Legacies of our founding fathers in CAC are biblical, we must follow them- Anosike Regional Superintendent, Pastor Olalere

Pastor Jacob Olalere

Pastor Jacob Olalere is the second Regional Superintendent of Anosike Region, having succeeded Pastor E.O. Medaiyese who retired after many years of sacrificial service. In this interview with 'Gbenga Bankole, Pastor Olalere speaks on his journey into the ministry, his vision for Anosike Region and other interesting issues. EXCERPT !

Tell us in brief about your journey into the ministry?

Thank you very much. It is a great priviledge to speak with you. Everything is just by the grace of God. The journey has been great and we thank God it will continue to be great. Finding myself in United Kingdom is by the grace of God. I started the journey right from 1985 when I worked briefly with the National Electric Power Authority in Ilorin, Kwara state, Nigeria. I left there and I traveled to Greece and I was there from 1985 to 1987, before I relocated to the United Kingdom. Initially when I got to UK I didn’t worship in any church, even though we started CAC Agbala Itura in Athens, Greece before I left for UK. While coming to UK, the former General Evangelist of CAC Worldwide, Prophet Samuel K. Abiara told me there is CAC Agbala-Itura in London. When I got to London because the journey was not that smooth and nobody to relate with I was at home for almost a year, before I eventually linked up with Agbala-Itura through Pastor Sodeke. Actually my father was a Deacon in Baptist church before he died in 1998. God helped us when I was in Agbala-Itura, but later we moved further to start CAC Mount Zion in the year 1990 and that is where I was baptized. The journey continued in 1994/1995 when I went to Glory Bible College in London and when I finished there I was still in CAC Mount Zion with Pastor Sodeke as the Secretary of the church. From 1999 to 2002 I attended Roehampton University to do my B.A. in Theology and Religious Studies, and M.A. in Christian Ministry in 2018 from University of Roehampton.

I was ordained as a Pastor in CAC in December 1999. It was same year I assumed the position of Pastor in Charge of CAC Mount Zion and in 2006 I was promoted to the position of a District Superintendent and the assembly was upgraded to District level. I became Special District Chairman in 2009 and
in 2012/2013 our Special District was upgraded to Zone and I became the pioneer Zonal Superintendent and that made me to join council of DCC and Zonal Superintendents in Europe. I was later made the Financial Secretary until we had a reshuffle in 2017 and I became the Sunday School Coordinator for the Region. In December 2019, God moved me up to become the Regional Superintendent of Anosike Region. I resumed formally on January 1, 2020.

How did you feel when you were announced as the Regional Superintendent of Anosike Region?

Were you surprised and has God told you would emerge as the second Regional Superintendent of the region?

(laughing)… If I use the word surprised it is an understatement, it was a big shock to me when the announcement was made. We held our annual Ministers’ Conference which the President and his entourage came and to be honest with you there was nobody who gossiped about my emergence. We definitely knew that Baba Medaiyese was going and someone had to succeed him. When the announcement was made and my name was mentioned as the new Regional Superintendent, it was if the land should open and swallow me (laughing). I was so shocked that I was chosen in the midst of all the Superintendents and that was when I began to have more understanding about grace. Grace can take anybody from anywhere to somewhere. I was so shocked to the extent that by the time we finished the programme I couldn’t drive my car. It was my wife that drove us home.

What is God laying in your heart for Anosike Region?

I believe that God cannot do anything without a purpose. Taking up this position is a big challenge but I know the challenge is not for me because the Bible says I can do anything through Christ who strengthens me.

My first vision which everybody knows I have passion for is ministerial empowerment. Every minister should be able to know the purpose of their calling and be effective and efficient in what they do.

Secondly, we want to rebrand the name of CAC and also improve on our status to the level that we are supposed to be so that people will know that there is an African church in Europe known as Christ Apostolic Church. We will establish a well structured administration in Europe and bring all the ministers together irrespective of their gifts and move the church forward. Unity of the body of Christ especially in CAC is one of my priorities which we have been working on since when I took over in January this year.

Not only that, CAC in Europe wants to ensure that we are not only in the same level with other churches, but excel. CAC must not only be known for prayer, but for undiluted word of God and that is why we have been encouraging our ministers to upgrade themselves so that wherever they are they will have confidence in themselves and be able to be good ambassadors of Christ and the church. We are very sure that God is going help us.

How many DCCs and Zones do we have in Anosike Region?
We have four DCCs and 19 zones.

Tell us countries where we have CAC in Europe

Presently those that are in our record are Ireland, United Kingdom, Greece, Germany, Italy, France and Belgium. We also have CAC in Russia, Spain and we are trying to locate CAC in Holland, Austria, Iceland, Finland and Denmark. Our people in Nigeria should assist us with information on CAC assemblies planted in some parts of Europe so that we can network together.

What is your plan to plant assemblies in countries in Europe where there is no CAC?

Thank God for the church authority in Nigeria for the support we are getting from them, especially the General Evangelist, Prophet Hezekiah O. Oladeji and Mission Director, Pastor C.S. Fasuyi in terms of church planting. By God’s grace we have our evangelical team here who will launch out to hold programmes and plant churches. Even here in London, we still have places where there is no CAC. We are targeting those areas now. If not because of COVID-19 that put all activities on hold, by now we should be preparing to start one or two churches. The moment COVID-19 is conquered, all our evangelical and mission teams will go into action and anywhere we need to organize crusade in order to plant churches we will do so. The church that would be planted won’t be for any individual but for CAC Worldwide. I told all the Superintendents that this time around is not about planting the church for individual, but for CAC Worldwide.

Which assembly precisely in London is the Regional Headquarters of Anosike Region? 

The regional headquarters of Anosike Region is London DCC headquarters (Seven Sisters), we have our Secretariat apart from the Church. We just completed the renovation of the secretariat and we will equip it with necessary things that will facilitate our job in there.

How is the present situation of things across the world affecting our assemblies in Europe, particularly in England? 

The situation is a bit tough for the church in the sense that it is very difficult for us to violate the law. There is no way out than to follow the instructions and the directives of government. Everybody is to obey social distancing. All the churches, all the clubs, hotels and other places people gather have been shut down. We were told initially it is going to be for 12 to 15 weeks, but last week they reviewed it and extended it for another three weeks which will last till the middle of next month. None of our assemblies is able to gather for service. We are using all available social media platforms such are Facebook, YouTube, Teleconferencing, Zoom etc. House fellowship is not allowed here because you are not permitted to go out unless you are among the essential workers such as police, nurses, people that work in the food industries and many others. Even when they see you outside, anyone with you must be your family member.

The General Superintendent of CAC Worldwide, Pastor Samuel O. Oladele said in an interview that indiscipline is still an issue among our ministers. What is the situation out there in Europe?

When you hear something like that from someone of that calibre you will know that it is not restricted to Pastors in Nigeria. You can’t rule it out anywhere and also it depends on how you defend it. Knowing that all the Pastors are human beings, everyone of us sees things from different perspectives. Indiscipline is not limited to CAC Pastors in Nigeria; it is not limited to UK, Anosike Region or Christ Apostolic Church only. One of the major concerns in the body of Christ is indiscipline. Look at all the atrocities being committed by ministers of God all over the world, it is part of indiscipline. Indiscipline starts from lack of fear of God. When you have the fear of God, you obey His word. Indiscipline has to be dealt with because we can’t overlook it.

The Zonal Superintendent of CAC Germany Zone, Pastor Adeosun said in an interview with CAC News that holding church services in Yoruba is one of the major challenges of CAC assemblies in Europe, particularly London. What is your take on this?

He may be right and I can say he is not far from the truth. However, I always encourage all the ministers to always identify the composition of their congregations. We always try our best here to let people know that CAC is not only Yoruba church because that is the way some people see it. We always caution some Pastors from Nigeria when they come to England that we have people who don’t understand Yoruba among us. It has caused a lot of discussion and argument within the church. As a Pastor you must use the wisdom of God to deal with such situation. You can be using interpreter, even some denominations use it. People find it more enjoyable when we are praying in our own language because there are certain words you can easily pronounce in Yoruba, but to get the right English interpretations for those words is difficult. It may interest you to know that some of our members who are not even Yoruba love singing Yoruba songs. They sing Yoruba songs even after sharing testimonies in English language. It must however be stated clearly that if we want to embrace other tribes and ethnicities we need to change our orientation by communicating with people in a language everyone can understand.

CAC is well known for some peculiarities. There are legacies laid down by the founding fathers of the church. One of such legacies is the way we dress in our church. Meanwhile, we have found out that the standard in Nigeria when it comes to dressing is not the same thing with our assemblies in Europe and North America. What is your opinion on this?

Women wearing trousers to church, usage of jewelries, uncovering their hair and other things is an issue, but I don’t think it is supposed to be so.  This is the way I look at the issue: you that you know the peculiarities of our church, embrace it. CAC Women always cover their hair; they don’t wear trousers or use ear rings. There are some people who stopped wearing trousers and using ear rings because of what they saw in our women. When we invited non CAC Women Pastors, they know the way we dress and when they are coming they don’t dress the way they dress in their own church because they know who we are. It is quite unfortunate that some sons and daughters of CAC are the ones who want to bring other denominations' cultures into our church. All the peculiarities and legacies of our founding fathers are Biblical. If you truly believe the word of God, then you will obey what it says. We cannot behave like the westerners because we are in the western world. We are in the world and not of the world. Once you know that you are not of the world, behave like a heaven bound person. The real Christians among the “white people” our people are imitating always cover their hair while going to church. We must not misuse our liberty in Christ. Because we are in the western world does not mean we should throw away our biblical doctrine. All what our fathers laid down are biblical and we must follow them. I just pray that God will give our Pastors the wisdom to handle it when the situation arises. Though, if someone is coming for the first time to the church, we can be patient with such person for him or her to grow in the Lord.

What is your message to all ministers and members of CAC in Anosike Region?

I want to appreciate all ministers and members of CAC Anosike Region for their support since the inception of this administration. I also want to encourage them that this is a very challenging time for us especially in this part of the world. We must not lose focus. Jesus said this is not the end but the beginning of the sorrow and whosoever endures till the end will be saved. Let us press on. Don’t let us lose focus and let us make use of this lockdown to improve our relationship with Christ, to improve our relationship with our family and let us prepare for the reality of lockdown and COVID-19. This is because the changes that will happen after this period will affect almost every aspect of our lives.
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