How I was converted into Christ Apostolic Church as a Biafran soldier- Pastor Chukwuezie


Pastor Collins O. Chukwuezie


***It’s an error to call CAC a Yoruba Church

Pastor Collins Osita Chukwueze, the second Regional Superintendent of Medaiyese Region is a CAC minister to the core. Since his conversion experience during the Biafran war into the Church, he has remained steadfast in the Church till now. He confessed to CHRIST APOSTOLIC Magazine that apart from his brief career as a Biafran soldier, he has never done any other job than being a minister of the Gospel in the CHRIST APOSTOLIC CHURCH. He isa man who believes in doing things right no matter what happens. Fresh from his transfer from Mushin, Lagos as the DCC Superintendent and his promotion to lofty position of Regional Superintendent of Medaiyese Region, Pastor Chukwuezie became a news maker whose personality and background needed to be dug into. The Editor of this magazine saw the need to get the story as soon as possible and Members of the CAC Council of Publicity Secretaries in Medaiyese Region were mandated to get their Regional Superintendent to talk. The result of their efforts is what you are about to read in this Interview conducted by PASTOR (DR) DAVID OBAYAN, a member of the Editorial Board of this Magazine, PASTOR TORIOLA J. DOTUN, The Medaiyese Regional Publicity Secretary AND PASTOR AJEWOLE TIMOTHY, A Zonal Superintendent. Enjoy the Interview:

Deducing from your name (Chukwuezie), it is clear that you are from the Eastern part of Nigeria where CAC is regarded as a Yoruba Church. In brief, can you tell us about your background, your education, the kind of work you were doing and how you became a Christ Apostolic Church member and Minister?


Thank you, like you rightly mentioned, by His grace I hail from Iyin town in Orji River Local Government, Enugu state, and here a top ranking officer of Christ Apostolic Church Nigeria and Overseas. I went to primary school obtained my first school leaving certificate, I went to secondary school I got my West African School Certificate, I also went to the University of Nigeria Nsukka, I got my Diploma in Public Administration, I proceeded to obtain my Bachelor’s degree in Religious Education. I proceeded to Uthman Danfodio University,Sokoto to obtain my Masters in Educational Psychology. I also went to Christ Apostolic Church Theological Seminary to bag my diploma in Theology.


I didn’t work in the secular field except when the war broke out in 1967, then I was going to my final year in the secondary school, so we had to join the war to defend our state, (Biafra). I became a soldier, a lieutenant in the Biafran Army. It was In the process of the war, God in His providence brought a batman to me. It was like the case of Naaman whose slave led him to God of Israelites, this my batman was so courageous, so prayerful, so dynamic and a bulldozer. One time I sustained abullet injury, he was able to back me and crawled out of the war front, by his courage and integrity and uprightness, I was tempted to ask him “which church do you go?” and he said C.A.C, that if I agree to go with him they will tell me what to do to survive the war, that was how I followed him. One day we took pass and the second day we got there and the minister told me what to do and opened my eyes to the revelations and prayers and the words of God. I opened my heart to the worship of Christ and since then what he told me to do I have been abiding by it, that was how I received the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour. They told me that after the war if He (Jesus) say so, I should work for Him. As we met after the war, in January 1970, he (the Batman) came to me and took me to Enugu to testify to the leader what God did and what happened. From there they took me to seminary, it was a six month training, so I graduated in 1971, that’s all, I did not do any secular job, all that I did was being a Biafran soldier.


C.A.C is being referred to as Yoruba church in some non-Yoruba land. As an Igbo man sir, what kindled your interest to serve in this mission to the extent of rising to the rank of REGIONAL SUPERINTENDENT?

Yes, two factors account for why non-Yorubas see CAC and regard it as a Yoruba church. I was brought up a catholic, I was serving the mass, the school I attended was a catholic school and I was a mass server, because of this, the priest made me his steward, as I was serving him, the money I am supposed to be paid were used to pay for my school fees. It is true.

One factor that made it so is that, the preponderance of members and adherents are of Yoruba stock. They are more in number and this is because the founders and place the church was founded is Yoruba land. So, it got root in Yoruba land and God used the founders to destroy the idolatry in Yoruba land to some extent. So, wherever something starts, it will have more adherents and more founder base just like in Rome where the Romans started Christianity as a legit religion it became the base and since then they have been appointing the Pope from Rome until the later time that other people are being appointed as Pope. Even in the Jewish land when God choose the Jews as His children, Judah is His base and when Christianity came, He said we shall start from Jerusalem. So the fact is that the preponderance of members are in Yoruba land  and the Church has more impact there before it started spreading to other places, but that does not mean CAC is a Yoruba church. CAC is in Igbo land, in the whole of the five states of South East, CAC has strong growth and is firmly established, they have districts, DCCs even Region so also in other parts of Nigeria, Babalola came to the east, he went to the North and other places, no need to call CAC a Yoruba church. Even in the UK we have Anosike Region, look at me an Igbo man as a Regional Superintendent therefore, CAC is for everybody. I was converted in CAC but not in Yoruba land.  CAC is firmly established in all states in Nigeria and beyond Africa and the world. It is an error to call CAC a Yoruba church.

Another factor is that when you look at the calendar, you will see the three principal officers are Yoruba, it is not anomaly, it is the case because the people who founded it know better. We are coming up, we are going to get to the point where the three principal officers, one will come from the west, one from the North and one from the East, yes we are going to that point, that will end the view being expressed by people that CAC is a Yoruba church.


What can we learn that motivates or gives you courage to carry you further as a minister of God in CAC?

It is the foundation word you received that will actually carry you further, higher or lower. I had my salvation during the war. By then People were dying, when they brought 3 battalions of soldiers, before 2 days only 10 soldiers will remain, they will bring more before a week only 20 soldiers will remain, people with Bible were dying, people with charms were dying, people with long armlets and bracelets were dying, so everybody was curious about how to survive the war, but when this boy (my batman) took me to the place they ministered to me and I found God in Christ Apostolic Church since then that foundation of my salvation became the foundation of my life. It is a matter of focus, wherever I go, I keep the legacy of godliness, yes wherever I went or the authority send me, I worked as a zonal chairman in Onitsha, Anambra state, from there I was posted to Sokoto to man Kebbi, Zamfara and Sokoto states for seven years (1997-2003) and that was when Yerima pronounced Sharia during Obasanjo era and the youth corpers refused to come and serve there. We the priests there said ‘come, there is accommodation for you here, no problem, you are safe’.  We the ministers of God there were more cooperative than in the south, Akinfenwa of Anglican Church, Bishop Aje of Roman Catholic, ECWA and the rest of them we were all together. I was the vice chairman of CAN then. When those corpers came we protected them in our churches, that was when we started having CAC corpers, Anglican corpers and so on. Then they were not teaching CRS (Christian Religious Studies) in their schools, we went to them they say they were not ready to pay, we told them “don’t pay, we are going to teach”,  and  because I studied Education in secular university, I became a form master.

After seven years there, I was transferred to Jos as a conference centre chairman, from Plateau to Bauchi, Gombe, Adamawa, Bokkos for another six years. My focus is to lay a legacy of godliness. It takes a Godly man to make somebody a godly man. Wherever I went, I left a legacy, yes in Lagos where I came from now, I took over from Pastor Obisesan, who took over from Pastor Ogunyinka, ‘yes’ Ogunyinka took over from me in Enugu. At Mushin, they were like ‘ha’ can somebody work like this? Even my Yoruba counterparts they value my work, they see transparency, they see honesty, they see open-mindedness, I don’t look into money, tribe has nothing to do with me, it is a universal gospel, even I cannot preach in Yoruba or pray in Yoruba, they valued my work, that is my interest. God has blessed me in CAC, He has helped me in CAC, I didn’t die with others during the war despite the fact that I didn’t have charms and amulets, so, I say I will live a CAC and die a CAC, because in CAC I received what I don’t receive from other places.


Can you please tell us some of the challenges you faced as a growing Pastor and the tactics used to overcome them?

Yes, the challenges we had in the work of God is economic challenges, this is not a money making business, and if people want to make it in such a way, a little to the left and a little to the right to make ends meet, it won’t work. It is not a career that one should live by, it is a calling and if you adhere to the calling strictly and pursue the mission and kingdom righteousness, those things you are pursuing like wealth would run after you. For instance I vowed, “Lord you have given me children, I must give my children legacy, Godliness and education, since there is no money in God’s work and I am not going to touch any dirty money to invest in my children education, I would want them to have admission into Federal universities, because state and private universities are expensive” God heard my prayers and all my children gain admission to Federal Universities. I learnt that if heaven is your focus, other things would follow. That was it, I wasn’t pursuing any money. Since I’ve resumed here I’m doing things right so that there won’t be any leakage anywhere, no kobo will go unaccounted for.  In term of position, I thank God for where He has taken me to and where He is still taking me to hereafter. Many challenges I faced, I for one looked away from them because I know that God is dealing with me.


As the second Regional Superintendent of Medaiyese Region, what could be the anticipation from your determinations to further the growth of the region sir?

Thank you very much, when I received a promotion letter to this region, I saw it as a great privilege that the authority saw me fit and Medaiyese Region is one of the foremost Regions in CAC, yet I am considered, I found the privilege which I am not taking for granted. I owe thankfulness to our Authority and praises to God who used them to give me such a honour that I don’t deserve. I came with the heart to grow Medaiyese for God, it is also a rule of my engagement, and one of my engagements is to evangelise and spread the word of the kingdom. John said, if you lift your eyes to the field, you will see that the harvest is ripe, so, it is my candid opinion to see that Medaiyese expands beyond what and where it is now, that is why I have decided to run it In Zones, I will partition them; e.g. Niger Zone, Benue Zone, Bokkos Zone, Abuja Zone, Kaduna Zone that is five Zones with component units for mobilization, secondly to meet the demand of Covid – 19 protocol and also for economic reason due to the expenses and security wise because of the country’s situation that is for effective coverage and to ensure effective mobilisation. The first thing I am accessing on the work now is the database. We are working hard on it and have reached advance stage, so that the issue of promoting junior over senior will no longer happen, it is among the pastors, the DS and even the chairmen. The challenges of I know you, I don’t know you is one of the greatest issue in CAC. I will create this database for Medaiyese Region so that things will be done right.


According to the saying that behind a successful man there is always a good woman, how has your marriage aided your ministerial career?

In myplace when I wanted to marry, they refused to give their daughter to me because I go to a church that they clap their hands and bless water, that their daughter will die of hunger. When I went to serve in Abakaliki, God opened my eyes to see a lady from Awka that is the capital of Anambra state, He showed me that this is my wife and we started, that was in 1974, I wedded her and God gave me seven sons through her and she has been a pillar of support for me, she hold prayer ministry for me, she is helping me prayerfully that wherever I went, success always attend my endeavour.

Economically, with the little income we have, she would manage it and use it to feed the family. Very loyal, and if you see her we look identical, people would think she is my junior sister, it is God’s doing.

Without my wife, I don’t know how I would have got through in this work, when my people were rejecting me their daughter, I didn’t know it was God’s work, if I had married then I don’t know where I would have been now because those people didn’t know God, but I found my wife in our church. She is a Pillar of support for me, I couldn’t go anywhere without her.  


How has your military background touched your pastoral work?

If not for the military training, I wouldn’t have been sustained until today, it prepared me well, I didn’t know that going to the army was God’s way of preparing me. I can stand for three hours praying, in the military, we always stand up for 3-4 hours. If you gather people to pray now, within 30 minutes you will see them sitting down and they are young boys and girls, but at my age I will be holding vigil from 11pm till dawn because I suffered hardship in the Biafra war, no food, no good water, but all this prepared me very well to be contented with what I have, it also helped me to be disciplined and loyal to the core. I am a disciplined man in money and everything. I will go on errand, I will keep financial records into details, if a cup of water is given to me, I put down the amount. So the military training has helped me a lot to overcome the rigours of the work and the hardship. Timothy said we should suffer hardship as a good soldier.


Sir, what do you think that the authority of the church can do to put a stop to some defects in the area of promotion and loophole?

I thank God for the coming of the new President, Pastor Oladele, I have been privileged to see the former leaders we had, and they’ve tried their best. But now we have come on board. The era of placing a very junior person over a senior pastor is over. Now we have over hundred DCCs and Zones on fire, why? because of agitation for promotion. The management is taking decision on that now so we should allow the General Superintendent to do his work. When people’s request for promotion comes to your table, go to the record, check if such person is fitting or not. We have agreed to move this church forward. For the privilege given to lead this church, the time we have now is to our best to repair CAC and do things the right way. Here in Medaiyese region, I am preparing the database for the Region. The promotion we are doing, what criteria is being used to do it? Before any district is approved, we must go around and make sure it meets all the criteria, not that you will tell them  “give me money and I will do this or that for you” it’s too bad. We will not do something that is against the standard of God. When you promote a junior over the senior, you will demotivate the senior and what you get is diminishing return.


Sir, what are some virtues that upcoming career ministers can emulate that make you a success in your ministerial work?

The virtue of “contentment”. People don’t know that God’s calling is a privilege and not everybody is worthy to be called by God, but when you are called, you should be contented that God has called you, because who are you that you are opportune to be called by God, it takes sacrifice to be called by God, but our people these days are not contented, they are looking for things that they were not supposed to. Economics states that “man wants is insatiable”. If they are contented and imbibe the Godly character, they will be able to bring souls to the kingdom. Matthew 5:16 says let your light so shine, that people will see the light and glorify God. But some ministers of nowadays are not there to glorify God, they are there for their stomach.

Number one problem of CAC is workers, number two is workers, and number three is workers. The church CAC is a wonderful church, but ministers of God are not helping matters. Some are rather burdens and not assets to the church, among them you will see gossips, heresies, and covetousness and what have you. (Oh no! it’s an eyesore), it is very unfortunate. We see in CAC today, leaders are trying to press down their junior ones instead of preparing them for a better future, which is the mind of progress to our work. Today, nobody wants the progress of the other. The virtue we should have is contentment, focusing on the kingdom, serving God acceptably, it gives joy, it gives state of fulfilment. The commendation you have in your heart is more than the physical one you can receive. God’s work is enjoyable, if you do it the way the Bible says.


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