Photographer: @Joecudjoe

Photographer: @Joecudjoe

Hello I'm Ori, Nigerian American lifestyle blogger and career consultant encouraging you to live boldly. Be original. 

Bernard Agyakwa | Pastor

Tell us about yourself

I'm 22, born in Accra Ghana and have been living in the United States for 16 years. I moved here with my family at the age of 6 and I have 2 sisters. I'm a youth leader at King of The Nations which we launched about 5 months ago. 

How did Ascend come about?

Ascend is the youth ministry at King of the Nations Fellowship and we oversee 8th to 12th graders. Our mission statement is, we believe that we can impact the life of a teenager so they can impact the life of generations to come. 

I have been saved for 5 years. What God did in my sophomore year in high school influenced the creation of my team. When we first came, we were Generation revive and we were focused on gatherings, but it's hard to sustain something like that. Ascend is our strategic and specific way of serving God. The Lord told me that high school ministry is my niche and it was confirmed by others. Our leadership team are from 5 years ago and some came along the road. 

We are built on community, friendship and the simple love of God. The DNA of what we are doesn’t change
— Bernard

Did you think you would be doing this? What motivated you to carry out your vision?

Trying is not failing. It's something you have to live by. When you are known by other ministries, it can be demoralizing and discouraging to figure out what you really have to offer. I never really had a plan, but God showed up. We knew that what we had was authentic and we couldn't let it go to waste. We did what Jesus did and it grew into a ministry. 

  • CPU was the community where we learned how to be a community.

  • Generation Revive was where we learned to be evangelistic and have a mission.

  • Ascend is the combination of all these things. Our goal is to seek and change lives.

Did your parents always support you?

My parents are not traditional, without them there would be none of this. They allowed us to be in their house, eating their food and having gatherings in their basement. Some people wouldn't be saved right now if not for my parents selflessness. 

When it comes to my education, you can't get around it. It's easy to make ministry a priority and have everything else slack. I may never use the degree I'm getting but they want to know that if anything happens, that little piece of paper will help.

What advice would you give people who want go the non conventional rout?

Go for it! Honestly, the world will tell you everything you're supposed to do or who you should be, but they won't have to experience the consequences of that. Follow your desires, and do it with honor. There's always a way to do it correctly and properly. Don't let others make the choices for you. Seek wise counsel, and really listen to what God's speaking about your situation.

I love attending Ascend worship services because their music is spirit filled and anointed. Here is a sneak peak of a future EP project.

Ese Ikheloa | Medical School Student

Ese Ikheloa | Medical School Student

Rebekah Ramirez | Graduate Student