Nigerian bishop finds generosity and kindness in U.S.

Published 5:31 pm Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bishop Olu Lawrence is a very long way from home. But the Nigerian, who is senior pastor of Bethel World Outreach Ministries and president of Olu Lawrence Ministries, USA, says he feels the spirit of the Lord everywhere he goes, and no where more than in the United States.

Lawrence, who is here in south Alabama participating in crusades and revivals, said his first visit to the state has been “a wonderful experience.”

“Back in Nigeria, my uncle is a king of his town. But here, you have treated me like I am a prince, of the same blood, like I am a cousin or uncle down the street,” Lawrence said in his lilting accent.

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The bishop, who has served in the Christian ministry since 1984, said he felt God calling him to a fresh ministry and the building of a new church in Sapele, Nigeria.

“Around 1990, I felt the call to begin an international ministry. I was able to get a U.S. visa and visit the U.S. for the first time,” Lawrence explained.

The U.S. ministry was slow to develop initially, he says, but has blossomed in the last four or five years.

“I have taught programs on prayer in many cities, prayed over their leaders. I have prayed with the mayor of Jasper, Texas and flown over Grand Island, Nebraska in a helicopter to pray for that city,” Lawrence said.

“As the years have passed, I have more and more opportunities to visit places in your country. You know, most visits have been in the woods – and I like that. So different from Africa,” he said with a broad smile. “I like the peacefulness. It is a good place to pray.”

Lawrence has also traveled extensively in other parts of the world, including Trinidad and Tobago, Mexico, South Africa, Germany, Italy, England and has upcoming trips planned to Central America.

“Every year God takes me to at least one other country. What I love most is the opportunity to serve God and to pray intensely. And I can do that better in the United States than anywhere else in the world,” Lawrence, who had been up since 1 a.m. in prayer, said.

“In Africa, we have to often pray for the most basic things – food, clothing, electricity, clean water – every little thing in life. When I am here in the U.S., I do not have to worry about those physical needs, and I can focus on the spiritual. This is so wonderful.”

This citizen of the world says he loves the U.S. “with all my heart.”

“I always say, ‘God bless America,’ and He has and I believe He will keep doing so. Americans’ generosity and kindness is so great. I saw what you did for the people in Haiti – the food, the doctors, the emergency people – no country can compare to the U.S. That is not flattery or adulation, it is simply true.”

The bishop will be participating in a Healing and Deliverance Revival on Sunday, July 11 at 4 p.m. and Monday, July 12 at 7 p.m. at Harrison St. Christian Church. The event is sponsored by Labour for the Lord Ministries and Warrior Ministries.