Pastor Michael Olawore Pastor Michael Olagoke Olawore (1961-2018): Senior Pastor, 2013-2018 He was born in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire on 1st December 1961 and moved to Nigeria at the age of 12. He graduated with a second class upper division in electrical engineering and Master’s degree in Information Systems Engineering. He emigrated to the UK in June 1989. It was while settling down to life in the UK that he developed a nagging feeling of emptiness which led him to accepting a friend’s invitation to a church service and subsequently gave his life to Christ. He soon started attending the Upper Room Fellowship which later evolved into New Wine Church, led by Dr Tayo Adeyemi (1964–2013). Pastor Michael was the epitome of devotion, loyalty, humility and servanthood. His spiritual defining moment was in 1993 when he visited a woman who had been diagnosed with diabetes; he prayed for her and she was healed. This marked a turning point in his walk with the Lord and he became passionate and committed to ministering healing and hope to people. He played a pivotal role in the phenomenal growth of New Wine Church as he regularly visited brethren to encourage them in the faith and pray for their needs. Pastor Michael was the first Director of the ushering and protocol departments of New Wine Church. Under his leadership, the team grew significantly and was highly sought after whenever city-wide Christian conferences were organised such as the London International Power Conference, Mission to London, and Prophetic Intercessory Prayer Conference. He was also instrumental in training ushers from other churches and ministries. He was later redeployed as head of the Warfare and Intercessory Team (WAIT), the prayer engine of the Church. Under his leadership, the team grew from 4 members to 140-strong, dynamic and seasoned intercessors. He was ordained as a Pastor on 25th July 2004. Shortly afterwards, he became the Executive Director of New Wine International, and was responsible for all of New Wine’s operations both in the UK and abroad including the setting up and running of New Wine International offices in Nigeria and South Africa. When Pastor Michael received the mantle of leadership as Senior Pastor in 2013, he hit the ground running with a tireless approach towards expanding the reach of the Gospel of Jesus, and actualising the multi-dimensional vision that his predecessor Dr Tayo Adeyemi had encapsulated in “The Church I See.” With an indomitable spirit and a heart that embraced people of every cultural background, he unveiled the mandate of 50 Churches in 5 Years after an encounter with God in 2014; New Wine Church blossomed beyond Gateway House with 15 fully operational branches in 7 countries - the UK and Bulgaria, Luxembourg, South Africa, Uganda, Nigeria and Canada; and planned to open more branches in Bulgaria, Haiti, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Cote d’Ivoire, France and various cities in the United Kingdom. Pastor Michael served the Lord in full-time ministry for over 24 years. He possessed a unique passion for excellence, and an unceasing zeal to see people set free from spiritual bondage and experience God’s boundless blessings. He was relentless in stirring up the gifts and potential inside people, and challenging them so that they are propelled from where they are to where God wants them to be in order to fulfil their divine destiny. This was demonstrated in his tremendous work of equipping and impacting Church members and actively developing leaders around the world. He was a seasoned conference speaker who shared the message of the Kingdom of God, the power of His grace and the love of Jesus Christ with tens of thousands of people in many countries including Australia, Côte d’Ivoire, Bulgaria, Uganda, Tanzania, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, South Africa and the US. He was also the host of the Maximise Life TV broadcast that currently reaches over 140 million homes in over 150 nations weekly. Pastor Michael was the CEO of New Wine International and was a member of the board of directors of Creflo Dollar Ministries, Europe. He was also a respected community leader, sitting on the leadership boards of various organisations. He held a firm conviction that the Church of God is God’s agency of positive transformation to the world. He believed that the Church had the responsibility to reach out beyond the walls of the worship centre in order to engage effectively with the community. This conviction was consistently demonstrated in Pastor Michael’s leadership, as he led New Wine Church to embark on many philanthropic programmes that continue to transform multiplied thousands of lives around the world. In the Spring of 2017, under Pastor Michael’s visionary leadership, New Wine Church received a civic leadership award from the Royal Borough of Greenwich for “outstanding contribution to the social, economic and physical well-being of the community”. Pastor Michael had a passionate love for God, unceasing affection for people, a phenomenal commitment to the advancement of God’s Kingdom with a strong zeal to set people free from spiritual bondage and experience God’s boundless blessings. He established RechargeTM, an annual conference for developing and mentoring church leaders with global speakers such as Bishop T. D. Jakes, Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo and Dr Mark Chironna. Consequently, New Wine Church in Lagos, Nigeria launched a day-care centre to cater for children in the community. Pastor Michael also led New Wine to sponsor water borehole facilities and purchase educational resources for École Fraternité Bois de Caiman, a primary school in Haiti. The headquarters Church in London also established “Gateway Saturday School” which has flourished, with plans underway to setup Gateway School, to serve more children in the Royal Borough of Greenwich community. Pastor Michael commenced plans to set up a School of Politics and School of Entrepreneurship to equip believers with the knowledge, skills and spiritual enablement to fulfil their assignment in those spheres of endeavour and reclaim Christian influence in Education, Arts & Entertainment, Religion, Family, Business & Economy, Media and Government.