90 per cent of pastors in Nigeria did not receive any call —Olawoye

You recently held a programme that brought together representatives of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria and Christian Association of Nigeria. What was the motive and did you actually achieve your aim?

The event is an annual one that God put in my hand, an evangelical ministry since I retired as the General Overseer of the Faith Bible Church. This is not the first time I would be bringing the two associations and all the churches around my locality together. This year, God asked me to focus this year’s conference on praising the king of kings. This new assignment came when I stepped down from the leadership of the church at the age of 70 in 2013. We held a healing conference last year, but we deemed it fit to return all praises to God instead of asking continually. My vision is to unite all the pastors in my environs. We have been working on this in the past 25 years. We involve all clerics whenever we have big events. We already have about 150 members of choir from different churches. It is only when we are one that we can fight and defeat the enemy and we become blessed when we are together.

How has it been since you retired in 2013?

I am still active in the work of God, but not administering the church. It is not easy to give up power. I want to thank God for our church, because our succession has been very smooth. The person that took over from me has been someone I nurtured. He is rooted in the church’s system and our doctrine. I am happy seeing the church growing in leaps and bounds. It has been great since I stepped down from the leadership of the church. Aside all these, I have concentrated more on my evangelistic ministry.

 

Despite efforts by the church, immoralities in the church are still on the increase. What is the way out?

The major thing is that Christians, especially clerics, must be sold out to Christ. The level of discipline one can have in the ministry depends on how deep you are in Christ. There are times of frustrations in the ministry and those who are not strong may fall into temptation. Also, there are daughters of Jezebel in the church that are always ready to tempt pastor and if such pastor is not strong, he will fall. All we need to do is to always pray for clerics.

 

The proliferation of churches seems to be a cause for concern. What can the religious body do to address this?

I can say this without fear of contradiction that 90 per cent of Nigerian pastors are not called. They get into the ministry maybe by chance or they find themselves in a Christian fellowship or as a worker in the church. Many of these people venture into the ministry because of idleness or overzealousness, and eventually when they get into the mainstream of the ministry, in an attempt to become leaders, they will not want to serve anyone. So, they go and start a church and because they are not under any control, they do what they like. I pray that a time will come when starting a ministry in Nigeria will be regulated. You cannot just plant a church in the United Kingdom or United States, one must undergo a process, but the reverse is the case here. You allow God to call you and when He calls you, you will definitely know that this is God’s calling. For me, I was not expecting the call at all and I rejected it. I have a PhD and I was a senior lecturer, a sub-dean and a member of the Senate of the University of Ibadan. I started my consultancy firm when I left the institution. I was doing well when God called. I was already into business for three years when God called me. I protested, because I never dreamt of becoming a pastor in my life. I was worried about my business and the money I was making. God dealt with me because I was stubborn about the call. I lost so many things. I really came down before I could realise that it was a battle I could not win.

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