The Symphony of Praise (SOP) Initiative, now in its 17th year, hosted its 14th annual AmuwoCarol, a community charity concert that takes place every December 24th and lasts until Christmas morning. This year’s edition was similar to previous years; in fact, some may argue that it was the best yet. The event aimed to pray for Nigeria with this year’s theme of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh, using the symbolism of hope that Christmas holds for Christians as a point of contact to prophesy the arrival of ‘the Messiah’ into the country’s affairs.
The event started at 6 p.m., as promised, after vox-pops, which were clips of members of the community being asked bible-based riddles and eliciting many amusing responses, were shown on the large screen for a few minutes, when the event compere; MC Special welcomed members of the community and encouraged more people to begin converging on the event ground. The SOP’s arts team kicked off the event with a dance performance. After O’Praise and his band ignited the crowd with worship, ED Festus led the first free worship session. Two more free worship sessions were held, both led by the amazing Judah crew and the intriguing Psalmists’ band.
Following the free worship sessions, Pastor Seyi Adegoke-Adeyemo led a brief prayer session, after which Ewaoluwa Sax, a young talented saxophonist, gave a beautiful ministration that put the audience in the mood for celebration.
Pastor Oluwatoba Samuel’s first bible reading of the night, Luke 2:1-20, continued the event. As the first hymn, the SOP Initiative’s mass choir, also known as the True Worshippers Family (TWF), sang the popular hymn Joy to the World. Pastor Remi Durojaiye led the evening’s second bible reading, reading from Luke 2:8-20. TWF returned to the stage to sing the second hymn. This followed the arts team’s second dance ministration, which was delivered on time and even exceeded expectations. Following the dance ministration, MC Special invited Pastor Augustine to read the third bible reading from Matthew 2: 1 – 12. The choir returned to the stage for the evening’s third hymn.
As the night progressed, Oyindasola, the next guest minister, took the stage and praised God. As she sang praises, her beautiful voice filled the room with worship. Pastor Paul Okunnaiya delivered the night’s sermon, speaking about the theme of the event as it relates to our worship and prayers for the night, followed by Reverend Banji Oladipo leading the night’s second prayer session.
The event compere then took the stage to make a special announcement about the red-carpet activities organized by Oreofe Adegoke-Adeyemo and Oluwaseyifunmi Ipinsokan, as well as the release of the group’s first studio album. As a preview, the Choir sang a few songs from the album.
Following Minstrel Akan’s ministration, which got the audience dancing, Mr. Oluwaseun Ayeni, President of the SOP initiative, was called to the stage for a brief speech. He discussed the organization’s achievements this year. The audience saw the President’s stern face as he urged parents to ensure that their children/wards contribute to the community in some way. He also emphasized the importance of more young people joining the organization in order to get involved, learn new skills, and serve God. He concluded his speech by thanking community members for their years of support and promising that the organization would continue to work to meet her goals for the good of the community.
The choir ministered once more with a special song as the countdown to Christmas Day began. The audience was dancing and wishing each other a Merry Christmas. G-Force, a much-anticipated music group, took the stage and performed their distinct rock-styled praise and worship. Following G Force’s energetic ministry was Minister Prudence, who added a ‘igbo’ flavor to the worship atmosphere. The SOP Initiative’s dance crew returned to wow the audience with their final ministration of the night, and Babatunmise, the final guest minister, came on stage with vigour and had the audience dancing until 3:30 a.m. on Christmas morning.
Damilare Ayeni, the SOP initiative’s Arts department head, closed the event with a vote of thanks and a closing prayer. AmuwoCarol 2022 was a truly memorable event, with over 3000 attendees.