IN PRAISE OF GOD – In this month’s religion section, The AfricaPaper’s Associate Editor focuses on the Universal Christian Ministries in St. Paul. IN PRAISE OF GOD brings news from different churches and other religious groups each month. Please read: ‘Mothers can decide who lives or dies…’
By James Kokulo Fasuekoi | The AfricaPaper
St. Paul, Minn – African evangelist, Prophet Olushula Fatai Jubril is urging youths to obey their parents, especially mothers whom he said, are the ones who carry life in their hands.
Live or Die
He spoke of the power all mothers have including the decision to perform abortion on a pregnancy after conception. But fortunately, he said, pointing to congregants, “Our mothers took a wise decision to carry us for nine months and that’s why we are alive today.”
He continued: “Mothers are the ones who decide whether we live or die.” Like countless abortion performed each year, Jubril told young Christians, “Your mother too could have aborted the pregnancy at the time you were conceived and no one would have questioned her.”
Instead, he told everyone in the audience to show appreciation for his mother for making that “ultimate decision” to bring him forth into this world and also care for them as they grew up.
Honor and Obey
The Universal Christian Ministries’ (UCM) overseer pastor decried the attitude of most of today’s young African teens, especially for those blessed to come to America, who looked down upon their mothers and no longer care to show respect for them. He advised them to honor and obey their mothers so that the Father, God, can reward and prolong the days of their lives.
Prophet Jubril made these remarks on a Sunday, during a special Mother’s Day worship ceremony held at the UCM, 997 Raymond Avenue Saint Paul, Minn. Several dozen women, mostly elderly, of the church were showered with gifts and praises.
Pastor Goke Odujole, the church’s new president for the Men’s Ministry presented the gifts, accompanied by a purse with an unspecified amount of dollars for the church’s Women’s Ministry. Sis. Kim David, head of the Women’s Ministry, received the token. The scene was filled with excitement and most of the women clad in gorgeous African attires.
Both men wished the women God’s abundance favor and long life and indicated the gestures were meant to show the depth of how much the men of the church appreciate women, as well as sacrifices made daily by mothers in general for the upkeep of their homes and families.
Culture and Tradition
The UMC, a pentecostal denomination, has the tradition of honoring women at all times throughout the year, and Mother’s Day is one of them. The church also celebrate culture, and its membership comprised of about 23 nationalities, largely, people of American, East and West African descent.
The church’s worshipers are encouraged to adhere to straight Christian doctrines, based on the teachings of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, which require a Christian to abstain from premarital sexual affairs, pay regular tithes and offerings, and live a prayerful life as Jesus taught his disciples during his earthly ministry.
The UCM of St. Paul, began its evangelistic ministry in the Robbinsdale, Minn., home of Prophet Jubril and Prophetess Mary Jubril, 15 years ago while the couple worked in local group-homes at the time to fund the church’s operation from their personal savings.
As the church grew in membership, the couple moved it from their Robbinsdale basement to its current Raymond Avenue location. With hundreds coming in weekly to go through deliverance of all kinds, the present location seems small to hold the crowd and that has caused the church’s general overseer and officials to negotiate for a bigger space in Fridley, Minnesota.
As of Sunday, May 17, the church ministry had raised $230, 029.54 towards the building of a 5 million dollars mega church project it undertook last year. When constructed, the new church will accommodate over 5,000 worshipers at a time and will also contain several smaller auditoriums designed to host men’s, women’s and youth ministries, including recreations.
Concerning the church’s foreign missions, UCM’s performance has been quite impressive in post-war Sierra Leone in the last few years, with branches now established in the capital, Freetown, and as far as Makeni, Bo, and Kenema, regions far into the interior of the country where the main religion had been Islam.
UCM Mission in Sierra Leone, according to Prophet Jubril, who led a high-powered delegation to the country late last year, currently sponsors feeding and educational programs for over 200 elementary students living in some of the towns and cities mentioned earlier. The church is under pressure to take in more.
Larger numbers of beneficiaries of UCM’s present operations there are teens who lost their parents to the country’s decade long brutal war in the 1990s, characterized by amputations carried out by Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels and Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) military junta.
Postcard and Photographs
Close to 200 colored postcard and photographs of the beneficiaries have been displayed on television screen for the congregation to view, amid call by Pastor Jubril for church members to volunteer and provide sponsorship for some of the kids for just a couple of dollars each month.
Prior to establishing missions in Sierra Leone, The UCM overseer and his wife, Prophetess Mary Jubril, had attempted opening similar feeding and educational programs for war orphans in war torn Liberia where nearly 14 years of bloody civil war left thousands of young teenagers without parents. However, the church’s kind gesture, he said was abused by a Liberian couple (that initially attended UCM) whom he said, diverted to their personal use, instruments, as well as funding he gave them to purchase land for the project.
In a conversation with The AfricaPaper lately, Pastor Jubril said he lived in Liberia prior to the civil wars, displayed a land deed for the proposed UCM site, located near the 72 military barracks in Paynesville City. At the end of their tour in Sierra Leone last year, Jubril said he and his wife visited Liberia and went to the land site in the 72 nd area to check but couldn’t recognized the spot.
He said that an administrator at a local Minnesota hospital he had shared his project ideas with had even volunteered to donate a container load of hospital beds and other supplies for the Liberia Project, with a promise to help pay more than half of the cost of the total shipment of the goods to the country in case the church lacks funding to do so.
But the hardest moment for him, he told The AfricaPaper, was how he would go about telling the humanitarian of his disappointment regarding what happened to the purchased land and first sets of church instruments shipped to Liberia.
The Jubril said he loved Liberia and had no intention to belittle Liberians, who make up a considerable number of UCM’s congregation but that he decided to talk about it as a way to clear his mind as his church works towards what he said the Lord has asked him to do for the country.
The woman said to be involved in the UCM land purchased deal in Liberia is reported to have died few years ago upon the couple’s return to the US.
Meanwhile, the annual UCM 2015 Women Convention being staged by the church’s women’s wing known as “Women Of Destiny,” is slated for Friday, May 22 through Sunday May 24 at the church’s edifice in St. Paul. The theme for this year’s convention is: The Secret You Don’t Know (Psalms 25:14), and the speaker will be Pastor Joyce Byrant. Prophetess Mary Jubril is chief host.
In case you want to volunteer a sponsorship for one of UCM’s kids in Sierra Leone, or plan to donate towards the church’s building fund, you can call 651-917-5001, or visit www.ucmsc.org. TAP