Despite COVID-19 and other challenges, the conference did not see a decline in attendance or offerings. More than 5,000 people attended, including Christian leaders and members from other church denominations and from the Central Nigeria Annual Conference.
Theme: “We should Wait Quietly for the Salvation of the Lord”
The North East Nigeria Conference hosted its sixth annual revival March 16-20at The United Methodist Church in , organized by the board of discipleship and evangelism.
Text: Lamentations 3:26
Guest speaker: The Rev. Marcus D. Kawu, principal of the Ethel Johnson Comprehensive Secondary School in Karim Maundi.
Teaching: “Growing in Faith”
The Rev. Dr. Danjuma Juji led 10 other facilitators in teaching at the revival.
Kawu challenged members to face all trials by faith prayerfully.As they wait on God, they must exercise patience as well, he said. He used Job, David and other Bible characters as examples to be emulated. He urged members to pray for the leadership of the church so that the ongoing divisions will not last longer.
In his address, the Rev. Titus Mafindi Ibrahim Loh, director of the board of discipleship and evangelism, thanked members of the North East Nigeria Annual Conference for their love to Jesus Christ and The United Methodist Church. He said that the crowd seen at the revival is a witness that district superintendents are committed to the cause of moving the conference to higher level of Christian growth. He said while the conference is the youngest annual conference, it is the only one that refused to be confused by attention seekers and rebels who have already gone out to form for themselves leadership in other conferences. He urged members to continue with their support to the leadership of Bishop John Wesley Yohanna and the conference under the leadership of the Rev. Yunusa Z. Usman. He concluded that the board under him will continue to develop quality programs that will improve the growth of members in all aspects of life.
In his address at the revival, Bishop Yohanna could not hold his tears as he saw the crowd at the revival ground. He was overjoyed and said that, “It is not more a story that the North East Nigeria Annual Conference loves Jesus and the UMC global.”
The bishop cautioned the members against false teachings in the name of creating awareness. He said he remains the UMCN Bishop and connected with the global system of The United Methodist Church, correcting some social media information that he has exited the UMC for the Global Methodist Church. He said that the planned launch of the GMC in U.S. on May 1 has nothing to do with us in Nigeria and Africa at large, emphasizing that since the General Conference has been postponed to 2024, the UMC Nigeria Episcopal Area under his leadership remains United Methodist Church in full connection.
But when the incompatible paragraph of the Book of Discipline is removed at the 2024 General Conference, we will come back, collectively as an Episcopal Area for a decision. That as a bishop he will not leave any delegate out in deciding what is good for the church. He also debunked the allegations that he was working toward becoming a life bishop. That only time will tell if he has any plan contrary to the vows of his ordination and consecration. He concluded with a call on those clergies and lay ties who have gone out advocating for the Christmas Covenant to come back, sit on a round table, revisit the issues that are causing division in the church and be united again so that our church will be engaged in holistic ministry as we were known for.
TESTIMONIES: Having heard the message of salvation from the guest speaker, the address of the board’s director and the bishop, there were many testimonies:
- “The theme of the revival is timely because it helps me to stand strong in times of trials,” said Michael Sani.
- “The director Rev. Titus Loh and his board members have selected a very good teaching topic and all the facilitators met the yearnings of the members in their teaching. In fact the teaching has answered almost all the questions everybody came to the revival with,” said Ruth Stephen.
- “Bishop Yohanna’s address at this revival has cleared all the doubts in the mind of my friends. Before now there was confusion that the bishop has changed the name of our church and that GMC is going to be launched in Nigeria on May 1. From today I will never agree with any false information about the bishop,” said AklisUrbanus.
Ramson Danjuma, North East Nigeria Conference communications director