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Pastor Chris Vows to Rebuild More ‘Beautiful and Glorious’ After Chris Embassy Church Building Razed Down

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LAGOS, Nigeria — The General Overseer of Christ Embassy Church, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, has spoken out about the fire outbreak that gutted the church’s building in Oregun, Ikeja, Lagos on Sunday, June 23, 2024, morning.

The incident affected the Loveworld Convocation Arena, the Christ Embassy Church’s headquarters in Lagos.

In a message to his congregation during the ongoing International Cell Leaders Conference (ICLC) Sunday Service at the Church Camp Grounds in Asese, along the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, Pastor Chris described the significance of the damaged building.

“That’s the best worship facility, frankly, in this part of the world. It’s worth multiple millions of dollars,” he said.

Pastor Chris called on the Secretary General of Loveworld, Kay Adesina, to share his eyewitness account of the incident.

Adesina provided a detailed description of the damage: “It’s really, really messed up. We were not able to enter, but we could see from outside. I took some of the pictures. The whole of the interior was coated in fire. And everywhere inside actually collapsed, including the offices.”

He further noted that the fire services were unable to enter the building and had to fight the blaze from outside.

“The fire services that were there, they saw that they couldn’t go in. So they tried to put out the fire from outside,” Adesina said.

“But all, including the external wall, you see, all the walls are compromised. But the only reason why the whole structure is not compromised is because they are steel structures. Otherwise, you would think that the whole building would collapse.

“So it’s really in a bad state,”

Despite the extensive damage, Pastor Chris emphasised that the church is not defeated and plans to build an even more beautiful structure.

“We will build a beautiful one… Let the devil lick his wounds,” Pastor Chris said.

Pastor Chris also referenced a past experience where the church faced a similar challenge. The explosion shook the entire building and they thought it would come down, bit it didn’t.

“The sounds were so loud, the explosions were so loud. Many thought there was war. And they began to flee from all that area,” he recounted.

The Lagos armoury explosion on January 27, 2002, was a catastrophic event caused by the accidental detonation of a large stockpile of military explosives at the Ikeja Military Cantonment in Lagos, Nigeria.

This explosion resulted in widespread fires and panic, leading to significant loss of life and property. The aftermath saw fires burning through much of northern Lagos, with explosions continuing into the following day.

The official death toll from the disaster is estimated to be over 1,100 people, with thousands more injured and over 20,000 displaced.

When asked if he was surprised by the fire outbreak, Pastor Chris responded, “Not, not even the slightest surprise, not even the slightest surprise. But that’s another day’s talk.”

“When something like this happens, we have to remember that we are not of this world. What do I mean by that? Every single day, God protects us. He protects us, He protects everything that He gives us, with His glory and His grace, every single day. He protects us,” the revered cleric added.

The cause of the fire remains unknown, but officials from the Lagos State Fire and Rescue Service are currently investigating the incident.

Despite the physical damage, Pastor Chris and the Christ Embassy Church are determined to rebuild and continue their mission.

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