Bro. William Okello's Testimony

Part 9

When the burial was over, we finally returned to our flat in Kampala, but it was lifeless. Then God put it upon my heart to start a regular fellowship. There were a few scattered believers in the city whom I knew. I approached them one by one and encouraged them to come together at my residence for Sunday meetings. Thus in early 1981, the meetings began in Flat number B8, Block number 6 at Bugolobi Flats in Kampala.

I quickly established contact with the Spoken Word Publications of Jeffersonville, Indiana, Gospel Tape Ministry in Gisborne, New Zealand and the Happy Valley Church in Tennessee who were willing to send tapes and books free of charge. Within the first two years our church grew into the tens and so we moved out of the flat into a nearby primary school. After a few months we were expelled from the school and so we moved back to the flat again. Later, we again left the flat to move to another primary school. After sometime we found ourselves back to the first primary school where we had been expelled from previously. This is because it had changed headmastership and was the most suitable for us. Here the church grew rapidly. In one incident, a Pentecostal minister who had been late for his regular church meeting heard the singing of the saints. He decided that he might as well attend this service of “Pentecostals.” My subject that morning was Water Baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ. This brother was so convinced by what he heard, that he went back to his church where he was the Assistant Pastor, declared to them what he had heard and came out with about half the church. Of course they had to suffer persecution for this. In 1986, we had the opportunity to host Brother Harold Hildebrandt of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He was the first overseas minister to pay serious attention to Uganda. At that time my family owned a vehicle and we took him to visit other churches, especially in the eastern half of the country where the Message had had the greatest impact.

Our church continued to grow rapidly, not just due to local evangelism, which was actively encouraged, but also due to migration to the city from other parts of the country by those going for further studies or in search of employment. Because of this, our classroom became inadequate and so we moved to a secondary school in downtown Kampala where we had use of a double classroom.

In 1988, our church in Kampala hosted the first truly national convention of the Message in Uganda. Again Brother Harold Hildebrandt was the guest speaker, along with Brother Zephaniah Peters from Arusha, Tanzania. A large number of local ministers were in attendance. We had advertised greatly through posters and the radio and as a result it caught the attention of the Pentecostals, some of whom came to attend the meetings, if only out of curiosity.

After the Spoken Word Publications was taken over by the Voice of God, they began setting up Message libraries in Uganda. They appointed me Kampala representative and supplied us a large box of Message tapes. We could not afford to hire a building for a library and so I had a carpenter make for me a wooden cabinet with sliding doors with rows inside for holding the cassettes. We kept this cabinet in my flat and began lending out the Message tapes. Every so often, especially on Wednesdays, we held tape meetings whereby we played the prophets tapes and those who chose to, followed the Messages in the printed books while they heard the voice of the prophet. Many were blessed by these meetings and became grounded in the Message. This church grew to be the biggest church in Uganda and I continued to pastor it until 1990 when circumstances compelled me to move to the UK that year. And the rest is history.

(Next: Final Part - Did God Protect Us While We were Yet Sinners?)

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And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the little book. And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it shall make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey. Revelations 10:9