IN recent times, Apostle Tom Samson has not been around, this is why most of his on-air programmes were put on hold. But on Friday, August 20, 2010, he breezed into the country after completing his tour of Europe. ENCOMIUM Weekly on Thursday, August 26, 2010, visited him at Christ Royal Church, Egbeda, Lagos and he opened up on details of his tour abroad and his N2.7 billion Royal City Camp, N100m College of Education project and more.
You just came back from a missionary work overseas, how was it?
It was splendid. I came back last week. For sometime now, I go overseas every month for missionary work. I go to London, Dublin, Atlanta and other places. They don’t allow me to rest. The international assignment is too great and overwhelming. I sincerely thank God for the open doors.
What are the challenges based on the fact that Nigerians are now placed on security watch over corruption?
It is so bad but thank God for His favour. At times, when they search me and confirm that I am indeed a minister of God, they apologize. I don’t blame them because its Nigerians who caused it. But I have found favour in God’s sight. When they attend my services and witness the moves of God, the breakthroughs, miracles and testimonies, they get convinced and appreciate God in my life.
Is that why you have not been available in recent times?
Yes, God has taken me to international level and I have huge responsibilities and tight schedules. They don’t want to let me go. For instance, next week I am going back to London. Since I came back, its been ministration at other churches. However, I thank God for giving me ministers who are capable of handling the ministry.
You started with the popular Reigning in Life programme…
(Cuts in) I could remember years back when God spoke to me, He said He did not call me to sit in the church as a pastor. Rather, I should engage in outreaches to set people free from captivity, I obeyed and booked Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Lagos for the first conference. The attendance was overwhelming, there were unusual breakthroughs, deliverances and miracles. Witches confesses and vomited their powers. I later moved it to Abuja and the result was wonderful, that led to the establishment of the Abuja branch. Afterwards, we moved to Port Harcourt, I thank God that it has now gone international.
It is interesting to know that you started this ministry way back in school as a fellowship, do you know it would grow this big?
Funny enough, it all began as a fellowship in 1986 while I was in 100 level in the then Bendel State University, Ekpoma, Edo State. That’s where Pastor Chris Oyakhilome came from. It later transformed into a church in December 1991. It began in a rented apartment with five members but thank God the success has been tremendous. I never knew it would be this successful. But His grace is heavy upon my life. We have several projects scattered over the nation, we have about three primary schools, three secondary schools and now a College of Education.
All these projects must have cost you quite a fortune, where did you get the funds?
Government needs to learn from us, the big one, Royal City sits atop over 100 acres of land. It houses one of the best hospitals in the country. Over 100 chalets have been built, vocational training centres, schools, etc., have been completed. So far, it has gulped over N2.7bn. I am working on the stadium and the cathedral which when finished will accommodate over 60,000 people. And I have never borrowed a single dime nor owed anybody any money. Where then do the funds come from? I could remember that in the 90s, my wife told me she had a revelation that I built a camp at Ota, Ogun State. I had never been to that side, I mocked her. I later went overseas for a ministration and the man of God gave a prophecy that God wants to build a city through me in Nigeria. Finally, I went to Ghana and a prophet told me categorically that God wants to build a city through me. I went to God in prayers and He told me to meet my neighbour, whose house is opposite mine. I told him I need land and he said he has 400 acres of land with the C of O. That’s how it all began. The funds were from people that God used to bless me through Reigning in Life Conference. When I started, most of the people who came were job seekers and those with problems. All of them have become captains of industries, oil business magnates, tycoons, some have become bank managers and directors. They have been instrumental to the success of Royal City.
What are the challenges of this lofty project?
It is a huge project, when God spoke to me, He mandated me to establish a city that will have a cathedral, camp ground for prayers and revival, chalets, hospitals, vocational training centres, university, publishing outfit, media centre, etc. It is capital intensive. The other challenge is labour, I have had to change managers several times because of their disloyalty and theft.
It is also interesting to know that you have a Tom Samson Foundation that caters for…
The rate of crime, prostitution and destitution in Nigeria has sky-rocketed over the years. This calls for an urgent solution. This gave birth to the foundation. Most of the children in our schools are on scholarship. I pay their bills, from time to time, we give out clothings, food stuffs and various household items to individuals and orphanages across the country. I also spread my tentacles to wedding ceremonies as well. I have sponsored countless couples’ wedding ceremonies. We realized that funds could be a major challenge to saying, ‘I do’. So we do our best to encourage them.
How do you cope?
Thank God for His grace. It has pushed me to be more prayerful because bills have to be paid. But the joy is when you see the impact on them. There was a day one of my security guards told me that he was grateful for affecting his life positively. He said before he met me, he could not pay his rent and his children’s school fees. But since I employed him, things have changed. He now pays his rent and children’s school fees. I stood still for a while and recollected that employment is also a way of impacting lives.
Behind every successful man is a woman, what’s been sustaining your marriage?
Thank God I married my own wife, she is resourceful, gracious and wonderful. I don’t know where she got her strength from. She presides over the ministry whenever I am not around. She preaches in two services every Sunday, all the pastors report to her and she manages the school too. She is a good manager and a gracious clergy. Whenever she preaches, there are manifestations. God’s love and understanding has kept us strong.
What are the pitfalls young pastors should watch out for?
First, success. They should learn to manage it. Secondly, temptation from the opposite sex and thirdly, pride. Most young preachers now, once they get a little success or just acquired a car, they become arrogant even to their members. For instance, the things I did ten years ago are still the same things I do today. You don’t change your winning attitude, I don’t give my phones to my PAs, I pick my calls myself. As a shepherd, I call my church members daily to ask after their welfare.
There will soon be a paradigm shift in power, as a spiritual leader, what’s…
(Cuts in) We all know what obtains in overseas. Our leaders do not have the masses at heart, they are not passionate. They take our resources overseas which they ought to invest here. People like us travel overseas, all that I get I bring it home for investment, creating employment for the masses, if you don’t have the people at heart, you have no right to contest.
- THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN ENCOMIUM WEEKLY ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2010