Several years ago, God looked on the scene of the Nigerian Christian setting which was shrouded with a form of godliness but an absence of power, enshrined with, supposedly, scripturally based beliefs which were really socio-religious doctrines. God looked down and by his Spirit stirred the heart of a young man named Chris Tunde Joda to bring into focus the truth of his word. “The just shall live by faith”. Consequently, the voice of Faith Ministries was born with a mission from God to teach and preach the uncompromising word of faith in order to liberate the people from the bowels of religious tradition and bring them to the knowledge of their God – given inheritance and victorious living by faith in God’s Word.
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The ministry began in a humble setting at 23 Karimu street Surulere in a one-room apartment where a weekly teaching fellowship/faith clinic was held. Growth caused, the venue of the fellowship to be moved to a near-by church.
Precious stone Christian Church at Ibidun Street, where the ministry began to gain prominence.
At first, Voice of Faith Ministries was intended to be merely a teaching fellowship. Attendants at the meetings were encouraged to go back to their churches and spread the revival fire of Faith. Many souls were won to Christ particularly among the youth. Young men and women that had rejected the “S.U (Scripture Union) culture” that was then prevalent in Christendom in Nigeria were now accepting the gospel through this new wave of God’s move in Nigeria that began through the Voice of Faith Ministries.
A problem arose, the new converts to Christ through the ministry found that somehow they could not fit into the church system that was prevalent among Christian Pentecostals at the time. Voice of Faith was unlike what was then the norm in many church settings with their religious creed of dos and don’ts.
A solution emerged in the expansion of the teaching fellowship into a full fledge church. Christ Chapel, which began in Dec 1981 Church growth was rapid and within a year of takeoff, Christ Chapel drew a weekly attendance of over 500 people at every service. The Church continued to grow, and side by side, a problem of an adequate facility to contain the church arose. Officials of the church canvased Lagos city for a suitable place that would take them comfortably and found none. Being a new ministry where faith was taught and emphasized, people were drawn from all walks of life to this new church, ranging from medical, legal, teaching, agriculture, engineering Administration, Military and a host of others.
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It is worthy of note to say that Christ Chapel spent her first 6 years in a private primary school based in Surulere through the kind gesture of its proprietress. With time, the church outgrew this facility and had to begin multiple services on Sundays. Again the search for a suitable location began, ending up at the then Surulere Super Cinema hall. Christ Chapel was the first ever Pentecostal charismatic church to use a Cinema hall for it services. Many of the others shunned or condemned this because the church building was traditionally seen as the church, rather than the people.
God prospered the church even in the “Cinema house”, In Lagos and Nigeria as a whole, Christ Chapel gained a name of fame; “The Happy Church,” as it was fondly called.
Another feature characteristically associated with Christ Chapel services was the “anointing”, a word many had never heard before but which they came to experience in Christ Chapel Services.
Pastor Joda introduced a revolutionary concept of praise and worship which gained momentum all across the Nigerian Pentecostal scene. The age old tradition of singing hymns from a hymnal was discarded in favour of more relevant purposeful acceptable mode of worship which comprised of singing scriptures in song to contemporary music background. This made allowance for spontaneous worship from the heart not just from a mental stand point, which lacks power. It was common to see hands raised towards heaven during praise and worship and to experience the anointed presence of the Holy Spirit.
God continued His faithfulness to the ministry and Christ Chapel eventually settled in its own church auditorium in the suburbs of a housing estate in Surulere. Unknown to the church at the time however this was to be short – lived due to opposition spearheaded by a Muslim fundamentalist who mustered all contacts and resources available to him, and succeeded in getting the government authorities to pull down the structure the church erected on Friday 20th October 1989. Undeterred, the church continued to use her site with hired canopies until God opened a door for the church to move to Ijora in a warehouse structure which was converted to a church sanctuary. This structure seated over 4,000 members in a single service. Though this site was the biggest facility the church had occupied to date it’s size was still inadequate because of rapid growth.
Encouraged by the wisdom of God, Christ Chapel was split up into smaller branches spread across the state. Advantageously, members could worship at a Christ Chapel branch nearest to their homes, thus more people could be reached with ministry of Christ Chapel. Eight Centres of the church have emerged in Lagos state as a result; in Isolo, Ojokoro, Victoria Island, Shomolu, Ikeja and Surulere, with the Headquarter church now at Amuwo Odofin. Branches of Christ Chapel are located in various states of the Federation – Abeokuta, Ibadan, Portharcourt, Uyo, Calabar, Ajaokuta, Okene etc. Christ Chapel has branches also in foreign countries.
As Christ Chapel branches spring up on every continent of the globe, a vision is being fulfilled. An army of men and women equipped with the word of faith, anointed by the spirit of God, knowing their authority over Satan is being raised up. This is in fulfillment of part of the vision God gave to the founding Pastors Rev. (Dr) & Rev. (Mrs) Chris Tunde and Ebun Joda several years ago.
Christ Chapel International Churches a.k.a. Voice of Faith Ministries is truly a multifaceted ministry with various arms including Radio and Television, a Bible school, Publications, a care ministry which includes feeding the less privileged in the society. Medical missions, prison ministry, rehabilitation etc.
Apart from weekly services; comprising of Sunday worship, faith clinic, and school of spiritual warfare; seminars, conferences, schools of ministries along with an annual camp meeting, feature prominently.
In the wake of current out pouring of the spirit of God there is a need for quality. Visionary, aggressive, militant, dynamic anointed leadership, to lead the people of God to accomplish God’s end time plan and purpose. Into this category of leadership fit the president and founder of Voice of Faith Ministries Rev. Dr. Chris Tunde Joda and his wife Rev Mrs Ebun Joda. They have forged ahead by faith fulfilling the vision of this ministry which God gave to them. There have been challenges, but there have been great victories too!
To know more about their church activities, visit the church website