Godwin Solomon is the General Overseer of the popular minister, Grace Prevailing Church. On Tuesday, November 25, 2014, he celebrated his 47th birthday and ENCOMIUM Weekly had an exclusive chat with him about his success and challenges…
How do you feel celebrating your birthday today?
I feel younger.
Tolerance, endurance, patience and above all, hope for tomorrow.
What are the secrets of your success?
The enablement to weather the storm, believing that I will have a better end by the grace of God.
What are the secrets of your ministry?
It’s simply God.
Apart from God, what else?
It’s people, people, people (laughs).
What stands your ministry out?
It’s just the grace and enablement of God that has taken us through what we never believed we could go through.
Who are the men of God you look up to?
Number one, you have to look at those who are ahead of you, those you have served and those that have been of good example. I have served in Foursquare Gospel Church. I have served Kumuyi of Deeper Life, and when you look up to such people, as long as they are still relevant in the ministry, you will be relevant in the ministry as well. We may not follow the same pattern but we are going to the same destination.
Officially, when did you start your ministry?
I believe ministry work has no official commencement date except it’s a company. Probably, you are talking about the day of inauguration. Actually, we started as a fellowship which was about a year and a half before the day of inauguration. That was in September 1999.
You said you served Obadare?
Why did you leave them?
God asked me to leave them. The only thing constant in life is change. The change is ordered by God and even when you resist, you just find yourself changing. If you are prophetic, you will soon leave where you are now because you want to go to a better place. And if I didn’t do that, I won’t have affected other people’s life.
When you told Obadare and Kumuyi that you were leaving, how did they feel?
Actually, I wasn’t working with Obadare. As a member of the church, but anytime he had an outreach (that was in the 80s), I was part of the train, not actually the church. It was Foursquare, I was part of and Deeper Life. But I never gave my life to God in those places, I gave my life in Assemblies of God Church on April 17, 1980.
What is your relationship with them?
Sometimes, you may have spiritual relationship but not physical contact. Don’t forget I served them, I am not their friend, they are fathers. When you serve your fathers, all you need to do is to live by what you have learnt from them.
Are you a member of Christian Association of Nigeria?
All churches are members by compulsion. Except you are dismissed. It’s just like asking if your magazine is part of Newspapers Association of Nigeria. If you say no, then it means your paper is illegal.
Are you happy with the way it’s being run by the present officers?
You can’t be sad about what you are not directly in charge. And you can also not be comfortable with what you are not directly in control. You can only take what you see until you are privileged to be one of the administrators. So far, you give God the glory for what you have seen.
People are not happy that CAN is involved in politics?
Let me be frank with you, when Paul appeared to Abieba, he was already a politician but he was not living his calling. So, I see CAN as a voice for Christians. They are representing us in government, making statements in our interest. Don’t forget that CAN is an umbrella for Christians not just pastors. We have Christians who are senators, governors who are Christians, etc. In CAN, you have spiritual leaders, administrative leaders and political leaders. For me, I am in the spiritual leadership of CAN. And I am comfortable with it. I am not aspiring to be a senator or honourable member of House of Representatives, I leave that for my children.
Towards the end of every year, we see a lot of prophet’s predicting what would happen the following year, what is your take on that?
I am not a seer, and I don’t predict but I tell you by the word of knowledge what God says will happen will happen.
What was your growing up like?
Sometimes you forget how you grew up (laughs). I was born before the war. During the war, I was few years old when I almost drowned. Eventually, they rescued me from the river, that is what I was told. We had to escape from the war, I was unconscious, I was taken to a Pentecostal church. We stayed there for long, and eventually I was revived. A few years after, I almost drowned again. I don’t want to get drowned again. Growing up was interesting until I lost my father in 1980. Things became very tough for me. I never saw my father’s personal effects, so many things I never saw. I had to fight in court and I won the case few years ago. That changed my mind-set. I believe that if God can’t make you, you can’t be made anymore. I am the only son and we are just two. I have never had a privileged life. I planned my life but it turned rough. My plan was as soon as I leave my aunt’s enclave, I would live very well. I was ready for it. Before I could be delivered, God really touched me. I regretted that God touched me on time because I wanted to kill everybody that never wanted my progress.
You said your wife met you a virgin, how was it on your first night?
Very bad, very naïve. I felt stupid. I felt senseless because I had boasted very loud. I never knew the practical aspect of conjugal duties. So, I looked foolish.
What is your educational background?
I went to primary school, I did not go to nursery school. Then I went to secondary school and university.
Which university was that?
Abuja and Lagos.
What did you study?
Economics, Political Science, International Relations. I am also an educationist and I did diploma in Psychology and Physiology to degree level.
How old are you?
I was born on November 25, 1967. I am 47.
Let’s meet your family?
They are hale and hearty.
How many kids?
Six. Five boys and a girl.
How many of them are following your footsteps?
I don’t know. They can say they are following my footstep and that may not be true. The point is that they are free to follow whatever they want to achieve. The best I can do is to guide them but I can never doctor them to be like me.
What is your take on men of God buying private jet and living flamboyant lifestyles?
If you buy private jet for me, I will take it. I will sell it and do something better with the money. For those who have a lot of reach and they are always busy, what will you do, you don’t reject a gift, if the gift can be able to make your work easy. That is my own view. Flaunting wealth when you are not creating wealth for others will not solve any problem.