'Until Africa Is Won for the Lord ... We Have No Rest': Para-Church Units at the Forefront of Spreading the Gospel Far and Wide

New African, October 2006 | Go to article overview

'Until Africa Is Won for the Lord ... We Have No Rest': Para-Church Units at the Forefront of Spreading the Gospel Far and Wide


Christian Women Mirror

A monthly magazine dedicated to women both inside and outside the church, the Women Mirror is by far the most successful stand-alone unit under the Deeper Christian Life Ministry.

Published under the direct charge of Sister Biodun Kumuyi, wife of Pastor Kumuyi and director of the Women's Ministry, the Mirror has steadily risen from its humble print-run of 30,000 a month in 1992 to over 530,000 today. It is now published in seven languages--English, French, Yoruba, Hausa, Igbo, Efik and Twi (Ghana). A Swahili edition is in the pipeline.

The magazine has been hugely successful, thanks to the foresight of Sister Kumuyi who acts more or less as the editor-in-chief (even though, not wanting to take the glory, she says she is not). But she runs the whole show and makes sure that appropriate and interesting themes and topics are chosen for each month's edition, and external contributors are up to scratch.

Her business acumen and editorial direction are so honed that the Mirror has some of the most modern print-shops in Nigeria, and some of the best stocked by way of paper. The magazine is printed in two locations--Ayobo in Lagos, and in Port Harcourt in Rivers State. The magazine started in October 1992 as a result of the Women's Conference of that year. Participants liked the messages that were preached by Pastor Kumyi at the conference and wanted more in printed form. They approached Sister Kumuyi who took the matter to her husband. The first issues were distributed free of charge. Even now it is sold at a mere 15 naira because Pastor Kumuyi wants thousands more to have access to it.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Apart from Deeper Life members, other churches use the Mirror as teaching material. Sister Kumuyi's goal is to see circulation hit one million a month in the next few years.

Life Tapes Ltd

A registered company under the Deeper Christian Life Ministry and established to further the preaching of the gospel, Life Tapes pays taxes to the governments of the countries in which it operates, based on its annual turnover. It sells cassette tapes to church members and th e general public of Pastor Kumuyi's core messages delivered at the various church services, bible studies, retreats, conferences, crusades, and other special meetings.

It is the passion of Pastor Kumuyi to take the gospel to the four corners of the world. To help in this endeavour, Life Tapes records important messages delivered by the pastor.

As a limited liability company under the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Life Tapes employs 40 people at its factory at Ayobo. Other countries and the 36 states of Nigeria have their own branches of Life Tapes. Over 80,000 tapes are produced every month at Ayobo. The company pays royalties to the church.

Life Press Ltd

In 1977, the same passion to spread the gospel far and wide led to the establishment of Life Press Ltd. Initially it relied on outside printers to print its material. But as it was often disappointed by printers who would not deliver jobs on time, Life Press set up its own print-shop in 1978.

In those days, as part of the Great Commission to spread the gospel, Life Press gave out its books and tracts for free. Today, its products are sold at give-away prices, so low that the company struggles to break even.

The low prices are necessitated by the wish of Pastor Kumuyi to make Life Press' products--books written by him (91 at the last count), pamphlets, tracts and magazines--accessible to as many people as possible. The emphasis is not to make money but to spread the gospel.

Life Press employs 50 full time workers and pays royalties to the church when it can, and taxes to the government. Apart from books, pamphlets, posters and such like, Life Press publishes Life, a monthly magazine aimed at adult readers in the church and outside. Its circulation is 80,000 per month. …

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