The 65th Annual Convention of‎ The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) kicked off Monday morning at the Redemption Camp of the church along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

With the theme Halleluyah, it promises to meet expectations of participants from around the world. Participants include those who are able to make it to the Camp, those at Viewing Centres in the 195 countries where the Church has branches and others who view it on TV and by Internet.

“Those who have been termed barren should start to rejoice because what has been out of place‎ all these while is coming back. What has been out of place in business, career, ministries, and other areas will come back to place,” said Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the mega church.

The day started with the ordination of Deacons and Deaconesses and it was rounded off with House Fellowship Leaders and Workers meeting; and the meeting of the Church Council.

Over 8,000 deacons and deaconesses were ordained. In a message by Rev Charles Achonwa, he called for total sanctification and dedication to God, with the passion to conquer.

In his remarks, Pastor Adeboye who called them to the altar for ordination and prayers expressed his joy for them.

The Convention which started as God’s birthday gift to Pastor Adeboye has grown over the years, and is now like an annual pilgrimage for many faithfuls.

How it started

Pastor Adeboye, who has never missed any of the conventions, tells the story of its beginning in the book, Stories of Pastor E.A. Adeboye: In 1986, I was in London preparing the Sunday school booklet for the mission when I heard from God.

He said, “Son, what do you want for your birthday?”

I was shocked. The reason I was shocked was that I didn’t know God was interested in my birthday; secondly, I didn’t know He could be asking me about what I wanted as present.

So I said, “Lord if that is you, please repeat the question.”

He assured me it was Him and asked again what I wanted as a birthday present.

I replied, “What I want is that all my members will get miracles.”

He asked, “Is that all?’

I replied, “That’s all I want.”

Then He said, “In that case when you get home, call them together and I will give them whatever they ask for.”

I needed to call the service a name, so I asked Him.

And He said: “Holy Ghost Service”

What happened at the first Holy Ghost Service was wonderful. And when we finished, my people came to me to request that I consult God for the service to hold every year.

God granted the request.

But soon after that, members of the church suggested that I request a monthly Holy Ghost Service. And that is why we have been holding it every month now.”

In 1998, while visiting the Lekki area with some foreigners, the Lord told him to hold a service in the beach area and that became the historic Lekki ’98 Convention.

The theme of the event was “Divine Visitation.” The Holy Ghost Service later moved to the Redemption Camp on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.