My visit to Synagogue Church of Nations (SCOAN) in Lagos, Nigeria was fun filled and will remain indelible in my mind.
Not only will I stand to be counted among those who have stepped inside one of the world’s greatest cathedrals and got blessed along the way, but have also honoured an outstanding invitation extended to me by Church leader Prophet TB Joshua seven years ago.
Driving through the traffic congested streets of Lagos, which has a mixture of good and extremely bad roads I could not help it, but started counting my blessing. Unlike many Nigerian citizens riding un-roadworthy yellow taxis, some of which did not even have doors, indicators, bumpers, window glasses, or doors and above were all overloaded, I was given VIP treatment, as we travelled in an air conditioned luxurious coach.
I sighed with relief when we finally made the last turn into 1 Segun Irefin Street, Ikotun Egbe, the street where the massive and towering SCOAN cathedral and its subsidiary buildings is situated. The first impression I got was that the Cathedral is much bigger than what we see on Emmanuel TV. The church building is a masterpiece in its own right.
The structure of the church is in a class of its own and unlike any. And without doubt it is not only a landmark of Lagos city, but also a tourist attraction, which boosts the economy of Nigeria as people from all over the world come there either to see it or be delivered.
The structural and architectural work is simply an architect’s nightmare, which proves that the designer was driven by the Holy Spirit to design and build such a cathedral.
The sitting arrangement is arranged in an enclosure shaped in a modified U-shape to ensure that all have a better view of the proceedings. The walls are built with a special face brick that does not need repainting.
All the windows are painted with matching colours. The galleries and floor are adorned with Bible verses and words of encouragement and inspiration to lift one’s faith. The ceiling also displays many pictures depicting the sufferings of Christ and the Apostles of old. There are comfortable and colourful green, yellow and red chairs which have all been designed within the church.
The lighting systems too, are great and could easily match those used in any amphitheatre in the world. The building is fitted with refreshing air conditioning as well as fans in order to reduce the heat generated as pilgrims fill up the cathedral.
The decorations are appealing to anyone, from multiple colourful floors to the walls, which carry spiritual messages.
There is also the gigantic stage, which could easily be the size of some churches around the world.
This stage was deliberately designed to be high so that everyone in the church could see the praise and worship choir in action from wherever they are seated during church service. I lost count of how many television sets have been fitted inside for the congregation’s comfort just to ensure all inside the Arena of Liberty do not miss any action that is happening on the other side.
As much as I was comfortable and managed to make new friends of all races and sex, I also experienced cultural shock during my seven-day stay at SCOAN.
I learnt that in their culture, there is nothing wrong to tell someone to shut up when you are in a discussion as the word is used even in church.