The Experience 2019-Worship Jesus: A Review
The Experience 2019 (TE 14) started in an outstanding way, much anticipated from the previous year down till this year and even during preparation. It has always been a great experience at The Experience.
This year was different as there were both old and new Gospel artistes invited from Nigeria, Australia, the USA and generally across the globe.
This year’s Experience themed ‘ Worship Jesus’ started at 7pm on the 6th December, 2019 and held as usual at The Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS). The whole arena and stage was well set, arranged and beautifully lightened up. Lots of people were seated at the square even before the start and it looked almost filled to its capacity already.
At the start, there was so much excitement on the faces of people, people were whistling, set and anticipating.
The first minister for the night was called up on stage, Preye Odede. The energy was obviously high in anticipation of the whole night. He performed his hit single ‘ Ebezina’ and other of his songs. The audience was well carried along and it was a good one to start with.
Pastor Sarah Omakwu of Family Worship Centre, Abuja and Austin Ukachi of the He’s Alive Chapel, based in Lagos both came up on stage to make the first intercessory prayers for the nations and especially Nigeria.
After the prayers, up on the stage was Eben, loud chants filled the air as they welcomed him on the stage. He performed his famous hits and the greatest moment of his performance was towards the end of his ministration; his backups were commendable too.
Up next was Minister Tope Alabi. As she came up on stage, people screamed and shouted and you need not to have been told that she was a darling of the people. She performed from her old and new songs such as ‘You are worthy’, ‘Oba ni'(He’s King), ‘Igba to Moro( When I think of God’s goodness), Egbe ga (Lift God high),’ Halleluyah’, ‘ Logan ti o de’
Next, Don Moen was called up to the stage, A constant Minister at evert Experience. He performed his famous songs and used his violin with dexterity. The audience sang along with him as people were very familiar with every line of his songs.
Sammy Okposo soon came up on stage as the audience brought out their white handkerchiefs, waving with an air of expectation. He was able to engage the audience in high praise as he performed his songs.
Onos Ariyo, the powerful vocal worshipper also had a way of keeping the audience energetic and in high praise. Her performance was enjoyed by the audience as they sang and danced.
Todd Delaney, the Illinois based basketball turned gospel singer came up next on stage, he performed his famous songs. Todd this made his debut at the Experience in a most spectacular way.
Eno Michael, no stranger at the Experience and a true worshipper soon lost the audience in worship as she performed her songs.
The first poet of the night was called, the energetic Haywhy the Rhymer. He had a good way of making rhymes with words.
Some of the rhymes were
‘ His Excellency is the Supremacy’
‘ Almighty Father that can make you a don in Ibadan
‘Great Yahweh that can make you a Way in Norway’
‘ He doesn’t need pounded yam to be the I am that I am’
Sinach, the contemporary worshipper, was able to perform her famous hit songs. The song I Know who I am and Way Maker were the highlights of the song she performed.
Top comedians were recognized and were made to perform one after the other. The comedians were McAbbey da Prof, Larry Gregory, Kenny blac, Forever comedian and Akpororo.
Goodwill messages from the United States and United Kingdom among others were also received.
There was an interlude with a Bishop TD Jakes video sending his greetings from Dallas, Texas.
Richard Mofe Damijo, popularly known as ‘RMD’ was recognized, and was invited to the stage where he quickly acknowledged some personalities present at the Experience:
- Mr & Mrs. Nnamdi Okonkwo of Fidelity Bank PLC
- Pastor & Pastor Mrs. Ben Akabueze
- Igbini Akezwa Aliance MD of Global Bank
- Dr. Chita Foster UNs Ambassador for Social Change.
RMD then specially introduced the First Lady of House on the Rock, calling her a Power House, Co-Pastor, House on the Rock (HOTR), Pastor Ifeanyi Adefarasin. She came up on stage to give her Welcome Note to The Experience and recognized the various denominations present at the event; the Catholics, Anglicans, Methodist, Pentecostal and others present.
She welcomed her husband to stage. Pastor Paul was then jointly welcomed by the crowd with more shouts of joy.
He gave a welcome speech, saluting the Christian Church, Pentecostal Christian Association in Nigeria (Regional and National), brothers and friends of various denominations across christianity who have made sure that the mountain of the Lord’s House shall be established above all other mountains.
He acknowledged the Chief Host and Hostess of the Experience , the Executive Governor Lagos State, Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, also present with his wife, the First Lady of Lagos State. Dr. Mrs. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu. He thanked him for the services of LASTMA, who helped out on easy access and traffic control as well as the services of LAWMA and Emergency Agencies.
He went on to share how Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) holds a lot of important meanings to him personally because he was born on the Square 57 years ago, less than two or three months at Lagos Island Maternity. A few months afterward he was named at what was then called The Saint Saviours Church of England in Nigeria. Thirty years after he was confirmed by the Archbishop of Lagos (the late Bishop Segun) as the youngest Christian in the Anglican communion, at the age of 13 with a young Mr. Dapo Ojora on the same day. Also, he said during the period of his adult lesson years, his late father was a judge alongside many of his colleagues of the Supreme Court , the High Court was both on the Square. He said they had a deep sensation of the coming history of TBS. It was there the Hon. General Yakubu Gowon brought in then Mobolaji Johnson and celebrated the British Independence from British Columbia rule for several years before the capital was moved to Abuja. The ground is where an altar had been dedicated to remember our mournings best values, justice, equity, democracy and fair play for all Nigerians.
He then prayed for Nigeria to return to her original dream of equity, fairness, and justice for all Nigeria. He admonished the congregation to stand to observe a moment of silence for the first governor of Lagos State of blessed memory, General Mobalaji Johnson who passed away a few weeks ago, giving us a good foundation that several other governors of Lagos state have built on.
He called the small contingent of the Lagos Metropolitan Gospel choir to render two verses of the National Anthem, the rendition was by Brymo, Chee Okebalama, and Segun Oke.
Pastor Adefarasin came up again to give the History of how Experience started, he spoke of how 14 years ago (in 2006) he and his friends came together with a desire for people to experience God, not in church. They decided it would be done outdoor to enjoy the fresh air of the harmattan season and they thought of TBS.
Intending to use only a small portion of the square, they expected about 5000 people. To their surprise, 25000 people showed up and they stumbled on something that could have a life of its own. 14 years later, the cricket pitch beside TBS and TBS itself have been filled up with thousands of worshippers from around the world.
They created a logo 14 years after to add a symbolic meaning to it, the blood mark, to them is part of their faith and nothing but the blood of Jesus Christ had caused them to be accepted to the kingdom.
Pastor Paul then presented the new logo of The Experience from 2020 onwards. There was a video presentation showing the history of The Experience from the beginning till date and also revealing the brand new identity – the new Experience logo. As it was revealed, a large scream rang throughout the crowd. Pastor Adefarasin came up to say that the new logo is how the expression of The Experience is identified.
He also talked about the christening of the Lagos Island area boys who are now ‘Jesus Boys’. It was revealed that there was a partnership between them and The Experience team in providing health care, tutelage and skill acquisition exercises. This has now been taken further by the creation of a transport system to empower them. This is a pilot scheme that is using the medium of the ‘Keke Maruwa’.
After this, the governor of Lagos State was invited to the stage to give his remark. He commended Pastor Adefarasin for the consistency in organizing The Experience. He spoke of how he has, till the day of The Experience 2019, served 13.2% (193) of his tenure already, counting down knowing that he will stand before God and Lagos State to make an account. Promising that Lagos will never be the same after 1460 days of service, he thanked The Experience Team for joining him on the journey. He admonished the crowd, also praying for Lagos State and giving his word to continue to collaborate with The Experience Team.
Pastor Adefarasin then came up to introduce the remaining ministers for the night. He introduced the Lagos Metropolis Choir who write a song ‘I believe’ with Sammy Okposo and 8 other singers Segun Oke, Chee Oke balama, Nikki Laoye, Onos Ariyo, Michael Eno, Dani Ebe & Kike Mudiaga. The singers arranged themselves on stage to present their song.
Sammy Okpso immediately after the ministration, asked everyone to put on the light of their phones and wave it in the air as they continued singing. The whole place was lightened up beautifully as everyone waved their light up.
Afterwards, His Excellency came up to launch the project scheme and the ‘Kekes’ were promised to be delivered to them in 72 hours from The Experience meeting before leaving the platform.
Pastor Adefarasin read to the audience. the scriptures – Prov. 29:18 and John 9:3 from the Bible. He asked the crowd to tell their neighbors the following things –
“Go, even if you have to go blind. Even if you have to go in the dark”. “Vision is a gift from God”. Also, he told them, “Eternity begins in God. He is in all-time at all times”.
He said some prayers and made declarations – “You’re almost there”; “Let there be light in my life, in Lagos, in my Nation, in Aso Rock, in my home” – with everyone repeating loudly after him.
Pastor Taiwo Odukoya, the Pastor of Fountain of Life was brought up to pray for the kings and royalty of the land. Pastor Wale Adefarasin (Pastor Paul Adefarasin’s brother) – the Pastor of the Guiding Light Assembly came up after to lead prayers for the President and Vice President saying – “May open their eyes to the clarity of purpose, give them direction, lead them, constrain and restrain when they need to”.
The Planet Shakers came on stage for their ministration. A band all the way from Australia. They played with electric guitars and all the other instruments of the band and made music at the beginning without singing (acapella) which was really intriguing as audience screamed excitedly. They also interacted with the crowd, while one of the lead singers asked the audience to shout, he said “I was told Nigerians are loud people”, “Who shouts louder, men or women?” – which was funny and engaging and made the people shout and respond even more.
They sang songs like: ‘I lift Your Name up’, ‘Nothing is impossible’, ‘Jesus, You’re might, no one like You!’.
The Pastor of the Planet Shakers, Pastor Russell Evans was also present and he came upstage to speak to Nigerians. He told the crowd that God would send rain down on us and he must confess, Nigeria has the best National Anthem in the world.
Nokwethemba Mchumu (Nokwe), the second poet was welcomed on stage from South Africa for poetry she spoke so well and articulated the poet in a lovely way. People stood up to clap for her after the rendition.
Bishop Humphrey Erumaka (the Word Base Assembly) came up to lead prayers of agreement; praying that “Whatever God has in store for us in 2019 gets to us before it ends”.
Mrs. Alakija Folorunsho also came up also for prayers for family, children, the girl child and substance abused children.
The next minister who came up was Pastor Nathaniel Bassey. He ministered to the crowd with his trumpet, the songs – ‘On Christ, the solid rock I Stand’, ‘Olorun to da awon oke igbani’, ‘Your name is a strong tower, ‘In Christ alone’, ‘You are God’, ‘Elohim, Eternal One’, ‘Imela’.
Mercy Chinwo came up to minster and the crowd reacted in excitement. She ministered ‘Omekannaya’, ‘Excess Love’ and ‘Chinedum’. She lifted the crowd and they showed more energy during her ministration. People danced well and even after she left, everyone still danced. Her ministration had a good effect on the congregation.
After this, the people who came in the representation of Pastor E.A. Adeboye (General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God) – Pastor Leke Adeboye and Mr. Deola Adeboye (the first son of Pastor E.A. Adeboye) were then recognized.
Pastor Ituah Ighdalo, Senior Pastor of Trinity House came up for intercessory prayers.
Travis Greene was the next to minister. He sang some of his popular songs – ‘Intentional’, ‘See the Light’, ‘Great Jehovah’, ‘Here For You’, ‘Nara Ekele’ and ‘You Won’t Let Me Go’. Other ministers like Pastor Nathaniel Bassey and William McDowell came up stage to sing some other songs like ‘All I want is to be with you’, ‘You are God’, ‘I Will Bless The Lord’, ‘There’s No Other God Like Our God’. Pastor Nathaniel joined William McDowell to sing the ever-popular songs (both created by William and Travis) ‘Withholding Nothing’, ‘I Give Myself Away’, ‘You Waited For Me’, ‘Made A Way’ and ‘The Hill’.
Chioma Jesus came up on stage after, for her ministration. The audience was still charged up, even more after she came upstage, praising God in her dialect. She sang ‘Neligwe Ibueze’, ‘Jehovah You Are So Good’, ‘I Never See Any God Like You’, ‘I Am Unstoppable’, ‘You Are The God That Changeth Not’, ‘Chineke Idima’, ‘Jehovah You Never Fail’, ‘Original God, Jesus Na Original God’, ‘Chioma’, ‘The God We Serve Is Spirit’ and ‘Receive Anointing’. The audience was really charged up and they danced. It was a wonderful ministration from Chioma Jesus, being the last minister.
Pastor Wale Adefarasin (who had come up before) was invited up to lead the closing prayers.
I would say, the Experience was truly an experience. All the minsters were able to sustain the energy, the spirit of the audience and truly blessed people, connecting them to the presence of God. One could barely point out dullness in the crowd. Everyone was up and active Worshipping Jesus, as the theme says. It was great and well co-ordinated, from one section to another – a job well done.