It is common in the Celestial Church of Christ that pupils of the Sunday School graduated to the adult church; some will join the adult choir either to continue from where they stopped in the Sunday school or without formerly participating in the Sunday school picked interest in the adult church. While others may in the adult church conduct worship and read lessons on weekdays or join the drama group, others even stay aloof entirely from any activity in the adult church, only to just worship and return to their respective homes.
This process may be forced by the leadership of the parish parochial committee for one reason or the other or could be occasioned by personal interest in what obtains in the adult church.
The Greater Tomorrow Group story was in no doubt different from this, hence, the emergence of this group is the first organized youth group within the Celestial Church of Christ with a distinct focus of discipline, diligence and honesty towards excellence in the things of God.
Greater Tomorrow Group’s concept came by divine inspiration through L/S/P Uwa Erhabor Emokpae and some members of the 1993 Adult Harvest tagged “ADABA MIMO” of C.C.C Olajuwon Tejuosho Parish (These members later metamorphosed to becoming the children’s welfare committee inaugurated in 1994 by the then parochial committee of the parish).
W/L Yahaya James, C/E/S RonkeAdetona, C/E/S Funmi Davies (late), Ldr. Afolabi Ogafua, Ldr. Friday Arisagboyin, S/E. Ojo (late) e.t.c.
The group was to serve as a stop gap for students who were above the Sunday School but below the adult church’s sermon.
This was to support them educationally, socially, mentally, spiritual, morally and in all areas of their lives. The first meeting was held in May 1994 with about twenty members in attendance at the elder’s council room of the parish. This led to the emergence of the Greater Tomorrow Group in May 1994.
The first performance was in that year’s Juvenile Harvest. All through this period till December, the group was in her incubating stage. Tejuosho parish had had problems with its youth body, so it did not entertain or easily welcome the idea of a youth body again that could harness the potential of these young adults. Hence, the unhealthy trend continued unabated.
In May 1994, this growing concern became noticeable to L/S/P. Uwa Erhabor Emokpae (fondly called Aunty or Aunty Uwa) who went full serving into action to salvage the situation. She made it her top priority, mastering her influence both as a member of the parochial committee and her vintage position in government. She, from this vantage point, sought the help of her colleagues in the committee and of concerned elders and upon the consent of the committee a new youth body was formed under a supervisory committee headed by late H/S/E Ojo.
Aunty Uwa ensured the compilation of the names of those that graduated from the Sunday school by Sis. Bukola Awobokun, also a graduant, thus, the people enlisted were called to a meeting summoned by the youth supervisory committee in the Elder’s common Room.
Notable among the supervisory committee were:
H/S/E Ojo, L/S/P Uwa Erhabor-Emorkpae, Ldr. AfolabiOgafua, S/E/S RonkeAdetona and S/E/S. Davies (Late).
It was agreed that they meet in the church gallery after the silent prayer in the adult church, and would be a stop-gap before finally joining the adult church.
Evang. Gbemi Jaiyebo was a friend of Aunty Uwa and was supportive of the new project but this however was not without its down side; he was the leader of FOCUS, another ministry within the C.C.C which kicked against the tenets of the church.
Unfortunately, in August 1994, Aunty Uwa travelled abroad, hence, more members of the FOCUS joined the Greater Tomorrow Forum (as it was formerly called), bringing Christian films to watch and including their own values. This led to the reduction in the membership of GTF, as they could not swallow the bitter pills.
The group, referred to as the ‘Creme Of C.C.C’ , held her first major organised event in December 1994 which commenced at the Holy Land of Celestial City, Imeko in Ogun State, Nigeria, during the annual convocation of the church. During the programme, a formal introduction of the group was made to the then incumbent pastor, Rev A.A Bada of blessed memory and the hierarchy of the church. The Pastor’s recognition of Greater Tomorrow Forum (GTF) led to the birth of the yearly C.C.C Youth Day in Imeko on every 23rd of December. A beautiful wall clock was presented to the Pastor, who when acquainted with the youths, encouraged them to walk and keep the doctrine of the C.C.C. He asked Sup. Evang. P.H. Ajose to read Deut. 28 and pray for these youths which he had loved, while he said the grace.
At Inception, the GTF had its executive members:
NAME POST HELD
Sis. Bukola Awobokun – Co-ordinator
Sis. Sarah Solanke – Secretary
Bro. Wale Adeola – Financial Secretary
Some other positions were later occupied in the executive:
Bro. NiyiAwodumila – Chairman, Disciplinary Committee
Bro. Dele Bakare – Asst. Secretary
Bro. Theophilous Achuba – Prayer Leader 1
Bro. Biodun Ogundipe – Prayer Leader 2
Bro. Olumide Sarumi – Prayer Leader 3
Bro. Timithy Adeniyi – Chief whip
Sis. Maria Awobokun – Chief Whip
Bro. Segun Akinola – Treasurer
Sis.Onijo Tinuade – Asst. Treasurer
The executive kept expanding. The climax of the 3-day event was the musical carnival on the night of Dec 31st, 1994 where Evang. Roland Olomola (Baba Ara) was the guest artiste. The year 1994 did not go without a fight by the executive to uphold the tenet of the C.C.C, so, the activities of the focus group had to be curtailed, hence the choice of Bro. Ademola Samuel Bolaji, who was reputed to be grounded both in the scriptures and tenets of the C.C.C with his usual visit to the GTF during their fellowship and the re-assurance he gave, an acceptance of his person quickly eroded the stay of the FOCUS.
The group had a self composed anthem when it first started, but was changed due to a new one given by the spirit through Bro Ademola Samuel I. (Baba) namely Eyin Oluwa Eyin Mimo hymn.
With the advent of Bro. Ademola, a brand new era was birthed where the name of the group “Greater Tomorrow Forum” was changed to “Greater Tomorrow Group”. However, the Greater Tomorrow Group we are celebrating today started in 1995 with the emergence of Bro. Ademola Imoleayomitan Samuel who God used in bringing the group to the knowledge of God and a vivid understanding of the church’s tenet and doctrine. Moreover the group became spiritually conscious through the teachings and the weekly vigils as the spirit directs Bro. Ademola Samuel.
The Group’s first Vigil was held on a Friday at C.C.C Olajuwon Tejuosho parish, Mercy Land, with the following people in attendance.
Bro. Ademola I Samuel
Bro. Olaniyi Awodumila
C/E. Theophilus Achuba
Bro. Peter Adegor
Bro. Timothy Adeniyi
Bro. Jacob Osadede
Bro. Josiah Osadebe.
At the Vigil, a great miracle occurred whereby a candlestick turned three during prayer session. However, the weekly vigil grew from strength to strength and many signs and wonders were recorded by the group. It was through this vigil that the “undiluted” words of God were taught and the principles, tenets, doctrine, law, and ordinances of the church were not compromised.
Consequently, within a period of six months, the vigil had increased greatly in number and some youth from other parishes were in attendance. They all came to confirm the saying that can any good thing come out of Nazareth…?
In February 1996, the group held a general baptism for all her members conducted by the then Asst. Shepherd of C.C.C Olajuwon Tejuosho Parish, S/E Onadeko and on May 18th 1996, a dedication service was held in Tejuosho parish by Rev A.A Bada represented by the then Shepherd-In- Charge C.C.C Tejuosho parish and District Head Surulere/Ijeshatedo district, S/E G.O Jesse while L/S/P Edith Oshoffa Adewusi graced the occasion.
The group GTG was later divided into three sub-groups namely S, B and J with colour pink, blue and yellow respectively. Badges were also made to identify each of the groups. The group’s anthem and motto were also composed.
The goal of the group is seen in the Group’s motto which is: Discipline, Diligence and Excellence towards the things of God.
It is to make disciplined Youths which will be army for God.
The group had a self composed anthem when it first started, but was changed due to a new one given by the spirit through Bro Ademola Samuel I.(Baba) namely Eyin Oluwa Eyin Mimo hymn.
In December 1996, Rev. Bada gave the group the mandate to organize the first C.C.C Youth Day under the supervision of the then S/E Odeyemi as part of the annual Christmas convocation ceremony at Imeko.
The Youth Day programme led to the emergence of youth Fellowship under the tutelage of S/E Odeyemi. As a result, the first Youth revival was held at Olajuwon Tejuosho Parish which the Group hosted successfully for three days. The group released her double album in 1999 tagged (Niboni Oguntiwa? and Igba Otun Tide) being first of its kind in any C.C.C youth group. <br
The expansion of the group continued with the invitation of Bro. Ademola Samuel to parishes like Orelope central parish, Egbeda Lagos, Araromi parish, Central Bible Fellowship, Akiode, e.t.c as guest lecturer, speaker and revivalist.
With the admission of some of the group’s member to higher institutions like UNIBEN, UNILAG, LASU, Federal polytechnic Ado, Federal Polytechnic Ilaro, Yaba College of Technology, e.t.c. The group extended her tentacles as a result of her immeasurable contributions to fellowships and C.C.C student parishes in their respective schools.
The G.T.G was wholly saddled with planning and overseeing the activities of the adult harvest of C.C.C Olajuwon Tejuosho in December 1997 tagged “CONFIRMATION”, introducing for the first time a Monday programme in the week long event preceding the Sunday harvest thanksgiving service.
The G.T.G was instrumental in establishing other youth groups which include Glorious Tomorrow in C.C.C Afonifoji Ibukun Parish, Better Tomorrow in C.C.C Ilasamaja Central Parish.
In January 1998, there was a prophesy through Bro. Ademola that there would be a separation within the group which eventually led to the graduation of some members into the adult church as they had out grown above the age stipulated for the membership of the group.
Things took a different twist as some members of the G.T.G no longer lived the way they used to, it was not business as usual. As inherent in mortals, internal and external forces became the harbinger for the dissolution of the group.
This separation eventually happened and the G.T.G was evacuated from the gallery in C.C.C Olajuwon Tejuosho parish.
The bond that kept members together was however not broken. Some members returned to the adult church, some gained admission into tertiary institutions, some travelled abroad, some got married while others who did not stay went to other parishes of the C.C.C.
After the separation, the co-ordination of the group lied in the hands of Bro. Ademola and Aunty Uwa. By spiritual injuction through Bro. Ademola, the group moved from C.C.C Tejuosho Olajuwon parish where it was no longer acceptable by the elders of the church to Alakuko.
From Alakuko, the group’s office later moved to Aunty Uwa’s house at Joseph Shyngle’s Close and vigils held at C.C.C National H/Q Church, Makoko.
In 1999, Bro. Ademola moved to Papa Oshoffa’s house, Ketu and vigils were held at C.C.C International H/Q Church where the youth of the church joined the group. From Ketu the group moved its vigil to C.C.C Orelope Parish, Egbeda where it is till date.
God has manifested his presence and His still manifesting himself in the group through healing, breakthrough, upliftment, marriages and so on.
Among these are during a vigil at Orelope, conducted by Bro Samuel Bolaji (aka Baba), God’s presence was manifest in that a candle lit in the altar produced three light.
Another one was the mysterious bulb. There was a bulb which none knew its switch. Baba by revelation told the group that God will visit for 7 days.
During the vigil, the bulb came on and was ON for 7 days, on the last day, after service, it went off.
A switch was later found for it. It is believed that God connected the light to a switch because he did not want the bulb off.