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Winners Noah’s ark to cater for 100,000 worshippers, says official

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Illustration of the Winners Chapel proposed new church building – The Ark.

Although first announced in 2015 as the “Faith Theatre”, the ongoing Winners Chapel’s 100,000-seat stadium-like project has been officially retitled as “The Ark”, and designed to cater for the growing attendance of worshippers.

Sited on about 1,000 hectares of land at the old Faith Academy compound within the premises of the current church building, The Ark will specifically accommodate 100,000 seats and comprise a 24-floor mission tower (International Headquarters Facility) made up of two-twin towers of 12 floors each.

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Top official of the Church told The Guardian that the Ark is symbolic of the rescue of saints in the last days; the refuge for those who seek Him in an age of the fulfilment of the biblical end-time.

It was gathered that the Ark is conceived to replace the four/five services in the current 50,000-auditorium, as the 100,000 would reduce the number of services, but accommodate all the attendees on Sunday and during Shiloh or other special services.

The construction of the facility was officially flagged off at a special groundbreaking ceremony early in the year.

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The human and skill capacities were galvanised from the team of consultants comprising; indigenous architects, engineers, electricians, and surveyors among others.

With the belief of the church in professionals, an architect and member of the church, Dr. Gbenga Alalade Johnson, did the design of the project.

The Ark stands out as one of the most beautifully designed projects embarked by the Church with the expected balance of aesthetics and utility when completed.

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The Winners Chapel has over six million members spread across 147 countries. The president and founder of the Church, Bishop David Oyedepo carried out the groundbreaking ceremony for The Ark.

The Guardian learnt that about N45 billion has already been released for the project out of the N160 billion earmarked for it.

The completion date projected for the iconic structure is three years and when completed, its existing 50,000 seaters would serve as an overflow facility.

Bishop Oyedepo had recently said members of the church would not be tasked to contribute to the project.

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“Not one dime of the money contributed to this project since 2015 has been touched and the Church has maintained strict budgeting and never going out of her budget,” he said.

Some of the unique features of the theatre include prayer booths, the Nations accommodation, baptism pool, twin Tower (12 storey building), worship Centre (100,000 seaters), dominion Bookshop, WOFBI (3,000 capacity Bible School Facility) and an audio/visual theatre.

Other likely features include a shopping mall, food court, rotating altar and 100 per cent fully air-conditioned.

Speaking with The Guardian, the media consultant to the Church, Prof. Sherriff Folarin said it’s designed in the exact shape of biblical Noah’s ark with its height like a 12/14-storey building.

He stated that it would cover the whole of the former Faith Academy Secondary School, adding that the project would be completed in 2022/23.

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