel Church, in Los Angeles, California, which is the mother church in American. He was indeed a blessing to the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria. He led the church to more International prominence on many levels because of his involvement in the secular world, and thanks to his inter-denominational spirit, intellectual ability, creativity temperament and position outlook on life. On a personal level, he achieved local, national and international recognition, and the Foursquare Church in Nigeria benefitted significantly from these connections.

Although he did not have the opportunity to attend a university or graduate seminary, he achieved a level of academics excellence. His dedication and hard work were recognized and fully rewarded when on February 15, 1981, a Doctor of Divinityhonour is Causa was conferred to him by the Board of Directors of the International church of the Foursquare Gospel Los Angeles, California, U.S.A “In recognition of his exceptional leadership and outstanding achievements in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ”. He was the first person to be so honoured within the Foursquare Gospel Church of Nigeria.

The contributions of Odunaike to the development of Christianity in the Foursquare Gospel Church of Nigeria and elsewhere were outstanding. He was committed Christian leader a great evangelist and an ardent leader a great evangelist and a ardent leader of the Bible. He lived to the topmost of the word of God and fulfilled all he had to do in the Christian community. He lived to the age of fifty seven and served the Lord for four decades, mostly within the Foursquare Gospel Movement. Samuel OlusegunOdunaike died on April 11 1991, after a brief illness and Rev. Farombi took after him.

1.2       STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The Church had laboured to develop the Nigerian nation since the 19th century had given to expansion to health care, education socio-political development and lot more. However, church seems to be concentrated and focused on the theological conviction and the establishment of the church than the development of Nigeria standard, nowadays churches has left their pattern of which they are notable known for.

The above statements therefore, call for a need to challenge the church of today to re-appraise their commitment to the social aspects of Nigeria as they have been doing ever before. The main thrust of this research is to objectively evaluate the contribution of foursquare Gospel Church to the development of Nigeria society. The benefits the foursquare has done to Nigeria society.

1.3       RESEARCH QUESTIONS

The research questions for the study are hereby stated as follows:

A)                How has Foursquare as a church helped Nigeria in developing her society?

B)                Is the church still having the zeal for the development of the Nigeria?

C)                What are the roles that the Foursquare Church has played in term of benefit to Nigeria as a nation?

D)                What are the factors hindering foursquare as a church to inter vain to the society development of Nigeria society.

1.4       HYPOTHESIS

In addition to the above research questions, the hypothesis below was also tested in the study.

Ho1:     The foursquare has immensely contributed to the development of Nigeria.

Ho2:     The church focus nowadays, have been shifted from Nigeria development and basically emphasize a spiritual things.

Ho3:     Many factors are preventing Foursquare from being active in Nigerian development.

Ho4:     The existencing of Foursquare Church in Nigeria can still bring more contributions to the national development of Nigeria.

Ho5:     Therefore, Nigeria can be a great nation, if the government in Nigeria can help prevent religious crises.

1.5       SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study would be significant in a number of ways:

1.                  It would re-appraise the foursquare commitment to the social development in Nigeria.

2.                  The study aims to show that the foursquare organization is still willing to render help to the country, at anywhere it may be needed.

3.                  The study would highlight were the foursquare organization can responses to the nation building at large.

4.                  The study would like to approach the foursquare socio-economics and political aspect of the nation.

5.                  Finally, the study would render and identify the factors hindering the growth of the country and where it concerns the foursquare organization.

Keywords: THE CONTRIBUTION OF FOURSQUARE GOSPEL CHURCH TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA SOCIETY

 


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Keywords: THE CONTRIBUTION OF FOURSQUARE GOSPEL CHURCH TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF NIGERIA SOCIETY

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