THE JOURNEY SO FAR
By the grace
of God, it has been a very interesting ministerial adventure encompassing
series of spiritual landscapes along this drama evangelistic missionary
journey. We began in August 1985 and this year August 22nd, we shall be
celebrating our 30th year Anniversary. The Lord God Himself has helped us along
this journey. The ministry launched on Sunday, August 5th, 1985 inside a small
house in Ilesha, and between 1985 and 1986 June, the Lord prevented us from any
activities but involved us in series of spiritual preparations ahead of His
future assignments for us. We had our first drama ministration titled: HELL
IN CONFERENCE on July 11th, 1986, at St. Margaret Girls Grammar
School, Ilesha, at Nigerian Christian Teachers Conference.
On October 11th, 1986, our second drama ministration titled: GOD BLESS NIGERIA, also a musical theatrical drama like the first, was staged. It was a command performance staged inside Oduduwa Hall, Obafemi Awolowo University, with a cast of over 60. And that was how the Lord launched us out into live drama productions, going to various churches and campuses till 1987, when I resigned from my teaching job and began to work full time. The rest members of the ministry were either working or students, except Sister Gloria, who also came into full time immediately after her graduation.
However, in August 1989, when the invitations to various churches and campus became cumbersome for the ministry, the Lord declared the entire ministry of Mount Zion to go on full-time operations. So, the Lord sent us all on a One-Month drama mission trip to the Northern City of Kano. In Kano, we visited several churches, until the last day of August, 1989. That was how we began a full time drama ministry operations as we went into drama mission fields in Kaduna, Zaria, Jos, Warri, Benin, etc, spending several weeks in many of these places.
Our first drama mission trip outside of Nigeria was a One-Month drama outreaches to Ghana in 1999, this was followed by an extensive drama ministrations in Cameroon in 2001, a One-Month drama missions to Kenya 2002, a revisitation to Cameroon for an extensive drama school in Limbe and Bamenda was in 2013 and 2014.
It was in the year 2010, the Lord in His infinite wisdom led us to decentralized ourselves and each member/family in the ministry was mandated to stand on his own with authority and permission to hold programs, conferences, workshops, seminars and drama schools, including productions and distributions of individually- made movies under the family ministry of Mount Zion Faith Ministries.
Following this God-ordained decentralization, the ministry experienced a great ministerial explosion as the Lord began to develop individual members in various areas of ministerial capacities. Some of the members of the ministry went on regional mission fields of north, east, and southern parts of the country for drama seminars and workshops, film outreaches and film productions, while some members like Joseph Yemi and Mercy Adepoju went on African missions trips to The Gambia, Serraleone, Togo, Benin and Zambia; and Isaac and Grace Femi-Akintunde made a mission field trip to Ghana.
Among the Foreign countries that we have physically impacted and held several workshops, seminars, and drama schools, including joint-film productions are: USA - "Broken Pitcher", "Waiting for the Prince", "Prodigal Ones", "Conspiracy", "Dangerous Influence", "Crack in the Wall"; Canada - "Forces Against My Soul", Finest Wine", "Mobile Prison"; and Australia - Harvest of Crisis, Caught in the Wind", "The Return, "Harmony Deal".
And the Lord developed every member of the ministry to become film producers and some were developed into directing movies. The interesting part of all these is the wonders of God in the children of the members, some of whom, now, have began to write film scripts for their parents to produce in Mount Zion. Among this category is Damilola Mike-Bamiloye, who wrote his first movie script at age 15 titled: "Youthful Lusts". Since then, he has written several other strong movies like: "Fiwajomi", "Dying With the King", "Shadows of Death", "Journey in Circle", "Mobile Prison", "Harmony Deal", "The Accountant". Among this class of Mount Zion children, also, is Seun David Abraham, who wrote "Lost Hope" and "Guilty as Charged"; and Covenant Adebayo who wrote: "Josephine". Israel Bamidele wrote the movie that hit the 100th Mount Zion Movie: "His Standard" and the latest among them is Bright Oluwagbemi who has written two thought-provoking youth movies: "Wrong Call" and "Oppressed".
Among the mount Zion children are now up coming and growing film production personels, like Damilola Mike-Bamiloye who grew up to become an uprising movie-cameraman (Director of Photography). He shot movies like; "Harvest of Crisis", "Caught in the Wind", "The Return", "Rupantar", "Harmony Deal", "the Stranger", "The Accountant" and the on-going filming of a TV serials. And Joshua Mike-Bamiloye produced the music and background sound-effects of more than 50 of Mount Zion movies. And Feyikemi Bamidele is an upcoming Make-Up artiste within Mount Zion ministries.
Like the Drama Outreach, this arm of the Ministry is as old as the Ministry in terms of the time of its taking off. When the Mount Zion Faith Ministries began in 1985, the initial main objective of the Mount Zion Faith Ministries was to produce Christian Films and Tele-drama for the propagation of the gospel of Jesus Christ and to counter the prevailing effect of the few secular films of that time.
We actually attempted a full-length film production in that year 1985 titled "Secrets of The Devil". The Film was technically bad. Our second attempt titled "Separated For Ever" too was not edited. We were later convinced that the time was not yet ripe for it. So the Lord directed us go into stage drama productions, going from church to church and ministering on campuses and conferences.
However, in the year 1990, the Lord helped us to shoot two Films titled "The Unprofitable Servant" and "The Beginning Of The End". Between 1990 and 1993, we produced five films altogether. Our First Television Serial was shot in 1993 titled AGBARA NLA. It was transmitted in all the TV Stations in the Western Region of Nigeria. The English version of the Serial titled "The Ultimate Power" was shot in 1994. Since then more TV Serials have been made in the Ministry, these are:
"Ide Esu" (The Devil's Bondage);"The Great Mistake", "The Fruitless Tree", the Haunting Shadows", "Blood on the Altar"The Forgotten Ones","One Careless Night" and "The Stormy Seas"
All these are in addition to more than 35 other feature films made both in English and Yoruba local language.
MOUNT ZION IN-HOUSE MOVIE PRODUCERS
In March 2009, the Lord granted the ministry the permission to raise in-house Producers. So, each brother in the ministry got permission to write scripts and produce them. The first script to be written and produced by a member of the Mount Zion Faith Ministries was Israel Ore-Adewole’s “Silent Cry” (June, 2009); this was followed by Joseph Yemi Adepoju’s “Change of Taste” (July, 2009). The others are:
“Hell Razer” by Jeremiah Oluwagbemi. (August, 2009)
“Majemu Ikoko”(Hidden Covenant) by Isaac Femi-Akintude (Oct, 2009)
“Running Against the Wind” by Lara Adebayo (November, 2010)
“Ipenija””(The Challenge) and
“Etutu Irorun” (Peace Sacrifice) by Matthew Bamidele (February, 2010)
“Accursed Children” by Ebenezer Bayo Abraham (July, 2010)
THE MOUNT ZION FILMS WITH FOREIGN MISSIONS
Olangi Wosho Foundation is an evangelistic /missionary organisation based in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Because of their desire to work together with us and broadcast Mount Zion movies on their television network in Congo, we sent a 3-Man Team (Evangelists Israel Ore-Adewole, Yemi Adepoju and Matthew Bamidele) on an evangelistic-missionary visit to the Headquarter Base of the organisation in Congo, where Mount Zion Faith Ministries Int’l, presented the full Film Library of the Mount Zion Film Productions to the Organisation and gave the official permission to continue the translation and broadcast in Lingala Language.
Few months later,Evangelists Mike & Gloria Bamiloye were invited to Kinshasa, DR Congo, where a full arrangement was agreed upon for the French translation and voice over production of Mount Zion movies. Presently, Olangi Wosho Foundation has made three French movies from Mount Zion movies: “The Broken Pitcher”, “A Change Of Taste” and “The Prodigal Ones”. Work is already going on with "Blood On The Altar"
C. “WALKING WITH JESUS” FILM PROJECT OF CCCI.
The Campus Crusade for Christ International, based in Orlando, FL made the popular and well celebrated and widely circulated Christian film: JESUS FILM, which has been regarded as the most translated movie in the world. The movie is commonly used on the fields of missions for evangelism and church planting; but the directors of CCCI have more visions: they desire to have African follow-up movies usable with the Jesus film. They desire a series of movies that can be used for following up disciples after the JESUS FILM might have been used for the initial crusade.
So, Evangelist Mike Bamiloye was contacted to come up with a major script of about 10 serial titles dealing with various discipleship issues: Salvation, Restitutions, Holy Spirit, Prayers, Work of the Holy Spirit, etc. The scripts were prepared and after series of script conferences and production drafts and corrections in Nairobi, Pretoria and Orlando, a final script came out and approved for shooting.
Casts for the Film series were sourced in Kenya and filming equipment was brought from both Nairobi and Orlando, Florida.
The film-serials were shot in Nairobi, Kenya, in May/June 2009, and the production has been described as good enough for the mission and the public.
D. JOINT FILM PRODUCTIONS
I. RCCG HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH, ARLINGTON, TEXAS.
After holding a two weeks Drama school for the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Household of Faith, Arlington, Texas in September 2008, the Pastor of the church decided to make a movie with the Church Drama group in collaboration with Mount Zion Films Production, Nigeria. Later in March, the following year, there came a sensational, inspiring Christian movie, shot both in Nigeria and in Dallas, TX, it was: THE BROKEN PITCHER (March 2009) and another movie location came up the following October: “THE PRODIGAL ONES”
These are two beautiful christian movie which speak expressly to all Africans in diaspora. Apart from the film circulating in Nigeria, it has been shown on several local TV channels and Satellite TV channels for the blessing of the people.
II. THE FLAMING SWORD FILM PRODUCTIONS, DALLAS, TEXAS
The Flaming Sword Ministries International, Dallas, is an independent drama and film production ministry based in Dallas, Texas. With Mount Zion Film Productions, Nigeria, they have jointly produced the following movies: "A CRACK IN THE WALL" , "WAITING FOR THE PRINCE" and in preparation for the third joint production: "DANGEROUS INFLUENCE"
III. BOWEN UNIVERSITY, IWO, NIGERIA.
"FIWAJOMI"(Walking In His Steps)
The movie tries to capture the experiences of two teenagers from two different family backgrounds who are new to a university campus setting, the movie portrays their reactions to these temptations and challenges and how one fall for it and the other overcome it.
Fiwajomi is a boy in his mid-teenage years who got an admission into a private University, without any source of finance for the schooling. He was qualified for a scholarship, but due to wrong influence, he missed the opportunity of his life when he got expelled.
On the other side, Wuraola, another girl in her mid teenage years also got an admission into the university, almost fell into temptations and got her heart broken
"DYING WITH THE KING"
October 2009, The Bowen University, Iwo, Nigeria, entered into a joint production of "FIWAJOMI" , a film script written by Damilola Mike-Bamiloye, a 300-Level Human Management Student. The entire casts were sourced mainly from the Drama Unit of the Bowen Baptist Students Fellowship, fully produced by the Chaplaincy of the university. All the members of the Chaplaincy including some members of the faculty also played prominent roles in the movie which became a landmark of the University.
August 2011, The Mount Zion Film Productions and Bowen University were on film location again for the second joint movie production: "Dying With The King"
AUSTRALIA JOINT FILM PRODUCTIONS.
“Harvest Of Crisis” was a short movie made after the 2 weeks drama school conducted in Australia with a joint program of Redeemed Christian Church of God, shalom Assembly, Belmont, Perth, WA, and The Christ Redemption Assembly Universal, O’Conor, Perth, West Australia. The Short film shooting took three days, acted by participating students of the Drama School.
Then, in October 2013, a crew of Mike Bamiloye, Gloria Bamiloye and Damilola Mike-Bamiloye was back in Australia for a major film shooting: “Caught In The Wind” with MOUNT ZION EAGLES ON MISSION – an association formed with Mount Zion Faith Ministries Int’l, Nigeria, after our first visit in May.