The annual GRACE Programme of the Household of God Church, Oregun, Ikeja. Lagos, will hold on 13th December, 2015 at the church’s five-star auditorium, from 5pm. GRACE is a charity-based programme conceived by the Pastor, Rev Chris Okotie in 1990, with the vision to give back to society by reaching out to the less privileged who are made to normally benefit from the compassion of Jesus Christ as expressed by the church’s outreach.
During the event, four major charities in Lagos have traditionally been given cash donations of one million naira each. The usual beneficiaries are – Sunshine Foundation, Strong Tower Mission, Pacelli School for the Blind and Partially Sighted and Spinal Cord Injuries Association of Nigeria. The first ever GRACE programme was held at the indoor Sports Hall National Stadium in Surulere in 1990; and today it has become an internationally acclaimed event which attracts the movers and shakers of society from the entertainment, fashion industry, corporate sectors etc.
For 25 years, the church has championed the course of the underprivileged that look forward to the love feast every year with great expectations. In 1996, the KARIS award was launched and it became subsumed in the GRACE programme. It is an award given to unsung Nigerian heroes/heroines who, due to some errors of omission were not duly appreciated by the government in their generation. Dr. Stella Adadevoh, the late medical doctor who died during the controversial treatment of the index case, the late Liberian diplomat, Patrick Sawyer is the 2015 KARIS Awardee.
The selection of an Ambassador for the church through the prestigious Queen Esther costume pageant competition is one of the highlights of the occasion. The evening usually features the parade and display of beautiful women in costumes inspired by popular female bible characters. It is, indeed, an evening of glitz and glamour in this unique costume pageant competition. The contestant with the most creative costume is then crowned as the Queen Esther and gets a cash prize of one million naira.
But this year, all the past Queens would merely showcase their costumes in a first of its kind parade of Queens to mark the 25th Anniversary of GRACE. There will be no new Queen Esther.
For the Pastor and members of Household of God Church, the Christmas season is incomplete without the colourful ambience created by the Christmas lights that adorn the shrubs lining the quiet street of the popular mega church. This 25th anniversary of the programme promises to be exciting.