Apostle David Tunji Tokede is the presiding pastor of Churchill City Chapel International. In this interview by OLAIDE SOKOYA, he speaks on his growing up and how he got born-again at a tender age.
What was growing up like?
My dad was a primary school teacher and my mum was a petty trader. They gave me quality education. In the course of that, I came in contact with the Lord Jesus Christ at the age of 13. I gave my life to Jesus at the Deeper Life Bible Church. I can say I had very good upbringing, morally and spiritually.
You gave your life to Christ at a very tender age. What are some challenges you have faced in the course of being in the ministry?
I can only say I couldn’t join my peers as a teenager. I grew up to find out that such lifestyle embraced all kinds of immoralities. However, even at such age, I had to bear the cross. I concentrated on studying the word of God and this distanced me from my peers who embraced such lifestyle and I was constantly the subject of ridicule. However, I was able to discipline myself in spite of the persecution.
How exactly did you receive your calling?
I received my calling directly from the Lord Jesus Christ as the same time I gave my life to Jesus. I didn’t know who Jesus was then, but when a cleric, Pastor Kunle, was preaching and talking about heaven and the return of the Lord Jesus Christ, I answered the altar call because I wanted to be raptured. After that, the same night I surrendered my life to the Lord Jesus Christ, I had this dream in which I saw the Lord introduce Himself to me as His new friend. He said: ‘I am the Lord Jesus Christ,’ and he showed me the cross to which He was nailed. He also told me that his blood had cleansed me from all my sins. He said I would preach the gospel and that I would work for him. That experience kept recurring in my memory, until the manifestation of the prophecy and I became a servant of the Lord. The Lord has been so faithful in his standing by me.
How would you compare Christianity when you were growing up with what obtains in present times?
Well, we first believed it was sincerity; it was so sincere with the gospel and with the Lord and we were eager to obey the word of God to the letter. We kept ourselves from worldly things. However, in this time, things are different. The whole thing has been adulterated. The present gospel was not the gospel we received those days. People easily compromise now and are not so zealous and dedicated to the things of the Lord. People find things for themselves and not the things of the kingdom. When we first believed, we expected rapture to take place any day, and so, we confessed our sins and asked God for forgiveness every day. We also kept ourselves away from sins. But today, believers are not even afraid of the second coming of the Lord even when we preach and remind them of the coming. It is as if it will never happen and that is what the world is now.
And what do you think caused that?
It is just the word of God that is being fulfilled and even I wouldn’t say the word of God per se. The devil knows judgment is at hand because judgment has been reserved till the end. So, the devil himself does not want to go to hell alone. He wants to drag as many humans to hell as possible.
What is your take on Nigeria’s present economic situation?
I believe the change that the present government is advocating will take time. From the onset, the government has been trying to make change and I will say people don’t respond positively to change anywhere. They prefer to stick to their old ways. However, if this government had not introduced change into this economy, Nigeria would have ceased to exist. This government is just trying to save the country from collapsing. In a short time, there will be dramatic turnaround.
My advice to the government is that they should try to understand much of what the masses are going through because those who are at the top may not be able to access the masses properly and effectively. There must be a forum whereby the government would have the opportunity to listen to the masses because the people put them there. The people should be their primary objective. Government should also introduce workable policies that will tackle hunger and joblessness. If the government wants to be sincere and appreciate the masses, they should work on those two things.
You are running seven Wednesdays on the prayer mountain of solution tagged “Financial Flames Wednesday.” What prompted the theme of the programme?
The Lord told me that this period of economic recession, He wants to intervene in the situation of his people, especially the children of God. Nigeria is going to experience divine visitation that will turn around and ease the financial tension of His people. That is why the Lord gave me that message, “the financial flame.” There will be a revolution in the financial status of the people of God, beginning from the church, and it will affect the whole nation.
What has been your greatest testimony in the ministry?
I thank God; He has been so faithful since I have been in the ministry for 15 years. The Lord has been confirming His word by signs and wonders with the power of the Holy Ghost in action. God has delivered so many people; performed different wonders and we also have many parishes in and outside Nigeria within the pace of that period. The Lord actually confirmed to me that He, indeed, called me.