Pastor Adesoji Ajayi, president, Christ Apostolic Mission Church (CAMC), in this interview speaks on the covenant of prosperity enjoyed by believers in Christendom, the youth ministry and the church expansion. Excerpts by SEYI JOHN SALAU
You have led the church for about two decades; how do you balance life between the physical and spiritual expansion of the ministry?
Anything you keep into the hand of God is securely kept. The Bible says I will keep him in perfect peace those that have trust in me because they have their confidence in me. Any prayer you pray without adding anything to it, God will answer. We don’t have any security here and there is nothing that is coming that God doesn’t reveal. And the Lord is my witness, I don’t think there is anything; people say they use amulets or whatever, I have never seen such a thing but this place is kept, we give glory to God. If you want divine security, then put your hope and trust in God. He said anything you ask in his name he will do. There are lots of people that mix things; the last sacrifice; the last atonement has been done. We don’t atone without blood shedding, he shed his blood. He used his flesh for sacrifice; he used his blood for atonement. Christ has done that for us, you don’t need to put anything on your body. Christ has done the final sacrifice.
Churches thrive on the strength of the youth ministry; how do you mobilise your youths in the face of distraction and drifting to other churches?
Without prejudice, there is no denomination without its rascally or radical ones. Then we have more of those who have dedicated their love to the Lord. If you see what they did during our convention you will know that the Lord did make a covenant of prosperity with us. We have a future and the youth are doing their best; we are going and they are coming behind us. When you see youths that are relying solely on the word of God, we were not as lucky during our time, the covenant of prosperity didn’t come during our time, the covenant of prosperity is working during their time. During the 100 days and the 40 days fast the Lord asked me if I promised you your daughter will be a doctor, will it happen in a single day? I said no; He said so give me time. They have their teething problem, the process is on and they are growing: we are old but our age is not commensurate with our growth but we thank God. In the committee of denominations we cannot be pushed aside, we have been on TV since 2001 and there is no weekend that we have missed it. I recently paid 150 percent Christmas bonus, what I used to pay my staff in the secular is what I pay, they have their leave bonus and they are all happy praising the Lord.
Earlier, you spoke about covenant of prosperity; how have you kept the focus?
Number one thing is that you constantly focus on God and believe in the Lord that there is nothing He cannot do; again don’t be hasty, be patient with the Lord; with patience a hen will walk. But if you are not patience with the Lord you will not enjoy the prosperity of the Lord and we are not looking at other big churches; the Lord told me between the lion in the forest and the cat in the house which one enjoys better. The lion lives in the forest when it rains it rains on its head, when it wants to eat it suffers. The one in the house is the one you bring food to. It is protected. I once had a dog, one day it refused to eat, I found out its plate was not washed and it refused to eat until its plate was washed. We may be small, but our challenges are smaller, we enjoy more than the big ones, our problems are limited and we can be likened to the nation of Israel; they may be small in size but the Lord has interest in them. The covenant of the Lord is with them that is how it is with us and it is predicated on the five points: prosperity, I mean financial prosperity, good health, marital prosperity, Holy Spirit prosperity, longevity prosperity. It is not because we are big. Israel is one of the smallest yet to be 15million, the whole world recognise them as the holy nation, Jerusalem is recognised as the holy city as muddy as it is. So, holy city; holy land, but as tiny it is, the Lord has His special attention on it.
The church in Somolu and the expansion of Idi Oro; what is the implication for your ministry if you say the church is small?
Anything the Lord says, just do it without any hesitation. I was part of those who went to Somolu, we couldn’t get a space. One year we were in our meeting when He said tell them the last rent is the last you will pay in the rented place. I told them, people can bear me witness. A few months later we got a land as God would have it, we were asked to come for the land even the Baale of Somolu was there and the road that leads to the place is the best road today in Somolu. After Somolu it was Idi-Oro but there was nothing to show for it. There was a land in front of the church blocking our frontal view; we used to pass through the side to the church.
There was a building on it, it was demolished and the owner sold it to somebody, the owner now said he wanted to sell it. He said N2million; we didn’t have it, we were so poor and so in 2008 I went to Somolu on my annual visitation – then the house has been sold and fenced and my Vice President said they have sold the land, an Igbo boy had bought it. I was about lamenting, then I heard Him say by 2013 I will collect it for you. He didn’t say I will sell because the owner didn’t put any advert. So, by 2008 they did all they could, no action; they took a bit of the sand and stone from the place and did 21 days prayers, nothing happened, they went to Oba Ojuwoye, the Oba of Mushin nothing happened.
I had forgotten; in 2013 I went for the annual harvest, the Lord said come next year we are entering this church from the front and not the side, the ‘area boys’ had put all manner of rubles on it, the driver that took me there asked, ‘have you now known the owner?’ I said no. my elder brother called me and asked, ‘have you bought the land?’ I said no, then January 2013 I went to visit the parish, the very first parish I do visit annually, then the vice president said Daddy hope you have not forgotten, I said forgot what? He said that you said the Lord said we are getting the land this year 2013. Then the parish pastor sitting by my right, I said Akinyele get the owner of this land for me, whoever assist you your Daddy will give him N200,000 just to get the owner. He said yes sir.
The following day, there was a fight on the land then one of the ‘area boys’ fighting said, the owner of the land so and so cannot even tell me not to come here again; you are telling me not to come here. When God wants to do a thing nobody can stop Him. Then the pastor said so this man knows the owner. Then immediately after the fight he went to meet the boy, you were mentioning the owner of the land, do you know him? He said yes now, we were boys together in Idi-Oro those days, I know him very well. He told him my Daddy said he will give you N200, 000 if you can get him the owner of the land; he said ‘that is no problem; I will get him but if you don’t fulfil the promise I will deal with you.’ Just to get the number, he said okay, he went to the man’s office and the following morning my pastor phoned me he has got the number. Hello is that so and so? he said yes, I told him I am Pastor Adesoji Ajayi, the president of the church adjacent your land.
I have a message from the Lord for you. He said what is the message sir? I said the land in front of our church, the Lord needs it for evangelism. He said how can the Lord need the land? I said listen; he said he promised to compensate you massively, you are a businessman and you need the support and the goodness of the Lord, give it to the Lord. He said he knows the story. When we wanted to sell the land N2million you couldn’t pay, I said that is story, tell us the price, I bought it for N28million and spent seven million to renovate, if you give me N35m I will sell it, I said give me N25million, he said no, no. I said no problem, I will send my lawyer; give it to the Lord we are ready to buy, he negotiated for N30million. I phoned him back; I said its okay, the N30million how much tithe do you want to give to the church? He said Daddy I’m I supposed to give my tithe to your church? N30million, the tithe is N3million, why can’t you divide it into two? He said I have given your lawyer N1million; so give me M29million, let us share the N2million into two, he said no daddy, give me N28million. I said okay, I told him in three months see what the Lord will do for you. It was just like a drama. I called the Controller of Account to raise a cheque, under three days he gave us the C-of-O. The voice of the Lord!
When the Lord directs, do you have any hesitation?
There was a pastor looking for the fruit of the womb for 17 years, the Lord told me to tell him to come to Abule Egba; He would give him a child. Six years after, we wanted to do transfers, as I was holding my biro to do the transfer, the Lord told me no transfer; I promised the pastor fruit of the womb, no transfer for anybody. That was why it took a long time before we did transfer because of one person. We were praying one day; the Lord said your travails are over. Few months later his wife got pregnant, she had triplets because He knows he had been waiting for so long. She had triplets, one died. I said what happened? He said he had been paying tithe for twins, not triplets. May be, that was what happened. But God is faithful, even beyond twins, there was no reason for the third child to die because the doctor had very successful cesarean session, the Lord is faithful. I said you caused it, we are products of our faith; your faith will make you whole.