A CHURCH from out of Africa which is bucking the trend of falling congregations is looking for a new home in South Tyneside.
Husband and wife Joseph and Kevwe Omoragbon arrived in the borough last year from Nigeria with their four children to spread the word of The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).
And such has been the church’s success that it is now seeking larger premises.
Its congregation of about 50 meets in the Old Friend’s Mission Hall at St Bede’s Church in Westoe Road, South Shields.
But the room is often packed to the rafters at services on a Sunday – forcing an overspill into the passageway.
With the RCCG planning its annual borough conference in November, an urgent search has been launched to find a larger home.
In addition to its church work, Pastor Joseph is also heavily involved in supporting Nigerian students at South Tyneside College’s Marine School. Every year, the Nigerian government provides finance for 200 students to attend the prestigious premises.
Pastor Joseph said: “We are very grateful for St Bede’s providing us with the hall, but as the congregation grows month on month it has become way too small. On Sunday, some of the children had to stand in the passageway and that raises health and safety concerns.
“We are looking for help in finding a larger new building, perhaps within a church hall, where we can have a permanent base.”
The RCCG was founded in 1952 by Nigerian pastor Josiah Akindayomi, and it encourages “abstention from all evil” and reverence to parents and authorities.
Gospel music and song is at the heart of the services, which are attended by both Nigerians and non-Nigerians from across the North East.
Pastor Joseph added: “With our own building, we can become even more involved in the community and establish a soup kitchen.”
Meanwhile, the pastor is organising a football tournament at Monkton Stadium, aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour.
If you can help Pastor Joseph find a new church base, call him on 0771 4619964 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Alternatively, write to him at 22 Laybourne Gardens, South Shields, NE34 9RJ.