A prominent Lagos-based church, Household of David, led by Sola Osunmakinde, was destroyed by fire on Wednesday.
The auditorium, located at 7, Surulere Industrial Road, off Adeniyi Jones in Ikeja, the state capital, was completely burned down just hours before the church’s annual conference, Mercy Conference 2024. The large auditorium can accommodate thousands of people at a time.
Recounting how the strange fire started, the lead pastor of the church, a somber-faced Osunmakinde, said he painfully watched everything burn before his eyes.
“I came here this (Wednesday) morning and everything was going on well, we were setting up,” he narrated. “All of a sudden, we started hearing something up there and there was fire.”
Osunmakinde said the fire service was called upon but “painfully, we watched till everything got burnt completely. Everything”.
“Nobody anticipated this. The most important thing is that no life was lost,” he said in a video with a background of burnt carcasses of what is now left of the fancy auditorium with colourful lightings and thousands of steel chairs.
“It’s a painful experience, no doubt but all things work together for good,” he said consolingly albeit with a trembling voice.
The Mercy Conference was slated to hold from January 31, 2024 through February 4, 2024 with many Pentecostal preachers like Joshua Selman, Isaac Oyedepo, Godman Akinlabi, and Yemi Davids billed to minister during the meeting. Also, famous minstrels like Nathaniel Bassey, Dunsin Oyekan, Victoria Orenze and Moses Bliss are also supposed to minister at the conference.
Unfazed, Osunmakinde said “we believe God and we are still going to go ahead with the conference”.