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By Josephine Chidebe
It was pomp and excitement on Tuesday, February 27, 2018, the day that Deeper Christian Life Ministry, more popularly known as Deeper Life Bible Church, combined its primary role of evangelism with that of providing social capital. The church inaugurated various projects in Gbagada, Lagos, where its headquarters is located.
Among the projects were a link bridge on Olawaiye Street, Gbagada, a multi-level car park and traffic lights. The projects were estimated to have set members of the church back by over N1 billion.
For 30 years, Deeper Life has had a cordial relationship with residents of the area. The presence of the church in that part of Lagos, it was gathered, opened the Ifako end of Gbagada for people to begin to inhabit. As people flocked to the area and the church grew, challenges of congestion and constrained traffic flow became a direct consequence. The new auditorium of the church, when opened, will also attract even more visitors to the area.
According to the church secretary, Pastor Phillip Oluwi, Deeper Life, as an institution, looked at the Gbagada environment, weighed the cordial relationship that has existed between it and the community for close to 30 years and concluded that making life easier for the people would also serve as an important form of evangelization.
Handled by Julius Berger and Cappa & D’Alberto, the link bridge and car park were built with safety and security as part of their foundations.
At the inauguration of the link bridge, Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who was represented by the Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, Mr. Olawale Olowu, commended Deeper Life for mobilising millions of its members across the world towards making life more meaningful for members of the community around its headquarters in Lagos.
The governor observed that Deeper Life had, by the projects, demonstrated its willingness, not only towards the spiritual prosperity of its members but also on the quality of life of resodents, irrespective of religious inclinations.
Said Ambode: “What Deeper Life Church has done is epochal and keys into the overall drive of the state government under the leadership of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode towards the renewal of infrastructure projects all over Lagos, in line with the mega city ambition of the state. It is my considered view that, if all other religious groups and private sector organisations in the state provide similar support to government, a lot will be achieved and in a very short time, in improving the quality of infrastructure in our Lagos.”
Expectations are that when formally opened, the massive edifice that will become the headquarters and new church auditorium of Deeper Life Bible Church will attract hundreds of thousands of worshippers and tourists on a weekly basis. With this will come compounded traffic issues around the church. It was for this reason that the General Superintendent of Deeper Life Church, Pastor William F. Kumuyi, and elders of the church decided to mobilise members all over the world to construct a link bridge to ease traffic. The bridge, spanning between the main auditorium and the multi-level car park, will form a free passage that will ease vehicular and pedestrian movement.
The car park was envisioned to also help ease traffic. Before now, worshippers parked their vehicles along the adjoining streets as they attended church programmes, which created traffic bottlenecks in the neighbourhood. But with a car park designed to accommodate more than 700 cars and buses, residents of Gbadaga will experience a new lease of life.
Speaking during the inauguration of the projects, Kumuyi said the church was mindful of the impact of its growth on the community and was committed to sustained partnerships that would continue to make life better for the people.
Kumuyi, who had earlier held a town hall meeting with leaders of the community, credited the success of the projects to the cordial relationship between the church and its neighbours and promised that a lot more intervention projects were in the offing in the sustained drive by the church to improve the quality of life of the people.
“As a church, we see ourselves as a part of this community. We are deeply concerned,” he said, as he commended Ambode for his commitment towards infrastructure renewal in the state. He expressed the disposition of his church towards a partnership that would support the bid of the government towards infrastructure renewal.
Kumuyi said the church was deeply concerned about the comfort of the people of its host communities, adding that it would continue to do all within its power and resources to attract development to the people.
He said: “The Lagos State government, under Governor Ambode, has been tirelessly working towards renewing the mega city of Lagos, and I must say that this has immensely endeared him to the teeming population. What we have done is only a token of support in the drive to ensure there is a collective contribution towards the collective aspiration of the people of this great state for a city of comfort that we all will be proud of.”