Cover Stories, Interviews

‘There’s no crime in riding exotic cars’ – BISHOP TOM SAMSON

Tom Samson

On Thursday, June 15, 2017, Encomium Weekly visited Christ Royal Family’s Bishop Tom Samson in his Ikeja, Lagos office where he opened up on a number of issues, including the church’s Founders’ Day, controversies trailing his fleet of exotic cars and much more…

 

On Sunday, June 25, 2017, Christ Royal Embassy will be celebrating its Founder’s Day. What informed this annual event?

We give God the glory. The idea of Founder’s Day, you discover that most often times, when people labour and toil, it’s after their death that people begin to realize what they have done. And God has really helped us in our ministry. We use our Founders’ Day to appreciate what God has done in our lives in the ministry. We use it as mid-year thanksgiving. Then, we use the day to celebrate out founders. Technically, I came to Lagos 25 years ago. And 25 years after, our ministry is all over Nigeria and some African countries. We’re also in the UK, other parts of Europe and America. We’re in Canada. We have touched lives in almost every part of the world. We have over 18 schools – Primary, Secondary and Tertiary institutions which include a College of Education and a University in the making. We have hospitals, we have water factory and printing press. We have over 400 staffers that we’re paying their salaries. And we have a World Outreach through which I reach out to the world monthly. We also have a foundation through which we reach out to the communities.

So, after all of these, yearly, we come together. One, to appreciate God for empowering us to bless all the people we have been blessing. There are some colleagues of mine that we started together but couldn’t come this far. That God put it in us, empowered us and we’re doing it. That’s why yearly, we come to celebrate our God who has empowered our founders – Bishop Tom Samson and his wife. That God has raised them from nothing and empowered them to do this and to be touching lives. And that’s why on Founders’ Day, we appreciate God in our founders.

What are the activities that are lined-up for the event?

By the grace of God, it’s one day event. The word of God will be preached. Many of our community and religious leaders are joining us. And all the people we have touched their lives will be there to testify. And we celebrate for rejoicing in the Lord. It’s a thanksgiving day, a celebration moment and a praise time for community, political and religious leaders to join us in thanking God for where He has taken us to since we started here in Lagos 25 years ago.

Let’s talk about the controversy trailing you concerning all your exotic automobiles, including Rolls Royce Limousine, Hummer jeep and more. Some are saying it’s not appropriate for a man of God to be cruising around in different high profile cars, and even with red carpet here and there each time you go out or come to church with your Rolls Royce, especially? What’s your reaction on this?

Thank you. It’s not just the Rolls Royce or Limousine today, you must look at my history. I came from a poor background. I have been in Lagos for the past 25 years. Several times I fell from Molue trucks, life was difficult for me. For almost 15 years in Lagos, I was using fairly used dresses. But I was committed to my ministry which is raising people. Let me quickly remind you of the vision of Christ Royal Embassy – setting the captives free. I am teaching them to reign over like a conqueror. Do you know that nobody came to my church a rich person. Everybody in that ministry all over the world was raised from the anointing of God under my parish. And for years, I labored and suffered, raising people. You can imagine in Lagos then, I was the one putting on military camouflage, running deliverance service all over. Then, people we prayed for over the years became lifted.

When they talk about Rolls Royce, you also reported in your magazine that it’s a gift by the people that God used me to raise. The same thing with the Limousine. Almost all the cars I use, people give me. Then, talking about myself, do you know I have given out so many cars to so many people? Many of my faithful members got cars from me. I have given almost all my pastors cars. And even many who are not in my ministry who needed cars were also given. So, it’s not about what I ride. Even if you add the values of all the cars I have given out, it’s more than the value of those ones I use. Then, the controversy now is that why should a man of God use good things?

There’s nowhere in the scripture that condemns that. Are we now saying that good things are for the agents of Satan? Bible says God created all things in this world. Every good thing you see, God created it. And I want to read from the Book of Timothy, chapter 6 verse 17 where the Bible says all these good things God created, He has empowered us to enjoy them. I Timothy 6:17 : “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, not trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God who giveth us richly all things to enjoy”. If those who are criticizing me want to be mediocre, to be poor, I am not fighting them. But to me Tom Samson, my God says He giveth the power to get wealth.

The Bible says for our sake He was made poor that we can be made rich. I don’t know the Bible they’re quoting from. But must good things of life go for the agents of Satan? That means God is a mediocre? And which is not true because my God is not a mediocre. Bible says He has richly blessed us. He has richly giveth us all things to enjoy. Is Limousine for Satan’s agent? Is Rolls Royce also for Satan’s agent? If you’re opportune to be inside Limousine, you will know that it’s comfortable. In fact, you can think well inside Limousine. Rolls Royce is also a good one. So, should agents of Satan be using all these while men of God be going for Volkswagen cars that are dying on the road.

Do you know I have once used a car that they were pushing for me on the road before it could start? God doesn’t do magic. It takes due process. I have paid my dues. Lagos, Nigeria knew me. I have been a young man with a ministry, touched lives for many years. Why it is that now in the days of my reward, people now thought I just rose overnight. May be for my critics, I have been in active ministry for 30 years. I have been on campus, laboring. If somebody has been laboring since 30 years ago and God now started to bless him for barely two or three years ago, is that a crime? I have gone to many parts of this country, Africa, Europe and America, laboring, raising people. So, if after 30 years of active labour, and God now used these people to bless me with Limousine and Rolls Royce, does that make me a sinner?

What of the red rug or carpet issues?

Now, talking about the red rug or carpet. I have been opportune to enter some Limousines in America, they put red rug for us to step out. Every Limousine company will give you a red carpet welcome. If a Limousine company is giving red carpet, why is mine different?

What’s the meaning of that red carpet you’re talking about?

The red carpet is for style. Moreover, the interior of Rolls Royce or Limousine is so beautiful. So, you use the rug to clean your feet, it’s just there as a foot mat. If you enter Limousine, it’s exotic, it’s amazing and classy. You cannot use dirty feet  to step inside a Limousine. So, that red carpet is used as a foot mat. And not only foot mat but for class. It’s just like all these red carpet interviews by the media. Why is it that almost all the press men do red carpet? Red carpet is for a class.

But they saw yours as spiritual.

(Cuts in) Don’t mind them. Anybody thinking in that direction is just a hater. It’s just that the person is ignorant. Those saying it’s diabolical, they themselves are the ones that are diabolical. It’s just because they’re ignorant. If I have used Limousine abroad and they gave me a red carpet welcome, why will my own red carpet now become something of interest? It’s just for a foot mat and class. There’s nothing spiritual attached.

You said it’s not a sin for a man of God to use exotic cars. Does that mean if you’re opportune to get a private jet, you will gladly embrace it?

God will provide me one. If the need arises it will come. There’s nothing I need that God will not provide. I have paid much money to fly all over the world. Have I not paid much money? So, if God now gives me ability and the means to get a private jet, I will get it. There’s no crime in that.

Whether  you buy it or they give you?

Yes, there’s no crime in it. Jesus needed to ride a coast, somebody gave it to him. So, it’s about meeting a need. Once your need is met, there’s no big deal. What about those businessmen that have it. It’s because it will enhance their businesses. Can I count how many times I have missed my flight in Nigeria here? So, if God gives me the means or somebody gives it to me, I will joyfully claim it. That doesn’t make somebody a Satan or Satan’s agent. Let me make it clear once again, our God has empowered us to be prosperous. Prosperity is not a sin. And if it is, that means God is an accomplice. I repeat, if prosperity is a sin, God is an accomplice. He has given us the power to enjoy. So, if we’re enjoying what our father has richly given us, there’s no sin in that, because Satan doesn’t produce anything here. And let me use this medium to tell all these haters that all good things of this life are not meant for Satan worshippers. It’s your mind set. It’s the way you use those things that make them evil. For instance, wearing good clothes is not a sin. I have worn fairly used clothes for more than 10 years. Some of them were smelling. There was a time my trousers tore on the altar because it has been over used from where it was sent to Nigeria. So, if now, God changes my life, I appear good, I used good things, is that a crime? Then, what’s the use of calling God? When Peter told Jesus, “We have been following you all this while, what is our profit?” And Jesus replied Peter, “All of you that have sacrificed for me, I will give you 100 percent now and in thereafter, eternal life.” So, if I labour and toil, touching people’s lives and it doesn’t reflect on me, then I am under a curse. If I travel around the world, touching people’s lives and it doesn’t reflect on my body, that means I am under a curse. So, I have been a blessing all over the world. Not only Africa, in Europe and America, I carry anointing and raise people. I have raised millions of people across the globe. So, what’s the big deal that I now use Rolls Royce?

If you look at the area we have affected, countries, I have donated transformers to communities, so also bore holes. I had built hospitals, I run free medical services to so many communities. I have built over 18 schools – Nursery, primary and secondary schools. I have a College of Education, and I am building a university. Now I have factories where people are working. I have over 400 workers I pay salaries every month. Am I now a wicked man who gives out salary every month?

Do you know we empowered 6,000 women? Some government agencies cannot even do that. We taught them a lot of things, including soap making, baking and all that. We now gave them N5,000 each, and today they’re all employed, doing well in their businesses. So, if I have done all these, and I am now riding ordinary Rolls Royce, is it a crime?

So, I have been blessed by God and I have been a blessing to so many people. I believe what’s happening in my life now is a sign of blessing. So, those people should appreciate God for who I am today instead of condemning me.

There is an hater with an intention to destroy,  that is  why some information were fabricated. For example, it was reported that my Monarch university collects N500,000 per year. Meanwhile, the university has not started, still undergoing approval process. Our College of Education in Otta, Ogun state collects, lowest school fees of N50,000. They lift from my Facebook page pictures of cars and report flamboyance and never report all the things I do to touch lives and communities. What an unfair reporting. And make it look as if one is selfish. The red carpet thing is the work of an hater. Many limousine companies will give you red carpet reception. Why is mine different. Many celebrity events will give you red carpet reception. Why is mine different? The interior of the limousine is amazing, you can’t carry dirty in, the carpet is used to clean one’s feet and to show class, nothing else.

One blogger hatefully reported that I sell oil and water, I know some pastors do that, but not Tom Samson. I carry anointing that make people wealthy. Then, the rich bless me and I bless the poor.

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