Ayo ni o Choir, an Icon of Nigeria's Gospel Music celebrates 50 years in grand style
The choir of the Cherubim and Seraphim Movement Church, Surulere district has commenced the celebration of its 50th anniversary. The events that started last year will span till April 23, 2023, with this year’s theme "In his presence".
Speaking at a press briefing held at the church, the chairman and the general leader, Senior Special Apostle Prophet (DR) Sunday Funsho Korode said ‘the achievement of the last 50 years is attributed to the presence of God with us, and we resolve to also remain in his presence even as we carry out the spiritual mandate and develop ourselves physically’.
The Chairman ably represented by Special Apostle Pastor B. O ALAKA (deputy District Secretary) added that the choir has been the major leading light in the propagation of Christ - a major objective of the church.
“From the humble beginning of participation in church activities, the choir has grown to be an icon in the gospel music industry in Nigeria. Today most of the lyrics in our album have become household songs and are popular amongst gospel ministers and churches. The choir has well over 40 record albums to her credit. Our music, melody, and message have become a moral compass to the nation at large”.
Giving a run-down of events for the week, the Chairman invited the general public to join in the celebration.
“Other programs ahead of us from this week are stated below:
5 hours of Praise - Wednesday 12th April 2023
Choir Day - Saturday 15th April 2023
Revival - Saturday 22nd April 2023
50th Thanksgiving - Sund 23rd April 2023”.
He added, "The choir developed a visible wing in the summer of 1971, when with a drum and a chorus of "Hallelujah, Jesus loves me". The choirmaster general, now the chairman/general, in the person of Senior Special Apostle Prophet (DR) Sunday Funso Korode represented the one-man choir for a monthly Thanksgiving call in one of the Sunday services of the church. This by God's design, metamorphosed in the birth of the group of willing singers - the choir, in 1972 with its first meeting held at the residence of the then church chairman/general leader, Late Special Apostle Prophet (Dr) G.O Fakeye".
The church’s choir has been a great blessing and a tremendous force in the church's evangelical program which has elevated the Church of today from a sitting congregation to its present state of millions of congregations in about 90 branches around the globe. The choir in its development programs also has an anointed modern and music-literate youth choir, Disciples of Christ Ministry Choir, a Children's ministry choir, an English chapel choir, and also a school of music where members are trained in modern music and use of musical instruments.
Korode reaffirmed the church’s commitment to spreading the gospel through music ministrations.
"Our focus will continue to propagate the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ through the God-given musical talents, the lyrics, and messages of our songs, to minister to many more souls, making our impact more global, working with other gospel ministers inside and outside the country, using modern technology and platforms to promote the work while being conscious of C&S base and origin to propagate his kingdom”.
Speaking during the question and answer session, the Church Secretary, Prophet Oluseyi Coker, also stated that although there is a trend of some gospel music modeling after secular music, the church would not change its standard.
“Our church is very unique and phenomenal and you will find out that as one generation is moving, it is passing the baton to the next generation seamlessly. Though, some things might have been modified to meet the present day situation but they are still spiritual.
“Most of the Nigerian gospel music is not as strong as one would have expected. They are often modeled towards circular music. But ours will continue to move with the same standard, same legacy and the same principles upon which our albums and music were written and produced," he added.
The church choir master, Special Apostle Gbemi Ladejobi, also disclosed that the church would launch a platform to archive its musical projects.
He said, “Part of what we are doing now is to have our pen drive where we store all our past products and albums. We will launch it on our choir day. With that those who were not around when the albums were produced will have the opportunity to listen and digest the content of the album. In music, we have a school which is RSM certified. It has trained members and non-members. So we are doing all our best to make sure that the generations yet to come know what we are doing.”
Present at the press briefing are other members of the church including, Pro Niyi Adeyemi ( choirmaster general),
Sp Apos Gbemi Ladejebi( residing choirmaster), Apos. Toyin Olaniyan ( choir Secretary)
Pastor Sam Akande ( major lead vocalist on all our albums), Most senior Apostle Deji Fatoye (finance).