senior pastor with a leading Pentecostal church in Nigeria has expressed fears that gospel musicians are no longer spiritually filled.
Evangelist Joseph Ojo, an architect turned pastor, is also worried that the popularity of secular music is taken it’s toll on gospel music.
Evangelist Ojo, also General Overseer of Christ Apostolic Church, Land of Prosperity and Prayer Ministry located at Palmview Estate, Olakemeji, Ishasi, Akute, said: “Gospel music is a ministry which is supposed to help win souls, preach the gospel, heal the sick and many more benefits that the theme of the music has.
“But many people have turned it to an industry where they make money and neglect the core objective of why God gave them that talent.”
Explaining how he was called into the ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ, Ojo said he heard the call of God in 1984, while he was practicing architecture; but did not yield until 1985 when he started the ministry fully.
“I was not always a believer and this is because my family used to be predominantly pagans and traditional worshippers but while I was in Osogbo for one of Baba Obadare’s revival programs when I had the voice of God that I should worship him and preach his word. That was how my being a pastor and believer started in 1984,” he said.
He added: “God told me my son, drop that architecture job and go into the ministry and win souls for me. He said I should face His ministry squarely and not do any other thing. I was working prior to that time with the ministry of works and later ventured into my own personal business.
“I can tell you it was not an easy task, but finally, I had to obey that voice because I saw a lot of signs that were beyond normal human imaginary. I realised, if I still keep doing the architecture job it would distract me from listening to the voice of the lord and carrying out his assignment.”
Evangelist Ojo said that it was not easy at all pointing out that his greatest challenge after he settled to gospel ministry was great business losses, that almost landed him in prison.
“I lost contracts worth millions, my money was all gone, properties, I even had to start selling my clothes to earn a living.
“I began to sing from a very young age, it was a gift I got from my parents; they were also singers.”
Incidentally, Ojo started singing juju music. “I was singing at that tender age. I even had a brief stint with King Sunny Ade. After I gave my life to God, many preachers like Babalola, Obadare all told me I was going to sing for Christ.”
Eventually Ojo began to sing to the glory of God. He explained: “I have two gospel albums today. It was also the Lord’s command that I go into gospel music and I believe that my music ministration has won souls to Christ because it was an order from Him.”
He said that it is possible to sing gospel music without being born again.
According to the Evangelist: “One could be going to church, even join the choir but when God has not spiritually fill you the music will make now meaning.
“Until He is ready, he would arrest you totally and make you His instrument. All of a sudden one would no longer see it as money making venture but rather a ministration to win souls for our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The Evangelist added that one develop interest in singing and enjoying one’s self from while one is making money from it.
“But such songs usually don’t glorify God because it is just an ordinary song without a message,” he said.
When asked if he has ever attended musical school, he replied: “No, its a natural talent I got from God, he is the giver of all good things when He give no man can take it, you don’t need any human training when God is involved. I currently have two albums, and I know people really appreciate them.
“The title of the most current one is ARONIPIN, which has six tracks one which bears the same name. Even radio stations in Ibadan like King FM usually play the song, because of the way the people appreciate that song which was an inspiration from a friend’s wife who was misbehaving.”
The central message of the track he explained is “My friend you do not need to worry yourself, you will soon rise. It is a song of encouragement. No matter what one is going through and even if the society is laughing at you, one should not feel down cast. I also have other tracks like ‘Atilehin’ ‘Olugbala’, ‘E ma ro mi pin’, ‘Yin oluwa’, ‘Ma Ronu’, ‘Babajide’”
He, however, said that reaching millions of Nigerians through music could be cumbersome.
“Surprisingly, I sell my song myself, I do not have any marketer. The whole process is cumbersome if one is not careful. I am considering taking up the opportunity of enlisting a reliable marketer to do the job if I can. For now people usually reach me through:email@example.com or 08051170762 to order for copies of the album,” Evangelist Ojo further said.
He noted that the life of a pastor can be quite tasking as one is invariably a role model to all and sundry. “The fact that we have some pastors who have not being called by the Holy Spirit, is another challenge, they change the faith of people in the church for their own selfish reasons. This sometimes causes people to lose their faith and some other fail to believe and is not convinced because of the tribulations they have to face in their various lives. My sole belief is that Christ remains the same, He is an unchangeable changer,” he said.
He said Nigeria is the way it is because of the corruption in the country and also in the world.
“There are fake pastors everywhere, making up a ministry and being deceitful to the people about the word of God and the people are blind to the truth, looking for miracles anyhow and everywhere, instead of them to pray to God and seek His favour and guidance.
“People prefer to put their lives in the hand of their pastor. These pastors are regularly preaching prosperity; breakthrough and people are willing and ready to listen to them as for those who tell them the truth, they run away from those ones.
“My advice to people is that they should give their lives to Christ, and ask God for mercy all the time. For gospel singers, they should sing spiritual songs to promote the kingdom of God,” he said.
People living with disabilities excel on halleluiah day
t was a unique day of worship as the blind, deaf, dumb, albinos, dwarfs and other people living with one form of disabilities stood out at the 11th year anniversary of Soul Winning Evangelism, which held at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Surulere.
Put together by the convener of the Holy Spirit Buffet Outreach (HOSBO) Evangelist Kemi Sarumi, the event was celebrated with the theme “What Are Your Excuses for Not Serving God?”
Seeing featured seven distinct clusters of people with disabilities – the blind, the deaf, the dumb, albinos, dwarfs amongst others, taking full charge as they created a paradise of worship; and celebrated Jesus in the life of people in spite of their disabilities aptly challenged their able-bodied counter parts who cannot praise God zealously.
It was a uniquely joyous day for the Mrs Sarumi, who captured her amazement in her following words: “Yes, there is ability in disability, God has a Purpose for creating us the way we are. I am happy because the soul winning evangelism today is a success.
“It is first of its kind in Lagos State. We are here just to praise God. We believe grace found us, grace keeps us, grace will see us through, every set back in life is set up by God to take us to our destiny.”
She added: “We shall always continue to campaign in making the people with disabilities useful asset, not to be abuse, nor seen as liabilities to the society.”
The convener, herself, had her legs amputated due to diabetes. Reflecting on her life after the amputation she said: “When I look back and I see what the Lord has done to all of us, it is worth it, to praise Him.
“He has a reason for all our disabilities. He has a purpose, so when we come together and start praising Him, He will do more than we expected.”
Mrs. Sarumi insisted that to be physically challenged is not an excuse for not serving God. “That is why we titled our anniversary, ‘What Are Your excuses for Not Serving God,” she explained; pointing that any one with disability has no excuse.
“So far you are still breathing and live on earth, we must serve God. When you come across some people with disabilities, you will be compelled to praise God,” she further said.
Among the people who graced the event include people with disabilities from Osun and Oyo States.
The All Progressives Congress (APC), Special Physically Challenged Leader in Lagos State, Honourable Israel Akiode, a dwarf, was among the dignitaries in attendance.
He said: “We have seven clusters, people with disabilities that are here today, I am representing the Dwarf Association of Nigerian (DAN), APC Lagos State physically challenged, Visually Impaired, Deaf and Dumb, Albino, gathered to praise and worship God.
“God has reason to have created every one of us, in my family I am the only dwarf. But God has a purpose in creating each one of us. We have to be grateful to God by praising Him for what He has done for us.”
Hon Akiode recounted some of the challenges people with disability face in society. “We have lots of challenges, if I want to talk, somebody will say ‘you short man sit down’. It is embarrassing and you are not the one that created me.
“Like the blind man, they will not allow him to go where he wants to go. And the deaf, they will say what he is talking about. What we are saying is that they should encourage us and carry us along,” Akiode noted.
“They should always include us in the programme, they are not the one that created us, is God that created us and there is a purpose for creating us,” he lamented.
Akode, however, pointed out that “in disability there is ability, you can see how the blind entertained us how they handled all the musical instrumentals and they are all blind, did we not enjoy their music, we are all gifted by God.”
He expressed appreciation to the APC for the recognition given to him irrespective of his deformity. “The party has done a lot for the physically challenged, there is programmed called Sanwo Cares, it is all about empowerment. Other successive governors of Lagos State in the persons of Babatunde Raji Fashola and Akinwunmi Ambode empowered the group.
“They empowered them with a little amount of money just to upgrade their businesses. Last year they gave them, N1million, N1.5million, N500,000 naira that is to each cluster.
“And they are still going to give them this year… the Sanwolu Cares, they have submitted forms and I aware of it and they will receive the money.”
A cousin to Mrs. Sarumi, Alhaja Omoyele Akinwunmi who is passionate with the people with disabilities said that she has been attending their events over the years, “I have been attending their events and I have a passion for the disabled people.”
The APC chief of disabled persons explained that the convener is of the unique day of halleluiah was his cousin adding that in the society the special people faced great challenge because they are on their own; nobody is willing to help them.
“You can see them struggling to perform to get to the limelight. Kemi is very active, presently, she is making Hat, Cap for the churches, but she has nobody to help her only few people in the family oftentimes come to help.
“The challenge is that the government should assist them, you can see the people singing, despite their disabilities; you can see that they cannot walk, but they performed very well.
“What can we do to people like that than to help them, the govt. has many ways that they can help them; I appreciate if the govt. can come to their aids,” he said.
Bible Society holds Bible quiz for the deaf
ll is set for the maiden edition of the Bible quiz for the Deaf organised by The Bible Society of Nigeria [BSN]
BSN’s Media Manager, Benjamin Mordi, said that the quiz would be conducted in Nigerian Sign Language, at the Christian Mission for the Deaf, Shomolu, Lagos on December 5.
“This quiz is being organised in fulfillment of the Society’s mission to meet the scriptural needs of every Nigerian, including the Deaf, and to help people interact with Word of God,” Mordi further disclosed.
He added: “The contestants are expected to answer questions from the 32 out of the 110 Chronological Bible Stories translated for the Deaf in Nigerian Sign Language by The Bible Society of Nigeria.”
He explained that the BSN has a Deaf Translation Centre in Ibadan, Oyo State where the Bible is being translated into Nigerian Sign Language for the Deaf.
“The Bible Society of Nigeria is a not-for-profit interdenominational Christian organisation that translates the Bible into local languages, publishes, distributes and raises funds for the Bible work. It also organises life-transforming programmes that help people engage with Word of God. So far, we have complete Bible in 26 Nigerian Languages and 110 Chronological Bible Stories in Nigerian Sign Language for the Deaf,” Mordi further explained.
Archbishop commends Kyari for bursting high profile criminal cases
he President of the Pentecostal Ministers Forum, Archbishop Chidi Anthony, has called on Christian leaders/ministers to pray for the Commander, Inspector General of Police Special Intelligence Response Team (IGPSIRT), Deputy Commissioner Abba Kyari, for what he described as the DC’s unique contribution in checking crime rate in the country.
The Archbishop observed that patriotic zeal of the Police boss was worthy of commendation; adding that D C Abba Kyari was indeed outstanding in the area of bursting high profile criminal cases; not minding the origin or religious inclination of a crime suspects.
The PMF President, who is also the presiding minister of Kings in Christ ministries, made the observations during a courtesy visit to the Office of the Commander (IGPSIRT).
He explained that DC Abba Kyari’s unique fit at busting high profile criminal cases in the country at a time when crime and criminality was wide spread is worthy of commendation.
His words: “For your information, he is the one who arrested the millionaire kidnapper Evans and also Wadume.
“I wanted to visit him in Abuja, to congratulate him for allowing God to use him, to check crime rate in Nigeria.
“He is a very good man and an officer that anybody would like to relate with.
“I have known him since 2012 when he was Officer-in-Charge of SARS. When he learnt that I wanted to see him, he was on special assignment covering the just concluded Kogi State governorship elections. But he told me that he would be coming to Lagos and asked me to see him in Lagos.
The Archbishop added: “He received me very warmly and I congratulated him for all his patriotic zeal and efforts at combating crimes. Also we discussion one or two issues concerning the welfare of church and he listened to me attentively.”
According to the Archbishop: “D C Abba Kyari’s unbiased disposition speaks eloquently to the world that Nigerians are not embroiled in any religious war.
“You know that he is core Muslim but he wanted know certain things that are not clear to him about Christianity. In fact, we spent about 20 minutes discussing the scripture and I used that opportunity to clarify some of those gray areas. We relate very well; he is very good man that you need relate with.”
The PMF President stressed that it is very important for people to get close to one another, understand themselves rather than brand one another as bad.
“You need to come very close to a person to be able to appreciate the person’s side of the story.
“I am a pastor and I shepherd over a very big church. I can tell you that not everyone that comes here is born again. That’s the truth but you cannot just see one of my members and say that all of them are not born again. That is a lie from the pit of hell. If there is original there must be fake,” he said.
The Archbishop insisted that he owes DC Abba Kyari prayers. “I have also told all the members of PMF to always pray for him, Take his name to the altar and pray to God to protect him.
“A man who can burst crimes at such high level is the type of man that this nation will pray not lose.
“He will not die in active service, he will live to eat the fruit of his labour, another will not take his place.
“I will live to see D C Abba Kyari become Inspector General of Police of this country before he retires,” the Archbishop prophesied.
N30,000 marriage registry license shouldn’t give room for govt control, manipulation, say Para-Mallam
eace Ambassador, The Reverend Gideon Para-Mallam, has warned that the policy, which requires churches to pay N30,000 for licensing worship center for the conduct of statutory marriages, may abused.
He warning came on the heels of the recent proclamation by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Interior, Georgina Ehuriah, a new regime of marriage regulations which also include a N21,000 fee for each marriage certificate payable couples.
Para-Mallam said: “The worship center regulation should not become a license for over-centralized control and manipulation by government officials.”
Transparency and openness is an antidote against suspicion and dictatorship.
According to the Peace Ambassador: “Asking a Church to pay N30,000 is too high. If it has to be paid by a denomination, it will make more sense. But for each individual church to register with N30,000 makes no real sense.”
He pointed out that the Evamngelical Church Winning All (ECWA), for instance, has 4,000 local churches. “Would government expect each of the local church branches to pay N30,000, he asked.
Earlier, the President of The Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), Rev. Dr. Dachollom Datiri had described the marriage registry licensing law as an outright robbery while urging government to rather support citizens and organizations concerned with their physical and moral wellbeing and not place unnecessary demands on them.
Invariably, Para-Mallam encouraged government to listen and not close its minds to superior arguments that will come out of the current conversations.
“Therefore, I will encourage a deeper interaction and interrogation of what has now been put out into the public domain,” he added.
Para-Mallam further explained that marriage is a spiritual and legal covenant adding “God takes the marriage institution seriously.”
On that premise, the Peace Ambassador contended that whatever government policy that will support a decent conduct of marriages in consonance with the constitutional provisions of our country should be supported by all irrespective of religious affiliation.
According to him: “The marriage act has been with us for over 100 years now – going back to 1914 when Nigeria was amalgamated during the colonial era. This was later refined into the Matrimonial Cause Act in 1970, 1990 and 2004. The marriage act covers three categories:
Customary (the Christian marriage is covered under this), Islamic and Statutory.”
He finds a soul mate in the Prelate, of the Methodist Church Nigerian, Dr. Kanu Uche, who rather explained that the marriage registry license is not a new thing.
“Only the upcoming denominations will oppose the law. The traditional churches like the Catholic, Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian churches have been doing this.
“When I served in Enugu and every other mission posting, I obtained worship center license which was renewable annually. All my churches still obtain the license and renew it yearly,” he further explained.
However, Para-Mallam said his struggle with the regulation which appears to be receiving sharper age remains that the regulation is multifaceted.
“Many Nigerians are groaning under the yoke of excruciating poverty. Just think of the many rural dwellers in this nation and millions of unemployed youths.
“Can you imagine asking a village guy getting married to cough out 20K? Someone without a job coughing out 20K in addition to marriage expenses,” he further asked.
Para-Mallam stressed that government needs to allow issues of immense public interest to be discussed before major policies are announced.
“When such is done it reduces speculation and suspicion. Transparency and openness is an antidote against suspicion and dictatorship,” he added.
On the other hand, the Peace Ambassador hinted that the regulation has its good side saying: “What if marriages collapse and divorce becomes an issue of legal challenge? Where do you start without a valid government recognized marriage certificate?”
He observed that in a way government’s action should help to provide legality to church marriages based on the marriage act.
“A situation in which people can marry and unmarry at will without recourse to the laws of the land is not to be encouraged. “Such a registration would definitely protect the woman in the case of abuse and divorce.”
He noted that our present traditional arrangement hardly supports the woman. “Ours is a male dominated and chauvinistic society unfortunately women aren’t as protected as they should. Having some measure of what I will describe as positive regulation will serve to make society a better place for couples including the children,” he said.
Ojukwu Varsity doctors to resume strike
esident doctors and consultants of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital, Awka, have concluded arrangements to resume their industrial action following what they described as the failure of the government and negotiation team to resolve the seven months’ crisis.
But the Anambra State government according to it has met two out of the striking doctor’s three demands.
The state Commissioner for Information and Public Enlightenment, Chief C Don Adinuba told reporters that equipment at the teaching hospital have been upgraded through injecting more funds as well as the establishment of a gas plant.
Adinuba further explained that the non-existent conditions of service have been put in place while the issue of salaries has been presented to the governor for ratification which is being awaited.
He also announced that the construction of private wards has commenced in order to ensure that revenue meant for the state is not lost to private hospitals.
But, according to the release made available to reporters in Awka and signed by the Chairman and Secretary of the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, Dr Chukwudi Okani and Prof. Obiora Ejiofor, the body said it was unhappy with the delay by government in meeting its demands.
“The Congress note with concern the delay of the state government at approving and implementing the Consolidated Medical Salary Scheme(CONNESS) template agreed at the Committee set up by His Excellency on the 4th of July 2019.
“The NDCAN noted that her members had shown maturity and patience for four months despite being promised that the issue would be resolved in one month.
“However the Congress found it expedient to sheath their swords as a mark of respect and honour to the governor of Anambra State whom we know is favourably disposed at alleviating our suffering at COOUTH Amaku –Awka,” the released said.
The Congress further resolved to embark on an indefinite industrial action as from midnight of Saturday without the need for further deliberation on the floor of the house if the government fails to meet their demands.
When contacted the Chief Medical Director Dr Basil Nwankwo declined comment nothing that the report of the Audit Committee on the matter has not been officially made available as a working document.
It would be recalled that the doctors have been at daggers drawn over the poor pay package which according to them is the least in the entire South East.
Female pastor allegedly steals church member’s baby girl
female pastor has been arrested for allegedly stealing her church member’s baby.
The suspect 52-year-old Charity Okpara appeared before an Ikeja Chief Magistrates’ Court for allegedly stealing a four-month-old baby girl from her church member.
The resident of 10, Abiodun Kayode St., Araromi Bus Stop, Ojo, in Lagos, was arraigned on four count bordering on conspiracy, unlawful abduction and child trafficking. She pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The Police Prosecutor, ASP Ezekiel Ayorinde, alleged that the defendant stole the four-month-old baby, Princess Oluchi, daughter of one Mrs. Blessing Okon.
Ayorinde told the court that the defendant committed the offences with others still at large on November 5 at No. 5, Kayode St., Ajangbadi in Lagos.
The prosecutor submitted that the defendant “fraudulently took away the baby from her mother.”
“All efforts made to locate the baby proved abortive,” he said.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs. B. O. Osunsanmi, admitted the defendant to a bail of N200,000 with two sureties in like sum.
Osunsanmi ordered that the sureties must be gainfully employed, with an evidence of two-year tax payment to the Lagos State Government and should reside within the court’s jurisdiction.
NAN reports that the offence violates Sections 141, 277(1) 277(b) and 411 of the Criminal laws of Lagos State 2015 (revised).
The magistrate adjourned the case until February 24 for substantive hearing.
‘Let my people go’
head of this year’s WOGEM convention, the presiding minister of Worldwide Gospel/God’s Anointed Church, Prophet Michael Olajide, has assured that every Pharaoh afflicting the lives of people will submit to the authority of Jesus Christ at the 2019 WOGEM convention.
The prophet made the declaration while acquainting journalists with the upcoming annual event of the church slated for Monday 25th – Friday 29th November, 2019 at 8am – 11am daily.
His words: “All is set for this year celebration of Worldwide Gospel also known as God Anointed Church (Miracle Centre) tagged: 2019 WOGEM Convention thanksgiving and Themed Let My people Go.
“God in his infinite mercy will deliver everyone from pharaoh in their families causing havoc when they make themselves available as a guest and they will never remain the same again.”
Spiritual poverty real cause of lack in Nigeria –Pastor Bala Abraham
The President of Apostolic Triumphant Ministries, Dr. Bala Abraham, who leads a flourishing U S based ministry, was in Nigeria for his annual evangelical and leadership programmes. He wants Nigerian to refocus their minds, understand that neither President Muhammadu Buhari nor bad economy is the actual reason Nigerians are languishing. He blames spiritual poverty for the woes of the people, in this interview with TAI ANYANWU
How were you called to the ministry?
I was doing my youth service in a town called Iseyin. We were four in a room at the time. In my room that day I was lying down and the Lord appeared to me and I could describe him. Anytime I look at that picture in my spirit, it gives me an aura of refreshment. I saw fire on his feet – a burning fire. I couldn’t behold his eyes. And the garment he was wearing was a silky garment. His hair was silky and then rush down to his back. His voice was like the voice of many waters. It was an open vision. And he said to me, I am giving you the fivefold ministry and I had never heard of that before. He said you shall teach leaders. You shall bring leaders to their position. But I didn’t understand it. I didn’t know what it was. I received it but I did not do anything about it. So I kept it until ten years after that I joined a church. All churches are not gifted the same way, there are very gifted prophetic churches; God uses them to open line of destiny. In such places you will know what God has purposed for you.
You are based in the US A, could you tell us what brought you to Nigeria?
My ministry is also here in Nigeria with branches across the globe but I based in America. I am in full time ministry, and a church planter. I often come to Nigeria annually for a program. This year we had two things, the church program which was concluded with anointing service. Second, was my mini network program called Apostolic Team International (ATI) with different churches; they are under my covering, we came together to rub minds, share dreams together and it’s purely Apostolic. It was themed ‘The Ministry of The True Anointing Prophet of God.’ I had an encounter with God and when people saw that what I preached is being practiced, they began to come in, some of them are probably maybe in the ministry before me but they believe in what the Lord has given me and the covering that God gives them.
Could you tell us a little more about (ATI)?
ATI is focused on leadership; political, religious, business leaders and whatever leadership. We rub minds together to be able to come into forgetting the past and climbing to the top to make sure we watch the footsteps of the past leaders that succeeded and whatever we can take from them and include it to our own generation to help us also to get there. And be sure that those leaders who were before us that made mistakes we don’t fall into the same mistakes they made. We are growing year by year. Right now we have over a thousand pastors and leaders of different walks of life. We all gathered, share minds together in fellowship and form a policies on how to move our followers together. This recent Apostolic Team International summit was awesome, enlightening, and undiluted teaching of the word of God from the scriptures. We had various ministers, church workers and church planters coming to learn with humility and they were all blessed.
Who are your target audience?
I grew up here in Surulere. After my college degrees, I suffered to get minor jobs, I went through a lot in life because we didn’t want to go into rubbery, we knew people who were doing it but me and my friends felt we got to something better and genuine to feed ourselves. I saw Nigeria as a place where a lot of younger ones struggle. Now, as I began to study the Bible and study God, the Lord began to reveal to that struggling is not actually because of economy which is where a lot of people base their attention saying that the economy is bad, the president is not doing well, all those ones are factors but are not the original, the source of the problem is a spiritual poverty and lack. Struggling is a curse and it is one of the causes of the law. The opposite of curse is blessing. When people began to get the truth, their environment will change because we were created by words and we were made by words, whatever you will be is in your mouth. As you begin to speak what the blessing of the Lord says, you will begin to see clarity, opportunities will begin to come. It has happened to me, that’s why am sharing It to brethren and I hope to turn the church by the power of the Holy Spirit into the church of millionaire.
So, my first targeted audience is my members, my followers. I hate seeing my members being frustrated, I cannot have a little bit of supply and my members don’t have at all. The first thing am doing is to teach my members how to get it.
What is your area of calling?
I have heard many people say, stay in your area of calling. Knowledge wise, we have three ranking of gifts. There is the gift of power, revelation and the spoken gifts. I operate more in the gift of power. That is special faith, gift of working of miracles and gift of healing. These gifts operate through my hands without struggle. It’s not something I have to pay a price for. Everything that happens in my ministry is purely the work of grace.
Who is your mentor?
I told you of Pastor Kumuyi of Deeper Life. I will never forget his ministry. I started through that in my early secondary school days. It was a long distant mentorship. I thank God for the in-depth scriptures that I was exposed to. I was also exposed to separation. You got to live a separated life. There are two kinds of anointing, the inner anointing and the outer anointing. The outer anointing is actually meant to carry out services for the Lord. The inner anointing is what keeps you going. They are the fruit of the spirit. When I grew up I attended other churches like CAC where I learnt to pray. I now had a man of God who was a spiritual father to me and that is ZOE ministries. He was a great man. I don’t discuss ministers negatively because God showed me that his sons are not perfect. I’ve learnt to choose what is meant for me and throw away the bones. It was through ZOE ministry I learnt that the spiritual realm controls the physical and I’ll never forget that revelation. But when I left and God gave me international ministry, I went to South Africa started a church, moved to London. From London to America.In America I went back to school. That’s where I got my phd in ministry. In that school, the provost was my spiritual father. He was a white man. He just passed on two years ago (is soul rest in peace); he’s a man who believes in structural ministry. He was there for me until he released me to do what I do in the Apostolic. And then I have other mentors like Peter Wagner. He too has gone to be with the Lord now. These are heavy duty ministers. I was been tele guided by great apostles. My very very great mentor is Kenneth E Hagin. He went to be with the Lord in the year 2003 and before he went to be with the Lord I received a mantle from Kenneth Hagin and Oral Robert. There were nine of them. We met in the consul of the spirit. When they passed it wasn’t new to me.
How do you manage critics?
I like giving glory to our Lord Jesus Christ who did everything in everything I do. The truth of my gospel is based on the cross. Nobody teaches the cross without love. You can’t preach cross without the love of God because that is where the love is. Jesus Christ died for us, He didn’t even know you personally, He just went to the cross and died and He said for as many that on me, we are the many that believes on him and that love touches us. Whatsoever we need to do, we should look at all the things that came against him. What touches me most was when He was on the cross, one of His seven statement on the cross was Father forgive them. He was not God on the cross, He was a human being like us. For him to endure such contradiction for us and still says Father forgive them, I want to trend towards that realm which is called Grace, without Grace you can’t do it. The Devil can attack or stop you from loving people, he can even turn them against you, keep doing it. There are people that God has used me to help, a lot of them turn against me expecially those in God’s family and i feel too hurt but as a deliverance minister, I also learnt that nothing just happened, the devil is an enemy, he wants to stop you and attacked. I managed critics by keeping quiet, not responding to any negative words. I am not meant to be where I am but God just accepted me because I cried to Him, He forgives me and accepted me the way I am, so why would I not accept people. Mercy is not hard to get but if you don’t give mercy, you won’t have it.
Spiritual fathers have abandoned the church –Bishop Chidi Anthony
The President of Pentecostal Ministers Forum (PMF) and presiding minister of Kings in Christ Ministries, Bishop Chidi Anthony, has accused older men of God in Nigeria of exhibiting uncaring attitude towards upcoming ministers. He wants younger pastors to look up to PFM for support, he tells TAI ANYANWU in this interview
How do you feel clocking 15 years in ministry?
I am very happy though it has been 15 years of ups and downs; there have been lots of challenges. But then you know that when God calls a man he also equips him. It is important that whoever receives the call of God must be careful not to lose focus. I thank God that we are here today. We have recorded successes, as you can see. In Kings in Christ, every day is a plus.
Did you envisage the kind of success you have recorded today, when you started?
Yes, I did and I am still growing. You are still going to hear more about Kings in Christ Ministries. When God calls a man, he gives the man the vision of his ministry. The man will know where he is heading to. You might not know details of the process, but you will know where you are heading. If you maintain that focus and keep faith, God he will surely take you there. God showed me how Kings in Christ will be and everyday it keeps unfolding. Next year we are going to clock 16 years and you will see more as they unfold.
Could you let us in on some of the sacrifices you made in the course of taking the ministry to the level it is today?
One devoted time and also disciplined the flesh. People ask me; what is the secret of your success in ministry? I tell them it is prayer. Prayer is the key. Prayer is communication between humanity and divinity. To communicate very well one must suffer the flesh. You suffer the flesh for the spirit to be alive. And to suffer the flesh is not just fasting and going dry some days. A lot is involved. Any place you go you are like mirror, people are watching you. I have sacrificed a lot. Brother Paul said; to eat what is sacrificed to an idol will not do anything to him but he has to deny himself because of the effect that will have on people who are following and watching him.
You once told me that you are a product of seed. Could you tell us about your humble beginning?
I came from a Catholic background because my village is predominantly Catholic. If you want to buy land for a Pentecostal church, my people will not sell to you. It’s like there is a law that forbids other denominations to come into my village. If Catholics are doing anything in my village, it is regarded as a major development; and even if you are a Pentecostal or from other denominations you must contribute to that Catholic project. When I received the call I reflected on these things. I didn’t know anything about Pentecostal worship. I didn’t see the four walls of a university neither did I pass through any theological school though I was there for six months. And God said to me ‘Get out of this place; this is not what I called you for. It is then that I realized that going to Bible school does not show that one is called. You are called from your mother’s womb. God said it to Jeremiah that before I formed you I knew you. So when I started ministry I noticed that if I utter any word it comes to pass. Things were happening for someone that came from a Catholic background. Having seen what God is using me to do every parent in my village now pray and wish their child will be a pastors. It is not that I am more educated or that I am more prayerful. But things work for me. Then I realized that my father was providing accommodation for seminarians in our house. I was a little boy then, but I knew that my father kept one room in our house to accomodate every seminarian that came to our community for apostolic work. It was then that I found out that no sacrifice is in vain. I discovered that the seed my father sowed then is what I am now reaping from. I don’t pray; I utter a word and it comes to pass. When my kinsmen are watching my television programmes, they see cripple walk and the blind see. In one of the occasions, they conspired and parceled a cripple to my church. I am from Umuala in Nkwere, Imo State; they went to Umudi, our neighboring town and picked a cripple by name Sunday to see if I was performing real miracle. They failed to know that you don’t try the servant of God whose God sits by his side. Now they brought the cripple to the church. During prophetic session I saw the cripple, though he was in the church, rather in my village, I did not talk but took anointed water and poured on his legs and he stood up and walked. Today in my village people know that I am called. They have seen it, they have proved and they know that I am called.
Could you tell us what is the motivation to go further to establish Pentecostal Ministers Forum?
I found out that these days when pastors have issues they are on their own. Many troubled pastors have come to me to seek for help. Then I said to myself; how can I affect the lives of these pastors that are coming up. And I came across in Acts of Apostles chapter 12 that when Herod arrested and killed James. The Bible says he discovered that he pleased the Jews. That is why he decided to go further to arrest Peter. But the church then said enough is enough. Herod’s sword will not also take Peter’s head. Now check media reports today, you see that people don’t tolerate even the slightest wrong-doing by pastors. Some time ago, Bishop David Oyedepo bought private jet; it was trending on social media. People said a lot of things about how there are many poor people in his church who were neglected, and the rest.
But recently Bishop Oyedepo donated N600m to award road construction contract and I did see it mentioned in the media. That alone will tell us that the world is after the church. Now in the book of Genesis chapter 11, the Bible said they children of Noah have one language, they speak one thing and do one thing; one day they said let’s build a tower so that they will not be scattered in the face of the earth. Then I said to myself the world is after the church, let me see if I can build a place where the church can come together.
Now, the mistake of sons of Noah is that they said let us make name for ourselves. That is selfish, not for God’s glory. I started Pentecostal Ministers Forum in Kings in Christ Minister on September 17, 2017. I thought it was a joke. The Pentecostal Ministers Forum has gone to over 20 states of Nigeria and we have our secretariat in Lagos. In fact, it is no longer a forum, it is now a movement. If you are not there, then you are lagging behind. It’s a place we show ourselves love. For instance armed robbers carted away all the instruments from our member’s church. She cried to my office. I shared the unfortunate incident on our Whatsapp platform. Within two hours, our members replaced complete instrument for the church. Now, there is no other association that can do this.
We started this forum so that we can help each other. Listen I know about people of the world, those that belong to cults. If any member is doing something, all the others will be there to give support. If any also has a problem, the rest will not rest until the embattled cult member is out of the hook. But in the church of God, pastors are the problem to fellow pastors; the Christians are problem to Christians. For how long will this continue? We need to correct all of that. Any problem we fail to correct will wait for our unborn children. That is why I have the burden, God gave me the vision and it is working. We try to talk to some of these young men that are into lives that are not pleasing to God. We try to talk them and teach them that there is no short cut to success. It just takes time but one will eventually get there. The difference between here and there is ‘T’ and the ‘T’ is time.
We seem to talk a lot about the problem of the church but nobody seems to talk about the solution. In your point of view what can you say is the solution?
The solution is Pentecostal Ministers Forum. That is the reason for creating it. We have CAN and PFM and I am a member of both. If you do your research you will find out the fathers have failed us. We don’t even have fathers again. This is because the fathers are no longer doing their duties. If there is an issue the fathers will proclaim wrong judgment casting the victim out of the church. That is not how a father should treat his own son. It is rare to see a father disown his son just because he did something wrong. But that is exactly what most fathers practice today, in the church.
What lesson should be learnt from the incident that happened between Pastor Fatoyinbo and Busola Dakolo?
At the wake of the incident PFM and CAN showed solidarity to the Pastor Fatoyinbo; but people frowned at it. Why is it that Busola decided to bring up allegation of a rape case that actually about 20years ago at the time she did? I expected the father would say that both the pastor and girl are his children and that he should be allowed to handle it. The government respect both CAN and PFM. So if they had said something like that I don’t think the government would have turned it down. If you did some research you will find out that most of the people that shared the information about the rape incident on social media are Christians. Now God has shown him mercy and if you watch closely those that were against him will try and reconcile with him. People don’t like to associate with failure and that’s why they turned their back on him. Failure is an orphan but success has many parents. They all taught he was going down but they fail to understand that God’s taught is different from man’s own. Let men not judge men because it is only God that has the right to do so. God will judge him when it is time.
In the next five years your ministry will be clocking 20years in Lagos what do you hope to achieve before then?
God showed me a vision that I will be announced in the year 2020 and that will be the year for evangelism. Back in those day the ministry Pastor Awuzie was trending. Everywhere you go they talk about Awuzie ministry. I taught that would be the beginning and end of ministries. But then other ministries came up. Ministries like Bethel Wonder City, Bishop Oyedepo’s ministry, Pastor Adeboye, Pastor Mouka, Christ Embassy, TB Joshua ministries also became popular. But I know 2020 will be my year.
How can you describe the contribution your wife has made to you and your ministry so far?
My wife is an angel. I have not seen anybody that can pray the way my wife does. She goes on her kneels and prays when things seem to be tough. She also gives me advice from time to time. She believes in the things of the spirit. She has much energy when it comes to praying. She is my source of strength, source of the success in my ministry today, she is also my assistant. Anytime I travelled, she never stops praying for my safe journey till I am back. In fact she is responsible for 70% of my success in my ministry.
Ikeja giving soul winners nightmare –CAN
PFN set to change spiritual vibe of Lagos
keja, the capital city of Lagos State, is not a port city; but like Corinth, the Athenian master of two harbour towns, known for high level of immorality and materialism, the city of Ikeja is making soul winning a nightmarish affair to ministers of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
With it’s high concentration of adult bars, active night life, the famous Allen Avenue girls, saturation of regular clubs and suffocating climate of materialism, the spiritual well-being of its dwellers suffer irresistible erosion.
Little wonder, the Chairman of Christian Association of Nigeria, Lagos State chapter, Apostle Alexander Bamgbola, did not mince words about the riotous life style of Ikeja residents, in his key note address read on his behalf by the Director of Research, Strategy and planning, Bishop Taiwo Ajoshe, during the kickoff of 10,000 Souls city wide crusade powered by the Ikeja Province of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, recently.
The venue was the Police College ground, Ikeja. Officials of various PFN units, notable Christian leaders, members of both CAN and PFN graced the all-too important event.
Popular gospel music minister, Pastor Faith Ajiboye, and Alagbda Ina maestro, had set the mood of the event with electrifying praise to Almighty God.
Then Bishop Ajoshe, standin, in for the ‘number one Christian’ in Lagos State underscored the importance attached to the 10,000 souls hunt as he read Apostle Bamgbola’s key note address. According to the CAN boss, the Kingdom of God and indeed the church of God in Nigeria has been going through a lot in terms of soul winning; and ‘the challenges have been great, the labourers are few, but the Lord is still faithful.”
He added: “I am particularly happy that Ikeja Province of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria is blazing the trail of bringing souls to the kingdom right from the capital city of Lagos State. Ikeja, particularly has been going through a lot of struggles in terms of winning souls for Jesus Christ. But we thank the Lord today that the project started by our Lord Jesus Christ 2000 years ago when he said when I am lifted up I will draw all men to me.”
Apostle Bamgbola further stressed that the 10,000 soul winning project by Ikeja Province of the PFN, Ikeja, ably led by the Province Chairman, Pastor Tope Ilesanmi, his Central Working Committee and Executives, was worthy of note considering the deteriorating spiritual vibe of the Centre of Excellence.
On behalf of Lagos state CAN Executive Committee, Bamgbola promised to support all churches of God in the state that is desirous of winning souls to Jesus Christ, in any way possible.
“For that is our primary assignment. I want you to know that this crusade is not a one day event. The 10,000 souls are not just souls for one day. Just like our Lord Jesus Christ started it, it is a continuous project,” he added.
Commending the conveners, Bamgbola however noted that Ikeja Province of PFN had started a project that would shake the spiritual atmosphere of not only Ikeja, but Lagos State in general.
A social commentator, Abdul Yusuf, told Sunday Telegraph that both believers and potential believers particularly in Ikeja and its immediate environs, face monumental treat in the area of their spiritual well-being saying “even people in this environment are so materialist that they can trade on anything to keep up with life on the fast lane, which he said, is prevalent in the capital city.
“People see everything as business. Ikeja has more strip clubs than any part of Lagos including Lekki. Everyone is materialistic and has little or no regard to morality,” he added.
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