Deeper life

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The Deeper Christian Life Ministry is a pentecostal Church that emerged in the 1970s' as part of a Christian movement originally emphasizing baptism with the holy spirit and speaking in tongues with a trans-denominational congregation. During its foundation, it emphasized evangelism, retreats, spiritual healing and bible reading directing its focus originally to people in the know about Christian doctrines. In 1982, it held its own Sunday service transiting from an inter-denominational Church to become a full blown denomination.

It was started by a charismatic leader, William Kumuyi, a graduate of Mayflower, Ikenne, who had previously attended sermons at Apostolic Faith Church, the church only allowed preaching by ordained ministers.

Today, the ministry has branches in various West African countries

History

The Deeper Christian Life Ministry took roots in 1973 at the residence of its founder, a teacher at the College of Education, University of Lagos. At inception, the ministry's leader, W.F. Kumuyi was the prime mover in the dictation of doctrinal practices of the ministry even at one time dictating the pattern of hair, mode of dressing and what decorations to put at home. In the 1980s, a lot of the the doctrines were put to print as part of his Deeper Life ministry.

The ministry started out at the university as a bible study group holding meetings every Monday at 7.00 pm with attendees mostly comprised of students from the University of Lagos Christian Union where Kumuyi served as a patron. Within months, the study group grew in numbers and by 1975 had taken space at a large auditorium and was attracting students from another school, the Yaba College of Technology. The Church in December, 1975 held a public retreat and a few months held another retreat on Easter, both events led to public exposure of the ministry. Within the next few years, the Church officially became known as the Deeper Life ministry with evangelism through personal witness and free tracts distribution, Bible study and retreats accompanied with advertisements of free seating, accomondation and food as the ministry central points. During this period, its growth was also fueled by programs it held on college campuses later known as the Deeper Life Campus Fellowship.

In 1982, the Deeper Life ministry held its first Sunday service in Lagos and later employwed full time workers in the ministry. In 1983, it sent many of its leading pastors to South Korea's Yonggi Cho's Full Gospel Central Church (Yoido Full Gospel Church) in Seoul. The same year, the ministry established House Fellowships consisting of twenty or so members of a Deeper Life ministry in a town who met on Sunday afternoons.


Religious practices

The ministry over the years has given interpretations and placed emphasis on certain doctrines which includes the teaching of the new birth or being born again with inspiration taken from the Bible's John 3: 1-36 and I Peter 1:23. The new birth concerns a Christian who has decided to forego sinful ways, confessed his sins to God and also asking for rebirth and believing in a merciful God. This is in contrast to a nominal Church goer. Another doctrine is evangelism on a more personal basis where by a born again goes out to preach to non believers to repent and to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal saviour. It also embraced a distinctive policy along with repentance, it promoted a policy of restitution or paying back ones debt after accepting Christ. Other practices includes, holiness or sanctification, a process of purging any inbred or adamic sin which led to imposing limitations on some 'worldy' materials such as Television use or wearing expensive clothes.


References

  • Matthews A. Ojo. 'Deeper Christian Life Ministry: A Case Study of the Charismatic Movements in Western Nigeria', Journal of Religion in Africa, Vol. 18, Fasc. 2 (Jun., 1988).