Pastor Zacchaeus Adebayo is the General Overseer of Redemption Benefits Church, popularly referred to as Jesus Clinic. A Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, he speaks with RITA OKONOBOH on his experience in the ministry and God’s plans for Nigeria. Excerpts:
Journey into the ministry
God called me in January 1995. The ministry God called me into is that of healing, deliverance and miracle. I hear from God. This may be difficult for people to believe but God summons me from time to time with messages to pass across. In August 2008, I was also summoned to heaven and there it was announced that my next level was to be a General Overseer. And so, the church began on 30th November, 2008. So, the ministry started 21 years ago, while the church began 8 years ago. The ministry caters to people of all denominations. I was ordained a pastor at the Foursquare Gospel Church in 1995.
How would you describe the experience having been in active ministry for 21 years?
I thank God for my experience because it is an unusual one. As the ministry began, so did my work as a pastor. God called me in a special way. The call made me outstanding from the beginning. People come from various churches for healing and deliverance. The experience has been unique in the sense that I receive from God and give to people. Even General Overseers come for prayers. I have enjoyed the ministry. It has been easy to combine my calling with the secular job because God does the healing, deliverance and the miracles.
There are so many examples. There was one of a woman who had bad eyesight and her brain had to be operated upon. The ministry was contacted and we were praying for her over the phone. She died and while we were praying, she came back to life. Even the surgeons were amazed at the experience. This is a family that had issues with having children, but after we prayed for them, God blessed them with three children. There was also the testimony of a man who was lame. He was so poor he couldn’t afford a wheelchair. He dragged himself on the floor to the church after alighting from the vehicle that brought him to church. Gradually, as we kept praying for him, over time, he could stand if he held something. Afterwards, he could walk without aid. There have also been testimonies of people who have been raised from the dead. There is the testimony of my wife, who was proclaimed dead in 1995 during childbirth at Jericho Nursing Home. I even saw her lifeless body. However, after we prayed, she came back to life. For 21 years, we have never wept over anybody. Even the two members of my church who were kidnapped were not harmed. The message is to tell people that hope should not be lost because God is ready to help. The important thing is to reach out for divine intervention.
How did you pick the theme for this year’s anniversary?
God gave me that theme because He wants to fight the enemies of His people. Enemies are not persons only. Problems and challenges are also enemies. God wants to bless the people in a special way. It is the wish of God for what we have enjoyed at Jesus Clinic over the past 21 years to spread. We want people to benefit from God’s anointing.
How would you compare Christianity when you came into the ministry and now?
This is the end time, a time we are closer to the coming of the owner of the church. I would advise genuine clerics and churches not to be discouraged by those who are not in good standing, even if they seem to be enjoying more popularity. I’m not saying having crowd is bad but it should not be at all costs. The foundation of the church is Christ. Ministry is highly rewarding if we wait for God. I would advise churches to go back to the Bible. There is also the issue of association of churches. I’m not referring to the Christian Association of Nigeria and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria which are formal associations. More informal associations are coming up, that is, a group of churches who come together and copy each other. Rather than that, we should copy the Bible.
You have said that God speaks to you on a regular basis. Has God told you anything about Nigeria lately?
Nigeria will still be okay. It is the prayers of a few people like us that have kept Nigeria till now. There are times God tells me that a big crisis is coming and I reach out to the clerics I can and we pray against such crisis. Prayer works. It is God who put President Muhammadu Buhari there and unless God uses him for what He wants to use him for, nobody else can take over. This period of hardship has its benefits. We have over-relied on oil. And when you rely on what is not God, it has its lessons. Now we are shifting back to agriculture. God needs Buhari there. Nigeria needs the fight against corruption. Nigeria is God’s own country because there are genuine clerics here.