Prophet Taiwo Olaoluwa Ogunleye, popularly referred to as Omo Ajinde, is the pastor-in-charge of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Oke Orisun Iye, Oke Orogun, Ibadan, Oyo State. He speaks with Rita Okonoboh on his experience as a pastor, his recommendations for developing Nigeria and what the CAC must do to unite.
How did your journey into the ministry begin?
My calling was by divine arrangement. According to what my mother told me before she passed on, she used to visit the church for prayers and she made a vow to God that if He gave her a male child, she would dedicate him to the ministry. She already had girls but she wanted a male child. After 30 years, I went back to the church and I saw the prophet and he confirmed the calling and that was how I renewed the covenant with God. I also visited some other prophets. During this time, God usually spoke to me, telling me that my place was in the ministry but I didn’t want to be a pastor because of the challenges and suffering my father faced as a pastor. Although I was involved in ministerial work right from my university days, when I graduated, I tried to get a job for almost seven years, visited mountains for prayers to get a lucrative job but to no avail. After such a long time, and many years of evading the call, God told me that if I refused to heed the call, I would die. So, I decided to accept the call in 1999. Then, I didn’t know where to go. Then, Apostle Joseph Babalola visited me four times in visions to join the CAC in ministry for revival. I was ordained as a pastor of the CAC in 2012. However, my calling is as a prophet.
What challenges did your father face as a pastor that discouraged you from joining the ministry?
I didn’t want to suffer. In fact, sometimes, I had to beg for money to go to school. What I then resolved to do was that I would make money, then come back to the ministry. However, those seven years I spent looking for a job were seven years of suffering.
Who are some of your mentors in the ministry?
Prophet Obadare (of blessed memory), Prophet Michael Olowere, Prophet Gabriel Oyelami, Elder Segun Adegbenro, among others.
What has been the greatest challenge you have faced as a minister?
There have been so many challenges. When you’re known for always speaking the truth, you’ll face many tribulations. However, I will continue to speak the truth. I have encountered hired assassins, accidents and even spiritual attacks. A lot of things have happened to me. Even some fellow ministers of God don’t want to hear the truth. However, one of the greatest challenges I experienced as a pastor was at a church planting programme I was invited for. As the pastor in charge got up to lead the opening hymn, he fell down. It was shocking. I carried him and prayed so hard but nothing could bring him back. That was how he died. That experience was a very bitter one for me. It was supposed to be a time of celebration but it became one of mourning. Earlier that day, between 1:00 a.m. and 2:00a.m., I heard a voice calling me, but because of the environment, I panicked and didn’t listen to what the voice wanted to tell me. I wept bitterly that day and even questioned God. I travelled with the corpse down to Oyo and later took it to Adeoyo. His family members, who were traditionalists, did what the Yorubas call, Oku riro, and I was under much spiritual attack. This was sometime in 2012 and the incident took place in Kwara State. I couldn’t stay at home because of attacks. Even the ministry suffered and at a point, I stopped my popular programme on radio. However, God told me to continue. After a while, I got a message from the traditionalists that they had actually cast a spell on me to kill me within days and they realised that I had to be a real pastor for such spells not to have effect on me. I just thank God for everything. I had another experience in which I was involved in a ghastly motor accident, but God saved me. There has also been the challenge of betrayal from people I trained.
What is your greatest testimony?
That would be that I did not depart from the covenant I made with God and have not derailed from my calling, in spite of so many challenges.
Your yearly crusade is in its tenth year now. Why did you start?
God directed me to do it. The ministry God gave me was on resurrection prayer ministry. I used to wonder about being a pastor and bearing the name Ogunleye. Then, I prayed to God about it, and He said, though that was my father’s name, and my mother named me Taiwo, He would give me the name, Omo Ajinde. And that was how I came about the name, and in fact, it’s a biblical name.
What has God told you about Nigeria?
Nigerians must come back to God. There has been so much bloodshed in the land and God is not happy. There have also been insinuations about plans to Islamise the country but that will not be possible. At that time, God raised Apostle Babalola, born in 1904, for ministry and Chief Obafemi Awolowo, born in 1909, for political restoration. However, when FESTAC 1977 was celebrated, we departed from the Lord and worshipped idols. As such, God wants us to come back to Him in repentance.
What is your take on the current CAC crisis?
According to the message from God, CAC would become one very soon. However, I would tell our leaders to make way for peace. The current problems are a result of the quest for titles. Interestingly, Apostle Babalola didn’t have time for such titles. In fact, he was named apostle after his death. Even the crisis has caused confusion in the doctrines of the CAC. For instance, it is against the practice of the CAC to use talking drums in church but that has changed now as we now have such practice in some CAC churches. There are also CAC churches where women worship without covering their heads and some even wear trousers to church. That is against the CAC teaching. It is also against the CAC teaching to have a general overseer. Jesus is the General Overseer. We need to go back to the original calling.
These days, unlike what obtained in the past, we hear of pastors involved in all sorts of negative things. What do you think is wrong?
They are not called by God. We have three types of pastors: those genuinely called by God; those who see it as a money-making venture, who called themselves, and then we have those who people just perceive that they would make good pastors and are called by others. If your calling is genuine, you will not go astray. Even when you face challenges, God will come to your rescue.
How would advise on the state of the economy?
Before, they would gather prophets to pray for the country. So, I would advise government to reach out to genuine clerics – they don’t necessarily have to be popular – and ask them to pray for the country. Government should also not be anti-gospel. They should support the work of the ministry through involvement in serious prayers for the country.
Would you want your child to be a pastor too?
If called by God, why not? However, there won’t be inherited calling, such that because I’m a pastor, my child must inherit the ministry. The child must have God’s calling.