INTERVIEW: How God turned around CAC story –Pastor Omitinde


Pastor Johnson F. Omitinde


Pastor Johnson Foluso Omitinde, the Finance Director of Christ Apostolic Church, Nigeria and Overseas, is a game changer. Since joining the CAC service in 1992, he has changed many things about the fortunes of the Church. He changed the Church from being compared with the proverbial Church rat. That is, he changed the orientation of poverty and its association with the Church. A Church that was unable to pay N10,000 house rent for its president’s residence, has become a strong player in the billionaire’s league. Pastor Omitinde reached a milestone age of 70 this July. The Editorial team of the CHRIST APOSTOLIC Magazine could not ignore this occasion which was celebrated with a very glorious orchestra at the All Saints’ Chapel.

Pastor J. F. Omitinde was born on July 17, 1951 to the family of Late Elder Emmanuel Omifisoye Omitinde by Madam Cecilia Tinuola Omitinde. He attended St. Michael Primary School at Ogbon-Agbara in Ile-Ife, St. David Modern School also in Ile-Ife and Christ Apostolic Modern School at Ipetumodu. After that he worked briefly at the Ministry of Health, Oyo State. In 1976, he joined Cooperative Bank and after working for about two years, he decided to further his education. A decision which took him to College of Art and Science in Cyprus where he had his Higher National Diploma (HND) in Accounting. He came back to Nigeria for NYSC and after his service he went back to United Kingdom to study at Lancaster University where heearnedhis PGD in Business Analysis in 1983.He capped it with an MBA in Financial Management in 2010  at the Ladoke Akintola University, Ogbomosho.


In this interview conducted by Pastors Ade Alawode, Ayodeji Oni, Biodun Ajao, Jackson Olatunji, Bukola Olagoke and Evang. Gbenga Bankole we fielded questions with the Finance Guru of the Church on various issues. We serve you excerpts from the interview for your reading pleasure. 

How do you feel reaching the age of 70?

It is a thing of joy to me and I really appreciate God because when I look at my life, I don’t even know that I will reach this age because of many reasons. It is a thing of joy for me to be 70 and I count it as a great privilege. Many of my colleagues are no more. It is a great privilege to reach this age of maturity.


We thank God for your life and your good health. 70 looks good on you. It’s as if you are younger than that age. What is the secret, sir?

(Laughter) The secret is God’s grace and mercy. I have about two to three close friends, if you are to talk of discipline, they are more disciplined than me in every aspect, but they are no longer alive. The secret of my being alive is God and His grace.

There must be some routines that enhance your good looks and ebullience. What are those secrets?

I don’t have any special routine, but I usually seek doctor’s advice and I try to abide by it. Though the doctors’ instructions are difficult to obey, I obey them for some times and later go back to my normal life. That is why I said it is God’s grace. I have a friend who is very strict. He doesn’t eat or drink like us. Do you know that he had diabetes and when he had it he was strictly following all the prescription given to him by the doctor, but he later died? 

There was a time that whenever I drink Bournvita or milk I always had stomach upset, I decided to stop it for a while and I discovered that my health improved. I even told my wife that she can see that my health has improved and I wasn’t going to the toilet the way I used to go when I was drinking Bournvita and milk, but do you know that I had stomach upset that very night that I said it? The Spirit of God told me that “do you think it is by your power?” That is why I said I have no secret, the secret is God’s grace.

As somebody who has reached an advanced age, there must be formula of success which you strictly adhered to, can you tell us so that the coming generation can learn something from you?

The bible says righteousness exalts a nation. When you talk of a nation, it is not made of trees and woods; it is made of human being. It starts from individual, family, community and the whole city. If a nation is righteous and God exalts her, if an individual is righteous, God will exalt him or her. Righteousness is my own number one policy. The second one is contentment. The Bible says godliness with contentment is a great gain. I am always contented with what God has given me. I am ambitious, but not overambitious. I have rest of mind. I don’t lay my hand on a thing that will bother my mind and that is why I don’t like borrowing. I prefer to engage in daily, weekly or monthly contribution (ajo) instead of going for bank loans where they will charge me interest. I don’t do things that will negatively affect my responsibilities at home. The basic things of life are food, house rent (if you have not built your own house), children’s school fees, clothing and other things. I don’t go for loan because I know it will affect my responsibilities at home. Once it affected your responsibility at home you have to go and borrow again. These are the things I don’t do and it gives me rest of mind.


Kindly tell us about your background, which includes your upbringing, parenthood, education and other vital information

To the glory of God I was born 70 years ago on July 17, 1951 to the family of Late Elder Emmanuel Omifisoye Omitinde and my mother, Madam Cecilia Tinuola Omitinde. My father happened to be the first Patron of CAC Ojoyin and he was also the Treasurer of Ife District. I lived with my parent in Ile-Ife. Our parents being very devoted Christians used to take us to all church programmes. We used to attend Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer etc. I have other two siblings; Mrs. Adeniyi and our brother who is now an Elder, Elder Peter Omitinde.

I attended St. Michael Primary School at Ogbon-Agbara in Ile-Ife between 1959 and 1963. After then I attended St. David Modern School in Ile-Ife between 1964 and 1966.


Can you recollect your journey into CAC service? Many professionals would prefer not to work in a church because of poor salary.

God has a way of piloting you to where He wants you to be. When I came back from UK I looked for job I couldn’t find one. Meanwhile, the situation of the country in those days was not as difficult as this, but I couldn’t find a job. I have to take teaching appointment. I taught till around November in 1991. One day, the late Baba Ijo of my Church, Late Pastor E.O. Makinde announced during church service that anybody that specialized in Accounting should see him immediately after the service. I was taking it with levity because the Baba was a type who will just manage to respond to you when you greet him. Meanwhile, in the course of the service he was anchoring a prayer session where he asked us to pray that the devil should not turn us against the person who will do us good. He said some people will just get angry unnecessarily towards somebody who will help them. Immediately I said “this prayer point is meant for me.” I decided to change my mind and went to see him. When I got to him and explained my purpose of coming, he laughed and he was so friendly. He told me that; “we need somebody who can manage our treasury for us in Christ Apostolic Church, if you are interested, bring your application tomorrow”. I appreciated him and as I was about going out of his office, I met another person who was about coming to see Baba for same purpose. When the person got to Baba, he told the person that “don’t worry, we have seen the person we want.” The second day, they interviewed me and that was how I was employed. I started working in CAC on January 2nd 1992.

CAC started with me with N300 as salary. I said within myself that “this salary is poor.” By 1994 I decided to leave and I left. I got a job at Alumaco Shipping Company. Alumaco Shipping Company was the second largest shipping company in Nigeria by that time. They gave me times three of what I was earning in CAC. It was even more than times three because I was being paid N5000. The Pastor of my church, Pastor Ade Ajayi who is now at Oke-Iselogo told me that “Baba, if you go, you will still come back.” He said because God told him that if CAC is paying me N100 and in the secular world they are paying me N1 million, the N100 of CAC will yield more blessings. I thought my Pastor didn’t want to me accept the job because I’m his member.  After spending about eight months at Alumaco Shipping Company, I was at home one day when Baba Makinde came and he told me that I should come back to CAC Secretariat. He told me they will pay me N5000 and that was how I came back to CAC Secretariat. I remember that my Pastor told me that “if you go, you will come back” and I thank God that since I came back, I have no regret.


Can you remember the exact date you left and the exact date you came back?

I left at the end of September in 1994 after the Pastors’ Conference and I came back in June 1995.

From your experience, do you think the church needs professionals in various fields in its service?

Definitely, yes. The church is growing on daily basis. During the days of our Lord Jesus Christ there were professionals. Apostle Paul was a Lawyer and he brought his professionalism into play and you can see it in his writings. His style of writing is quite different from others. In the book of Acts when the Jews are complaining that their widows are being neglected, the Apostles said people of good report should be chosen to manage things so that they (the Apostles) can face the gospel. The people that were chosen were professionals. They are to manage the finance and resources of the church so that Pastors can face their work. The church needs professionals in various fields to do many things if we want to advance. In Publicity and ICT, the church needs professionals.


As one of the oldest staff in CAC General Secretariat and a Principal Officer of the church you have seen the church from the rough times and the good times. What challenges did the church face that really shook you in all these years of service to the church?

I joined CAC General Secretariat in 1992 and that was the beginning of the crisis of the church. We went through so many painful experiences. What we thought would have been addressed became subject of litigation.  The one that really shook the church happened in 2001 when the Supreme Council went to get a kangaroo court injunction to seal-up our former Secretariat at Aperin Oniyere. I was coming from home to the office but when I got to the office gate, I was told that I can’t enter.  They brought policemen to seal everywhere. Baba Olusheye had to vacate his residence and hide at Pastor Olabisi’s house. It was an incident that really shook the church. They stopped one of our church buses along express road and seized it. It was so turbulent. Thank God the Bible says the gate of hell shall not overcome His church. The church wriggled-out of that injunction and as the Lord will have it, the Judiciary in the nation changed the procedure that you can’t get an injunction in court without the other party being present. The law was probably changed because of Christ Apostolic Church. 

How long did it take before the matter was resolved?

I think it was resolved the second day. God used Pastor Fasuyi creditably to resolve the issue. He went to the judge that he wants to come in as a mediator and the judge granted his request. The court vacated the injunction and consented that Pastor Fasuyi should intercede between the two warring factions. As a result of that, the two factions were able to discuss and the injunction was vacated the second day.


Apart from that incident, was there any other one that came to your memory?

Another one that I remember happened on a Friday. It was around 3:30pm and we were about to close in the office. The Police just came in to arrest the then General Secretary, Pastor Okegwemeh. He was arrested on the ground that he presented false certificate for Baba Obafemi and Baba Olutimehin. We have to follow him to the court at Iyaganku. We informed Late Pastor Olabisi and he came to bail Pastor Okegwemeh. When the Police saw him, they said “this is one of them” and they arrested him also. They were also looking for Late Pastor Fagbo because he was the doctor who wrote the certificate. They got him and locked him up. We started taking necessary steps and contacting people and by 9pm the three of them were released on bail. The time of crisis was very bitter.

Another one happened on September 30, 2015. We were hearing that something would happen on that day. We were first hearing it as a rumour, we later discovered it was true that Baba Olusheye and Baba Obafemi had joined the Supreme Council and they had reached an agreement with them without our knowledge. On the 29thday of September, Pastor Olabisi died. The church was in grief. The then President, Pastor Akinosun had to go to court and we all know the drama that happened in court. We thank God they didn’t succeed. If they had succeeded, what happened in 2001 would have been a child’s play.


What role did mummy play in your success so far?

I really want to thank God in that aspect because the Bible says “he who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtained favour from the Lord.” My own is not just a wife, God gave me a very good wife. She is a very good example of “wives, be submissive to your husbands.” And that propel me to love her more. We settle our misunderstandings as quickly as possible. She is very humble. She is my prayer partner. I don’t have any Prophets or Evangelists as prayer partner, my wife is my prayer partner. She is always satisfied with whatever I give her. She is a type of person that when I have misunderstanding with somebody, she doesn’t escalate it. She will rather ask me to forget it.


We learnt that during the time of Baba Orogun the church was unable to pay his house rent. And you told us that you came in at the beginning of the crisis and the crisis is yet to be over. As the person in charge of the church money, what are the things you did that turned around the story of the church to become prosperous?

We give all glory to God. Truly I came in during the crisis. Why was the church poor? The church was poor because there was financial indiscipline. We cannot but talk about Baba Obadare who was feeding on the church and taking all the finances which ought to come to the centre diverting it to WOSEM ministry. There is no doubt that God was using Baba Obadare but he was diverting the money of the church to WOSEM. He was more committed to WOSEM than the church. The sources of fund then were Missionary Fund, Ministers Tithe and sales of publication. Even those sales of publication were not well handled.

Secondly,  professionals were not the ones handling our treasury in those days. I don’t think my predecessor; Baba Olaoye knows anything about finance. He was appointed based on trust.

When I resumed on January 2nd, 1992, I met no staff on ground at the treasury unit because reorganization was ongoing. All the treasury staff were laid off and I had to start with a particular man known as Mr. Peter Ilesanmi, now Pastor Peter Ilesanmi, Miss S.M. Ogunwole, now Mrs. Balogun (she is still with us),Miss Lydia Olaoye and Internal Auditor. We used to have our General Council in December in those days, so our financial year has to be from January to September. In December when I presented the first financial report, and I told the house we realized N5 million plus, Baba Babajide burst into songs. This is because the church never had something like this in her history. It was God that did it, though we put some measures in place. Before you take any money, it has to be approved. We were able to annex the little resources we had then. We have to give credit to the leaders of our church too. By God’s grace, I happened to work with about four Presidents. I want to give credit to Baba Olusheye for the financial reformation of the church. He took advice from people in improving our sources of income. Various sources were introduced. Annual Development Fund that has now been changed to Seed of Blessing (SOB) was introduced. We also centralized sales of publication. All our publications are now being printed centrally and sold centrally. The first improvement we had in our finances was from sales of publication. That was how the finances of the church started to improve gradually before SOB and sacrificial offering were introduced. Other sources of income were also introduced. We also blocked loopholes where money could be siphoned. I also want to give credit to the staff. God really helped us not to have fraudulent staff because you can’t be everywhere at the same time. If you don’t have honest and faithful staff you won’t achieve anything.

We started with five staff at the department which was known as treasury in those days, but we thank God that the department has grown to a full fledged finance department. We have various sections. We have the cash office which used to be Treasury then headed by Mrs. Balogun, we have Account Unit headed by Mrs. Akinyele (that is backbone of finance department), we have the Reconciliation Department, we have the Saving Scheme and Internal Audit Department. With all those measures that we have put in place, the church finance improved significantly.


Under which President would you say your professional acumen became manifest to the entire church?

 It is under each of the Presidents. Every organization has its own culture. Irrespective of how brilliant you may be with your idea and professionalism, you have to merge your professionalism with the culture of the organization. If you don’t do that you are going to fail. If you just bring experience in the secular world into religious organization you will fail because what they believe in the church is different from what they believe in the secular world. You have to use God’s wisdom. I started with Baba Faniyan who was the General Executive Council (GEC) Chairman for about a year. After Baba Faniyan was Baba Obafemi who spent four years and the improvement started from there. We employed more professionals, but during the time of Baba Olusheye we have free hand to employ more professionals. It was during his time we started the computerization of the finance department. Baba Akinosun gave us free hand during his time. He always gladly approved any software or applications that will improve our performance without looking back. I still enjoy similar thing with the present President. However, I must confess that the explosion in the finance department was during the time of Baba Olusheye.


You mentioned it early when you are recounting the challenges the church had faced: the September 2015 saga. The Baba Olusheye you worked with that gave you free hand; can you compare him with the Baba olusheye who turned out to be opposing the same church he built?

The devil is very cunning and there is no one the devil cannot use and I think that was what happened to Baba Olusheye. Before you are a Pastor or Prophet, you are first a human being and the human factor or the flesh is still there. It is only that you don’t allow the flesh to overcome your spirit. I see no reason why Baba should do that, but he was the only one who knows why he did it.


People were saying that certain things were denied him, probably financial request and other things. How true was this?

Anything that was given to him was personal to him. Baba Olusheye wouldn’t say that he was denied anything. His gratuity was paid and he was receiving his pension. The gratuity he received was never paid to any of his predecessors. He got a very befitting send-off. I don’t think he would say that. Some people are just carrying rumour. I am very sure Baba Olusheye would never have said that because the church paid everything that was necessary to him.


As a successful finance specialist of the church, what will you suggest as other means of income for the church under the present administration?

Something that I always think about is how to invest church money into projects that would make us not to depend on Seed of Blessing, Missionary Fund and others. I always think that we can invest in things that can bring more income for the church. Investing doesn’t mean we are going to abandon those offerings because SOB, MF and others are source of blessing for members. We can’t abandon them, but at the same time, we must invest. I have been praying that God will help the church to have a very solid investment policy.


The job of being the Director of Finance is very rigorous because it involves a lot of mental alertness and it’s on daily basis. After the day’s work, how do you relax so as to make yourself fit for the next day work?

When something is your profession, you love it and it won’t give you any stress when you are doing it. Meanwhile, you don’t shoulder all the responsibilities. You have to delegate. The only thing I don’t delegate is my signature (he laughed). Like I said earlier, I have very hardworking staff and they are very honest. All those reports I do give to various committees; the Finance Committee, the GEC and the General Council, they are the ones preparing them. They give me report on daily basis. I have the Account Manager in the person of Mrs. Akinyele, she would have scrutinized everything before it comes to my table. When it comes to my table I will just look at it and see if there is anything I can correct. I don’t have any stress. When you don’t put everything on your head, you won’t have much distress.

When I get home, at times I don’t take my dinner. I go to bed and sleep for about two hours. I will wake up again, listen to news and go to bed around 10 or 11pm. By that time I would have had enough rest to prepare me for another day’s work.


What can you suggest for our Pastors to prevent frequent untimely death among them?

That is a very big question because God is the giver of life. He is the one who determines how many days or years every one of us will live. One thing I notice is that, some of us are careless with our health. Some of us think that we can use ourselves anyhow. If you are young, you still have bundle of energy to spend around. Even as a young man or woman, you must be careful on how you use your energy. Baba Olusheye said God will not be blamed if you misuse any part of your body. They said don’t smoke and you continue to smoke, and it affects your liver or lung, God cannot be blamed if you spoil any part of your body. We need to be careful of the type of life that we live.


Recently a memo was sent out about increment in the price of Living Water, Sunday School and others. We all know that it is expected due to the state of things in the country. Kindly let us know if there is any plan to increase the salary structure of our ministers and workers at CAC General Secretariat?

I wouldn’t say there is no plan. There is always plan subject to our source of income. If the source of income doesn’t improve, there is no way salary will be increased. You know we are not isolated from what is happening in the country. What is happening in the country is also affecting the church. If the country is buoyant, the church will always be buoyant. Government can borrow money from the bank to do so many things, but the church cannot borrow. It is part of our tenet in CAC that we should not borrow. Therefore, we need to live within our income. The last staff salary increment was done in 2016 and our own minimum wage since then is more than N30,000. The government is just implementing it and it is not even all the states that are able to do it. I can tell you that presently with pension and salary we pay about N42 million on monthly basis. If the income base improves, definitely, salary will increase.


God has helped you since you started work in this office. By the time you are leaving, what do you wish to be remembered for?

 I want to thank God for how He has helped me and the church. I want to be remembered for working to ensure that the church is financially buoyant. This is a church that cannot pay N10, 000 house rent before, but now paying N42 million monthly as salary and pension and paying N30 million to Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU). Whatever we do, all is to the glory of God.




  1. Glory be to the God of Babalola
    The church shall continue to be matching forward in Jesus name

  2. Glory be to God of Babalola
    The just shall continue to be matching forward in Jesus name

Previous Post Next Post

نموذج الاتصال