Prophet Timothy Funso Akande, the presiding Pastor of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Ori Oke Baba Abiye, Ede, Osun State, in this interview with OLAIDE SOKOYA, speaks on how he feels clocking 60, issues of unity within CAC, revelations from God for Nigeria, among other issues. Excerpts:
How do you feel clocking 60?
I feel so good because I never dreamt I could be alive till today. My mum had eleven children and they were all named Timothy, but none of them survived except me. I am the eleventh Timothy who came at the eleventh month; even my mother was not sure that I would survive. I faced a lot of challenges while growing up. So, clocking 60 is like a miracle to me. I thank God for my life and how far He has brought me.
And what has life taught you at 60?
Life has taught me so many things; it has taught me that age is a mindset. Within me, I don’t feel like I am 60. Also, life has taught me that whatever you have lost while you are in the wilderness, God can still give you speed to recover all and overtake those that have gone ahead of you. I have discovered that there are three things God can do: God can rewind, God can pause and God can fast-track. So, God has fast-tracked me in all ways. Within twenty years of my ministry, even for those that have gone far beyond me, God has blessed me beyond expectation. Most times, I feel threatened when I consider how God blesses me. God has shown me three types of people: the God-send, the self-send and the satan-send. Some people are there to add value to your life, I have met with people who wanted to pull me down by all means. When things are going well, you don’t discover true friends until you face the other side of life. In my 60 years on earth, I have met with fake friends and true enemies. When you are succeeding, you experience true enemies and fake friends.
You just concluded your annual convention tagged “Great mercy.” Why did you decide on that theme?
The theme is to thank God for His mercy. God has made me to take over the mantle of my father and even given me the grace to thrive in my ministry, separate from my father’s. So many people have died and they died with their name; God pulled me up to take over from my father and the name of my father is still waxing stronger. Also, God’s mercy has sustained me till today. Ten years ago, I passed through a terrible affliction; I was poisoned and I was completely dead, but God raised me up from the grave. I had nothing when I took over from my father, but I thank God for today.
What is the story behind the name “Baba Abiye”
I am not the real Baba Abiye; it was my father that people called Baba Abiye. My father was a Muslim before he became a Christian; my father went through Islamic training. He can recite the whole Quran. He became blind 15 days to his wedding to my mother. He went from pillar to post just to find solution to his blindness until he met Christ. Before then, he had a baby who died. So when he became a Christian and started going to church, people didn’t know how to address him because it was obvious that he had no child, so people chose to call him Baba Abiku. Later, he gave birth to another child and the name was changed to “Baba Abiye.” That was how the name surfaced. My father died in 1992 and his real name is Prophet Samson Oladeji Akande. So, when I took over, people transferred the name to me. Initially, I refused because I was not the real person, but much later, I accepted since it was my father’s alias.
You are a busy cleric, a father, and a husband. How do you combine all these?
It is by the grace of God. I put every department in its place; when I’m at home, I’m a father to my children and a husband to my wife. When outside, I’m a cleric and a revivalist. In the office, I am an administrator; when I am on the pulpit, I am an evangelist and a teacher.
In what way has this prayer mountain impacted positively on Ede community?
Last year, I was given an award by the Ede Descendant Union. When my citation was read, they said they were grateful unto God for giving them somebody like Funso Akande because when Ede community is mentioned twenty times on radio, it is mentioned about fifteen times because of this mountain.
CAC has been embroiled in leadership crisis for a long time now. What do you think the problem is?
There is no organisation that does not witness crises. Even in heaven, there was crisis; that is why satan was sent down to earth from heaven. The crisis started around 1990 or so but all I know is that everything is getting better. In the past, when you belonged to one faction, you could not relate with the other faction but now, I think everything is changing. For example, on this mountain, there is no discrimination. All denominations come here for prayer.
What is your take on the current economic situation?
It will soon be over.
What do you think government has not put in place to make things right with the country?
The fear of God; they have not put the fear of God in their heart. The Bible says the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. The people in government have good intention but the problem of Nigeria is beyond good intention and mental calculation. It is absolute divine intervention we need and it can come any time and in any form.
What did God reveal to you concerning Nigeria at your just-concluded convention?
There are some secrets God will share with His prophets and He will tell you for your ears only.