The iconic prayer ground of the Nigerian Baptist Theological Seminary (NBTS), Ogbomoso, a sacred space for prayer, spiritual empowerment, and intimate communion with God, is currently receiving much-needed transformation. For decades, this hallowed place has been a venue leading to countless testimonies from pastors and laypeople people who have benefitted from spending time with God in the space. Over time, certain sections of the prayer ground had fallen into disrepair, as expected, being one of the most frequently used portions of the Seminary facilities.
In response to the need for repair, an anonymous donor offered to fund a revitalization project and was welcomed. The goal was clear: to restore the dilapidated areas and breathe new life into this revered space. To join in this mission, students from the seminary, ranging from bachelor’s degree candidates to postgraduate level students, have wholeheartedly lent their support to the construction efforts.
On a bright Saturday morning, 14th October 2023; students armed with shovels, buckets, and pans flocked to the construction site. The air was filled not only with the sounds of construction but also with the harmony of music and camaraderie that motivated and united the volunteers. They worked tirelessly for approximately five hours, with waves of students coming and going, including those living both on and off campus. The shared passion for rebuilding the place of prayer was unmistakable.
One of the volunteers, Pastor Idorenyin, an MTh student, explained that she had always felt a strong calling to restore the prayer ground, often volunteering to clean it. This opportunity allowed her to fulfill her long-held wish to contribute to its renewal. Pastor Idoreyin shared, “I see everyone here working joyfully and I am personally delighted to also be part of this effort. The prayer ground has a special place in my heart, and its cleanliness has always been a burden I carried. When I heard about this project, I had no choice but to join and help because of the personal implication this has on me due to my personal connection with this space.”
Pastor Philip, an MDiv 1 student, also echoed the sentiment that this was divine work, an act of volunteerism that transcended personal gain. He emphasized the satisfaction of joining in God’s work and highlighted how engaging in this project is not only spiritually fulfilling but also beneficial for the body.
While the volunteer work was going on, the Chaplain of the NBTS, Rev. Dr. Olaide Ajeigbe, stopped by to supervise the work and extend his gratitude to the student volunteers. Little did he know that the students were aware of his birthday on the same day, and they seized the opportunity to celebrate it with him. They serenaded him with birthday songs and joined to say prayers to God on his behalf.
Other members of the management of the Seminary also dropped in, both to lend a hand and offer moral support to the working students. The Assistant Director of Student Affairs, Dr Raphael Oparinde lent a hand as he gladly moved many wheelbarrows of sand to the site. The Deputy President (Advancement), Professor Olusola Ayo-Obiremi shared words of gratitude and encouragement with the students. She also led a prayer, thanking God for everyone being used to bring the project to life – sponsors and volunteers alike, and praying God’s blessings on them all.
The work is still in progress, but the prayer ground is already looking revitalized. The prayer is that this transformation of this renewed sanctuary will transcend beyond the physical, with the altar of the prayer ground witnessing deeper intimacy, more testimonies and an even stronger manifestation of the divine presence of the Almighty God.