Prophet Dr. Guenoukpati Samuel Koami was most likely a potential Olympics boxing champion on the verge of becoming a world class pugilist when he suddenly boxed himself to salvation by surrendering his life to Jesus at a youth programme organized by the Deeper Life Bible Church. A former fearsome puncher and street fighter, Prophet koami, in the below interview with Christian Benefits’ Christianah Omofe, shares his salvation from boxing to preaching as the general overseer of Christ is Able Apostolic Mission, Ipaja, Lagos. Excerpts.
Please, can we meet you sir?
I’m Prophet Dr. Guenoukpati Koami Samuel. I’m grateful for this opportunity to share with you.
Briefly, share with us your background, including your rebirth encounter.
I was born, raised and schooled in Bariga, Lagos. I had my childhood in a loving and close-knitted family filled with strong moral values. However, I had my rebirth encounter in my teenage. My salvation encounter begun in my junior secondary school when I attended a youth programme of the Deeper Life Bible Church at Gbagada, Lagos, and the youth choir sang this particular song, “Turn away from the beautiful gate. If you miss heaven, you cry!” It was as if I have never heard that song before. There, I fell on my knees. It was visible! I saw Christ standing life! It was indeed an encounter. And he said to me, “Give me your life and I will use you.” On that same spot I surrendered to him. I won’t say I was the only one that gave my life to Christ on that day. There were tears from lots of other people on their knees crying their way to the Lord after listening to that choir ministration.
How will you describe your joy of salvation when you received Christ?
The joy of salvation was a profound experience in my heart. I felt forgiveness, peace and purpose that I have never known before. It was like finding a treasure that filled the void in my heart, because as at that time, I was a trained boxer. Like everyone I had my past too but it wasn’t alcoholism or womanizing. Rather, my past was boxing. I derived pleasure in boxing from teenage. Despite the call of God ringing in my head, I found opportunities to train as a boxer. I was a very good boxer and practiced it till I accepted Christ. When I accepted Christ I felt light and empty and a rare joy filled my heart. Everything about me changed. My former gangsters were surprised when I started walking alone. Anytime I came in contact with them I felt like going back home and pray again. When I got home on that day of my salvation I fell on my knees again, groaned in prayers; telling Jesus, give me the grace not to go back again to my old lifestyle. I didn’t know my father was watching me but didn’t say anything. In the middle of the night I woke up to pray again. Early in the morning I woke up to do morning-cry. My father then called my mother, and said to her, something has happened to your son. My father had been praying a certain prayer I never understood until I had this encounter. I always heard him pray, “Lord; roll before him the stone of salvation. Let him hit his foot on it and fall into salvation.” I never knew I was the one that he had been directing that prayer point until my encounter. So, my father became the happiest person when I surrendered to Christ because I was his only problem among his children.Prophet Dr. Guenoukpati Samuel Koami
Tell us more about your lifestyle before you received Jesus Christ
Apart from been a boxer and fighter, I was also very stubborn. I beat up teachers. I always pray that my children should not take after my past. I got irritated easily when teachers caned me on my head. After I gave my life to Christ I returned to the same school where I beat up three teachers and made restitution. I apologized to those teachers. As a tough boxer and fighter I was popularly called “alagbara school” national college, Gbagada, because I used to lead my schoolmates in fights and chaos with students of other schools, particularly during inter-house/school sports competitions in the Shomolu-Bariga area. I was not a thug but a tough boxer and fighter. This gave me fame in the whole of Bariga. I had a lot of teenage followers from Bariga to Bajulaiye, Coker, Shomolu, Ifako and Gbagada. But when I heard that salvation song and saw Jesus standing physically, I prayed for forgiveness, “Lord, Jesus, please forgive my sins.” I was a church goer but was not born again. We were brought up in the Christian way but we didn’t know the Christ. There’s a difference between having a Christian name and knowing the Christ yourself. This question on salvation encounter is a very sensitive one and a serious matter. There are lots of prophets, apostles, reverends and bishops out there who never had the born again encounter. They never had the genuine salvation of being born again. They only operate theology or theory by mouth on how to be born again. But they themselves never had that born again experience. I thank God I had that experience, which translated me from who I used to be to who I am today.
How did your new life in Christ impart your former followers/gangsters?
Of course, as someone who had massive followers, my new life in Christ imparted a lot of people, particularly my teenage followers who had no choice than to also change their bad behaviors. When I gave my life to Christ, our then coordinator (now late) and students instructor in the youth section of the Deeper Life District church, Abule Okuta, Bariga, knew something had happened to me. So, they followed me up bumper to bumper.They monitored me to ensure my steady growth in my new life. When I became stable in the new life other youths in the church and neighbourhood also began changing to the new life in Christ Jesus. I went through the discipleship class and eventually joined the church youth choir. I was selected by the church to go to the same school where beat up three teachers, and later returned to make restitution, to preach at their end of the year party. There were shouting and confusion everywhere when I entered the school compound as if I had come back to the school to fight again. The principal and teachers came out to see what was happening in the school compound. I went straight with my other two brethren to the school library where I will preach. One of the teachers I hated in the school, Mr. Santos, our French teacher; was the programme coordinator. When he entered the library, I greeted him and he nodded his head to answer me. The library was filled to the brim with some of the students sitting on the windows because I, a former notorious fighter in the school was the preacher of the day. I couldn’t preach on the topic I was given. Instead, I preached on the salvation of my soul; how I got converted from a fighter to a preacher. A lot of the students were so amazed and touched that they also surrendered their lives to Jesus Christ after my ministration. Mr Santos, in his comment on my sermon, said if John Samuel could change, then, there is a second chance for the devil in heaven to change. But at the end of the day he hugged me and congratulated me. Till date God has been faithful.Prophet Dr. Guenoukpati Samuel Koami
What has been sustaining you in the new life since your conversion till date?
In Deeper Life Bible Church we were taught, according to the scriptures, that there is hope for a tree cut in the middle to come back to life when rain falls. We were taught that at salvation, you don’t stay on that salvation. You have to push to have sanctification. And what is sanctification? Sanctification is the uprooting of the Adamic nature; that is, the nature of sin in us. At this stage, the level of holiness comes in and the maintenance of your salvation will be secured. But when you don’t have the experience of sanctification, there are tendencies when the wind blows you will return to your old nature of sin. So, after my salvation encounter, I pushed praying for that level of holiness (sanctification) for the uprooting of the Adamic nature inside of me. God answered me, and it was uprooted. And I received the confirmation within me that, yes, the Adamic nature in me has been uprooted. Since then I maintain that level of holiness Also, I pushed for the experience of Holy Ghost baptism and received it at the yearly Deeper Life Leadership conference at Ayobo, Lagos. I prayed and fasted for the experience of Holy Ghost baptism. I received it and spoke in tongues for the first time. God has been faithful.
How long have you been walking with the Lord, and how will you describe your walk with Him over the years?
I have been walking with the Lord for 25 years now. The journey has been blissful. Life is all about tragicomedy. Christian experience is also about tragicomedy. You have sweet experiences. You have bitter experiences. You experience acceleration. You experience deceleration. You have victories. You have challenges, but you keep pushing. So, over the years, it has been blessings, challenges and growth. Over the years, I have deepened my relationship with God through prayers, study of the word, seminars, conferences and other Christian programmes including the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) programmes, and also going to Prayer Mountains regularly. (To be continued).Prophet Dr. Koami with his lovely wife and Christian Benefits’ Christianah Omofe after the interview
Prophet Dr. Koami with Christian Benefits’ Christianah Omofe shortly after the interview
Christ is Able Apostolic Mission is located at 16B, Ogbomosho Drive, Wonderland Estate Ipaja, Ayobo, Lagos. Tel: 08031820853