INTERVIEW! Ministers of God should have the conviction of their calling- Olushi Zonal Superintendent

Every generation usually has men of God assigned by God to be blessings unto them. The Zonal Superintendent of Christ Apostolic Church, Olushi Zone, Pastor (Dr.) John Babafemi Olajide is indisputably among men of God assigned by God for special work in this generation. Having tapped and being impacted by the Late renowned Prophet and Evangelist, Late Prophet Babajide, Pastor Olajide has been an epitome of spiritual juggernaut CAC Worldwide can be proud of. No wonder the authorities of the church elevated and transferred him to Olushi Zone last year.

In this interview with CAC NEWS Publisher, ‘Gbenga Bankole, Pastor Olajide speaks on his relationship with Late Prophet Babajide, his journey into the ministry, his visions for Olushi zone and other interesting issues. Excerpts!

Tell us in brief about yourself
I hail from Efon-Alaye, Ekiti state.

Cuts in: Were you born there?
Although I am a native of Efon Alaaye I was not born there. My dad was a teacher and in those days, teachers were transferred from one school to another. So I was born in Aisegba Ekiti when my father was transferred there.

Tell us briefly about your educational career?
I started my primary education at All Saint Primary School in Aisegba Ekiti. Like I said earlier my father was a teacher who was being transferred from one place to another. For that reason I ended my primary school education at Saint Matthew CAC Primary school in Ikere-Ekiti. I started my secondary education at African Church Comprehensive High School Ikere-Ekiti. I ended it at Ansarudeen Grammar School in the same Ikere-Ekiti.

Due to my calling by God, after my secondary school I went to Bible Colleges. I attended  UMTC Ilorin Bible College where I have Bachelor in Theology. I attended another one where I have a Bachelor in Education and Master in Theology. When I discovered that I have to cross to academics, I attended University of Ado-Ekiti, now Ekiti state University. 

The type of people you meet in your journey of life determines how far you can go in life.

That is why I want the whole world to know the secret of my educational career. I would have stopped my education at the first degree due to lack of finances and encouragement if not for my contact with two education gurus; Professors E.A. Bamgboye and ‘Dipo Kolawole.

In year 2002 during children anniversary, these two professors came to our church, and I happened to be the preacher that day. After the service they invited me to the vestry and asked about my qualification (maybe they were impressed by my preaching), I replied B. Ed and B Th. They laughed and said, you can become a professor like us. Prof. Bamgboye said “I will help you, Dipo gba, ma mu lo si Ado”, Prof. Kolawole asked me to see him in the office the following morning which was Monday.

Getting to UNAD (now EKSU), Prof. Kolawole followed me to my department to make enquiry but they said I cannot do Masters (MA) straight like that, that I had to do PGD first. I was discouraged, but he (Prof. Kolawole) said “My Pastor I will encourage you, go and take PGD form”. All through my studies there from PGD to PhD, he stood by me, even I enjoyed his grace because students and lecturers knew me as ABURO D.K., to the extent that my PGD result was given executive approval through his effort,

I must confess to the whole world that 80% of the money spent on my courses from PGD to PhD was paid by PROFESSOR ELIJAH AFOLABI BAMGBOYE. I don’t know how to pay this back than to always be my knees in prayer for you people to live long to enjoy the fruits of your labour. Late Professor Luke Olajuyin will always remain green in my heart for the role he played to see me through academically. I think I was the last person he talked to here in Efon except his younger brother with him (Pastor C.O. Olajuyin) before his demise, and all was about my academics and his church: Olajuyin Chapel.

It is the wish of these education gurus that I become “Professor”, it took me time to convince them that God wants me to be a full-time Prophet, I know very soon you will all be proud of me when the Lord lifts me higher in this mission. Also Prof. Adio Folayan, I will not forget your advice, particularly two hours counselling when I said I wanted to quit lecturing. Thank you, sir.

Finally, I have to thank Oke Isegun Assembly for allowing me to pursue all these courses; I could remember when I was a full time Pastor, full time student and part time lecturer! It took endurance to allow these. Thank you all.

Tell us about your journey into the ministry
My journey into the ministry was a very interesting one. I want to tell you that I am a born Pastor, although my father was not a Pastor. The reason why I said it was because I started from a very young age. I attended CAC Seminary at the age of 19. It was after my training at CACTS that I started attending other theological schools both in Nigeria and U.S and also in a secular university.
In the year 1995, the School of Prophets and Evangelists at Ilesha, now Babajide School of Prophets, attached me to Late Prophet Babajide to be serving him. Then I was called the SON OF THE PROPHET. He used to send me to represent him in programmes like revival, lecture and meeting wherever he was invited and could not personally go.

After my graduation in the year 1997, he (Prophet Babajide) refused to release me along with my colleagues. He did not give me any reason for this. But on a fateful day (16thof June, 1997 precisely) he called me and said “you are going today because a town is requesting for you and I cannot deny them, for they have heard about you”. I was very happy, because I was going to be independent at last like my mates who left some months ago, though the town that requested for me was yet unknown to me.

I was given a letter as he handed me over to a Chairman (Pastor Babatope). Immediately he drove with me out of the school compound with joy that his request was granted. I could not ask him anything, until we got to C.A.C. Oke Isegun, Efon Alaaye. On getting there, I met many Elders on ground expecting our arrival. When they saw me with the Chairman (Pastor Babatope) they were all shouting for joy but hated myself, since I now realized that was posted to Efon Alaaye, my home town. The secret was unknown to The Authorities that posted me and the Efon people requesting for me. In fact that was the first time I came to Efon in my life, because I was not born and brought up there.

The reason for my unhappiness was the story we used to hear about Efon when we were young; therefore I thought if God would use me, it shouldn’t be in Efon. I ran away but after two weeks God spoke to me, that I should go back to my duty at Efon, because that was where He wanted me to be.

Reluctantly, I came back with the hope of asking for transfer after a year or two but, “what has been written has been written”. This was the beginning of my ministry in Efon, as a Church Teacher (Evangelist) under Pastor Babatope as the Chairman and Pastor J.0. Daramola as the Church Curate.

After I had served for 2 years as Church teacher, the church authority wanted to ordain qualified Teachers and Evangelists. My belief was I would be number one, for the fact that I was working directly under a Chairman. But I found it difficult because of the policy attached to it, that is, anybody without a station should not be ordained. Already there was a Curate and nobody wants a rival. For this reason I was not picked initially. Thanks to God who used Baba Ijo gbogboogbo (Elder E.O. Taiwo) and Pastor T.A. Ogunleye who interceded because they believed in me and my ministry. It was a very serious battle, but I found mercy and I was asked to go and join my mates in training.

After my Ordination there was yet a tough battle on ground. As earlier said, nobody wants a rival The Curate Pastor then wanted me posted out of the station since I was not recommended in the name of the church, C.A.C Oke Isegun. His argument was simple, the church cannot have two Pastors. Therefore, I was on the hot seat.

To solve this problem, different suggestions were made including asking me to sign a document that I would be earning the salary of a Teacher and would not be recognized as a Pastor! None of these worked but God again used the Chairman then, Pastor P.O. Bamidele (Retired General Superintendent) who saved me from all the humiliation and harsh treatment. (Baba, Omo yin o ni jiya).

As fate would have it, this my Curate Pastor was transferred and the new one failed to report owing to reasons best known to him. At the same time Pastor P.O. Bamidele was transferred and replaced with Pastor G.A Alokan (of blessed memory). On his resumption, the Elders asked him to help them get a Pastor since nobody recognized me as a pastor. But he asked them “what of Pastor Olajide J.B. (myself) who is already working here?” Elders divided into two, some said he is qualified, some said he is too young to be our Pastor. But he (Pastor G.A. Alokan) asked the Elders to give me a chance to prove myself. All glory to God that after just a month, the entire church saw the reason to accept me as their Pastor and I was inducted.

This was an era of a great revival and youth development in the church; C.A.C Oke Isegun Efon, and I was their Curate Pastor for 11 years 6 months. Added to the 2 years of my service there as Church Teacher, I spent a total of 13 1/2 years in C.A.C Oke Isegun Efon.

When did you get married?
Before ordination, I was given just six (6) months to get married, because in those days they would not ordain unmarried clergy. But I found favour, and then I began to search earnestly. Even church Elders were also helping me to look out until one fateful day at Adejiloye Hall in Idagba, Efon Alaaye, in February 1999 when I saw a beautiful girl called Omowunmi. I spoke to her with the intervention of some people. And we got wedded the same year, December, 1999. At this juncture, I want to thank C.A.C Oke Isegun for the role they played during our wedding ceremony, and Pastor P.O. Bamidele my Chairman then. To God be the glory, I came to C.A.C Oke Isegun alone, I left as a five man team; myself, wife and 3 children. Hallelujah!

When were you promoted to the post of District Superintendent?
As I was preparing for the end of the year revival in the year 2010 December; I got a message from Baba Ijo Gbogboogbo that I should see him in his house. Immediately I went to him. On getting there, I met three (3) Elders (Elders E.O. Oluwafemi, Sunday Sekiteri and Samuel Ajayi) from Oke Igbala, Efon waiting for me. After exchanging pleasantries, they told me their mission, that they wanted me as their District Superintendent. My response was, “if God wishes it so, it will work out”. Later I heard that these trio went to hold meeting with some senior Elders in Oke Isegun, so that they could release me to them. In that meeting they concluded and chose people from both Assemblies to go to Ibadan and meet the church authority.

On getting to Ibadan, the Efon delegations were told by the General Superintendent, Pastor P.O. Bamidele that I was already appointed Provost of Christ Apostolic Church Seminary Worldwide and my letter of appointment was shown to them. But, as God wanted it and because of the good rapport between the Authorities of the church, particularly Pastor Bamidele who had served as Chairman in Efon before, the request succeeded.

On December 27th, 2010 I got a letter of promotion to the rank of District Superintendent and was directed to resume at C.A.C Oke Igbala on January 1st 2011.

What has been upholding you since you started seminary at age 19 till now?
Three major things have been upholding and motivating me. The first thing is the conviction of my calling. Every minister of God should be sure of the conviction of his calling.  I am so sure I am called by God and the conviction has been keeping me going. I faced a lot of challenges in the past but the conviction of my calling that I am called by God who will not disappoint really helped me.
Secondly, some mentors in faith. I believe that if God can do greater things in the lives of some mentors in faith, He can do mine. One of my mentors is our able General Superintendent, Pastor S.O Oladele. He formerly worked in my hometown and those periods were stormy times in his life. If he could overcome those stormy periods and became General Superintendent of the mission, whatever I am facing I will overcome.

Having been transferred to Olushi Zone, what is your vision for the zone sir?
I want to tell you that I met challenges on ground. Olushi is small but mighty. Small in the sense that they are still worshipping under a decking in this 21st century, but mighty because they have a reasonable population and reasonable people. My vision is to have a befitting cathedral which by the grace of God we have started. We have bought a land that cost us over 50million naira. We have taken necessary steps and anytime from now the project will start. My vision is to take these people from worshiping under a decking to a cathedral.

My second vision is to extend the tentacles of Olushi zone. Olushi historically is an ancient church. My vision is to make it grow and become a DCC. 
My third vision is to build the spiritual manpower of the people.

If you have not become a Pastor what profession would you have preferred?
Like I said earlier, I was born by a teacher; I wanted to be a professor, of which I was on track before God said I should leave it for His work. Despite the fact that I am a Pastor, I used to be a senior lecturer in a University, before God said I should leave the work and focus mainly on His work. God said I should not share my time with Him.

How do you relax sir?
I love travelling. Whenever I am on leave, I travel abroad. I have been to Jerusalem twice. I have been to Egypt, Dubai, U.S, Britain and some African countries.

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