INTERVIEW! How true repentance can ensure national development —Pastor Alade

Pastor Isaiah Olaoluwatoyi Alade

From its beginnings almost three decades ago, Ori-Oke Aanun has held prayerful significance for many who flock to its confines, irrespective of religious affiliation, resulting in testimonies of divinely-inspired miracles. District Superintendent, Pastor Isaiah Olaoluwatoyi Alade, who is also the host of the programme, Mercy Once Again, now in its 10th year, speaks with NIGERIAN TRIBUNE on the journey so far, and what the future holds for Nigeria in the light of the 2019 elections.

Brief about background

I come from a lineage of prophets – my grandfather was a prophet and my father is a prophet. I lost my mother when I was just two years old – she was a midwife.  I am the fourth child of the family. While in my mother’s womb, she received the revelation that I should be brought up to be a minister of God. My father also received the revelation that I should be dedicated to doing the will of God. One day, while my father had left home to start the mission at Ori-Oke Aanun, I was searching through his old room and I saw a paper where he had written some things. On that paper, he wrote how his properties should be distributed in the event of his death. And at the end of the write-up, he wrote specifically that I should be trained as a minister of God. I was in secondary school then. Since that time, I have been very interested in the ministry. I was ordained in 2001 in the Christ Apostolic Church. In March 2017, I was appointed District Superintendent, as Ori Oke Aanun is now a district headquarters.

How did you come by the name, Omo Woli, as you’re popularly referred to?

When I came to Ori-Oke Aanun, people usually called me Toyi. At the time, people confused the pronunciation and some called me Toyin. So, I decided to find a unique name. I thought of the name, Omo Baba Ori-Oke, but it didn’t really fit as I wanted. However, one day, at a prayer meeting, a cleric called me Omo Woli, and that was how the name stuck.

Aside your father, who would you say is your mentor in the ministry?

By the grace of God, my father is my mentor. He showed me a lot of things. I also cannot forget my senior pastor at the time, now a chairman in the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Pastor S.E.A. – Pastor Sunday Emmanuel Aduralere Oludare. He coordinated the youths in Ibadan and he taught us a lot of lessons. Also, Bishop David Oyedepo is someone whose steps I follow.

The programme, Mercy Once Again, of Ori-Oke Aanun, will clock its 10 year this month. How did it start and what are some testimonies you have recorded?

It began in 2008. I held a programme in January 2008 and I had been preparing for that programme since 2007 and it was tagged Covenant of Favour. It was held on the first Friday of 2008 and the programme was a success. After the programme, a man came to book an appointment to see me. We agreed to meet the following Monday. After the meeting that day, I went to see my father. I met him and one of the elders, Elder Ogunleye, deliberating on having a particular programme for the anniversary of the group, Jesus Family – it is a group of Christians, irrespective of denomination – and I suggested that they invite a popular cleric. Then they started deliberating on what to call the programme. I suggested many names, but none stuck. However, I had the theme for my next programme in mind, because at the time, I was a pastor of a church where I was posted to. When I mentioned the programme, Mercy Once Again, my father re-echoed my thoughts and that was how the programme started. The anniversary of Jesus Family held in 2008 and God revealed to me that the programme would announce Ori-Oke Aanun further to the world, and that the programme should hold every third Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of every month. By the grace of God, two other ministers of God also confirmed God’s revelation regarding the programme. Since the February edition of the programme was to celebrate the anniversary of Jesus Family, there didn’t seem any need for them to hold it the next month. However, since I had the revelation, the following month, I held the programme and it continued after that and now, we’re in the tenth year of the programme. We have every reason to thank God because He has shown us His mercy and we are also using the opportunity to extend God’s mercy shown to us to other people.

We have recorded many great testimonies at Ori-Oke Aanun. I remember the case of a man who was brought to the mountain on a wheelbarrow. He could not lift his hands or legs. All he could do was shake his head. By the grace of God, he received his healing. There has been healing of several people who were insane; that was my father’s specialty – he prayed for people who had mental challenges and they received their healing. With the programme, Mercy Once Again, destinies have been raised, and people have had cause to give testimonies. The programme has reached out to people within and outside Nigeria.

You talked about Bishop David Oyedepo being one of your mentors. Coming from a CAC background, how do you strike a balance between CAC teachings and the new generation style of preaching?

Until God convinces people, they cannot have real change, and for that real change, we must preach the undiluted gospel to them. I listen to and watch Bishop Oyedepo a lot, and as it happens, I see him producing himself in me. Interestingly, I have never met him before. However, I have a father-in-the-Lord, whose father-in-the-Lord is Bishop Oyedepo. There is a wall clock at Ori-Oke Aanun which is from Bishop Oyedepo, given to me by my father-in-the-Lord. So, I can say I am a spiritual grandson of Bishop Oyedepo.

You’re a prophet. Has God told you anything about Nigeria for 2018?

God has told me a lot of things. However, what we need to know in Nigeria is that our sins are affecting us. We cannot continue to shift blame and complain every time. We should all ask God for forgiveness of our sins and return to Him truthfully.

2019 elections are less than a year away. The Christian community has been at the forefront of asking its members to participate actively in the elections. What’s your advice for Christians at this time?

I will sincerely say that it is very important we all get our voters’ cards and join a party. People shouldn’t vote based on items distributed during campaigns, as the phrase in some states now is ‘e dibo k’e se’be (vote so that you can make soup).’ People should vote based on how they feel a candidate can bring about true development. As prophets, we can’t come out to support a particular candidate, nor can we be candidates of a political party. We can pray and support the people.

After 10 years, what does the future hold for the programme, Mercy Once Again?

For the 10th anniversary, we will provide free health services for 1,000 people, irrespective of religious affiliation. We will also feed 10,000 people during the programme. We have a target of reaching as many people as possible, beginning tomorrow and lasting through five days. We will also pray for Nigeria during the programme. For funds, God has shown us mercy and that is what we want to give back. There’s nothing in my back account but we trust in God’s mercy.

For the future, God has told us many things about the programme. Beyond the preaching of God’s word, we have the vision to provide subsidised health services for the public, through the establishment of a hospital. We will also have primary and secondary schools, as well as training centres to provide empowerment skills for the public. We are also working towards the establishment of a Bible school.
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