Raised in an Islamic family background and his father also a herbalist, Archbishop Taiwo Adegbite explains how he transferred his Islamic zeal to preaching the gospel and winning souls for Christ since he renounced Islam and accepted Christ in his final year as the former Ogun State University (now Olabisi Onabanjo University) Ago Iwoye, Ogun state.
Now, the general overseer of His Glorious Covenant & Fire Ministry, Agege, Lagos, Adegbite shares his salvation encounter and the impacts of Pastor W.F Kumuyi, late Rev. Dr. Wilson Badejo and some other men of God in his steady growth in the Christian faith, and also why he sees vigil programmes as burden in this interview with Christian Benefits. Excerpts
Please, how may I introduce you?
I’m Archbishop Taiwo Adegbite. I was born into a Muslim family. My father was also a herbalist. So, I grew up practicing both Islam and traditional religion until I met and received Jesus Christ as a student the former Ogun State University (now Olabisi Onabanjo University) Ago Iwoye, Ogun state, where I obtained Bsc Ed (Guidance & Counselling) and MSc in Psychology.
Tell us more about your conversion from Islam to Christianity
I was converted from Islam to Christianity after listening to Pastor W.F Kumuyi’s tape message on Believers Authority being played by one of my flatmates in my final year in the university. Suddenly, while alone in my room I heard a strange voice called my name. I looked around to see who called me but didn’t see anyone. I stopped what I was doing; knelt down and raised up my hands.The next day I told my flatmates that I have had an encounter with Jesus Christ. They laughed at me that I was joking. One of them said we shall see. Another one; a Deeper Life church member, was very excited and congratulated me. The next Sunday I looked around for a nearby church and attended a local assembly of the Deeper Life Bible Church.
Share with us your first day experience at the Deeper Life Bible Church
In my first day at the nearby local assembly of the Deeper Life Bible Church when Pastor W.F Kumuyi in his teaching transmission said Jesus Christ gave up the ghost and the veil of the temple tore into two halves, I shouted ‘yes’ because I had read that verse before in the Bible. I was the only person in that meeting that shouted and everyone gazed at me. When I returned to Lagos I announced my conversion from Islam to Christianity to my relatives.
Did you suffer any persecution from your Muslim relatives for converting from Islamic to Christianity?
The persecution was too much from my father being a Muslim and herbalist, and my mum, an Alhaja. They were not pleased at all with me becoming a Christian. I had studied Islamic Education at N.C.E level, so they never I expected that I would ever renounce Islam. None of my sibling too was happy with my conversion from Islam to Christianity. But I never bothered because I’m very zealous and stubborn in my new found faith in Christ the same way I was very zealous and stubborn in the Islamic faith when I was a Muslim.
How would you describe your joy of salvation when you accepted Christ?
I felt so happy that I started the journey of my new found faith in Christ Jesus steadfastly. Before I accepted Christ I had read and studied the history of Christianity. So, now practicing physically what I had read about Christianity boosted my steadfastness.
Who were those you looked up to as your mentors after accepting Christ?
My foremost mentor was the now late Rev. Dr. Wilson Badejo of the Foursquare Church. He led my baptism in the Holy Ghost. I also looked up to Pastor W.F Kumuyi, the general superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church and Dr. D.K Olukoya, the general overseer of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM). Bishop David Oyedepo, the President of the Living Faith Church also impacted me. He spoke directly to me in a dream and all that he told me in that dream came to pass.
How will you describe your kind of lifestyle before you received Christ?
I was simple but enjoyed life; dancing and partying a lot. I still love music even as a pastor now. I still drank beer the next morning after I accepted Christ. I was still partying every weekend within and outside the university campus until Christ was fully formed in me. I had no problem forsaking other old sinful habits except partying and boozing. I had stopped smoking long before I accepted Christ. After accepting Christ I faced lots of temptations from women but didn’t for any. My last gulf of beer was the one I drank the next morning after I received Christ.
How did you eventually receive the call to ministry?
I started having children since 1989. When my first son was attacked I took him to Winners’ Chapel but nothing happened. Then, I took him to Trinity Bible College for prayers. When I saw the kind of prayer they prayed there I registered at the college to study theology. At this time, I had not yet received the call until in my second year when one of the lecturers appointed me the class captain. This marked the beginning of my call to ministry. The call eventually came on the 20th day of a prayer/fasting exercise when the rector wanted to anoint five of us; students and I was pushed forward and the entire oil in the bottle poured on my head. This indicated the call of God upon my life. There was another time I walked into a programme of Pastor Kumuyi while he was preaching and he beckoned at me, pastor, come and sit among the pastors. Surprisingly, I wasn’t yet a pastor then. This also confirmed the call of God upon my life.
What is the mandate of your calling by God to the ministry?
The mandate is to reconcile men to God their creator through the preaching of His word, prayers, counseling, prophecy, deliverance and healing.
What are the church programmes in line with this mandate?
One of the programmes is No More Tears; a prophetic and deliverance meeting. Another is Destroy the Destroyers; also a prophetic and deliverance meeting.
Share with us some testimonies from your church programmes
The testimonies are un-quantifiable. There is a testimony of a brother rescued from kidnappers. There is another testimony of a sister rescued from an attempted suicide and was connected to the Lagos state government within 24 hours for a solution to her problem. There is a testimony of a boy cured of tuberculosis. There is a testimony of a brother healed of a broken leg caused by motor bike accident. He was healed with a mantle placed on the broken leg. We have several healing testimonies of diverse health issues including fibroid.
Since when have you been in the ministry; and how will describe your experience in the ministry over the years?
We recently celebrated the 18th anniversary of the ministry. The experience over the years has not been quite easy or palatable. We are in a Hausa and Muslims hugely dominated area where we contend severally with multi-faced oppositions. I never wanted to come into ministry because I didn’t like ministry work then. I’m a retired civil servant and pensioner in the Lagos state civil service. I accepted the call to ministry after receiving in a revelation that I was kidnapped but God rescued me. I left a N86,000 per month job for N2,000 income but God miraculously sustained me.
How much are you fulfilled in the ministry these 18 years?
In terms of soul winning. I am fulfilled. I’m never fulfilled if I don’t make altar call after ministering. It is a principle I have grown with over the years since I realized soul winning is the essence of making altar call after every sermon. The late Rev. Dr. W. F Badejo, till he passed on, never joked with making altar call after all his ministrations.This is one of the principles I picked from him as my mentor. I shed tears when I listen to testimonies. When we launched into the prophetic, a certain woman was determined to bring T.V stations to cover our programmes, and she succeeded in bringing LTV to cover our anniversary. At the testimonies time, she shared when I asked people in a programme to come out and step on me or touch me. She said she, came out and touched me and her Fallopian tube, which she said had been cut off, was instantly restored and she is now carrying a baby. When she shared this testimony I wept like a baby. I never knew something like that could happen. Another woman shared how God blessed her with a baby after 9 years of waiting.
Tell us the impact and the spread of your ministry these 18 years
By the grace of God, we have taken the ministry outside Nigeria to a couple of other African countries where we have branches including Kenya. The Lord also founded a College of Bishops through me. We have the college in Germany, U.K, Kenya, Malawi, Ghana and Togo. In our Bible study class we build up the people in the word and through the word of God. We hold mid-week programmes like No More Tears every Thursday morning. We don’t saddle our members with a burden of vigils. I have not found in the scripture where Jesus gathered people for vigils. We have fewer vigils, but more praises, word of God and obedience to it and prayers.
Can we have a look at your family members and their roles in your ministry?
I thank God for my dear wife. I married her by revelation. Of course, there is no assignment without some stumbling. My wife has been very supportive. She gives me prophetic seed nearly every Sunday. She has always been there for me. I registered her in the same Bible College I attended. There was nothing I was taught she wasn’t taught. She received other training and remains supportive spiritually and in every wise. She is instrumental in my achievements. She’s not a nagging wife. She doesn’t use earrings and necklaces. I use chains but she doesn’t. She didn’t pierce the ears of our daughter. I have three children and they are all very supportive in the ministry. They see the ministry as their own. My first son plays the keyboard and the guitar. My second son plays the drum set. My daughter sings. We believe in and practice common purse. My wife’s family members are loving people.
Have you at any time considered quitting the ministry due to some challenges?
Never! Being a convert from Islam to Christianity would not allow me to consider quitting the ministry despite the horrible experiences we have had in the ministry, including people placing pots of ritual sacrifices in front of the church. I don’t see challenges in ministry as challenges. I go on my knees in prayer in the face of any challenge in the ministry.