Bishop Olusesan Adeniyan, a legal practitioner and general overseer of The Holy Ghost & Power Mission recently clocked 60. In this interview with Christian Benefits on his life at 60, Adeniyan, a former librarian to the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, explains why his former employer had to terminate his appointment at the initial stage and how he was subsequently re-called to duty, before he was eventually disengaged from duty after the death of Chief Awolowo by his wife. He further narrates how he rose from there to become a legal practitioner.
Please, can we meet you sir?
My name is Bishop Olusesan Ebenezer Adeniyan. I am the General Overseer of the Holy Ghost & Power Mission. Ota, Ogun state. I have my tent-making ministry in the legal practice.
How does it feel clocking 60 years old on earth?
Clocking 60 can be impressive if one is fortunate to have been able to record some achievements. A life without glory is not worth celebrating. We celebrate Jesus today because he occupied all the statuses or titles prophesied in Isaiah 9:6. He grew up to prove himself capable. By the virtue of what he did and the purposes that he served he ultimately occupied all the offices in that Isaiah 9:6; wonderful, counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace. Jesus did not inherit these titles. He proved himself through hard work and spiritual enterprises to become who God destined for his life. So, whatever God has destined for my life that I have achieved at 60 has been through God coupled with hard work. It is by God’s grace that I have been able to record some achievements at 60.
What are you most grateful to God for at 60?
I’m most grateful to God for the opportunity I had to be born again and to be engaged in the gospel ministry. If not for that one’s life would have been messed up. One would have been living without God. Yes, one could still have been able to achieve great things but one’s spiritual value would have been compromised.
What has life taught you at 60?
Life has taught me that Christianity shouldn’t go with superstition. Superstition is in the realm of ignorance. If one is opportune to be educated both secularly and theologically one should be able to have proper appreciation of the issues of life so that whatever one becomes in life it is God who places it in one’s hands. You are the one to prayerfully make it to manifest. You can’t resign to fate and say because you have become born again things will just work itself out. Even the kingdom of God that we talk about is only of spiritual dimension for now, and the Church is the spiritual institution upon the earth representing the Kingdom; until our Lord Jesus Christ will come the second time to physically set up the Kingdom. What we believers required is the grace by the Holy Spirit in wisdom and power to be able live our lives respectively as light in the midst of the darkness in the world. Each believer still have to live his life in a way that our Lord Jesus Christ will still become known through his lifestyle, conduct, character and mannerism. To be spiritually and physically fulfilled till the second coming of Jesus Christ you still have to come to the same market with unbelievers. It is unbelievers that will drive your children to school. You go in the same public transport with unbelievers. So, you still have to prove your mettle within the unbelieving system of the world in which you live your Christian life. If you don’t have moral and physical excellence your spirituality cannot be respected. Who are you profession wise, vocation wise and business wise? Even if God has called you into full time ministry people still want to know your background; people will want to know whether you came into full time ministry as a result of joblessness or you came into full time ministry by divine calling from your secular profession to a higher calling into the ecclesiastical profession.
Can we have a look at your background and upbringing?
My home town is Akure, the capital of Ondo State. I was born at Ita-Ogbolu, very close to Akure, on December 21, 1960. My father worked as a stock keeper with Akure Co-operative Market Union (specialising in the purchase of cocoa beans from farmers within the co-operative movement and processing the cocoa beans for exportation) until he was transferred to Ita-Ogbolu, a suburb of Akure, where he met my mother; an indigene of that town and they got married. I started primary school at the Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C) Primary School Ita-Ogbolu and stopped in Primary 3 (three) when I traveled to Ibadan to stay with my maternal uncle. I continued my primary education at C.A.C Primary School Oniyanrin, Ibadan, Western State (later Oyo State). After I finished from primary school I attended Adekile Goodwill Grammar School, Orita Aperin, Ibadan. After I finished secondary school with WAEC certificate I decided to proceed to a tertiary institution. I applied to study law at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University (O.A.U) Ile Ife, Osun state. Though I scored a good mark in the University matriculation examination I didn’t meet the high cut off mark for law in UNIFE. I tried to change to Philosophy but I could not pull through my change of course application. I had obtained a professional Diploma in library science from the University of Ibadan. I later studied a full course in library science. After passing out from secondary school I came into the employment of Cooperative Transport Services Limited. I had the option to work at the Cooperative Bank but because I have aversion for counting lots of money and was afraid of running into debts I chose to work at Cooperative Transport Service Limited instead of Cooperative Bank.
Share with us some of your fond childhood memories, particularly some of the pranks and other naughty things that you played as a child?
I grew up as a chorister in Christ Apostolic Church under a very disciplined christian upbringing. However, the naughty things I engaged in began when I started working and earning money and I began attending “KS” cinema with some friends to watch films and drink. But my social life as a growing up child was not to the extent of sleeping with ladies. If I ever slept with a lady that would be in the early period of my university life, before becoming born again. When I entered into the university in 1981 I became born again. Some of the dangers that teenagers are exposed to would have consumed us if not for the mercy of God. While growing up at Ita-Ogbolu around 9 years old I once went to a river with my friends with the intent of swimming even though I had never swarmed in a river in my life. My friends who had known how to swim were jumping inside the river from the middle of the timber log bridge across the river, and when bidden to dive in by my friends I just jumped in and started to sink and struggling for survival. To my consternation all my friends just ran away and only God knew how I found myself at the bank of the river. God must have sent his angel to rescue me that day because the river was dip and the water inside was much being a raining season. That was a bitter experience that bothered on naivety and stupidity in my bid to show unnecessary courage. When I got to Ibadan I attended C.A.C Oke Igbala, Idikan Ibadan which was built with planks. When the church collapsed the planks to build a concrete structure the electricians working on the building hung the electrical wire from the main pole on the collapsed woods. Some of my friends said there was no electricity supply to the wire while others said there was electricity supply to the wire. To know if there was electricity supply to the wire I touched the wire with an iron rod and that was the last thing I remembered. By the time I recovered all my friends had run away.
How will you describe the kind of training that your parents gave to you?
The name of my now deceased father was Samuel Adeniran Adeniyan while the name of my mother, also deceased now, was Florence Adebomi Adeniyan. She was a trader. My father was a prayerful man who observed the hourly prayer time. He was a man of regular prayer and fasting. He often took us to the prayer mountain for prayer. He used to carry me on his shoulders climbing the mountain. It happened on an occasion that my father barely handed me a small child of less than six or seven years old to my mother after reaching the top of the rocky mountain before he accidentally fell down and tumbled down the steeple mountain. He sustained a lot of injury and the church people around had to rush him to the hospital in the town. If my father had not handed me over to.my mother I would have fallen down with him and being a litlle child I would have knocked my head against the stone, but God rescued me. There was a time a snake bit my leg when I was crossing the lawn in the primary school at Ita-Ogbolu and before I could get home the leg swollen. Some elders told my mother to take me to the government dispensary, but she refused because my father would be angry with her if he hears that I was taken to the dispensary as my father was of the Christ Apostolic Church with faith that eschewed the use of medicine. When my father returned from the journey, he undertook the prayerful treatment of my swollen leg and the feverish condition as he would pray into the basin of water, and he would use the water to bathe my swollen leg and he would recite psalms. To God be the glory, that after about one week I fully recovered from the snake bite and I was fully healed.
Share with us your rebirth encounter by which you became a believer
I thank that God that I grew in C.A.C. It is a prayerful and powerful church but the church has a shortcoming in assuming that everyone coming to that church is born again. They won’t take any constructive step to lead people to Christ. So, you could be lost in the crowd and your faith in Christ may not be properly grounded. The main purpose Jesus came to the world is for the redemption of mankind from a life of sin unto a life of righteousness. When I was in the university, one particular Christian Brother would always come to my room. Anytime he came he always preached the word of God to me. He always told me I need to confess Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal Saviour for my name to be written in the Book of life. I allowed him to enlighten me till I was convicted that I need to confess Jesus as my Lord and personal Saviour. At that time I was on the path to destruction, attending night parties and club houses and had started indulging in sex. Since then I became born again, having given my life unto Jesus in 1981 and started attending Ibadan ‘Varsity Christian Union (IVCU) which is like a training school for evangelical faith and a life of holiness. There is this dimension of IVCU that involves training. I thank God for the experience of a Christian life on the campus (continues next edition).