In the past 14 years, we have seen the rise of mega gospel music concerts that would be described easily as an international gospel music event. The kind that attracts people from all walks of life from several cities and nations.
Before now what we have majorly had are gospel music concerts within the four walls of churches and the only event that would be termed International were mostly crusades and conferences.
Since the inception of The Experience Concert in 2006, hosted by House on the Rock under the leadership of Pastor Paul Adefarasin, several other mega gospel music concerts have arisen namely, Night of Worship hosted by Joshua Ville, the youth Church City of David, a major Lagos branch of the Redeemed Christian Church of God and Unusual Praise, hosted by the Catholic Church of Divine Mercy; a catholic church in the Lekki axis of Lagos.
The Unusual thing about Unusual Praise
Unusual Praise is one gospel music event that took non-Catholics by surprise. For the first time in the history of catholicism in Nigeria, a catholic church is organising international gospel music concert in which it invites international gospel artists of which 90 per cent of the performing artists are non-roman Catholics. Bearing in mind the staunch denominational stance of the catholic church, this came as a huge surprise to many Pentecostals and charismatics and re-echoes the saying that music is a unifier in Christendom. A song from a particular denomination can be used in worship in another.
The founding of Unusual Praise begs the question, whose idea was it and what must have influenced this person?. it’s surely Unusual. According to sources, the current Parish Priest of Catholic Church of Divine Mercy Lekki Msgr. Paschal Nwaezeapu is the brain behind Unusual Praise.
Furthermore, the commencement of The Experience Lagos not only affected Christendom in Nigeria but has greatly impacted Lagos state and Nigeria as a nation. Its has become a yearly ritual of some sort for many, an annual gathering that people look forward to such that even if announcements and adverts were not made, people will gather at the Tafawa Balewa Square on the first Friday of every December expecting an Experience.
Aside from these mega concerts, there are others like Delta Yadah in Asaba Delta state, Gospel Groove in Portharcourt, rivers state, The African Praise Experience, Beejay Sax Live, Fearless by Tim Godfrey, Rccg Marathon Praise, Alabanza by Tim Tehila, MASS by Tolucci and many more.