The Latter Rain Assembly pastor who will be 60 years in few days time made it known in a new interview with TheNewsNigeria why he left Pastor Kumuyi’s Deeper Life Church. The pastor who has received national and international attention for his televangelism, which has sometimes been critical of the Nigerian government made the real reasons why he left the church known.
He also talked on various issues bothering from pastors using anointing oil, handkerchiefs for miracle, members of a church not being able to attend schools which church money was used to build and many more.
Below are excerpts from the interview:
You were in Deeper Life and The Redeemed churches. At what point did you decide to open your own and why?
That’s what you call memory lane. I was in Deeper Life for five years, between 1978 and December 1983. Brother Kumuyi was and is still a great teacher of the Word. The person that put the fear of God in me was Brother Kumuyi. He laid the foundation for systematic teaching that many people see me do today.
However, I rose through the ranks. I preached while I was there and conducted youth meetings. I was doing some legal works for the ministry also. I registered some of their companies.
But one day, while I was ministering and a brother was interpreting, I was giving example of the “faith cometh by hearing and hearing the word of God” and I said, ‘Supposing you go to a supermarket to buy soap, you might not know what soap to buy but because you watched the advertisement of Joy soap on television, then you would look for Joy soap because you have been hearing about it.’ And my interpreter said: “If you have been watching the devil’s box…”
I told him I didn’t say devil’s box but television, and he repeated saying the devil’s box and Brother Kumuyi was behind us. I said I didn’t say devil’s box and that the normal interpretation is amu ohun mu aworan, (the box that captures both the voice and the visuals). Anyway, he still said what he said. The following Sunday, Brother Kumuyi came up with what he called “Sunday Exaltation”; he said that even if you repair television, you are a child of the devil. Then I took my Bible and left. I went home and said I would serve my God, but was not interested anymore in church.
So I returned to Surulere Baptist Church. And one day, my photographer came to me and said I should not just sit like that and that I should come and join his church because I would enjoy it. I asked, ‘What is the name of your church’ and he said The Redeemed Christian Church of God. I said okay and that I would come one day since I was not interested at that moment.
The first Sunday of March, 1984, I invited my wife and said we should go (we were not married then). I borrowed a car because I had no car then. We drove to that church and I discovered I had been to that church before. That was the place Deeper Life was doing their Bible study in 1978. Then there was this gentleman who walked up, they called him G.O. He is still G.O. today, but they call him Daddy G.O. He was the one who preached that day and the message was titled: “The Mercy of God.” I said this seems better than the background of what seems I was coming from, because, in fairness to Brother Kumuyi, he himself eventually went on television. He must have changed his mind, because that time he was very hard on such things.
By the way, looking back today, there is a lot of evil on television. It is not the television that is the devil’s box, it is the programmes that people put on it. So you can choose what you watch.
How would you react to what is happening in the churches now, including how pastors now buy private jets?
It is not wrong to buy private jet, but that is if you can afford it and it is not at the expense of the work. I like to be upfront and don’t sweep anything under the carpet. In 1993, for example, this ministry and some other partners in this church, two captains in this church – Captain Sambo and Captain Benson – brought a proposal to me and they wanted me to invest. I brought Chief Oluwole Adeosun (of blessed memory) of First Bank and we bought a Boeing 707.
You could see the logo of the Latter Rain Assembly on the Boeing 707 and it was christened the Latter Rain. But it was for cargo business. I entered that plane only once in my life with my wife to take photograph and they were carrying cargo to Saudi Arabia, up and down, to East and to West. And when they banned Boeing 707, we stopped the business.
But all these things they are doing now…Look, that is why they run into trouble; when fuelling it and parking it would almost run you into bankruptcy. I am only volunteering the information to you. I don’t take glory in such.
Let me tell you, in America there s a pastor who has two jets. He preaches in Atlanta one session. By afternoon, he would be in New York for another session. In those economies, you don’t even need to put capital down; you can wet-lease, you can lease a jet and if you have a private jet, you can pay for it like you pay for a mortgage.
Life is not that miserable and the interest rate is not as high. But in a depressed economy like ours, the jet represent three things: number one, a tool of business for the likes of Dangote who could afford it because they have many places to go and things to attend to at the same time; a toy for the money-miss-roads who would just think because A bought it I must buy it; or a trap from those men who would buy you and shut your mouth. So, you would have to judge which one it is. Is it a toy? Is it a tool? Or is it a trap?