INTERVIEW: How hunting games impacted my prayer life- Pastor Odejobi

CAC General Superintendent, Pastor Emmanuel O. Odejobi

In this interview with Christ Apostolic Magazine, the General Superintendent of Christ Apostolic Church, Worldwide, Pastor Emmanuel O. Odejobi speaks on many interesting issues. EXCERPT !

From your background, you hail from a family of hunters. Did you at any time have a hunting experience?

Thank you for the question. I have a lot of experience because I was born by a real hunter. I was bred and grown as a son of a hunter. When I was in school, people used to call me “Omo Ode” (meaning, Hunter's Child). One of the major experiences that remains in my memory till date and remains indelible is that of singing exercise which is “Ijala Ode.” The number one thing I noted is that my father used to armour himself with “igbadi, olonde” and other things. A hunter will not just dabble into an expedition without getting himself well equipped and armoured. After my father had armoured himself, he would recite some incantations to know if the outing would benefit him or not. He used to also go on “ifa ritual” just to know how the outing would be. My daddy used to sing many hunter's songs and many a times when you see people singing praise and worship in church, it could be likened to that experience I had and I love it till today. I used to follow my daddy for hunting and I learnt many experiences. Many a times when my daddy was on the hunting field and he targeted an animal or anything, he would close one eye and open the other so as to make sure he got his target. By the time he was about to release the bullet, he would cease breath and this is because it may be the time he was about to release the bullet to the targeted animal that an insect would come to bite him and he might miss the target due to that. It is after killing the animal my daddy would realize something had bitten him. I learnt a lot in hunting. By the time the hunters were eating together in the evening, they used one cup for the drinking of palm wine. It is simply because if at all you have the intention to harm any of them you won’t be able to do so. For you to have it in mind to poison one of them, it simply means you are going to poison yourself. I learnt a lot from it and I used to think why should they be using same cup without being afraid of communicable diseases. These are the things that remain in my memory till today.

Those hunters are traditional people and they were dealing with one another with one mind because it takes somebody with one mind to share one cup for drinking with people. In Christianity it is not the same, but I think Christianity is supposed to be an example to others. What is your thought on this?

It is two sided. It may not happen today because of the situation of things, particularly in a time like this when government says we should keep social distance. There was no pandemic in those days. It would have been imitative if not because of the modern day problem and the danger it entails this time around. It is supposed to be like that in the Christendom if not because of situation of things that caused fear. What they ate that time was medicinal. They took fresh vegetables, fruits and other things, unlike our time, when vegetables would have undergone a lot of heat before getting to the consumer. 

So many years ago, they practised the use of one cup to serve Holy Communion, but these days we all use different cups. Some people have said it is a sign of lack of love among brethren. What is your take on this?

My experience I shared about how hunters used same cup spelt clearly love and unity, but our environment may hinder us from doing so these days due to the presence of communicable diseases and pandemic. Should we say Christians are not demonstrating love, after all they pray on the sacrament even before sharing it? It depends on each person’s thought, even if we use same cup, what about our inner mind? If we mind using the same cup, do we mind our minds? Using one cup is good, it is a symbol to love and unity with one another, but minding our minds might be all that matters this time even if we use one cup to take holy communion. The reprobate mind is there that has no time to even reason why we use one cup.

You mentioned one point you learnt from Daddy that whenever he aimed at an animal he would cease breath so that whatever was distracting his attention he would not mind until he had gotten that target. Does that teach anything about prayer?

When we talk of fasting and prayer, we talk of self denial. If my Daddy could so persevere and endure never to miss that target, similarly as Christians we must be able to endure and persevere. When you talk of fasting and prayer, it is because prayer should normally go with fasting before it becomes effective or impacting. My Daddy ceased breath. Ceasing breath at times was all about denying himself even as far as to his spirit. During baptism you die with Christ by the time you are being immersed into the water and you cease breath when you are in the water. Ceasing breath is self denial and as well to close one's eyes. The Bible says you open one eye to heaven and close the other to the things of the world. When you close one eye and straighten your hand to target something you will not miss your target. Opening one eye to Heaven and closing one eye to the world means never to open one’s eye to the things of the world, or else we will miss target. On ceasing breath, when hunters are about to release bullet on any animal they will not be mindful of any insect that may bite them and that is why they cease breath. The same thing is applicable to prayer and fasting. When you pray and you fast it is self denial. Deny yourself and by the time you pray, your prayer would be like a gun, but without accompanying it with self denial the prayer may not be answered. You can pray marathon prayer, but without self denial your effort may be in vain. 

Our research shows that you were once a trade unionist, that is, you were in the forefront of fighting for workers’ rights. This naturally makes you a radical, right activist, how did you submit this attitude to your call into ministry of the Gospel?

When one happens to be a unionist, you must possess boldness and courage. An approved unionist would not mind anything because you are fighting battles for certain people. In like manner, when you talk of evangelism, you are doing it for the sake of people who are not yet saved. Hunting could be likened to that as well. Hunters are hunting to kill animals and when it comes to the Gospel it is the same thing. Being a unionist you are not fighting for yourself, but for the people. A unionist must be courageous, bold and mindful of nothing. I learnt a lot in my short time as a student unionist. Some of my colleagues those days used to armour themselves with charms, but rather for me to armour myself with charms, I used to remember helmet of salvation because I have been a Christian since then. I armoured myself with helmet of salvation in place of “abusari” my colleagues used. Apart from helmet of salvation, I use sword of the Spirit on my right hand. I used to depend on Bible because that time as well I happened to be President of CAC Students’ Association (CACSA). After the sword of the Spirit it is shield of faith. If you don’t have faith in the word of God as a unionist and you don’t want to go satanic, you can regret being one of the union leaders. After shield of faith is breastplate of righteousness, belt of Truth, shoe of evangelism etc. I depend on all these to lead people and fight for them as we used to fight for yet to be converted and yet to be born again people. When you are doing that you have to be offensive and at the same time defensive. Offensive weapon must be at your right hand which is the sword of the Spirit and defensive weapon on your left hand that is shield of faith. In case anybody chants incantation you just wave it off. We used to challenge people with boldness and courage. These are experiences during my time being one of the union leaders. 

By calling, you are a Prophet, but as the General Superintendent of CAC, you will be playing the role of Head Shepherd and Teacher, would you be able to combine the two offices?

Why shouldn’t I? In the Old Testament, Moses happens to be a Prophet and as well an administrator. I know that this position is an appointment for administration. If Moses could succeed, I will succeed by God’s grace. Moses led two million and five hundred thousand people out of Egypt and that figure is without women and children. Moses led them out of Egypt and getting to the wilderness you can imagine how administrative he was as far as being recipient of God’s favour to receive Ten Commandments which is for administration. If it gave Moses no headache because of indwelling Spirit of God in him, why should it be difficult for me? Any Prophet or Evangelist that possesses not the mind of administration is a momentary Prophet or Evangelist. If you possess not the mind of admin you won’t able to administer your self-will. The aspect that is very difficult to administer is the mind of man. The Spirit of God is the first well known Administrator and the Spirit of God in a man of God would enable him to measure up to the standard. I can administer myself and by God’s grace I can administer my home. If you are able to administer your home being Prophet or an Evangelist or Teacher you may not experience any heartbeat concerning administrating even the whole nation. It is all about manifesting the great Teacher which is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is our Prophet, Evangelist and an Administrator, same thing as Apostle Paul. Look at Baba Olutimehin, he was a Prophet. He prophesied to me concerning Transfiguration Church and I follow his foretelling. He is one of the people that passed through this office without any mark of failure, why should I be different? Starting from just an Assembly Pastor, the authority found me suitable and reasonable without writing any application and made me District Superintendent. From District Superintendent, our District was made Special District which started from me in CAC. Talk of financial commitment to the Church, spiritual growth, numerical growth and administrative growth, the authority thought me reasonable. They visited Transfiguration and they saw how we administer things. One is not supposed to have any heartbeat when it comes to administering the church of God because it is not a new office to me. By the reason of the indwelling spirit that has been administering me all the time I am an administrator. 

You started at CAC Oke-Itedo Olorun Iyanu, but something happened at a point that you had to leave the assembly. Can you tell us a bit of what happened then?

Not all that tragic incident that led me out of the place. I left there because of certain misunderstanding between the church and the elderly ones. The elderly ones were not embezzling church money; it was a problem of mismanagement. I am sure you can differentiate between mismanagement and embezzlement. I want to believe it all happened because of expansion of the Gospel. CAC Oke-Itedo Olorun Iyanu is one of the well noted churches in Lagos State. By the time Satan visited the church, I happened to be a member of the Light of the World Society before I become an emergency Evangelist at the church because of the situation of things. I was then working at WESTEX in Ilupeju, working as Assistant Engineer with an Indian. There was a particular day when I visited my cousin, Pastor Odesola for a certain reason and getting there I could see the place becoming a war front. It was battle between the elderly ones and the youth. It was about a time for the Pastors’ Conference and CAC Oke-Itedo Olorun Iyanu is the venue. The youth told the elders that the church should have a toilet. They said it is not ideal for the Ministers of God and people to be defecating or urinating at the railway which is at the back of the church. They demanded to know the actual amount of money in the church’s account. The aim of the youth is to make voluntary donations along the Light of the World Society in addition with the church money so that by the time the Babas would come for the Pastors Conference, there would be befitting toilet for them to use. The elderly ones questioned the youth that who are they to interfere in the affairs of the church. They said “yours is to say amen and carry your bag and leave the church immediately after the service.” The youth now said “not this time around, we must know how much we have in church purse and before the Pastors’ Conference we must have a befitting toilet that would make the Babas have joyous mind holding the conference in our church.” That was the commencement of the battle. All the ministers left because of the battle. I decided to step aside. I left there in order for the church to live and thank God the church is alive. 

After stepping aside, I started another church at Abule-Egba, Lagos which is CAC Oke-Irapada and it is now DCC (Abule-Egba DCC) and even Oke-Itedo Olorun Iyanu (Agege DCC). When I left Oke-Irapada, my intent was to stay in my dwelling place because church is already built there and then my people at Abule-Egba said I should not stay there. We started another church in Ajuwon which is now the DCC headquarters of Transfiguration DCC. 

In 2014 at a meeting in Ikeji, you predicted that a worse crisis was coming. By 2015, that prophecy came to reality. It was God that saved the church from that crisis. What is the future of this church like?

Thank for having it in memory. The just shall live by faith without eyes closed, no one is supposed to be told that the future of every man is full of adventures. The future of this church could be likened to the people of God in Egypt with the mind to go to Canaan. The future of this church commences from tomorrow and without seeing vision you know that church of God right from the beginning cannot be predicted. God would not tell the Israelites that there is going to be Red Sea on their way. He only told them of the land of honey and milk. Had it been God let it known to Moses and the Israelites that there was going to be Red Sea, they would prefer staying in Egypt. 

I can confirm it, unless if the church is not church of Christ, if anybody says there is no problem, he or she is lying. Why should there be no problem especially in the end time? The Bible declared it that in the end time there must be problems. If a Prophet now says there is no problem for Christ Apostolic Church, he is an environmental Prophet. There must be problems but we will be able to cross over like the Israelites. We just have to move on to the righteous side of God. The righteous side of God is to have faith in God. It means to trust the word of God, obey the word of God, walk in the light of the word of God and work in the beauty of Christ’s holiness. Come what may, devil notwithstanding, we will cross to the other side. I can proudly say of the Holy Spirit that is directing this church. I prophetically, pastorally, evangelically and with teaching gift says tomorrow would offer us the glory of God. 

The 11th General Superintendent whom you succeeded said in an interview that indiscipline is still an issue among our ministers in CAC. How will you instill discipline among our Pastors in CAC?

We are fond of indiscipline in our church and the devil is using it to attack the church. We also lack human relations. With sign indicators, I have observed that if we leaders of the church can unite, indiscipline would vanish in our church. No matter the authority one wants to use as a leader without leadership by example for others to see and beginning to have change of mind, instilling discipline may not work. Our former GS and now President is a disciplined man who has the mind for discipline to be instilled among our Pastors or ministers. Having been recipient of God’s Spirit, I have no doubt of myself that I hate indiscipline. If by the grace of God members of the management team of the church have similar minds right from the top, discipline would not have its way in this church. Not with thugery mind or forcing people because we cannot force people to be convinced, talk less of being converted, but attitude speaks louder than voice. If we come together that we all hate indiscipline, which I have seen the indication, indiscipline will fall down flat. We will continue to pray with our present President. If we conquer indiscipline, there is no church that would not bow for Christ Apostolic Church.  

What should we expect in terms of the unity of this church with our brothers from other side?

The work is tremendously ongoing. We desire and love unity and the Bible also talks about its importance in Psalm 133 that it is good and pleasant. It is as if you have both your negative and positive line for circulation of electricity to change non-living things to become living things. The wire that supplies electricity to this bulb in my office has both positive and negative lines. The flow of electricity to the ordinary bulb turned it to extra ordinary, just like the way the Spirit of God did. We are natural in CAC, but people perceive us to be natural. We need to let them know that our supernatural is of no revocation. We will prove it. Pleasantness and goodness are all in unity. Not until one realizes the efficacy and effect of unity it cannot be possessed and if at all you are looking for it you are doing that for mere sake because you don’t know the value. This value of unity has to do with knowing the content according to the Bible which is goodness and pleasantness and whereever these two things are there would be progress of no opposition, but there is a price to pay for the cost. It is an exorbitant cost. It is all about understanding which is the number one thing. Is unity even at home talk of the people we want to unite with? Either inward or outward unity, it starts from understanding one another. Misunderstanding would not allow unity to come. The number two is perseverance. We should be able to tolerate and persevere with one another. If our great Master, Jesus Christ possessed not understanding and perseverance, He would fail woefully. While yet sinners, Christ died for us. If we have not received the blessing of the Holy Spirit to demonstrate such, be it internally or externally, forget about unity. Number three is forgiveness. We must be able to forgive one another. If we are able to pay the price, unity would stand. Unity is our asset, but access to it is understanding, perseverance/tolerance and forgiveness. 

Can you tell us sir how you met Mummy?

Wow! My Shade…. (laughed). I met her at Ikare when I was invited for an open air crusade by Late Pastor P.K.O. Omolayo. I represented Pastor Ilesanmi at the crusade. At the close of the crusade, I saw my wife among the men who were packing the equipment used for the crusade. She was the only sister among the brothers packing the equipment and I liked the way she smiles. She loves smiling. No situation or circumstances would cause her never to smile. Even if you hurt her, she will still smile. During the course of joining the brothers to pack the equipment, I greeted her and she smiled to me. I like her voice whenever she sings. If she sings, she sings angelic. The way she mingled herself with the brothers doing the work of God impressed me. I have never seen her before then, but the Spirit of God told me “that is your wife.” She was studying, doing NCE in Ilesa. She was among the second batch of NCE at Ilesa. When I approached her she asked of where I came from and I told her I came from Lagos. I asked her if she had the plan of visiting Lagos and she replied that she had a brother at Amukoko. She said anytime she visited Lagos to spend the holiday with her brother she would get in touch with me. I was amazed and surprisingly I just saw her one day. She told me since she promised that she would come that she had to fulfill her promise. I proposed to her and she said God had told her already that I am her husband.  

You got married long time ago and you are still married till now. How would you counsel people who are saying monogamy is a boring marital relationship and God is not commanding it for Christians?

They are saying that because of reprobate mind. It is part of the signs of end time. Knowledge is increasing and faith is diminishing. This is the problem of the present time. Monogamy is simpler than homosexuality, lesbianism or gay. Something that is more dreadful is that of gay. If gay could be joined by the Bishop, do we need to be told we are in the endtime? All these are challenging us and sending us packing to our commonwealth. Some people are no longer contented with their wives and drive them to the atmosphere of trouble. They call them all sort of bad names after many years in marriage. If you cannot keep unity through understanding, perseverance and forgiveness forget about maintenance of matrimonial life. People are no longer contented because of covetousness. 

Transfiguration is big enough to become a DCC, why has it not been?

Point of correction, Transfiguration is already DCC. This is how our promotion used to happen; I said earlier that Special District commenced from Transfiguration. The Authority always wrote to us that “we have noted the way you work and the way you walk.” You won’t know the Authority are looking at you. When they check our financial contribution to the Church, they were surprised by our good performance and we did it not because we wanted any upgrading but because it must be done and that is my nature. I don’t do anything because of what I want to get, I do it for the sake of Christ. I love always to be Biblical in my doing. If I rob the Authority of their right, I am very sure God would not be happy with me. I give all glory to God and I appreciate the Authority of the Church and members of transfiguration DCC. They always obey even to this present time. I am supposed to find it difficult to come to this office, but because of Transfiguration obedience, I never find it difficult. They are always supportive. They are very prayerful and they obey simple instructions. We have about 32 Pastors and more than 15 Evangelists under Transfiguration DCC. I pray for them that they will receive the same opportunity I have received. I deserve not this office. I began to think how come? I must appreciate God for counting me reasonable to come by the time I prayed not for it. I will not forget Baba Akinosun. There was a day he called me and said “I have been studying you. Make sure you keep to your attitude.” I don’t even know how they co-opted into the Church Management Board. I never knew they have been studying me. I am in evangelical line and I am supposed to end it up in the office of the General Evangelist, to God be the glory for where I am today. 

I discovered that you were amazed and shocked when you were announced as the General Superintendent at the last General Executive Council meeting. Were you not informed before then that you would be appointed as the General Superintendent?

Had it been I was told, it wouldn’t have happened the way you noted. Though, I overheard it as rumour, but till that day of open announcement, I began to ask myself “how will it come?’’ It is not common for an Evangelist to be named as the General Superintendent. I was thinking that people would raise eyebrows, but surprisingly, people were jubilating. It was something that shocked me. I was spiritually electrocuted. 

In one of our interviews with Baba Akinosun, he told us that God has already chosen the General Superintendent, but it is not yet time to announce it.

That is what he used to say. It came to a time that Management Board dragged him that if other people are not aware of someone you are going to announce, he should tell us. I personally rose up to say “why not let us know the person?” He said the time is not yet and God ordered him not to tell anybody. God used Baba Akinosun for the fulfillment of His plan and purpose for my ministerial life in CAC.

Over the years I have discovered that you are a cheerful giver and till date you are still addicted to giving. What is responsible for this?

It is not something I do for mere doing it, but I am compelled to do so because of the Bible which says “give and it shall be given unto you.” I always operate on the platform of the word of God. Being sympathetic, I know I come from a poor family and it used to come to my memory. When I think of the old times, it used to trigger my interest to give to people. I am always intoxicated to give out as if lunatic. If I see that you live below my standard, I always thought you need my help. I give because of sympathetic mind. 

You always pray for CAC not now but since many years ago. What makes you to love the Church with a lot of passion?

I love CAC because of the love and benefit I received from the Church. Benefit starting from the commencement of my ministerial life. I happen not to attend Theological Seminary at all, but because of that problem at Oke-Itedo Olorun Iyanu where I became emergency Evangelist, I passed through that problem and people began to accept my ministerial presentation, I thought it within me that “what manner of wonderful God is this?” I am not eloquent in speech. I am so sluggish, but when I handle microphone, I become unbelievable. Considering all these, I usually challenge myself to do something for CAC. There was a time Baba Olusheye called me on phone that “Pastor Odejobi you are going to London next week.” I have never visited London before and fortunately, a week to that time I received UK visa without having the mind of travelling abroad. I was sent to London to settle a dispute at CAC Seven Sisters which was the number one Pentecostal Church in London. The church was in a situation of dilemma. I felt a bit reluctant because the journey is not for evangelism, but to settle quarrels. I told Baba Olusheye that “yes sir Baba, I am at your service.” Baba laughed immediately I said it. They were about eleven people at where he was phoning me from. He said “we are eleven in number here. I mentioned three names, but these people unanimously said you should be the one to be sent to United Kingdom.” Then I summoned courage. He said “you are going to use only three months.” I told him that if I use three weeks and the quarrel is not settled, it means you are going to send another man of God. He laughed and said “Pastor Odejobi would not want to leave his church.” They asked if I am ready to go and I said “yes” without hesitation. I went there even with my money in my pocket. It was when I came back that I was given my entitlement and I went with my wife because without her I feel I am nothing. Wonderfully speaking, I spent only three weeks and the matter was settled.

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