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INTERVIEW:Taking CAC to Australia and New Zealand is an obedience to divine directive- Australia/New Zealand District Superintendent, Pastor Fatumo

Pastor Peter Adebayo Kekere Fatumo

Pastor Peter Adebayo Kekere Fatumo is the District Superintendent of Christ Apostolic Church, Australia and New Zealand District. In this interview with ‘Gbenga Bankole, Pastor Fatumo speaks on how God used him to take CAC to Australia, his growth projection for the church and other interesting issues. EXCERPT !

 

I was amazed the first day I learnt that we have CAC in Australia. Kindly tell us what took you to Australia?

God bless you for this question. My journey to Australia is a very long history. I will just summarize it. It has been a prophecy from the Lord about me that He will send me to a country to propagate the gospel. I thought it would be Canada, USA or Europe because I had a passion to travel there even did I made a lot of move to travel to some West African countries. My intention then was to travel to UK or Canada, but God said He’s not sending me there, but He is sending me to a far country. In 2002 I travelled to Thailand through the help of a particular Alhaji. Later on I moved to Australia. Before I travelled to Australia, I heard that “blacks” are not allowed there, but on getting there I discovered it was not true. God told me when I got there that He brought me there and by 2006 I registered our assembly and on May 27, 2007 the church was formally inaugurated.

How has the journey been since 2007 till date?


We thank God for the experience. God has given me the gift to plant churches even before coming to Australia. Church planting is not easy here in Australia, but through the grace of God we are getting to where God wants us to be. Despite many challenges, the church is marching on. A quitter does not win and a winner does not quit. If you have to win, you just have to remain focused in the midst of challenges. To the glory of God, the church is functioning effectively.

How many assemblies have you planted so far?

To the glory of God, we have about five assemblies under Australia District. It is part of our plans to go and plant more churches in some places after the pandemic.

You have been a Pastor in Nigeria before travelling to Australia. How is the working environment out there compared to Nigeria?

When I was in Nigeria, I worked in Nigeria based on the country's constitution, atmosphere and what is obtainable in the country. When I worked in Ivory Coast I did same thing. You just have to abide by what is on ground in the country you find yourself. You have to be professional in what you are doing according to the law of the land. The experience of pastoring in Australia is different from what we have in Nigeria or Africa.


In Nigeria the rate at which people attend church services is high. What is the situation out there? What is the average capacity of CAC Australia District headquarters?

Australia is a workaholic country and you can’t force people to do what they don’t wish to do. They will be telling you that “I need to pay my house rent and other bills.” Sometimes you will see a lot of people in church, but at times you will see few people. Averagely, we have 30 to 35 adults at the district headquarters.


What is the motive behind planting churches in a country like Australia?

Australia is a Christian nation by nature. It is a continent on its own. There are different churches in Australia. There are Pentecostals, Anglican, Catholic and many others. I told God when I was praying that I want my name to be written among people that take CAC to oversea countries. There are CAC assemblies in Nigeria, some African countries, Europe, America, but I told God I want to take CAC to countries where there is no CAC. I told God if He can do it for me, I will praise Him the more and He granted my heart desire. It is what gives me joy mostly. I thank God of Babalola for granting my request to be part of people who took CAC to foreign lands.

It has been observed that some people who attend CAC in Nigeria, don’t attend our church when they travel abroad. What is the population of Nigerians or Africans in your assembly?

There are a lot of Nigerians and Africans in our assembly, but the point is that are they really worshipping God here the way they worship Him in their countries? There are CAC members who don’t worship with us. They prefer to go to churches where they think they would be highly respected. We always encourage our members in our assembly here to do their best for God, but some of them fix Sundays as their day of work. Only few of them don’t go to work on Sundays.

We gathered some of our assemblies abroad hold services in Yoruba language. In what language do you hold your services in Australia?

That is a good question. Australia is a country that respects and allows you to practicalise your culture and language. At the same time, we hold all our services in English. In our headquarters we don’t have so many Yoruba people. I can count the number of Yoruba members we have. We have members from Sierra Leone, Congo and many others. For the Australians who are part of us, they can easily flow with us because we worship in the language they understand, though if people need local language service, we can give it to them. Even the Muslims hold their services here in English because Australia is an English speaking country.


Evangelism is the heartbeat of God. In Nigeria it is somehow easy to evangelise. How do you do it in Australia?

Evangelism is not a problem here. The law does not stop you from evangelizing, but you don’t inconvenient any other person and you don’t force anybody to accept your religion or come to your church. And you if you want to do evangelism you have to take permission from the police and the local council. You have to tell them the motive of what you want to do, they give you permission and you go ahead. I usually do it here and I face no problem doing it. During one of the evangelism sessions, we were able to preach the gospel to a gay, he repented and he is now an Evangelist in a particular church. Through Evangelism we have met somebody whom the Doctor said would die of cancer. I prayed and blessed water for her to drink, she drank it and went back to the Doctor for checkup and Doctor said she is cured.
Though we don’t use megaphone to do Evangelism here unlike in Nigeria, you can use other instruments as far as you get the permission.

Christ Apostolic Church is known for some peculiarities, in terms of the way we dress and the legacies left by our founding fathers. How have you been able to compel people to adhere to our doctrine?

In Australia you can’t enforce anything on anybody, but the law does not stop you to preach your doctrine to your congregation. We make it known to the people what our doctrine says, but you can’t enforce on anybody how to dress. If you preach and people refuse to change, there is nothing you can do than to pray for them.

There are many countries across the globe where there is no CAC. What is your message or advice to Ministers of God who have the desire or are intending to take CAC to those countries?

I don’t know why our people focus on planting churches in London, UK or America, probably because of their culture and language. The truth is that if we truly want our church to be in every part of the world, our missionaries should be ready to move to countries where CAC can’t be found.
As a minister in CAC, if God is laying it in your heart to go to nations where CAC can’t be found, pray more about it, do necessary research about the country or countries and take a step. There are many countries without CAC, even in the pacific ocean here. We don’t have CAC in Japan, South Korea, Pakistan, Solomon Island, Malaysia and many others. We are planning to have a branch in Malaysia after COVID-19. Our people should be encouraged by our leaders to go to those countries and plant churches. When there is no encouragement, there is nothing people can do. Our fathers need to encourage our ministers to have the habit of going on foreign missions, particularly in countries where there is no CAC.

How have you been able to hold services considering the effect of COVID-19 across the globe?

When COVID-19 first started we had a lockdown. We hold our services using Zoom and teleconferencing and Facebook. Later on when they eased the lockdown we moved back to the church and we started with ten members in each service, from there to 40,50 etc.  

What are your future plans regarding church planting?

I plan to see CAC in countries in the Pacific Ocean here. My prayer is that God should give me the resources I am looking for. If God blesses me, my plan is to have CAC in all the countries in the pacific ocean in the next ten to twenty years and that is why I have a relationship with Pastors pastoring churches in those countries. I have travelled to about 46 countries in the whole world. I travelled a lot for mission purpose. I believe God has given this continent to me and that is where my focus is, but we also have a branch in Malawi with about 400 members and two branches in Lagos.

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