The story of He’s Alive Chapel dates back to an event that occurred in 1977 at the botanical Garden of the University of Ibadan, where Austen Chimdi Ukachi, then a student, stood in the serenity of the garden, amidst the lush and beautiful flowers, to seek God’s counsel concerning Nigeria and particularly, his generation. The vision that gave birth to He’s Alive Chapel was born in that garden.
Later in the early 80 ‘s God began to speak to Pastor Austen Chimdi Ukachi about the vision he had given him earlier in the University, about building a “barn” for the Lord, for “end time harvest”, to reflect the fullness of his glory.’
At this time, Pastor Austen Ukachi worked in the country’s frontline oil company, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Whilst serving the Lord as an itinerant preacher and mobilizing for prayer across the country and beyond, he was convinced that God had commissioned him to start He’s Alive Chapel. Four years of dedicated, incessant and purposeful prayers, brought him to a revelation where he saw young people trooping to the Church. He became convinced that the time was ripe and the moment had come to start the Church.
The divine call became louder by the day, with a burden to plant a church for young people in the society. As a man given to prayers, and who believes that great spiritual purpose manifests as amazing physical projects when men pray, he began to pray again, seeking God’s approval to start a Church in Lagos.
If there was any doubt in his mind, it was the fact that he was in secular employment and wondered how he could pastor a Church and cope with his employment. However, he quickly overcame this thought and made a bold start after a discussion with a friend. Reverend Obed reminded him that what he did in the University campus in their student days as the leader of the Students Social Movement was indeed pastoral work. Doing the same in Lagos would only be a continuation of the work he had on campus.
He’s Alive Chapel started its first Church Service on the day that Nigeria was engulfed in crisis and in dire need for solution to the numerous political, economical, social and spiritual problems and challenges:it was the same day of the Major Gideon Okar- led Military Coup. The sound of gunshots was swallowed up by the songs and praises on that morning of 22nd April 1990.
It had begun as a house Fellowship where brethren gathered at House 4, NNPC Staff Quarters in Satellite Town, Lagos, in the home of the Ukachis. The integrity of the infallible word was shared, amazing spiritual satisfaction and great transformation took place in the life of the worshippers.
Word began to go round and people who had known Pastor Austen from their student days began to identify with him and the new Church. His sitting room where the fellowship held soon became too small and a place was sought to build the Church.
Abule- Oshun was identified; the Ojo Cantonment was a land mark. The community was a catchment area, off Badagry expressway which is an international link raod and a gateway to the Francophone and ECOWAS nations. A Christian surveyor, Mr. Olasupo who suggested this location, led the Pastor to Alhaji Shittu, the bale of Abule- Oshun. The community welcomed the Church.
The first two plots of land for He’s Alive Chapel was negotiated with the owner, a retiree, for thireen thousand and fifteen thousand respectively. A sister was approached to lend the sum but declined. Pastor Austen took a loan from his office to pay for the plots of land so that the Church could take off.
As soon as the deed was sealed, efforts were made for church services to commence immediately and a young man, late Ojo Obuhuro worked tirelessly in the premises to facilitate worship in the acquired land. Another young Architect Chuks Okoye designed the first auditorium (which was later improved upon by Architect Nnamdi Ihejimba. Pastor Ihejimba also designed and built the present headquarters of the Church).
The Church was named ‘He’s Alive Chapel; a name derived through prayers and taken from Revelation Chapter 1 verse 18. So, on Sunday 22nd April 1990 A.D, a sign board pointed to ‘He’s Alive Chapel; along the Badagry Expressway. The road to the Church was muddy and swampy, but it did not deter men who sought the word of life from trooping to this new worship Center. The needy saw it as place of replenishment, the tired a place of refreshment, the weak, a place of strength, to the wanderer, a place of rest, the destitute saw it as a place of solace, the thirsty and the hungry, a place of spiritual satisfaction and fulfillment.
What began as a house fellowship in Satellite town, Lagos is no longer a mere concept or an experiment but a Ministry that stands on five concrete pillars representing Mission, Evangelism, Church Planting and Discipleship.
Today, we testify to God’s faithfulness over the last twenty years.
The detailed history of He’s Alive Chapel is written in the book titled “The tale of the Vision