In the year 1986, a lecturer in Religious Studies from the Rivers State College of Education, Port Harcourt, Nigeria, by name Isaac Tejevbo had a call to resign and become a full time Anglican clergy to set in motion a new orientation in the Anglican Communion. As at this time, the concept of Revival, Born Again and Evangelism was a strange phenomenon in the Anglican Communion. After he was ordained in that year at the Warri Diocese, the current Bishop, O. Elenwo was faced with the challenge of posting such a priest with a new orientation.
Coincidentally, the Nda family had a building at the present site occupied by a Church; they were not too impressed and invited him to take over. His response was that he was an Anglican priest and could only minister as only that. With the consent and the support of the Bishop, St.Matthews Anglican Church was established with about 10 members. It was made clear that they were not called to establish another Anglican Church but one with revival as a primary focus with special emphasis on being born again, the baptism of the Holy Spirit, deliverance, altar call and evangelism. True Believers who had left the Anglican Communion began to return to the Church.
As the Church began to grow, the members embarked on crusades and because of the hierarchical nature of the Anglican Communion, pastor training session was set in motion to expose them to need for revival and evangelism and the discovery of their inherent spiritual gift. As these activities began to impact and affect more parishioners, the Bishop gave more support and consequently, a mission was established at Amasoma leaving people like Gabriel Omoleye and Franca Ukaegbu behind to carry out the follow up.
Counseling sessions, musical bands with hand clapping, Sunday bulletins, home fellowship cells groups were introduced and the impact went beyond the diocese. In Isaac Tejevbo,s words, the introduction of this Pentecostal orientation in the Anglican Communion ‘was a vision beyond our times’ and how they were able to manage the challenges was based on the conviction of many who were involved.
• Raise people for the Lord that are saved to serve and not bench warmers.
• Get everyone involved in ministering whether clergy or laity.
• Involved the laity in leading Bible Studies.
• Build up new converts.
• Institute training programs.
• Raise a deliverance team
These strategies were met with opposition, misunderstanding and maligned in the diocese, but because of their conviction, they were able to overcome all challenges. Members were made to be committed in order to actualize the vision. His aim was to build a family of God’s children. Once members knew they were counted, conviction will lead to commitment and will motivate them to join the movement.