Geoffrey was busy serving the Lord and teaching his students (in Birnin Kudu, Kano, Gumel and Wudil) when one day in July 1972, the Lord told him to leave the North for Rivers State, his home State, within the next two days. The day of departure was a sad day for all of them. Christian brethren, especially his converts, were there to see him off at the train station in Kano. It was like St. Paul’s final parting with the Ephesian brethren (Acts 20:36-38). They hugged and hugged him and wept and wept. And as the train moved, they waved and waved and sobbed and sobbed, many of them running alongside the platform until the train finally moved out of sight.
THE STREET PREACHER
Apostle Numbere does not and has never used orthodox methods in his approach to the things of God. Always depending on the Holy Spirit, he has many a time used unorthodox ways to reach out to souls. This in the early days of his Christian life and ministry used to bring a lot of condemnation from the Christians of those days who lacked understanding as to the move of the Holy Spirit. That was Geoffrey Numbere, the soul-winner. He has always placed a premium on the salvation of the souls of men, for the value of a soul is the Blood of the Son of God.
It was in that same manner that he started his Mission, when in 1972 he came down to Rivers State. He did not seek for any known conventional system in order to spread the gospel. Initially most of his preaching engagements were on invitations by a few Christians here and there to minister in Secondary Schools and sometimes in the Scripture Union where he used to attend fellowship.
But his fiery zeal could not be contained by mere preaching engagements. He decided to strike out to the field. He did not seek for any rich man to sponsor his Ministry. Since his people had kicked him out to the streets, the streets became his first mission field. He cared not for earthly possessions or achievements. The only possessions he had in this world were a T-shirt, a pair of trousers, a pair of slippers or shoes and a raffia bag containing his Bible and tracts and they were all on him! He did not have any source of income, nor did he know where his next meal would come from. But these things did not bother him. He had the call, he had the vision, but he believed that “Having a vision is not enough; there must be a commitment to act on the vision - A MISSION.” He had therefore come to Rivers State with a Mission, the Mission to raise up the faces of men and women in Rivers State to look up to Jesus to receive eternal life like he had been told in the vision.
He was so consumed with zeal and so committed to his Mission that he wanted everything in him including his very clothes to preach the gospel. He therefore got an artist to inscribe the words, “JESUS IS LOVE” and “REPENT” on the front and back of his T-shirt respectively. In his scanty outfit and with his raffia bag slung over a shoulder, he struck out to the streets of Port Harcourt preaching the gospel with great passion. He would stand at street corners, or in car parks, bus stops (stations), market places, or by public buildings such as civil service secretariats and banks, and compassion would grip his heart at the sight of multitudes of people moving about in those places. He would begin to cry as he realized that many of those people were going to a Christ-less eternity. He would, with tears in his eyes, tell them about Jesus Christ, His love for mankind and their need to be saved.
You can imagine what a spectacle he must have been with his poor dressing, his tearful face and his “strange message” of being “born-again.” As should be expected, many rebuffed him or simply ignored him, for whoever saw a man, an African man for that matter, weeping publicly? “Men do not weep” is a common saying and belief here. And for what purpose was he weeping? Not that he was weeping because he had lost one dear to him but he was weeping because he wanted people to repent. Wherever had it been preached before that salvation was through Jesus Christ and Him alone? And what kind of young man was this, that instead of going to school or finding himself some gainful employment, he was spending his time weeping and preaching to people to repent from their sins?. “He must be mad”, many conjectured. Some looked at the “mad” young man with pity, thinking that his enemies must have bewitched him “What a pity” they said, “Such a handsome young man! Who must have done this to him?” They queried.
In spite of all these reactions, a few, mostly teenagers believed his “strange” message and joined him, for there was a sincerity and intensity in his eyes, which could not be easily ignored. Also a few Scripture Union members left the Scripture Union (SU) and joined him. They testified that it was his sincerity coupled with the leadership quality they had noticed in him even at that early stage that had attracted them. Naturally, a number of SU members were angry with him over this development, but some later came to understand and accept his call.
On Saturday, 9th of September 1972, in the course of an all-night prayer meeting, in Port Harcourt with these young believers, the Ministry of Greater Evangelism Crusade was born. Apostle Numbere heard the name; “Greater Evangelism Crusade” repeated a number of times by the Lord in his ears. In excitement he shouted “Greater Evangelism Crusade!!! Greater Evangelism Crusade!! I’ve got the name – Greater Evangelism Crusade!!! Greater Evangelism Crusade!!!” He then shared the message with his prayer partners who were bewildered as to the meaning of his sudden outburst. Thereafter the group adopted this “Greater Evangelism Crusade” to be the name of the Ministry. Some of those who were present in that prayer meeting were Elder Eluan E. Akpana, Evangelist Fubara Ibama, Bro. Ben Iloh, (who later became the first deputy leader of the Ministry) and Sister Iloye Major. Some days later the Lord gave the motto, “TO KNOW JESUS AND TO MAKE JESUS KNOWN” to Apostle Numbere.
And precisely on the 6th of December 1972, he was on his knees praying when the Lord gave him the emblem of the Ministry. – THE GLOBE (THE WORLD) WITH THE CROSS SPANNING IT AND DROPPING ON AFRICA WITH NIGERIA IN THE CENTRE. The Vision of the Ministry was clear - Greater Evangelism was to have three main phases in her Mission. The Ministry was to span over Nigeria, Africa, and the rest of the world. Since the work of the Ministry was to start in Nigeria, Apostle Numbere decided to add the name, “Nigeria” in parenthesis to the name God had given to him and so the Ministry began as Greater Evangelism (Nigeria) Crusade. His plan was that whenever the Ministry got into any country, the name of that country would be inserted in parenthesis into the name of the ministry. For example, if they got to Ghana, the name would be Greater Evangelism (Ghana) Crusade. The name Greater Evangelism (Nigeria) Crusade thus became the name of his Ministry for many years.
During the 1975 Conference, the Holy Spirit revealed independently to Bishop Reeves and Apostle Kayo that the Lord had given Greater Evangelism a world-wide scope and that the Ministry should not be confined to Nigeria alone. On Sunday 15th of April, 1975 (the last day of the Conference) during a joint meeting of the Board of Directors and Council of Elders, these two men of God still led by the Holy Ghost, moved a motion that there be a change of name to reflect the world-wide scope of this ministry. It was like the Council in Jerusalem of the first Century Church replayed. The joint council, having confirmed that indeed this motion was of God passed the resolution. By this resolution, the name, “Greater Evangelism (Nigeria) Crusade was changed to “Greater Evangelism World Crusade” and the Director of the Ministry became officially recognized as the International Director of the Ministry of Greater Evangelism World Crusade.
Culled from "A Man and A Vision" by Nonyem E. Numbere. For inquiries, visit our bookshop.
The Annual Teenagers Conference of Greater Evangelism World Crusade took place from August 20th to 27th 2018 with the Theme: “Given to Prayer and the Word as Teens” (Acts 6:4).
The 2018 Conference was special. For the first time, was held at State levels due to the growing number of attendees. Each State venue was packed out with over 500 teens in attendance. It was an awesome time. There were Seminars on topics like ICT, Dealing with Sexual harassment, breaking the circles of addictions; workshops such as My Health, my responsibility, Teens Empowerment and several talks on Prayer. The teens also had time to study the Bible in Bible Study sessions and their physical health was given attention via sports and endurance treks.
The Overseer of the Children/Teens Department, Pastor Dr. Mrs. N. E Numbere was ably represented by the wife of the International Director, Pastor Mrs. Blessing Olori.
Pastor Isaac Olori, the International Director, GEWC, visited some of the venues and in his address to the teens, spoke on Samuel who was given to God as a child. He said it was interesting to note even though Samuel was not part of the decision to have him dedicated to God, as he grew up, he grew up with that commitment and did not draw back. The same can be said of most teens, dedicated to God as infants by your parents without consulting you. Summarily, he said, these teens could be called “Samuel”.
Reading from 1 Samuel 2: 18 – 26 and 1 Samuel 3:19, he highlighted some aspects of Samuel’s life. Excepts can be found below:
- Samuel ministered before the Lord: 1 Samuel 2:18
As soon as Samuel was weaned, he was left in God’s temple and even as a child, he ministered before the Lord. Samuel understood his parents meant well by giving him over to God. The greatest gift your parents can give you is not your education, but directing you in the way of the Lord. You must value this as every other thing about your life will be hinged on your foundation or relationship with God. Samuel served God even as a child, therefore do not think you are too young to serve, Samuel was younger than you. Stir up the passion for God now, otherwise there is the danger that things could go wrong in your life.
The passion for God should drive you, as a teen. Look for areas to minister before the Lord. One of the primary areas is Prayer and the Word. This is an internal ministry, it is fellowship with God where you develop personal intimacy with the Lord. God is interested in you. Leave this conference desiring God’s fellowship.
The enemy is diverting people from the way of God but if your foundation is solid, built on prayer and the word, you will not be an instrument in the hand of the enemy.
Be addicted to prayer and God’s word. As young people, almost every day, you are on social media, it is a form of addiction. In the same way, you can get addicted to prayer and God’s word where you feel incomplete when you have not prayed or read God’s word. That is the level we want you to attain. I want you to challenge yourself and say, ‘If Samuel as a child, ministered before the Lord, I too, can minister before the Lord and be His instrument’.
- Samuel grew before the Lord: 1 Samuel 2:21
Samuel grew in God’s presence, that means, he made progress spiritually. Leave this conference determined to make progress spiritually. You are growing physically, mentally and in your academics but there is another dimension: you need to grow spiritually.
Samuel was singled out in a generation of corrupt and wicked people. Even Eli’s sons were corrupt, yet they could not influence Samuel. As Samuel grew before the Lord, his own testimony was different. May your testimony be different. What will make that difference is that you grow before the Lord. Set the Lord always before you by studying God’s word and praying.
- Samuel had favour before God and men: 1 Samuel 2:26
As Samuel grew both physically and spiritually, the favor of the Lord, rested on him. When you grow before the Lord, you will find favor. Learn to cultivate God’s presence. Grow in intimacy and remain in intimacy with God.
- The Lord was with Samuel: 1 Samuel 3:19
As Samuel grew, the Lord was with him. It implies, God is not with everyone. I pray that you decide that as you grow, the Lord will be with you. Samuel had the evidence that God was with him - his words carried God’s power and came to pass.
Look through scriptures, the testimony of Samuel was the testimony of John the Baptist and even with Jesus. The Lord being with you is not just because you come to church but a function of the intimacy you develop with God. The danger is that if you do not develop intimacy with God, you will develop intimacy with the world and some even go further and develop intimacy with the devil by being initiated into cultism and occult practices.
Concluding, Pastor Isaac Olori said, ‘Keeping God’s word will add to you long life and peace. The secret of finding favor before God and men is to keep God’s word (Proverbs 3:1 – 4). He prayed for teenagers surrendering to Christ and for all the teens of the ministry.
There were several testimonies at the August 2018 Healing Service that are worth mentioning. Some are listed below:
Safe Delivery: Tch. and Mrs Bob Festus from Rainbow Town Church testified of safe delivery after about three days of labour. Mrs Bob recounted how she started experiencing labour pain on the 3rd of May 2018, and was later rushed to Braithwaite Memorial Hospital. She was immediately admitted since the labour was progressive with the hope of delivery in no distant time. It so happened that delivery did not take place, and after the doctors had examined her, days later, she was advised to have a caesarean section. After consent was made for surgery, she was wheeled into the theatre. Situations arose that prevented the surgery from taking place. She was wheeled out of the theatre and she immediately felt like using the convenience. To God’s glory, she gave birth to her baby boy.
Discharged and Acquitted after 7 years: Sis. Gloria from Ozuboko Church testified how her husband was held unlawfully in prison for seven years, but was discharged and acquitted. She explained how her husband was held at a bank where he went to carry out a transaction, being accused of car robbery. The owner of the car, who was a Judge said he looked like one of the robbers who attacked him and stole his car. All effort to get him released proved abortive and futile. Prayers and fasting were made on his behalf. After the June 2018 healing service, she prayed with her children at the altar, and in July, she repeated same thing. On the 31st of July, God intervened in her situation and her husband was released from prison, discharged and acquitted.
Deliverance from drowning: Sis Ibiye Owutubo from Mile 1 church testified how God delivered her from a Boat Accident. She described how after the children conference at Okirika, she had boarded a boat coming back to Port Harcourt and on the sea, the boat capsized. In this situation, her life jacket pulled off and all effort to come out from the sea were to no avail, as she did not know how to swim. She said the boat covered her and two babies and so it was difficult to be seen. Deep down in the sea, she remembered the God of mercy and cried out to Him for help, at this moment, she was already down in the sea. Suddenly a force pulled her out from underneath the first time and back into the sea, it also happened a second time. At the third time, God made the rescuers to see her, and they came to her rescue and that of the children.
To God be the glory, for the great things He did.
It was a wonderful time in God’s presence and we heard great testimonies from our brethren. A detailed account of their testimonies can be found here.
God’s word was brought forth by Pastor Isaac V. Olori. The topic of this Sermon was “The Rock that is higher than I”, (Psalm 61:1-5).
Introducing the sermon, Pastor Isaac V. Olori said that every individual, no matter how highly placed, gets to a point when they are low. However, to stand the pressures of life and overwhelming situations, we all need a rock which is higher than us. Some situations have persisted because we look up to a ‘rock’ that is at the same level with us.
If you are a child of God, you have a Father you can cry to. Just as when our children cry, something is stirred up within us as parents, so does God attend to us when we cry to Him. Furthermore, he pointed out that many times, instead of crying to God, we grumble, cry about the situation or speak to our fellow men (who are limited) about the situation. The difference between God and man is that God can attend to more than one person at a time.
Using David as a case study, he elaborated on verse 2 of the text – “The end of the earth”
Details can be found below:
The end of the earth signifies two things:
- A geographical location: There are some physical challenges that make you see unnoticed. Never get to the point where you give up because even from the ends of the earth, God can hear your cry.
2. Spiritually distance: It refers to a person who was disconnected from God. When there is spiritual distance, only a cry for mercy and help will deliver such a person. An instance was David, when he committed sin (adultery, murder, deceit). He tried to cover it, until God sent Prophet Nathan, who spoke to him about it. On hearing his misdeed, David cried for mercy and God saved him.
David’s words in verse 2 “…when my heart is overwhelmed…” notice that David did not say “if…”. This implies that overwhelming situations will certainly come to us at one point or the other. It is only through challenges that we can know the power of God. The challenge is that, many Christians never prepare for crisis. As Christians, we must take time to build our spiritual life, rather than depend on our strength.
Other points worthy of note include:
- A rock is a place of stability and security. Notwithstanding the circumstances, the rock remains stable and cannot be removed. The foundation mentioned in 1 Corinthians 3:11 refers to the Rock. There is no other foundation except Jesus. Anyone trying to lay another foundation would be wasting their time. Most buildings collapse because of the quality of the foundation. Hence, we need to build a solid foundation for our lives.
- No man has an answer to the problems we face in life. We need a rock, so that when problems come we have a place to hide (2 Timothy 2:19).
- If you are standing on The Rock and you have a challenge, you must not give up.
- Our heart must be in the right place. What attracts God to you is the state of your heart, hence you must be careful what goes through your heart. Your heart must be perfect before God. The devil will do everything to attack your heart.
In summary, he said,
- You need a Rock.
- A Rock that is higher than you
- “Lead me” – Let God lift you up
Finally, when you get to the rock, you gain elevation above struggles and circumstances (Isaiah 59:1-2). God hears all prayers but does not answer favorably to all prayers. The only prayer He answers from a sinner is the prayer of mercy.
“ ... O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years! In the midst of the years make known;...” Habakkuk 3:2 (NKJV).
As the Ministry turns 46 years today, 9th of September, 2018, as members and friends of the Ministry we have every cause to appreciate and eulogize God, who is the giver and sustainer of the Vision. Keeping our focus and mission alive for these years has been by the grace of God for which we should always remember and be grateful to Him.
It is also a time to reflect on the labours of our heroes; our founding father , Apostle G.D. Numbere of blessed memory, and those who laboured with him with a passion in pursuit of the Vision and how far we have gone in accomplishing it.
We need to remind ourselves, the present generation of the Ministry, the responsibility and challenges we face, not only to keep the Vision on course but also relevant in our time. The mandates given to our founding father, to go and raise those whose heads are bowed down to look up to Him (God) and live is still as relevant and urgent today as it was 46 years ago.
The world and our society is increasingly sliding to more and more ungodliness; the Church is becoming more and more worldly and the society more and more religious but devoid of the power of the saving grace of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Our generation desperately needs that flame, the commitment and passion which characterized the Vision in the early years.
As we reminiscent on this great and heavenly mandate of reaching everyone, everywhere with the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ, my charge to us all is to pray passionately for revival like Prophet Habakkuk did : “ O LORD, revive your work in the midst of the years! “. Only a revival that rekindles the flame of the Vision will produce the required energy that will move the Vision to the next level. When this happens, there must be a determination to sustain it and transfer it to the next generation.
Like the slogan of our Teens “The Vision lives because I am available to carry on the Vision “. May we not only make ourselves available but earnestly pray for the fire and passion needed to carry on the Vision in these last days.
God bless you.
REMAIN RAPTURABLE AND HAPPY 46TH ANNIVERSARY .
Pastor Isaac V. Olori
Int’l Director, Greater Evangelism World Crusade (GEWC)