It was February 14, Valentine’s Day was here again and like the others before it, this was just another opportunity for people particularly the youths to cast off restraint and indulge in acts of immorality all in the excuse of celebrating love. But February 14, 1999 wasn’t to follow the normal trend for the youths of Festac Town. Pastor Kingsley Okonkwo, founder of DAVID’S CHRISTIAN CENTER (D.C.C.), then an interdenominational youth fellowship had other ideas. In his words, “I knew it was a period when people make a lot of mistakes concerning relationships and I wanted to teach them God’s truth about relationships. I wanted this Valentine’s Day to be different”.
So began the first edition of LOVE, DATING AND SEX (L.D.S.). But they didn’t foresee the great outrage that would trail such a programme. It was inconceivable for the Christian community; teaching sex and sex related issues in the church? What a taboo! This was an issue the unbeliever’s mind dwelled on and not for the pure and sanctified minds in the church. Christians were not expected to discuss sex and certainly not in the church. But Pastor Kingsley knew it was better to teach God’s truth about sex in the church or people would turn to a wrong source like the media for information. So despite the great outcry and opposition, despite the fact that the programme was the first of its kind in the area; popularity and attendance grew with each edition. Showing that people really did need to hear these teachings.
However, Love, Dating & Sex (LDS) which ran for a couple of years, had to be put on hold for a while by divine mandate and when it came back several years ago it was reborn as LOVE, DATING AND MARRIAGE (L.D.M.).The much awaited rebirth was also a revamp of the meetings as it addressed more issues and incorporated a more mature audience of singles and married. With the first edition of LDS which held at Festac Plaza, 24 road to the now Love, Dating and Marriage (L.D.M.) holding at David’s Christian Centre (Fatgbems Bus Stop, Behind Nepa Office, Beside Amuwo Health Centre, Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos.) the attendance has grown from a seating of 142 people at the first meeting (which was a major break through in those days) to about 2,000 people at the last edition of L.D.M (July 3rd 2011).
LDM is currently being aired on Silverbird T. V Sundays at 1.00pm. Even with this success, Pastor Kingsley says, “it’s only the beginning.” He has a mandate from God to take this relationship seminar across the continent, to Europe, the Americas and beyond. With the goal of a total overhauling of the average Christian mind set about the marriage institution.
He further stressed that godly relationships would yield godly marriages and in turn godly children and result in a positive impact on the society at large. And with the help of his lovely wife, Pastor Mildred Kingsley-Okonkwo, this has moved from a dream and is fast becoming a reality. It is plain to see thus far, that LDM has been a blessing to all.
People now have a better understanding of what marriage is about, from being a necessary evil as some would say; Marriage is now seen as a beautiful institution where couples complete, complement, and help fulfil each other’s life’s vision. How can one help but buy into such a vision. We know that He who began this good work is faithful and will surely complete it. We salute Pastor Kingsley and the entire congregation of DCC, wishing them good success because LDM is here to stay.