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2023 general election sent a clear message to Nigerian politicians – Rev Adeyemi

2023 general election sent a clear message to Nigerian politicians – Rev Adeyemi

The Senior Pastor of Global Harvest Church, Victor Adeyemi, in this interview, shared some messages learned from the general election; the church’s 2023 crusade programmes holding at the University of Ibadan (UI) in May; Olabisi Onabanjo University (OOU) in July and Agege stadium, Lagos in November. Excerpts by SEYI JOHN SALAU:

You have been in ministry for some time now; what are the factors sustaining your Christian journey?

It is very important to be accountable. When people ask me the keys to what God has done in my life I tell them having a spiritual father is one of the greatest blessings God ever gave to me; a Rev. George Adegboye that I could be accountable to.

He is someone I revered as an excellent role model for me. There are some young ministers who unfortunately find themselves under people of poor character; people with moral laxity and financial rascality that affect them negatively.

I was brought up by a man of moral excellence who exemplifies financial probity and integrity before me; a man who also demonstrated his passion for the word of God, prayer, fellowship with God and relentless pursuit of excellence in ministry. I am more than grateful to God because I know it is a divine orchestration.

Another thing that is so crucial which I learned from him is consistency in fellowship with God. Jeremiah 2:13, God said, “For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.”

The fact is that we need God every day and every hour. We must start our day seeking him in prayer. We must spend time in His Word. Without Him we can do nothing. It is from Him all blessings and lives flow. Since God is the source of all lives we must go to Him for daily impartation and daily blessings.

That, for me, is the second among the list of the most significant things that have kept me on the straight and narrow path. The third is related to the first, but not in the matter of a spiritual father. It is a good association. 1Corinthians15:33, “Be not deceived: evil communication corrupts good manners.” Proverbs 27:17, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friends.”

When did the vision of starting a ministry appear to you?

When I gave my life to Jesus Christ as I said earlier, I came to a knowing that the call of God is upon my life. The only thing I needed to know was the exact thing he has called me to do. So, I began to spend time in prayer. As a 16-year-old boy, my Saturdays were mostly for fasting and prayer; seeking the face of God under the influence of Rev. George who talked and taught about the gifting and the calling of God.

I began to seek the Lord on the basis of the scripture; anytime I came across scriptures like Mark 16:15, “…Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature,” Matthew 28:19-20, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Son.

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Acts 1:8, “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the world.”

2 Corinthians 5:18-20, “And all things are of God who hath reconciled us to himself by Christ Jesus and hath given to us the Ministry of Reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses upon them and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation”.

I won’t be able to gloss over these scriptures. I would read them over and again. These scriptures began to speak to me on evangelising to the nations.

What other factors encouraged your starting Global Harvest Church?

Apart from these scriptures some books also became my favorite. I read a lot of books but two of them from my uncle’s library of hundreds of books stood out. Books by Oswald J. Smith touched me specially. Books like Endowment of Power, Passion for Souls and The Cry of the World.

They were all speaking to me about the call to the nations of the world. One thing I became certain of by February 1986 was when I was a student at Kwara Polytechnic for a remedial course. During a mid-semester break I went to an uncle’s house in Ilorin.

He would go to work in the morning and come back at night. So, I was alone in his flat for days fasting and praying. I spent time in prayers. One morning as I prayed, the presence of the Lord filled the room in a very strong way, and the Lord opened my heart. It wasn’t a dramatic trance.

I saw a revelation of myself preaching the gospel from nation to nation, organizing crusades, being in the media. I saw myself in large evangelistic gatherings taking place all over the world. I saw myself preaching to black people, white people, and brown people; to different cultures of the world.

And I realized that it was going to be a global vision that God was showing me. I came about that experience knowing full well that it was going to be a global harvest.

How did your past experiences contribute to birthing Global Harvest Church?

From that time I began searching what the name of the ministry would be. Initially I was going to call it Word of Reconciliation Ministries from 2 Corinthians 5:18-20 “And all things are of God who hath reconciled us to himself by Christ Jesus and hath given to us the Ministry of Reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses upon them and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”

But it was not sinking in my spirit until December 1987 when I came to settle with Global Harvest Church. At that time Rhema Chapel just started so I had known my calling into ministry before I had Rhema chapel started and my pastor knew that I had that calling even before Rhema chapel started. I knew of my calling into ministry before Rhema Chapel started. My pastor (Rev. George) also knew.

So, by the time I was leaving Rhema Chapel to start Global Harvest Church it was not an after-thought. It was not a result of disagreement with my spiritual father. It was not because I was looking for what to eat. Rather, it was because it was time to fulfill that calling.

What is the mandate of the Church?

The specific mandate is to preach the gospel all over the world, motivate the body of Christ to do the same and to plant evangelistic churches.

We understand you have some forthcoming crusades; are they also part of the church’s mandate?

Church planting is our number one. The second is crusades. We have not done lots of evangelistic crusades over the years because it can be very expensive. After we did a few in the beginning and we were gasping for breath I told God I was going to wait until it was his time for it.

When the Lord told me it was time we held a crusade at Adamasingba stadium, Ibadan in January. We are planning further crusades for University of Ibadan in May, Ogun state University in July and Agege stadium, Lagos, in November.

That is how we intend to continue holding crusades from time to time. We did two last year. We are doing four this year. We intend to take it to six next year. As our partnership base increases the crusades increase.

What are the gifts God endowed you with for this mandate?

The number one gift God has given to me is the preaching anointing; especially when I’m at the crusade ground the anointing flows. We proclaim Christ in the simplicity of the gospel. The ABC of the gospel of Christ is what I love the most to proclaim on the pulpit.

God has also endowed me with the healing anointing. To the glory of His name, healing does take place. At our last crusade we saw blind eyes opened, deaf ears opened and various other ailments healed to the glory of God. It has a connection with the evangelistic calling.

God has also endowed me with the grace to teach. I believe this is for reproduction. This is to be able to reproduce myself and multiply these gifts in many other people/ I’m grateful to God for that.

Read also: 2023 flawed general election(s): Missed opportunity for nation-building

The Church got involved in the 2023 general election, and many were partisan; what is your view on the Church’s involvement in the election?

It is rather unfortunate that the Church was partisan in the presidential election. I believe the body of Christ should not be partisan. When you look at any church, you will see the representatives of the various political parties there. The Church partisan involvement in politics can be divisive.

Nevertheless, I believe it is still a good development that the Church was politically active in the presidential election. In as much as it is not a good thing on a normal day, for one political party to go for a Muslim-Muslim ticket in a nation with religious plurality as Nigeria was rather daring and insensitive.

Due to that insensitivity, it pushed the Church to make politicians aware that they cannot take the Church for granted. Even if the president-elect scales through the court, I don’t think he will want to play the game anymore. It was a risky gamble.

Finally, how would you assess the last presidential election?

The first thing I will say is that it was a disappointment that INEC was not able to conduct a controversy-free election. My own personal assessment was that INEC was not ready for the deployment of technology. They ought to have tested this system well enough.

The commission has not had the opportunity in time past to conduct the national election using this system although it has been deployed in some states. They had not tested the capacity of the Nigerian telecommunication infrastructure to handle that equipment.

This gave rooms for compromise. I personally believe, from the widespread allegations from the various political parties, there might have been some staff of INEC that compromised to favour some politicians, which does not uphold the integrity of the commission and the system.

I believe the aggrieved parties have taken the right steps; deciding to proceed to the court to seek redress. I think that is the best thing they can do under this circumstance. However, the positive aspect of it is seeing the awakening of the Nigerian youth to their civic responsibility as a part of the electioneering process.

With few surprises showing that the Labour Party candidate defeated the PDP representations in Lagos State. Such surprises show the state of our political evolution.

If there is any message that has been sent loud and clear to the Nigerian politicians; it is the fact that nobody can take the Nigerian populace for a ride anymore; we will vote them out of power