APOSTOLIC minister of the gospel and General Overseer of Christ the Living Spring Apostolic Ministry (CLAM), Pastor Wole Oladiyun celebrated 50 weeks back. He spoke with ENCOMIUM Weekly on life as a minister and much more.
How do you feel at 50?
I give thanks unto the Lord for bringing me this far. It’s great to be 50 because I never expected that I will be this old but it has pleased God to bring me to 50. I really thank God because it has been by His grace.
So, what will you say God hasn’t done for you at this golden age?
I will be an ingrate to say God has not done anything for me. God has been over generous to me.
Life must have taught you some lessons, which one will you say you learnt most from?
The greatest lesson life has taught me is to love God, help humanity and give thanks to God. No man amounts to anything except by God’s grace.
Moving into the ministry, how did the journey start?
The journey was not straight. I knew by covenant that I’m destined to work for God. I was a practicing civil engineer, I was selling chemicals, spare parts, cars, woods. I was into pharmacy when God disengaged me. I didn’t give all that up immediately. For three years, I was battling with God but at the end of it, God won. I started the ministry on April 2, 1998. It was really tough moving from business into ministry of the gospel. It was a terrible transition but His grace made me cope.
How will you describe your experience?
It is with mixed feeling. Naturally, on the mundane level, it’s a tough one but because God is helping me. He made it pleasurable. Leadership is tough.
People believe you must advertise and there must be miracles to attract a large followership, what’s your reaction?
I want to comment on my own revelation from God, everyone has his own. But I believe I have to advertise Jesus and what He can do. Sharing the love of Jesus is what makes people come and see what God is doing in our ministry. Other things, I was told not to do by Him. God gave me the ministry based on John chapter 4, just like the woman by the well of Samaria who went out to tell people that she had seen Jesus, the Lord told me that’s the way people will tell others about Jesus in CLAM. That is my own spiritual advertisement and it’s working till tomorrow to the glory of God. So, I present the love of Jesus to the people.
Who is your spiritual godfather?
I have spiritual mentors. Concerning faith, my father in the Lord, Rev. (Dr.) Kayode Aboderin of Faith Family Bible Church and Bishop David Oyedepo. For prayers, I have Dr. D. K. Olukoya of MFM, for financial issues, I have Mr. Ayo Arowolo, for peer mentors, I have Pastor Olukoyede Tolu, Pastor P. A. Ige, then integrity is Barrister Wole Olufon.
Some people even say you act like Bishop Oyedepo, maybe because he’s one of your mentors?
If they say I’m imitating someone who is successful in his ministry, that’s a good one. I think they would have rather said I imitate Dr. Olukoya because we run a prayer ministry together, he is my father in the house of prayer and we came out of CAC. I think it is more appropriate to say I am imitating him. Maybe on the area of my composure, I will say I take after Bishop Oyedepo. It is good to imitate one’s mentor, it is a good assertion, I love it.
We learnt that you branched out of CAC, can you tell us about it?
I did not branch out of CAC, I came out of the stock of CAC. My parents were in CAC, I was born in CAC and I grew up in CAC. Branching out means maybe I was in CAC before I left, no, I am just from the stock of CAC, that is my root.
What will you attribute the success of your ministry to?
I attribute anything you see as my success to the grace of God, the favour and mercy of God. They are the highlights for a successful ministry I know by the grace of God I am a highly focused person. I also enjoy the grace of God in the area of self discipline. I discipline myself a lot, I don’t engage in anything that will tarnish the name of God. I write a lot, I spend a lot of time in God’s presence, He has enabled me to choose my friends. I am a core family man, I am very close to my wife and children. I will also say hard work contributed a lot.
What is your assessment of Christendom in Nigeria, the practice and the people behind it?
The body of Christ in Nigeria is trying, but we are not projecting Jesus the way it should to the measure that we will receive full approval from heaven. There are too many lapses in the body of Christ. We have a few people in Nigeria doing what God likes. Christianity in Nigeria is not about preaching the Bible, but making the Bible relevant to humanity. How many churches are doing that? We’re involved in community development, for instance, we bought walkie talkie for the police in our area, we are involved in scholarship, we sank boreholes where necessary, that is preaching the Bible. Missionaries that came to Nigeria didn’t bring Bible directly, they brought medication and education and people tell for them. So, when we make the word of God relevant to the needs of the people then we can serve our God without advertisement, that is what I want the church to do more, other than just preaching without backing it up with care. Giving care is the heart of Jesus, Romans 8:32. God gave His son, we must learn to give and improve our community. Without talking, people will serve our God.
What are the challenges you have faced so far as a man of God?
They are enormous, spiritually, I have to be up and doing by studying the word of God especially in prayers because of the type of ministry I run. By the grace of God, I do vigil everyday in my house, I have to pray, study and read. I have to update myself, I write for different journals and magazines, so people call me to ask questions, I have to reply. So, I update myself with the latest technology. I also go on retreat every month to be with the Lord alone, it is a must. It might take three or seven days. It is not easy but God helps me. Another challenge is coping with temptation, the more the anointing, the more the temptation but by the grace of God, He has made me a conqueror. So many people call to tell you pastor, we love you but they have the intention of going beyond that. By the grace of God, I call them to order and tell them no. I must preserve the dignity of any woman by presenting her to God. So that is why God is helping me, not to soil my garment. Though it requires strong self discipline, closeness to my wife helps me get away from that, I adore my wire, I cherish her a lot.
There is financial temptation, many people have come with dangerous offers but I tell them no, because I am a prophet. Many times I reject money on the altar, I am not looking for money, but I am looking for how I can better humanity through the anointing God has given me. My heart goes to humanity, that is why I go to the field, all the crusades we do, we don’t take offerings, God said we shouldn’t take offering. I rather give them what I have. We give clothes, free medical treatment, professionals were even brought to teach people about cassava plantation. My ministry is to tell people that Jesus can truly care for them. There are challenges in human relations also, I get angry easily. I like to make myself open, if I delegate duties and people don’t do it, I can be angry and do it myself but God cautioned me five years ago that the strength He gave me, others don’t have it. So, I must learn to respect the temperament of others, that was when I started apologizing and respecting other people’s boundary. So, I relate with people better now. There is also family challenges, I travel a lot, but I get in touch with my wife and children. We go on holiday, we go for swimming every month, we shop and unwind.
How can one identify a real man of God?
The Bible says by their fruit you will know them, there is nothing secret. If a man of God should do something in the remotest place, bottled up for a while, later it will open up. God will test everyone of us in the secret, once you pass it, he will announce it, once you fail He will disgrace you. One can pick a real man of God either by the spirit of God or by intuition. A real man of God will proclaim that Jesus is Lord, a real man of God will run his anointing with integrity.
Is it Biblical for a man of God to marry more than one wife?
Marry more than one wife?
We have seen cases of men of God remarrying maybe because of infidelity?
It is not Biblical, Apostle Paul expressed his opinion, and people are operating his opinion out of context. It is one man, one wife, no concubine. Anyone involved in immorality will pay for it, most people will not go to heaven because of all these extramarital affairs, it’s abusing God, it is not of God. Many pastors are copying foreign ministers of God in the area of divorce, it is not Biblical, no other explanation, no reason given is tenable before eternity.
Even when they put their wife away because of infidelity?
Do you know what the man is doing? What proof has he to nail the woman for infidelity, even if she does that, is there no forgiveness? What if it is the man, will he run away. The Bible says we should forgive four hundred and ninety times in a day, people should not use that excuse to throw away their wife.
Not much is known about your family.
My wife is a quiet person, she is Bukola Oladiyun nee Olubakinde, a teacher and proprietress of J.Nissi Children School, Ogba, Lagos. God blessed us with four children. She is also the director of family life in this ministry, she is quiet but a mighty woman of God.
What else would you have done if you were not a pastor?
I think I would have gone into cinematography. I am a versatile person, I could have been a mathematics or physics teacher. I teach in a specialist mathematics training centre.
Do you see yourself establishing a university one day?
No, affirmative no. my wife can do that but as for me, no. God gave me a vision which does not include that, rather I will have a research and development centre, a vocational centre, then a mini stadium where young people can be trained in athletics. I also want to have a big farm and a music studio. These are the kind of vision God gave me.
Have you ever handled any case beyond your spiritual strength or ability?
Yes, many times. I have people around me, my peers and my fathers in the Lord will normally collaborate to get result in a situation like that.
Where do you draw your strength from?
My strength is from God, I think I am naturally imbued with mercurial energy. It is a gift from heaven. I am a light eater but I drink a lot of water, so it is God.
When can one say a ministry is successful?
A ministry is successful when it is running according to the pattern of God, that is the vision given to the person. A ministry should hope to lead people to heaven.
Why is there no peace in the body of Christ?
Hell is fighting the body of Christ and Christians are not really rising up to the challenge, there is no cooperation. Occultics have fraternity likewise in the body of Christ, we should have an apostolic accord. But it is not there, there is no love, we don’t share love like the people in the dark. If an occult is travelling on the express and he sees a sticker that identifies the owner of the car, he will stop and render assistance. But let a Christian, place stickers all over his car and he has a problem if you stop, that person might be an armed robber. So, we need to work on that. God must restore love back to the body. Occultics don’t run down their fallen heroes, in the body of Christ if any pastor messes up, they will proclaim it to the world. Instead of praying and seeking means to restore such a person, we will rather kill that hero.
Even among pastors, why is there jealousy?
Jealousy is a natural phenomenon; you can turn it around. For me, people above me in the ministry, I buy their books and tapes and study them. That is why God is helping me. Jealousy can be positive or negative, if you appreciate what a person is doing and learn from him, it is positive.
How united is PFN?
PFN is coming up strong, I belong to the Ikeja zone.
Who are your friends among the Pentecostal pastors?
You want me to cause problem, I have a few friends. I don’t want to mention names.
What was growing up like?
I am from a humble background, we lived in a community without toilet, we used the dunghill. Its just like Slumdog Millionaire, that is my life. The story is about a man who made millions in the slum, he was brought up in the hard way, his experience gave him powerful native intelligence. Part of my versatility is from the experience I had. I was on the street at 11, when my father died. I never had a settled life until I married. I have lived in many places. I was involved in poultry, I fried bean cake (akara), I was involved in many things. I was taking care of my mother who was a young widow, she is still alive. That is why I have passion for old women, I hate to see people suffering around me.
What will you say you learnt from your parents that shaped your life today?
They gave me Jesus and brought me up to respect humanity, that is why I am involved in humanitarian work. They taught me about Jesus, hard work and discipline. We went to church by 4 o’clock, bath there and pray. My father was very tough.
What is a typical day like for you?
If I am not going out, I work in the night and sleep in the morning. Wake up, do my quiet time, I like to take care of myself, then retire to my library. I listen to music, read, write, go on net to check some things, I also keep a diary.
Can you tell us your background?
I was born in Ile Oluyi in Ondo State, I attended St. Peter’s Anglican Primary School, Gboluyi Grammar School. I also went to Ikare Akoko for my A-levels. University of Ife for my degree in Building. I did my MBA in Business Administration from Netherlands Business School.
– SHADE WESLEY-METIBOGUN and REBECCA AKINKUNLE
- This story was first published in ENCOMIUM Weekly on Tuesday, April 7, 2009