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Interview: What the ministry has taught me in the last 50 years- Pastor Olaiya

 

The Superintendent,CAC Adamasingba DCC, Pastor David A. Olaiya


Pastor David Abiodun Olaiya, the Superintendent of Christ Apostolic Church,  Adamasingba Districts’ Coordinating Council recently celebrated his 50 years in the ministry. In this interview with ‘Gbenga Bankole, Pastor Olaiya speaks about his experience in the ministry, what the ministry has taught him and other interesting issues. EXCERPT !

 


Kindly introduce yourself to us, sir?

My name is Pastor David Abiodun Olaiya. I was born in Ekiti state 72 years ago. By God’s grace I grew up in the bush. If anybody is calling me bushman, he or she is telling me what I was, but God has brought me from the bush to cities. God has taken me to many cities across the world through the ministry. I didn’t do any work apart from the ministry. I was farming with my father when the Lord told me I should get ready for the work of the ministry in the early 1966/1967. I got baptized on August 15 (my birthday), 1968 in CAC. After that I started carrying bag and following the Pastor in charge of our church in Odo Owa, Ekiti State (Ondo State by then). I give glory to God who has been using me tremendously and wonderfully since January 1971. I left my village in 1971 with no hope. The only hope I had was in the Christ of Calvary. He has been leading and directing my life. I started in a village called Ara-Ijero in Ekiti State.

 

Cuts-in: When were you ordained as a Pastor in CAC?

I was ordained as a Pastor in CAC in the year 1982.

 

Can you tell us stations you have worked as an Evangelist, Pastor, District Superintendent, Zonal Superintendent till date?

I started as an Evangelist in the year 1971 and that is why I celebrated 50 years in the ministry two weeks ago. I was an Evangelist in Ara-Ijero, close to Ijero Ekiti. I started under someone who was training and teaching me about the ministry. From there I moved to CAC Bible Training College, Akure and I studied there from 1973 to 1975. After my graduation in 1975, I was posted to CAC Lokoja. CAC Lokoja was the only CAC in Lokoja by then. The church was the headquarters of Lokoja District. People of Lokoja were initially expecting me to resume before I resumed there. I couldn’t resume there when they expected because after leaving seminary, on getting home I met my biological father on the sick bed who eventually died. By the time I would get to Lokoja, I met another minister. After conducting a week revival programme there, I was made the District Evangelist, not the minister in charge of the assembly. My father who God used mightily for me to bring me up, Late Pastor G.A. Alokan, brought me back to Ekiti. I was in Ayetoro Ekiti as the District Evangelist. From Ayetoro-Ekiti, I got to Erijiyan-Ekiti under Aramoko District. From Erijiyan-Ekiti I was posted to Calabar where I spent seven years. From Calabar in 1987 to Agbala Itura Ibadan. I spent about 29 years in Agbala Itura. I left Agbala Itura in 2016 to my present station which is Adamasingba DCC.

 

 

You became the District Superintendent, Zonal Superintendent and DCC Superintendent in Agbala Itura?

I started in Agbala Itura as an Assembly Pastor, and later became the District and Zonal Superintendent. I was transferred from there to CAC Oke-Anu, Adamasingba DCC as the DCC Superintendent since 2016 till date. 

 

Pastor Olaiya and wife

 

I learnt there is a relationship between you and the former General Evangelist of CAC Worldwide, Prophet S.K. Abiara. Kindly shed more light on this.

I didn’t know Baba Abiara before my training as a Pastor at CAC Theological Seminary. I got to know him when I got there in 1980 to be trained as a Pastor.  Because of the call and power of God he saw in my life, he invited me to Agbala-Itura, but I went back to Calabar after my ordination because I could not go to Agbala-Itura at that time. This is because people of Calabar sponsored me. They paid for my training and everything. I had to go back to serve there. They thought I wouldn’t come back to Calabar after the two-year course and that is why they didn’t allow my wife to go with me. They said my wife should stay back with them. I was there as a Pastor till April 1987 before I came to Agbala-Itura in Ibadan. Agbala-Itura is an Evangelical centre. God really laid hands on Baba Abiara and he is a man of God I respected so much. I was looking at him as if I was looking at Apostle Joseph Ayo Babalola. He is an embodiment of power, wisdom and evangelism. Through Baba Abiara I had the opportunity of travelling abroad. I have travelled to Athens, Thessalonica, London, America, South Africa and Ireland. I can be proud of visiting many countries of the world through evangelism.

 

Since the last 50 years, what has the ministry taught you that the young ministers of this generation can learn from?

The new generation ministers of God should caution themselves concerning money. During our time we preached the gospel and soul winning was our major focus, but these days people are preaching about money. They want to quickly get rich. Unity, love and self denial should be practiced. During our own time we were not after money, we were too much concerned about the things of the kingdom more than anything else. I was preaching in London one day, someone who I respected so much and nicknamed “Professor of Theology” said to me after the message that “you are preaching about the second coming of Christ which I knew you to be preaching since many years ago, when will you change your sermon? Is Jesus still coming back?” Can you just imagine a Pastor who has degrees upon degrees in Religious Education, Evangelism etc. asking me such question? What do you think that kind of Pastor has been preaching or teaching? I wanted to have an argument with him, but during this time, Baba Abiara called me and that was how the matter died down. I have been looking at him since then as somebody who has no knowledge of Christ. Anyone who is preaching about the second coming of Jesus Christ is being seen or classified as old school preacher. People are no longer preaching about salvation, rather how to become rich or how to go to the next level. It is good to be rich, but we should put the kingdom of God first. They should go back to the foundation of preaching the gospel. We are sent to preach the message of God’s kingdom.

 

Pastor Olaiya with the Minister in Charge of CAC Adamasingba DCC headquarters English Assembly, Pastor J.O. Oluwasanmi

 

Looking back at the last 50 years, can you tell us things that keep you going despite the thick and thin of the journey?

It is the grace of God that has been keeping me going. I can’t claim any self righteousness. Apart from the grace of God, I believe so much in prayer. In this generation people are no longer praying the way we should pray. In those days, we didn’t believe in anything other than the power of prayer. We separated ourselves from people and went to mountain to pray. We ran away from sin. I don’t think people are practicing that again because things have changed. I want to urge everyone to come back to the former way of ministry. When God called the founding fathers of Christ Apostolic Church, they dedicated and sacrificed themselves totally for the work and they lived a life of holiness. Some of them died without having houses of their own. It is no longer the same these days. Thank God that I travelled abroad but it is not my travelling abroad that made me what I am today. I was telling people when I travelled to Athens in Greece in 1991 that ‘this is the first time I am travelling abroad.’ After the sermon a Pastor corrected me and said I shouldn’t have said that. He said I am not like someone who came from Nigeria. He said  ‘why don’t you tell them you came from USA?’ I said to him ‘no.’ I told him if I said that it simply means I don’t want to travel abroad again. I told him God can put a stop to it. I can’t be glorifying myself instead of glorifying God. I told him after all I am not there for business purpose, but for the gospel. To the glory of God I began to tour many countries of the world from there. In this generation most preachers prefer to preach about prosperity, instead of preaching about holiness and the power of God. Though, it is one of the prophecies of Jesus Christ about incidents that would happen before He comes. Ministers of the gospel should be very careful in a time like this and be very prepared for His second coming.

 

Looking at the last 50 years, have you ever faced any challenge or passed through any tribulation to the extent that you were thinking of quitting?

There was never a day I was thinking of quitting and I can never quit. I have taken the decision wholeheartedly to follow Jesus and no turning back. I have been very strong in faith. It is not me, but it is God who established my feet. There were many temptations but God never allowed any of them to overcome me. One of the biggest temptations one could encounter in the ministry is hunger, lack or poverty. I am the only surviving child of my parents. We are about five in numbers. I was so much in poverty. I wanted to go back to the business my parents were doing around 1976/1977, but God called on me that there is no going back. God told me I am going to be the leader of my people and by the grace of God that is what I am today.  I didn’t allow anything to cause me to go back because I have decided to follow Jesus and no turning back. I have made the strong decision to follow Him till the end. I want people to make the strong decision to follow Him irrespective of the challenges, tribulations or persecutions. Always ask for the power of God to make you stand, so that whenever temptation comes you will surely overcome. 

 

Pastor Olaiya (In the middle) with the Curate Pastor of Adamasingba DCC headquarters, Pastor V.S.O. Obisesan (right) and Minister in Charge of CAC Adamasingba DCC headquarters English Assembly, Pastor J.O. Oluwasanmi (left).

 

How many churches have you planted since the last 50 years?

We planted many assemblies when I was in Agbala Itura. I used to follow Baba Abiara for evangelism. All the assemblies planted by Baba Abiara we did it together to the glory of God. I can’t lay claim on any church planted because this is Christ Apostolic Church.

 

Can you name one or two of those churches?

We planted 90 percent of Agbala Itura assemblies together. We planted assemblies in Lagos, Abeokuta, Sango-Ota, Ilesa, Osogbo and in Ibadan we have seven or eight assemblies. We did it together but I don’t have anything to claim. Baba Abiara is the one God placed in charge.

 

The main assignment Christ gave us is to make disciples after the preaching of the gospel. Can you tell us in the last 50 years disciples you have raised who have become ministers of God?

 I give glory to God who made me to spend many years in Agbala Itura and I want to appreciate God for the life of Baba Abiara. God established through the ministry of Baba Abiara “Christ International Divinity College (CINDICO).”  We used to send anybody God called into the ministry to the school for training. I can mention more than 50 people who God has called through my ministry or ministration, to the glory of God.

 

Group photograph during thanksgiving service held to celebrate Pastor Olaiya's 50 years in the ministry

 

50 years down the lane, can you tell us some of your contemporaries who are still in the ministry?

I will not like to mention names because some people may be thinking I am arrogant. Many of my contemporaries have died. Only few of them are alive. My years in the service of the Lord don’t matter, what matters to me are the number of souls I have won into the kingdom of God. I want to thank God for my life. I was never doing any work before ministry. The ministry of the gospel is my first work. I was farming with my father in bush before I was called into the ministry.

 

 

You worked with a renowned Prophet like Baba Abiara for many years and you never endeavoured to be a Prophet or call yourself a Prophet which is totally different to what is obtainable today.   What is your advice to ministers of God who have abandoned their ministerial offices to operate in the office God never called to operate?

 I usually say it whenever I minister among ministers of God that ministers should try to know their gifts. Try to know the office you are called to operate from. We have five ministerial offices. They are Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, Pastor and Teacher.  I didn’t claim to be a Prophet, but doesn’t mean God would not show something to me. I always let the church know whenever God told me to tell them anything. Some people used to call me Prophet, but I know I am not a Prophet because I know Prophets would answer many questions before the Lord for them to say what the Lord never said. The Bible is the greatest Prophet of our generation, we should go back to the Bible. The Bible tells us things of yesterday, today and the future.  As a Pastor it is advisable you remain as a Pastor. It doesn’t mean God will not show you revelation. Baba Abiara is a Prophet, A to Z. Being with him I gained many things, but not the office of a Prophet. It is a calling, not a gift. You are not trained to become a Prophet, but you are called by God.

 

What should we still be expecting from your ministry or ministration?

If God spared my life, I want to continue to preach the gospel for church planting, for the growth of the already planted churches till God will call me to give account of my stewardship. I will retire in two years time according to the constitution of CAC, but that doesn’t stop me from preaching the gospel. I want to go to anywhere to preach the gospel. The preaching of the gospel is unlimited as far as I am concerned. If at all I can’t go out due to old age, I will send out my children and grand children whom I have been preaching to. By the grace of God one of my children is a Pastor and I also taught others in the way of the Lord. I have been in the ministry before I got married to my wife. My wife met me in the preaching of the gospel. I told her ‘I am going to be a Pastor very soon.’  I was then an Evangelist.  I got married to her in the year 1977. I want to advise the young ones to make themselves holy. Since 1977 till date, I didn’t make any mistake to have any baby outside my marriage.

 

Can you briefly tell us the contribution of your wife to your ministry?

My wife has no other business. She is fully committed to the preaching of the gospel. I traveled a lot with her. We go out together for evangelism because she is going to be my witness. She has been giving me 100 percent support. I didn’t doubt her love and cooperation with me. She trusts me. She believes in my ministry and supports me at all times. God gave me all my children through her.

 

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