PASTOR Bayode Olubo is the General Overseer of House of Favour Church, Egbeda, Lagos. He is a philanthropist and great minister of the gospel. He spoke with ENCOMIUM Weekly about his call to full time ministry, his humanitarian gestures, the state of the nation, including Doyin Okupe’s comparison of Jonathan to Jesus Christ.
How did your journey into the ministry begin?
I was born and raised in a Christ Apostolic Church and at my birth in the church hospital, the woman who took my delivery told my mother that, “He is a prophet of nations.” I could also remember that people avoided me when I was angry because whatever I said at that moment came to pass, even till date. I also see vision. I know right from time that I would have my own ministry, but I never loved it because it’s stressful. Initially, I never loved God because it has cut me out of fun and so many other things. Some would say, “I was called by God from the womb,” but for me, my mother was told right from my birth. About 12 to 13 years ago, I began to lose money and my conviction of setting up my own ministry became clearer to me. By May 14, 2004, I had attended three Bible Colleges and the call to serve God started from there. The beginning was rough because I started the church in my living room before I got a building. After a year, the owner of the building sent us packing without allowing us move a pin from the church. So, I had to move the church back to my house. It was hectic. Any pastor that says it has been fun for him is lying.
What has been the challenges?
It is not easy setting up a church. Before this building, I had to sell four of my cars and also four plots of land because everybody walked away after the former building was taken away from me. From 300 worshippers to 30. It has been hectic and challenging but I thank God all the same because He has been able to use me to minister to a lot of people.
You are popular because of your humanitarian gestures, what inspired it?
Right from my primary school days, I have always had the spirit of giving. Back then, I wear one uniform per day and anytime I see any of my classmate or friends who has a torn uniform, I go back home, neatly remove the badge of one of my uniforms so when I wear it, my mom would scream and get me a new one. So, I go back to the room, change my uniform and take the other uniform to my friend in school. I love giving because I cannot fast the way most pastors lie that they do because only few pastors say the truth these days. It is easier for me to give than to fast. What also influenced my giving was when I came to Lagos many years back, I used to hawk on Allen Avenue, Ikeja, Lagos, because I searched for a job but no one was ready to employ me. The act of giving is a part of me, in fact, I am looking forward to starting an NGO where I would take care of the widows and make sure they do not lack anything in terms of food, clothing, toiletries and many more.
Can you shed light on some of your humanitarian projects?
About four years ago, I gave out over 500 crash helmets to okada riders and I hosted all the road safety unit commanders in Lagos State. I have sold my Space bus to send children to school without the knowledge of my wife, I have given out bundles of Ankara to aged people. I have visited the motherless homes with bags of rice, toiletries, about 40 cartons of noodles, beverages and much more. My target for next year is not to give out bags of rice but also to add at least one litre of vegetable oil.
How old is the ministry and what has kept it going?
The ministry is nine now and God has been on my side not my holiness. Although, I have more crowd outside the church than those that worship on Sundays. In July 2005, God asked me, “Why are you worried about the church?” But I did not answer. He further asked, “Is it because of the food you want to eat or the clothes you want to wear?” Despite the fact that I make little from the church, hope has kept me going and on several occasions I have said I would stop because the work of God can be so frustrating at times. The people you pray for, fast and give, they still accuse you. Hope is the only currency that does not fail but money will fail. Often, I encourage myself a lot.
How and when did you experience your breakthrough in the ministry?
Sincerely, I am yet to experience that but I know God has favoured me in so many ways. My breakthrough will come the day I can pay the fees of 1,000 students in secondary school, primary school and university level successfully and also to either employ them that the salary will beat that of Chevron and Shell. Then I would have my breakthrough, not by buying cars, houses or popularity. All the same, I am having fun in Christ because when I became a minister, I told myself I am going to be me, not pretend to be someone else.
“Men of God are like sheep before the shepherd,” that is a sheep is like the follower while a shepherd is like leader. Which means the shepherd was once a sheep so he has been able to go through what a sheep has experienced and that is what he uses to care for the sheep.
Your organize three programmes in a year. First is Fruit of the womb, Breaking curses on the first born and Favour beyond measure. What informed these programmes?
I ask God a lot of question, so He always tells me what to do. In March, I organized a programme called, Fruit of the womb, because I hate to see women who are sad because they do not have children. So, one day, I saw a woman crying about how her husband’s family threatened to send her packing because she does not have a child. I did not know when I joined her in tears. Since then, I told God to bless me with the gift of being able to bless any woman with the issue of child birth. My second programme takes place every November. I have never loved God and I keep wondering why.
To what extent has the programmes influenced the church or your ministry?
For now, I am yet to see its positive impact. The programmes has helped me strengthen my faith as a prophet which I am happy about but for the church, it is a gradual process and I believe it is going to have an impact on the church very soon. God has built the church and I am not desperate for it to grow very soon. Rather, I will wait for the ‘will’ of God to be done.
The expectations on men of God are too high. How do you cope?
I am living my life the way I want it not trying to influence anybody as a leader. If you live your life according to other people’s expectations most people will ‘fail.’ I would say nobody should look up to me but unto Jesus.
The Kingdom of God is crying for truth sayers, how are you recruiting your own people?
I am one of the truth sayers and people do not like me with the truth. When they come to me and I tell them the truth about themselves and how they should live their lives, they ‘run away’ because that is not what they want to hear. I do not care and they turn their back at me. That would not stop me from saying the truth. I believe every matured man or woman has a mind of his or her own. So, it is going to be the work of the Holy Spirit to put in them the fear of God because I cannot do it alone. I can only preach the gospel.
People believe you are Tokunbo Wahab’s spiritual father. How do you feel that your spiritual son did not win the gubernatorial ticket?
Everything is time. On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, I sent Tokunbo a text while I was in the U.S that “there is going to be a great manipulation and that he should not step out of his house.” It was not my saying but it was what God asked me to tell him on that day, the warning might be for one reason or another not because he was going to win or lose the ticket. I am not a politician but I would proudly say Tokunbo Wahab is one of the people that I believe God can use to rescue this nation because he is genuine, trustworthy, enterprising, dynamic, disciplined and has the fear of God. I have known him for 11 years and I know what he can or cannot do. If given an opportunity, he would make a great impact in this country and there would be employment for the youths. So, I believe it is not his time and was not ready to bow down to any political pressure, so they picked the one that can dance to their tune.
Being a man of God, what is your take on Doyin Okupe’s statement that ‘President Jonathan is like Jesus Christ?’
Every matured man is subject to his own personal opinion but having to compare a man to Jesus Christ, I won’t say he has belittled the status of Jesus Christ. He is only prophesying the ‘doom’ of Jonathan that he would soon leave the post. Jesus Christ managed us for three and a half years but Jonathan has spent how many years and there is nothing to show for it. So, I do not believe in that.
– DOLAPO AMODENI