“…and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asked you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear” (1 Peter 3:15).

We in the United Church of Christ (FOP) believe and teach that the Bible is our absolute source of faith and practice and is fully in agreement with the historical creed of the universal church. As a Pentecostal church that stands firmly in the mainstream of apostolic Christianity, we emphasize Christ as savior and coming king.

We believe the absolute authority of the bible as the inspired word of God. II Tim. 3:16, II Pt 1:20 – 21, etc. The whole bible in the original is without error and as such is infallible, absolutely supreme, and sufficient in authority in all matters of faith and practice. Matt. 5:17, 18.

The Godhead consisting of three persons in one, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost (Matt. 3:16-17) reveals the co-operation of the three persons of the Godhead having the same nature and attribute and are worthy of the same honor, trust and obedience. Matt. 28:19.

One God the Father Almighty, Creator and Preserver of the universe, the giver and preserver of life. Our heavenly Father to whom all things will be subjected that he maybe all in all; Gen. 1:1, 1 Cor. 15:28.

Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord through whom we have access to the Father and forgiveness and remission of sin, our redeemer and advocate. John 1:1, 14 John 14:6, Eph. 1:17, Col. 1:14, Matt. 26:28, 1John 2:1. (His birth, ministry, death, resurrection, ascension and second coming).

The Holy Ghost, the Comforter, Teacher and the presence of God with us. His personality is shown in the fact that he has personal characteristics and that individuals relate to Him as a person. Heb. 9:14; Ps. 139:7-13; 1 Cor. 2:10; Luke 1:35; Rom. 15:13-19, Acts 1:3; 2 Cor. 1:3; John 15:26; Luke 4:18; John 14:16.

God provided salvation for mankind through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. His death on the cross is the only perfect redemption and substitutionary atonement for all the former and present sins of mankind. His resurrection from the dead proved the fullness of His atoning work. One is born again of the Holy Spirit. 1 Peter 2:24, 1 John 2:2, Rom. 4:25, Acts 20:21, Rom 3:24, 1 Cor. 1:30, Titus 2:14.

It is a judicial term indicating that a verdict of acquittal has been announced excluding all possibility of condemnation. It is God’s grace whereby we receive remission of sins and appear before God as if we had not sinned solely on the basis of ones acceptance of Christ as Saviour. II Cor. 5:17-18, Acts 13:39, Rom. 8:23.

It is a creative work of the Holy Spirit by which man receives a new life in Christ Jesus. I Peter 1:3-4, II Tim 2:19-22.

Spiritual gifts are God given abilities for service. The gifts enable believers to minister effectively and directly in particular situations. Every believer has some but not all the gifts. The gifts are meant to build up the church and demonstrate the presence of God within the church, 1 Cor. 12:7, 1 Cor. 14:12, 1 Peter 4:10.

Provision of healing of sickness and diseases in the atonement of Christ is the privilege of all believers. Believers are encouraged to pray for the sick and use the gift of healing. Matt. 8:16-17, James 5:14-16, Matt. 4:24, 1 Cor. 12:28-30.

The universal church, which is the body and bride of Christ, is composed of all who are born again of the Spirit of God. Col. 1:18, 1 Cor. 12:13, II Thess. 3:15, Eph 5:25.

Believers signify their identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection through water baptism which is practiced by immersion “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”, as the Lord commissioned. Matt. 28:19, Mark 16:15-16, Matt. 3:16, Acts 8:38-39, Rom. 6:3-5, Col. 2:12 etc.

The Lord Jesus provided for a divinely called and ordained ministry to give leadership to the church for the fulfillment of its purpose. Eph. 4:8, 11, 13, Acts 14:23, Acts 6:2-4 etc.

This is the only means by which a member can adjust his or her spiritual relationship with God from time to time. It is therefore absolutely important in a Christian life, especially as it concerns members of this church. Its acceptance to God depends on the penitence with which it is made, in other words, it depends on the sobriety, contriteness, remorse-fulness and the repentant spirit of the confessing member. Ps. 51:17, Pro. 28:13, 1 Jn. 1:9, 1 Cor. 7:10. Confession may be made under the following circumstances:

Secret – To God alone – Psalm 51

Personal to one another before God – James 5:6

Open – publicly before God and man – Neh. 2:11, 7:10, 2nd Sam. 7, Ezra 9:5, Neh. 1:6-9.

Care must be taken to ensure that as little reference as possible is made to a confessed sin if it is one that could easily infect other members, and under no circumstances should the name of the confessor be divulged.

Christians have a duty to keep holy the Lord’s Day. This duty involves regular attendance at Christian worship. Anything, which prevents compliance with this rule, is strictly forbidden.

The souls of the departed believers pass immediately into the presence of Christ and remain in constant peace waiting for the resurrection of the glorified body. II Cor. 5:8, Phil. 1:21, 24. At death, the souls of unbelievers remain in the grave conscious of condemnation waiting for the final bodily resurrection and judgment of the unjust. John 3:36, Luke 16:22-32, II Thess. 1:7-10, Rev. 20:1-5.

The blessed hope of the church is the rapture. The Lord will come in the air to receive unto Himself a glorious church. The living shall be transformed and the dead in Christ shall be resurrected to meet the Lord in the air. Every believer should constantly watch out for this event. 1 Cor. 15:51-57; 1Thess. 4:13-18, Titus 2:13, Phil 3:20-21. All believers will appear before the judgment seat of Christ to be judged and rewarded according to faithfulness in their service to Christ. 1 Cor. 3:11-15, II Cor. 5:9-10, Rom. 14:10-12.

The great tribulation will be concluded with the victory at Armageddon when Christ will return to earth in power and glory. With the defeat of anti-Christ and the binding of Satan, He will set up the millennial reign and restore Israel to her own land. The curse now resting upon the whole creation will be lifted and the whole world will be brought to the knowledge of God. Matt. 24:27, 30, Luke 17:24, 26-30, Rev. 1:7, 11:15, Col. 3:41, Rev. 16:12-16, Rev. 17:18, 12-14, 19:11, 20:3, Isa. 1:24-27, 2:1-4, Zech. 14:3, Rev. 22:3, Rom. 8:19-23.

The righteous will partake of the glory of God in the new heaven and the new earth forever. John 17:24, II Peter 3:13, Heb. 11:10, Matt. 13:43, Rev. 21:1-2, 10, 22-23.

The word of God teaches that this earth, which has been polluted by sin, shall pass away after the white throne judgment and God will create a new heaven and a new earth in which righteousness shall dwell. Matt. 24:35, II Pt. 3:12-13, Rev. 21:1-31, Isa 65:17, 66:22.

This church places the highest value on Christian marriage and the Christian home. Marriage is more than a legal or social contract. It is an honorable estate ordained of God unto the perfecting of the love of man and woman, in marital honour and forbearance and in the hallowing of the home. Marriage shall be blessed in a church service after the pattern for Matrimonial service. It shall be solemnized before the celebrants come together as man and wife. It can be solemnized at the same time as any legal ceremony attaching to it or subsequent to such ceremony. The church recognizes marriage contracted either under the ordinance of Nigeria or under native law and custom as fulfilling the civil contract of marriage. But in both cases, contracting partners shall make their vows not only to one another but also to God before the face of the congregation of believers in His church.

There are now among Christian people those who become entangled in their marriage relations, before they received Jesus in their lives, whose marriage could not be solemnized in any Christian church before they came together as husband and wife, and who do not see how these matters can be adjusted; therefore, we recommend that such marriages should be blessed by the pastor in an open church.

Parents/guardians shall not compel their children or wards to marry anyone against their will. A girl’s consent should be obtained before she is married to anyone. Genesis 24:58.

The doctrine of this church is opposed to the principles and concepts of bigamy, polygamy, polyandry, etc. however, the church is in sympathy with a polygamist who may desire to be member of this church, where his faith is proved. He shall be accepted with caution, more especially to ensure that the tenets of the church shall by no means be corrupted thereby. He shall be admitted in the hope that by the Grace of God, he may learn to adjust his life to the doctrine of the church. It shall be the prerogative of the council of the church to review this policy strictly on individual merit, in the light of any prevailing circumstances. But generally, any member of the church who is married to more than one wife or to more than one husband shall be subject to severe disciplinary action, including total ex-communication, unless there is proof that such marriage was contracted prior to the parties becoming members of the United Church of Christ (FOP).

If the wife of a polygamist who has had no Christian association, or influence of the church but coming under the desire to be a Christian after her polygamous life, she may be baptized and received as a full member if she fulfils all necessary requirements.

But the following classes of girls or maidens who become wives of polygamists shall be deemed to have forfeited their rights of membership in the church.

A girl or maiden who has received instruction in the bible classes and in church services prior to polygamous marriage.

If the child of parents who are members of this church submits to polygamous marriage, the parents of such a girl, maiden or child shall be liable to suspension, unless there are satisfactory reasons, which may induce the council to absolve them therefore.

It is evident that divorced and remarried persons in the ministry usually cause stumbling, reproach and division, whatsoever may have been the cause of divorce. It is therefore recommended that those who have remarried, and are now living in the state of matrimony while former companions are living be not ordained to full gospel ministry. Ezek. 44:22. It is further recommended that no minister should perform a marriage ceremony between any believer and divorced person whose former companion as a believer is still living. Rom. 7:3, 1 Cor. 7:11. All members of the United Church of Christ (FOP) are seriously warned that unions made in the future despite the above will attract severe disciplinary action against the minister and the members involved (unless the minister can prove that he is innocently deceived into doing the same).

It is mandatory that all branches and circuits shall constitute marriage committees to scrutinize all marriage in the church.

Angels are powerful and intelligent beings created in holiness to worship God and do His will. But Lucifer, the highest of all angelic creatures fell through pride and became the originator of sin. He is called Satan or the adversary and led some angels in rebellion against God. Those fallen angels or demons are continually opposing the purpose of God. Isaiah 14:12-17, Ezekiel 28:11-19, Rev. 11:12, Ps. 103:20, Jude 6, 1 Tim 4:1, Eph 6:11-12. The faithful angels are always before the throne of God to worship Him and also serve as ministering spirits.

Angels are powerful and intelligent beings created in holiness to worship God and do His will. But Lucifer, the highest of all angelic creatures fell through pride and became the originator of sin. He is called Satan or the adversary and led some angels in rebellion against God. Those fallen angels or demons are continually opposing the purpose of God. Isaiah 14:12-17, Ezekiel 28:11-19, Rev. 11:12, Ps. 103:20, Jude 6, 1 Tim 4:1, Eph 6:11-12. The faithful angels are always before the throne of God to worship Him and also serve as ministering spirits.

Man is the pinnacle of God’s creation. He was created in the image and likeness of God but fell into sin when he was tempted by the devil and consequently incurred both spiritual and physical death. The fallen nature and its resultant effect have been transmitted to the entire human race with the exception of the Man Jesus Christ who was born but not created through whom man can be saved only through His atoning work.

Repentance is godly sorrow for sin with a renunciation of sin. It is a complete change of mind towards God, wrought by the Holy Spirit. II Chron. 7:14, Isaiah 55:7, Acts 1:3-4, II Tim 2:19-22.

Sanctification is to be set apart from evil to a godly use. The believer has been set apart positionally as a member of the HOUSEHOLD OF GOD based on the death of Christ. Heb. 10:10. Because the believer has been set apart, he is to be increasingly set apart in his daily life, 1 Pt. 1:16. Believers who sin must repent and seek forgiveness through faith in the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:9, 1 John 17:15-17, 1 Thess. 4:3-4, Heb. 2:11 etc.

Endowment and manifestation of power of God in the believer. It is an experience in which the believer allows himself to be controlled by the Holy Spirit and through this comes to know Christ in a more intimate way. Power is given unto him to witness effectively and also grow spiritually. John 16:13-15, Acts 1:8, Joel 2:28, Jn. 7:38-39, Lk. 24:49.

Praying without ceasing and more earnestly with fasting as the need arises. Matt. 6:16-19, Matt. 17:19-21, Luke 22-44, Acts 13:2-3, Acts 14:23, 1 Thess. 5:17, James 5:14-18 etc.

The local church is an organized body of believers ordained by God to corporately worship God, instruct in God’s word, fellowship with God and one another, serve God and promote the growth of the whole through evangelism. Acts 2:17-41, Acts 14:23, 1 Cor. 16:19, etc.

This is done in remembrance and proclamation of the suffering and death of our Lord Jesus Christ. All believers should participate in this Holy Communion until Christ’s return. Luke 22:17-20, Matt. 26:29, John 6:53-56, 1 Cor. 11:23-26 etc. This shall be administered only by ordained male ministers.

Preaching the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to every creature before His coming again. Matt. 28:14, Matt. 28:19-20, Mark 16:15, John 20:21 etc.

“The laying on of hands” shall be applied for (a) Blessing (b) Ordination (c) Healing and (d) Confirmation after the Sacrament of Baptism. It shall be applied on the head only whereon it is the sacred ministry. Acts 8:17, 19:16.

As sanctified Christians, we believe that Christ died to free the man, spirit, soul and body from the power of Satan, having cleansed us from sin. He also healed our bodies from all sickness and diseases. We also believe that God commands us to heal the sick, cleanse the leper, raise the dead, and cast out devils. (Ex. 15:26, 23:25, Ps. 105, Isa. 53:3-5, Matt. 8:17, James 5:11-15, 1 Peter 2:24).

There are diverse ways of healing:

Laying of Hands: Mark 16:18, 8:23, Acts 17, Heb 6:2, Mark 6:5, Luke 4:10, 13:13, Mark 7:23.

Healing with Oil: Mark 6:13, James 5:14, Isa. 1:6, Luke 10:34, Rev. 3:18.

Healing by Prayer of Faith – Matt. 17:18, Mark 1:25-26, Luke 8:25, 8:29-32, James 5:13, 15, Matt. 9:21.

No special features shall be attached to mourning the dead, e.g. shaving the hair, special dresses and uniforms to denote bereavement. Lev. 21:5. Violation of this order shall attract disciplinary action. Deut. 14:1-2.

The great tribulation will come immediately after rapture of the church. This will be a time of sorrow and persecutions on the whole earth. Daniel 9:24-27, II Thess. 2:3-12, Matt. 24:15, 21-22, Rev. 3:10, John 14:1-3, I Thess. 4:16-17.

The unbelieving dead will be raised and judged at the great white throne and this, will be the final judgment. The devil and his angels, the beast and false prophets and whoever is not found in the book of life shall be cast into the lake of fire, not to complete destruction but to everlasting punishment, which is the second death. John 21:8, Matt. 25:41.

Christ’s millennial reign is the 1000 years literal reign of Jesus on earth, which will be ushered in by the coming of Jesus Christ back to earth, 1 Thess. 1:10. During this time the devil will be bound, Rev. 20:2-3. It will be a reign of peace and blessing. Isa. 2:2-4, 6-9, 65-25, Hosea 2:18, Zech. 14:1.

In the Old Testament, this was divinely instituted by God and was compulsory upon those who worshiped God. We are not bound by dictatorial laws, but the principles of right and wrong as expressed by the law are fulfilled in the believers’ life through grace, which should produce more than the law demanded. The New Testament taught clearly about regular and systematic giving which is known as grace of giving. The Old Testament defined the rule of this systematic giving as the law of Tithing. It is therefore, the duty of all Christians to conscientiously and systematically pay tithe on their income to God.

This is forbidden and cannot be celebrated in any branch or circuit of this church. Each member who intends marriage must ensure that his prospective wife or her prospective husband receives Christian instructions as a member of the Christian church. Both parties will at least be prepared for baptism, and be actually baptized before the celebration of marriage. There shall be no deviation from this practice. II Cor. 6:14-16 etc.

No special dress is required for this purpose. Members are advised against the folly of spending large sums of money on dress, feasting or other issues connected with the ceremony.

As specified in the bible (Lev. 18:16, Cor. 7:39, 1 Tim 5:14).

The life-long partnership of husband and wife is an essential feature of Christian marriage. The mutual love and trust of husband and wife, their common devotion to God, their desire to express His will in their lives at home including the upbringing of their children are the basis upon which the Christian home is founded. Anything destructive of or opposed to these aspirations is regarded by all Christian people as wrong and undesirable. Sinful traits of pride, selfishness, harshness, lack of thought and care for one another, etc are some of the germs that breed disunity in the family. Divorce cannot, therefore be entertained in a true Christian home (Mark 10:9), 1 Cor. 7:10, Rom. 7:2 and therefore it is not tolerated in this church, such cases are subject to disciplinary actions.

The church regards it as an infringement of church rules and regulations for a man and woman (other than husband and wife) to cohabit.