Adeboye: Milestone: The wonders of past 40 years are testimonies of God’s involvement with this amazing commission
While congratulating the TREM family on its 40th anniversary, General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church Of God (RCCG), Pastor E. A. Adeboye noted that Presiding Bishop of the church, Mike Okonwko, remains one of his very few friends, and by extension his church.
“Bishop Mike is one of my very few friends. As the elder will say, if you love the mother, you will, undoubtedly love her children. Consequently, since the man is my friend, then TREM, no doubt, is close to my heart.”
On his assessment of the church in the last 40 years as regards service to God and humanity, Adeboye said, “I will answer that question as someone there at the consecration and commissioning of the church. From what I witnessed at the beginning, and considering the situation of the church now, there is no doubt that God has done some tremendous things for TREM and through TREM. The wonders of the past 40 years are testimonies of God’s involvement with this amazing commission. When we consider the fact that Bishop Mike has risen to the level of becoming the National President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, it becomes obvious that TREM has done extremely well for the church of God in Nigeria and has now occupied a position of great influence. Not just in the church, but much more in the country, so much so that, when you say ‘Bishop Mike’ anywhere within the country, you don’t have to say more, because everyone in Nigeria knows who you are talking about. There is one and only on Bishop Mike,” he declared.
On what stands TREM out from the rest, Adeboye observed, “What set a denomination apart from the rest is nothing other than its leader. As the saying goes, ‘like the pastor, like his congregation.’ I can say unequivocally that Bishop Mike is an outstanding man. So, TREM is also an outstanding church.”
The clergy noted that TREM as a church has evolved over the years through the aggressive pursuit of evangelism by the set man, who has a passionate love for God and a burning heart for soul wining.
“That has led to the remarkable growth of the little church 40 years ago; making it become a congregation of no mean feat today,” he said.
While listing specific areas TREM has contributed towards national peace and development of Nigeria in the last 40 years, he said, “Again, I believe the contributions of TREM to national peace reside in the fact that Bishop Mike will always speak the truth as it is, without any fear or favour, irrespective of status, position, either in government or any other area in the affairs of the nation. Bishop Mikehas also influenced men and women, who leave to ensure peace through their lives of sacrifice, in the various positions of leadership they occupy.”
While congratulating the church for its landmark achievements in the last 4o years, Adeboye charged members to remember that the age of 40 is considered as the age of wisdom.
“Firstly, the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. So, TREM must keep the fear of God in mind in whatsoever they do. Secondly, the bible says he that ‘winneth a soul is wise.’ My advice to TREM is that they must pursue soul winning, aggressively like never before. Thirdly, since the wise shall inherit glory (Prov. 3:35) and Christ in you is the hope of glory (Col. 1:27), TREM must constantly look forward to the return of the King of Glory and serve him now with more zeal than ever before, because the one who will reward them can come any moment. My final word is that TREM must enjoy their celebration. But as they are rejoicing and celebrating, they should get ready for greater works ahead.”ORITSEJAFOR: TREM Is Built On The Foundation Of The Word Of God
FOR pastor Ayodele Oritsejafor, the founding and Senior Pastor of Word of Life Bible Church, The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM) is an incredible church that he has had relationship with for so long.
“For almost 40 years, I have known Bishop Mike Okonkwo and we have been very close friends. He is one of the very few people I can refer to as my friend and that friendship is what evolved into my relationship with the church, which is a blessing. I bless God for the relationship and I believe God will make the relationship stronger in Jesus mighty name, Amen.”
According to the former CAN President, every God-ordained church comes from the vision of God given to a man.
“Church doesn’t just happen; God gives a vision and a mission to a man and that’s what TREM is. TREM is an expression of the vision God gave to Bishop Mike Okonkwo and his wonderful wife. I would say that TREM, through the founding pastor, has in many ways touched lives across the globe.
“Bishop Mike and I have travelled to so many nations where he has preached the Word of God accompanied with signs and wonders. In the area of the supernatural, TREM has blessed humanity. I can also say that TREM is a very strong philanthropic church in the sense that TREM has reached out to so many people, blessing lives, giving out and people. I wish we could get the media to cover what most churches do. I rejoice being a part of such a great ministry, by a great man, with a great vision.”
The preacher noted that what stands TREM stand out is The Word, adding, “TREM is a word church; it is built on the foundation of the Word of God and is still stands on the word of God. There are many ministers whose ministry could be built on other things, but I celebrate TREM, because I think being built on the word of God is important. The Word of God is God and any ministry or church who wants to continually be relevant in the eyes of God must continually preach His word. I know the continuous emphasis TREM places on the Word of God and for this, I celebrate Bishop Mike and Bishop Peace Okonkwo.
Describing Bishop Okonkwo as a man of peace, Oritsejafor said, “The founding Bishop is a man of peace and this in-fact reflects on the church, its members and the Bishop. If you are around this man, you can feel the pulse of peace, you can know that he stands for peace. He is always looking for reconciliation, wanting people to live together in harmony; this is a valid contribution to our country.
He continued: “In many ways in national discourse, Bishop Mike has always been seeking peace; looking for ways to unite various parts of the country and trying to bring understanding amongst the various religions. He is a man of Peace and I can say that TREM contributes to the peace of this great nation.”
While congratulating TREM for its 40th anniversary, he said, “I congratulate you, my very good friend, Bishop Mike Okonkwo and your very lovely wife, Bishop Peace Okonkwo. 40 years is not 40 days, but if you study the scriptures, you will see that ‘40’ is very significant. I would say to TREM that 40 years have passed and another 40 years will come; see the past 40 years as an experience while you see the next as an experiment and an encounter that you have to work with like you’re in a laboratory.”
He added, “A lot of things will happen in an unprecedented manner hopefully positively, but the church and its leadership has to be prepared. The next phase will definitely be greater than the past and I believe God that hopefully we will still be around to celebrate another 40 years.
“I truly congratulate my friend and TREM and implore you not to look at the past 40 years as everything, because the next 40 will be more eventful.”Dr. Wolcson: TREM Has Stood The Tests Of Time And Has Tirelessly Pursued Its Mission
Dr. G.J. (Jerry) Wolcson can best be described as an apostolic pioneer, an apostle to the nations. Since 1981, he and his wife, Teresa have traveled extensively planting successful churches in the United States, Europe, Nigeria, West Africa, Guyana, South America, and the nation of Haiti. It was during this missionary journey that he met the founding Bishop of TREM, Mike Okonwko.
“I have been a part of TREM and in covenant relationship with Bishop Mike since 1983. Throughout the 1980’s, Bishop and I traveled Nigeria together conducting Power In The Word crusades and planting TREM churches. It was also during this time that we worked together to establish the ministry’s Bible school- God’s Army Bible Training Center. In addition, I served on various boards of the ministry, in Nigeria and abroad. Throughout the years, Bishop Mike and I have remained in a strong covenant relationship, with our churches in Ministries partnering with each other on all fronts. I proudly consider myself a ‘TREM-ite’ and to this day, view TREM as my home church,” Wolcson said.
He observed that in the last 40 years, TREM has stood the tests of time and has tirelessly pursued its mission to present the life-changing gospel of Jesus to a hurting world.
“It has purposely and successfully presented the gospel across cultural and ethnic lines in a positive, relative, life application way that brings about lasting change in one’s life. Wherever TREM is, it makes a formidable and positive impact on the presiding culture and society. Its message is life-changing!”
On what stands TREM out, he said, “Quite a few things actually. First and foremost, it’s absolute commitment to the integrity and positive, life changing power of God’s Word. Secondly, the integrity of its leadership team, especially as exemplified by Bishop Mike. Next, I would say its commitment to being trans-cultural, multi-ethnic, and trans-generational. TREM has found the unique balance of being current, relative, and forward thinking without compromising its message.”
Though a religious organisation, Wolcson observed that TREM has played a vital role in giving lives meaning.
“Throughout the years, I have observed TREM to be apolitical, yet firmly committed in issues of equality and empowerment of all people, regardless of ethnicity or social status. In addition, TREM has always had a foot print in its community through it’s on the ground humanitarian efforts, educational, and entrepreneurial projects. Lastly, TREM takes seriously the words the apostle Paul: ‘I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity” (1Timothy2:1-2). Nigeria, its national, state, and local leaders are daily prayer points for ‘TREM-ites’ worldwide. I am convinced that this, along with Bishop Mike’s interaction with governmental leaders, has made a difference.”
On his message to the church at it celebrates 40th anniversary, he said, “God has positioned us for the future. Our ‘set time’ has come to enter into His Exceeding Glory! The best to come is upon us and I am grateful to be part of the journey with you!”Omobude: Many People In The Body Of Christ Look Up To TREM For Leadership
Rev. Dr. Felix Ilaweagbon Omobude is the General Superintendent of Gospel Light International Ministries and immediate past President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), an organisation where Bishop Mike Okonkwo made noticeable impact as a leader.
“I have known Bishop Mike for well over three decades. Firstly, when I was in the Church of all Nations, with the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa. Then, Bishop Mike and myself became very close and we have been friends since then,” he recalled.
Describing Bishop Okonkwo as a very unique person, Omobude noted, “he is a man with a large heart; he is a very generous leader. He started from a very humble standpoint and I had the privilege of being with him in the old church before they moved to their new site. He has remained very doggedly committed to the work of the Kingdom. To mark this occasion, I just rejoice and celebrate with the man. I’m proud to see him grow and reach the whole world today.”
On the uniqueness of TREM as a church, Omobude observed, “ Some people have churches founded around tribal lines. However, TREM is for everyone, regardless of background; it reflects the mind of a leader. Bishop Mike Okonkwo has reached out to people irrespective of their tribe and tongue. He has also served at various levels in PFN and he delivered. He has been a strong voice for the rest of the church. On behalf of the church, he has promoted our values. He stands for what we believe in. And so, that is what Nigeria wants; leaders that are not tribalised and can see beyond themselves. This is what Bishop Mike Okonkwo embodies,” he noted.
While congratulating the TREM family for its landmark 40th anniversary, the PFN President said, “TREM has gone a long way and I rejoice with Bishop Okonkwo and the entire TREM family. I want to let them know that there are more lands to conquer. TREM would continue to wax stronger to remain committed and focused to the call of God upon our lives. Many people in the body of Christ look up to TREM for leadership. And I just celebrate with them in Jesus Name.”Mandell: TREM Is Answer For Those Who Sense The Reality That Jesus Has Not Changed
Don Mandell is the Senior Vice President (International Ministries) for Morris Cerullo World Evangelism. For 34 years, he travelled with late Dr. Cerullo to 110 nations as follows preaching the word of God. It was on this mission that he met Bishop Mike Okonko of TREM, whom he described as ‘Isaac.’
“Bishop Mike Okonkwo represents Isaac, the chosen and miraculous son. Dr. Cerullo represents Abraham, and I would be Eliezer of Damascus. I witnessed Dr. Cerullo’s Godly pride and joy at the life and ministry of Bishop Mike and Dr. Peace Okonkwo; their exploits from glory to glory, and the unity they inspired to forge such a great international movement as The Redeemed Evangelical Mission.”
Describing Bishop Okonwko an alumni of Dr. Cerullo’s School of Ministry in San Diego, California, at the El Cortez Hotel (the final 1981 batch), he said, “God used him mightily to birth a movement that embodies the ingredients of fullness of the spirit, intense and passionate worship, but also structure, order, balance, accountability, discipline, and focus— characteristics and qualities that make for longevity and consistent growth. Not ‘overnight sensation’, but in due season. TREM is, in fact, for many, the answer for those who sense the reality that Jesus has not changed or cancelled the supernatural of the New Testament, but that He also requires us to fulfill the demands of character and dedication.”
To Mandell, Bishop Okonkwo’s contribution to the Body of Christ is very challenging to document, as it is so vast and much of it behind the scenes.
“I have sat with leading pastors who commented on how valuable he was in their development. He is more than just one of the people who was the head of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN). He, indeed, influenced the culture and direction of that great spiritual institution,” he noted.
Describing TREM as a detribalised family, Mandell said, “To be a ‘Tremie’ is to believe for miracles, but then to have the stability and qualities of Godly character to consolidate and hold on to the benefits and fruit of those miracles. What other spiritual leader has concluded his services by lifting up his voice and saying, as Bishop Mike has, in closing prayer, ‘No corruption, no tribalism, and no nepotism?’ This is nothing less than a vision of integrity and it is contagious in bringing forth a righteous nation with a call to leadership in a confused and divided world.
“This strength of conviction, and, in the midst of sharing so much of the agape love of Christ, to also not be shy or intimidated about giving that word of correction that is needed, is priceless combination. Bishop Mike is a pillar of unity in the Body of Christ, and that is one reason Dr. Cerullo, who went home on July 10, 2020, looked to him so much and respected him so deeply,” he revealed.
According to Mandell, nations and cultures do not truly unify overnight, nor do ethics and traditional ways of doing things change in an instant. However, the voice of TREM for Christ has stood the test of time, and been like salt and light, not only in Africa, but also in the entire world.
“More and more, what are referred to as the ‘developed nations’ have been and will continue trying to attach a ‘price tag’ of compromise on values to the help and assistance that they offer. They will say, ‘If you compromise on this or that, we will increase aid.’ TREM is a force to resist that temptation of compromise; less and less can the West be relied upon to provide a moral compass. TREM has been undergoing preparation for decades, with Bishop Mike at the helm, to assume that role of presenting Biblical standards to the world around it. TREM joins so many other great movements in West Africa to enter into their end-time destiny as world shakers, but also to make the ‘tough choices’ that must be made to remain under the blessing of God rather than that of man alone.”
While congratulating TREM family on its 40th anniversary, he said, “I do not say as a slogan, but as a reality; this is only the beginning! A foundation is in place; the discipleship is vast. With the latest technology and continued growth and development in the professional sphere, reach into scores of nations, as well as the spiritual realm and that of prayer, I foresee exponential development. As I continue to work to carry forward the legacy of Dr. Morris Cerullo, the reality of TREM, its international community, its branches, its leaders, its standing as a great family, are all a great encouragement.
“Even as we look at a world of 8 billion or more people, I see that the revelations, life, and ministry of Morris Cerullo are powerfully reflected in that of Bishop Mike and, in turn that of Bishop in the lives of hundreds of thousands of people, affecting the nations and ultimately, the lives of untold millions. Mama Theresa Cerullo, our Chairwoman, and David Cerullo, our President, could not be more joyful in celebrating this great milestone in spirit with you, as are all of us at Morris Cerullo World Evangelism,” he concluded.