Osinachi is an elder of Sovereign Grace Bible Church in Lagos, Nigeria, working alongside Pastor Tony Okoroh.
Testimony of Conversion
My name is Osinachi Nwoko, a sinner saved graciously by God in the month of September 2007. I grew up in a partially religious home… my dad was (still is) a nominal Roman Catholic and my mum is an ardent Charismatic believer. Despite this and a strict upbringing, I grew up to be a wayward and wretched child while in school. That I can say “… old things are passed away and behold all things are new” is indeed a marvel to me.
The Lord saved me in a Pentecostal church in September 2007. In January 2007, I began attending church services regularly, the first time I did so since I left home to attend university. I would be convicted by the brief and bare mention of my need for Jesus (this was a ‘Word of Faith’ church) and a few times I responded to the altar call, but after attempting to live religiously for a while, I would be back to my ‘darling’ sins in no time.
It wasn’t until that faithful day, in the aforementioned Pentecostal church I had been attending when I got back home, that I came under conviction of sin in such a way that I knew something had changed in my heart. It was an altar call –as is customary with most churches (though I don’t approve of it now)—but I knew that Christ was mine and I was His. I went home that day and began to devour my Bible which I had never bothered to read all my growing up years. Those ‘darling sins’ I was enabled by the Lord’s power and grace to sever, and then began my journey as a pilgrim to the Celestial City.
Not long after –it took just a few months actually—I began to realize that most of what I read in my Bible and what I heard preached week-in and week-out didn’t quite correspond to each other. In God’s kind providence, He brought two pieces of Christian literature (‘Worship & Entertainment’ by A.W Tozer, and ‘Morning & Evening’ by Charles Spurgeon) that further opened my eyes and caused me to realize that the Pentecostal and Word of Faith literature and sermons weren’t all there was regarding Christianity. As I devoured these resources, I was led to others and before long I left the church I attended and began a search for a new church where Christ was preached.
In November of 2008, God led me through an older friend to Sovereign Grace Bible Church Lagos (a confessional Reformed Baptist Church in Lagos), where I’ve been ever since. I have served as a Sunday School Teacher, was ordained to the diaconal office in 2015, and in June 2019 I was ordained an elder. In addition to regular Lord’s Day preaching and other preaching engagements, I teach Church History and Christian Ethics at our in-house seminary, co-lead our outreach efforts on the University campuses, provide pastoral oversight for several ministries in the church, and produce a daily devotional podcast for the benefit of both church members and others.
Call to Ministry
It was not long after my conversion that I began to have a yearning to serve the Lord in whatever way might be useful to advancing the kingdom of God. This zeal was noticed early on amongst the early group of professing believers I moved with. I began to evangelize and teach teenagers in Secondary Schools in my neighborhood and then in the polytechnic and universities in the city. But these were truly days of ignorance as it was all zeal without the requisite knowledge.
As I stated in my conversion account, the Lord led me way from this scene to a solid and sound church, and here I was all too content to sit and learn. Indeed, though harboring hopes of serving in a teaching capacity, I was all too happy to just sit down and learn. As time went by, the pastor of the church asked to me to understudy him as he taught the children of our outreach Sunday School.
In a short while, I began to teach the Sunday School class, then lead prayer meetings before the morning worship services, and then preaching in the Lord’s Day evening services. All this while, I harbored a desire to teach God’s Word, but mostly in the context of the local seminary we oversee. The paucity of sound biblical preachers pressed upon my mind and I felt the Lord had gifted me in this area. What I can say with certainty was that I didn’t desire the office of a pastor; the mere thought of leading God’s people, I found very frightening.
In 2019, the need for new elders became apparent and the two elders at the time approached me and told me they were considering me for the pastorate. They were convinced the Lord had sufficiently gifted me for the role, in addition to the spiritual growth they had observed in my life all the years I had spent in the church. I was told to prayerfully consider this, which I did with my wife, and after some time praying, we both felt that this was the Lord confirming the desire he had placed within me not long after my conversion to lead His church through the preaching of His word.
The church voted to have me as one of their elders and I accepted it.