As a student of The Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun state, Olumide Emmanuel belonged to the set of the Casanova on the campus. He contemptuously loathed and looked at the acclaimed born again Christians on the campus, particularly the “sisters” as a bunch of hypocrites who didn’t live their sermons. His negative perception of the so-called S.U (scripture union) students on the campus was boosted by his amorous relationship with some of their female folks popularly called “Sisters.”
Pastor Olumide Emmanuel, General Overseer of Calvary Bible Church, in his Rebirth Encounter interview with Christian Benefits magazine shares his early campus life with the magazine thus: “Before I was born again, I saw Christianity as a hypocritical religion because I had some Christian students that lived around me on the campus who were supposed Christians, but I didn’t see any behavior worth emulating in their lives. I even had girlfriends among them who passed nights with me on the campus, and still joined the choir ministry on Sunday. I saw Christians then as a bunch of unserious people,” Emmanuel remarked.
However, Olumide Emmanuel never graduated from The Polytechnic, Ilaro with his contemptuous perception of born again Christians as a bunch of hypocrites. Amazingly, he became one himself before he was gowned from the polytechnic as a graduate of Business Administration after his encounter with Jesus Christ on the campus, ironically propelled by the fear of the anti-Christ mark, 666, that gripped his heart on the campus.
“One day, I heard some brethren discussing the anti-Christ mark, 666 that anyone that has the mark can never be born again. I was terrified because there was a brand of sugar then with 666 on its pack that I used. I said I’m done for. I’m already an ant-Christ. I checked my U.B.A account number and saw 669. I was slightly relieved. I knelt down and started weeping, but still struggling with God in my spirit that but these so-called Christians I see are fake. And God spoke to my spirit that if they are fake, go and be the genuine. The next day I went to church. After the sermon I answered the altar call and surrendered my life to Jesus Christ. Before the pastor began praying for us, I started speaking in tongues. Nobody laid hand on me.”
This unique encounter marked the turning point in the life of the now Pastor of Calvary Bible Church, Idimu, Lagos. But not fully until he had a further conviction about his rebirth as he explains, “There are two experiences that people have to go through in their rebirth process. One is being saved and the other is being converted and transformed. I got born again (saved), initially out of fear of the 666 Anti-Christ mark on the day I heard discussion on the 666 mark. But there was no conviction until three weeks later when I had a serious encounter and transformation. I was about going for fellowship whilst fasting and praying when I heard a voice, stay back and spend time with me. It was a strange experience. I had to stay back in my room and it was something else. I was just singing Bring down your glory by Panam Percy Paul and some other powerful gospel music unlike the funny ones we hear today.
Suddenly, under the euphoria of this divine transformation process Emmanuel burst into uncontrollable tears for hours as he continued singing the Panam Percy Paul’s songs aloud to himself until the Holy Ghost touched his heart deeper and inspired him to open his Bible to Isaiah 50:4-5 and he read:
“The Lord hath given me the tongue of the learned that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary; he wakeneth me morning by morning, he wakeneth my ear to hear as the learned. The Lord hath opened my ear and I was not rebellious neither turned away back.”
As he read through that scripture verses in his solitary confinement inside his small room, Emmanuel explains further, “Slowly, I heard the voice, go study more my word for you need it to teach my people. I received the call of God in December 1989 barely three weeks after my encounter with Jesus Christ in November 1989.”
And thus began the illustrious ministry career of the once upon a time The Polytechnic Ilaro campus Casanova about 31 years ago called by God as a teacher “to teach people the word of God for all round success and wisdom.” According to him, after the call an unexplainable hunger for the word of God came upon him.
“I’m yet to be satisfied feasting on the word of God till now. I read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation every year. You can’t see me without books. I receive unexplainable revelations when I study the Bible. I see what most people don’t see in the Bible,” the amiable and entrepreneurial preacher disclosed.
In 1995 while waiting upon the Lord at the Youth camp of the Assemblies of God Church along Lagos-Ibadan expressway for the next phase of his ministry, Olumide Emmanuel received God’s leading to start a church named Calvary Bible Church to “recruit, teach and prepare people for the second coming of Jesus Christ.” Prior to that time he was only involved in campus outreach ministry; reaching out to singles through gospel tracts. “As a church we focus on three core areas namely relationship; for singles and married, finance/wealth, and leadership. When I launched out I read the books of Casey Treat, Kenneth Hagins, Rev. Mathew Ashimolowo, Pastor E.A Adeboye and Bishop David Oyedepo,” Pastor Olumide Emmanuel finally shared with Christian Benefits magazine.