The Elite Church; a branch of Palace of Fire Chapel in Okota, Lagos, recently celebrated its 2023 convention with awesome testimonies of God’s amazing grace in the lives of the branch members since inception. Pastor Nkechi Afolabi, the branch pastor and beautiful wife of the general overseer of the church, Dr. Joshua Afolabi, shares God’s marvelous moves at the Elite church in this interview with Christian Benefits. Excerpts.
Please, can we meet you ma?
I’m Pastor Nkechi Joshua Afolabi, Associate Pastor, Palace of Fire Chapel and Branch Pastor, the Elite Branch
Congratulations on the recent 2023 annual convention of the Elite branch of Palace of Fire Chapel, Okota, Lagos. Will you please share with us the vision that birthed the Elite branch of the church?
The vision is to touch lives, create impact, raise leaders; spiritual giants and business gurus, win more souls and create the awareness that serving God is not as difficult as some people make it to be, that serving the Lord is simply having a personal relationship with Him. This is what all our church branches teach people.
How will you describe the journey of the Elite branch of the church this past five years?
It has been great despite the hurdles on the way. We thank God for His grace. He is doing wonderful things in our midst; touching lives and raising people both financially and spiritually. The only challenge is that some of the branch members come from far distances. Nevertheless they still attend our services and programmes. When neither the general overseer nor myself is in church, the other pastors step in and make things happen. So, the journey of the Elite branch of Palace of Fire Chapel, Okota, Lagos these five years has been wonderful.
Please, share with us some of the testimonies recorded at the branch these five past five years
We have a testimony of someone from whom God removed brain tumor. We also have a testimony of someone God healed of kidney and liver issues. The person fainted during one of our services and got her healing. She was going for dialysis when God all of a sudden intervened in her case. She is completely healed now. Aside these two healing testimonies, and lot more, a lot of the branch members have acquired properties. Some have opened their own companies and are doing well. We have testimonies of successful weddings and restored marriages and homes. We have testimonies of people that have given their lives to Christ; and are now serving and worshiping the Lord in truth and in spirit, which is the most important of all these testimonies.Pastor Nkechi Joshua Afolabi: Serving God is not as difficult as some people make it to be
As the pastor’s wife, share with us your experience pastoring a branch of the church
Our senior pastor, Dr. Joshua Afolabi, trained us to take up any assignment at any time. He can call us at anytime and send us to anywhere to start a new work for the Lord. He trained us as soldiers such that we don’t have any choice but to obey God’s instructions. He can call you at anytime and send you to even where one or two persons are clapping, and you have to go there. He trained us radical army of Christ to conquer territories. We are used to his doing big things. He said to me, let’s go and start a new work for God in Okota. And at his instruction to pastor the new work (the Elite branch), I obeyed. And glory to God the branch has grown.
Looking back at where it started, what is your take on the 2023 convention of the Elite Branch?
Looking back and see where the Elite branch is today just in five years, I’m very grateful to God. God has been wonderful to us celebrating the 2023 convention, despite the rainfall during the convention week. It didn’t stop the convention programme. This year’s 2023 annual convention is the best compared to the previous ones. The Elite branch has moved from grace to grace and from strength to strength by God’s amazing grace.
Was that what informed the theme of the 2023 annual convention of the branch, Amazing Grace?
Of course yes, because we have been enjoying God’s amazing grace particularly if we look at the happenings in the body of Christ today. Today, a lot of believers are backsliding; giving up due to the global economic recession and hardship. Many are throwing in the towel, saying they are not coming to church anymore due to the hardship in the country. But God is faithful to us at Palace of Fire Chapel. When we look at the wonders in all church branches, it is just by the amazing grace of God; not by the brain, knowledge or standard of man. Even amidst the hardship in the land, a lot of us have been counting our blessings; naming them one by one. So, enjoying a massive God’s goodness amidst the hardship in the country is all about God’s amazing grace.
Now, can we have a look at your background and upbringing?
I’m from Arochukwu local government in Abia state. I was born into the family of eight. I’m the first daughter. I attended both Command Children School and Command Secondary School, Abakaliki. I later attended Enugu University of Science and Technology where I studied computer science. I’ m into relationship ministry where we talk about relationship, marriage, and family .I’m also into a wide range of businesses that includes cosmetics, boutique and real estate.
Briefly share with us about your rebirth encounter by which you became a believer
I gave my life to Christ in JSS 3 in Command Secondary School, Abakaliki but backslide when I got to the university. I had another raw encounter with God; a sort of confrontational encounter from some men of God telling me I had left where God called me. I had yet another encounter with God telling me how to come back to Him. I attended Christ Embassy in Enugu. I was not an evangelist but doing the work of evangelist; winning souls unto the Lord. When I got married to my husband, Dr. Joshua Afolabi, I joined him in the ministry, and I’m now the associate pastor in the ministry as well as the branch pastor of the Elite church, Okota, Lagos.Apostle Dr. Joshua Afolabi ministering at the thanksgiving of the 2023 Elite church convention
How will you describe your spouse, Dr. Joshua Afolabi, as a husband, father and pastor?
As a pastor, he is very kind at heart. As an apostle, he is a bulldozer. As an evangelist, he is very bold. As a father, he is very caring. He can do anything for his family. As a husband, he sees me as next to him after God. He counts whatever I say as matter. He is very loving and caring. He does not relegate me as his wife; even if I feel I cannot, he makes me believe I can. He is also a strong shoulder for me. He is not just my husband; he is my bishop, father in the Lord and a very caring person that one can lean on.
Share with us how you balance your responsibilities as a wife, mother, pastor and entrepreneur without one affecting the other?
It is the Holy Spirit that helps. Naturally, I can’t do it all except by the Holy Spirit. As a wife you are needed at home. As a pastor your church members; the flock of God in your care, also need you. As a mother you are needed by your husband. So, when it is difficult I ask the Holy Spirit for help so that one area wouldn’t affect the others because you can be focused in the ministry but lacking at home; vice versa. The Holy Spirit has been helping me, and to God be the glory that we have been able to come this far in all these responsibilities.Pastor Nkechi Afolabi during the praise worship session at the convention’s thanksgiving service
Gospel Singer, Efe Nathan, the guest artist at the convention
Cross session of the Elite church members during the praise worship session at the convention
Another cross session of the Elite church members during the convention’s thanksgiving service