… from Umuahia to the World
“What God cannot do does not exist.” Quod erat demonstradum (QED) in mathematics. Jerry Eze is the demonstration of that which his statement seeks to prove. From the relative backwaters of Umuahia technologically, Pastor Jerry Eze has become the number one prayer warrior online globally. Worldwide?
Jerry Uchechukwu Eze, 40, is an up-by-the-bootstraps apostle of the gospel of Jesus Christ. His Streams of Joy International Gospel Church commenced in Umuahia. He fulfilled his mother’s vision of her son as a servant of God and preacher.
Then Covid-19 happened.
What began as a test became a testimony. Eze moved online as the rest of the world did, vending hope and encouragement to an audience in multiples of his previous Umuahia congregation. The process confirmed his pay-off: What God cannot do does not exist.
Jerry Eze is now a YouTube sensation. Significantly, he brings hope to the world of over 800,000 subscribers that keeps growing daily. According to CNN, “The broadcasts on the New Season Prophetic Prayers and Declarations channel (NSPPD) have propelled Eze to become one of the most watched preachers on YouTube. With more than 90,000 peak concurrent viewers, Eze’s daily broadcasts rank among the most streamed globally on YouTube, according to the analytics website Playboard, which collates data for YouTube channels”.
Worshippers join his YouTube and now Facebook feeds every 7.00 a.m. He also offers mid-day prayers, but the 7.00 a.m. prayer hour is the mainstay. It features an intense outpouring of petitions and praise. Then testimonies and testaments, with testators affirming the slogan, “What God cannot do does not exist”.
The fairer gender took up the task of proselytizing for NSPPD. They boldly share invitations to the morning prayers on WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook, drawing this writer’s and others’ attention.
Eze’s rise to fame and fortune has been meteoric. The Abia State University graduate of History and International Relations later obtained a master’s degree in human resource management. He grew up poor, getting help miraculously every step of the way, including paying for his education.
Working in the temple of God has been his life walk since childhood. It earned him goodwill and funds for schooling. As a graduate, he worked with a UN agency and saw his escape from the clutches of want and lack. Not so for his mother, who insisted he had a calling to serve God full-time. She was right, and following her lead has blessed her son and made him a poster child of faith in these times.
Jerry Eze founded the Streams of Joy International Church in Umuahia. The church describes itself thusly:
“Streams of Joy International is a global lighthouse with a multi-ethnic membership reaching and crisscrossing all nations of the world. We are committed and responsible disciples of Jesus Christ who are ready to give joy, hope and peace to everyone who walks through our doors.
“We are committed to showing the love of Christ to everyone we encounter. We are committed to the maturity of the saints and equipping them to become who God wants them to be.”
Eze works alongside Eno, his pastor wife.
Umuahia, where it began
Umuahia, the Abia State capital, earned its name and fame from trading. It was initially AmaAhia, renamed Umuahia by the colonial authorities.
Wikipedia reports, “Umuahia is renowned for being a railway and agricultural market centre, which attracts traders and farmers from neighbouring towns to sell their produce, such as yams, cassava, corn (maize), taro, citrus fruits, and palm oil and kernels. Some industries help drive its economies, such as a brewery and palm oil-processing plant. Nigeria’s National Root Crops Research Institute at Umudike is adjacent to the town.
Umuahia also has several colleges, including Trinity College (theological), Government College Umuahia, Holy Rosary Girls Secondary School, and hospitals like the Federal Medical Centre Umuahia (formerly Queen Elizabeth Hospital)”.
Exodus from Umuahia
Will the entry on Umuahia include Streams of Joy International Church with an update?
In one of those strange and inexplicable movements premised on short-term gains, Jerry Eze has abandoned his roots and moved his ministry to Abuja. He transmits by video to Umuahia. Streams of Joy International now operates from the M & M Event Center at Tafawa Balewa Road in Garki 1, Abuja.
The rise of Pastor Jerry and his NSPPD confirms the importance of faith and technology in these times. Technology propelled the ministry and prayer platform just as quickly as Zoom became the modern village square, classroom and meeting room.
A Growth Like Nollywood
The Jerry Eze NSPPD story reprises the narrative of Nollywood with the epochal Living in Bondage in 1992. The producers leveraged the emerging video technology to leapfrog the hurdles against celluloid. The film was in the Igbo language. Then marketers convinced the community that they would reach more people producing in English. It is such that today the Igbo language arm of Nollywood finds it hard to grow the accomplishments of Living in Bondage in its original language.
Eze also re-enacts what earlier charismatics did for the faith in their time. Father Emmanuel M.P. Edeh drew millions to Elele in Rivers State when he started his ministry. It grew and grew. Father Edeh of Elele later established Osisatech Polytechnic and College of Education, Enugu and the renowned Madonna University.
If Umuahia was a healthful and suitable launchpad despite being a relative backwater, why move the ministry to Abuja? Pastor Jerry Eze and NSPPD should have become an Umuahia spiritual and tourist landmark.
Abuja may offer a larger population from which to draw parishioners. However, could it lose its online strength and appeal in the temptation to compete with the regular ministries? I will explore these and other questions with the brilliant Pastor Eze as soon as his officials enable access. A senior founding member in Umuahia would not release his contact.
Some followers shared their testimonies and experiences in response to my queries.
Success Nnenna Ubah, a senior executive in the financial services sector, stated: “Indeed, it has been a most rewarding and wonderful experience. I have been on the platform since October 2020, and it has been excellent. My motivation is that it has transmogrified my prayer life which was in a gross state of despair after Pop’s passing and then Covid-19.
“My motivation stems from the need to share hope and encouragement that we have a God who has never abandoned us. We are the ones who stray and erroneously assume we can go it alone. He can be trusted, and He does answer when we call”.
Ubah added, “I have many testimonies starting from God giving me a baby after every other attempt failed. Another profound testimony is God restoring my money in the hands of a fetish land developer who everyone swears “never returns subscribers” money”. God miraculously restored my money to me and compensated me. I didn’t suffer any loss.”
Evidence Ndubuisi works as a medical sales representative with a leading pharmaceutical manufacturer. She affirms, “God has shown us Mercy on this altar. My family has partaken of God’s strange acts on this fire altar. I was motivated by the testimonies from all parts of the world from the altar—how he passionately reaches out in prayers for people. Whenever I go to that prayer altar, I have hope. I feel the strong presence of God, and Oh yes, I do. My elder brother, you know, slumped on the 2nd of May. They called, and by 7.00 a.m., I immediately joined the prayer. He was rushed to the hospital and diagnosed with brain haemorrhage bleeding. He was taken to the alter even with the highest BP. His BP showed an error but came out successfully from the theatre.
He had a stroke and a blood clot on one leg. During prayers, Pastor Jerry mentioned the case of a blood clot and said it had been reversed. It reversed while prayer was going on. They asked people to wave their congratulations letter, and my brother, whose hand doesn’t go up, started waving his hand.”
For many adherents, what God cannot do does not exist, and the faith manifests and works wonders at New Season Prophetic Prayers and Declarations (NSPPD).