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Ministry work is not showmanship – Archbishop Roberts

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As he rolls out the drums in celebration of his 36 years in ministry with his birthday on August 29, 2021, the President  of West African College of Mission Bishops (WACOMBS), Archbishop Olusegun Roberts shares with Christian Benefits his 36 years journey in ministry from his rebirth at The Apostolic Church through the Deeper Life Bible Church and finally Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria before he pioneered several organizations under Winning Faith Mission, Ikorodu, Lagos. Excerpts

Please how will you like to be introduced?

I am Olusegun Roberts. I am a brother in Christ and a son of God. I am a husband, father and grandfather. I am privileged to have pioneered a number of organizations that include West African College of Missionary Bishops (WACOMBS) with various platforms that cater for the needs of gospel ministers and Christians generally.

Can we have a look at your background?

I started my formal education at Isale Eko in Lagos state. I later attended All Saints Primary School, Yaba, Western College of Commerce, Onike Iwaya and College of Education (Technical) Akoka, all in Lagos state. I furthered my education at the then Bendel State University (now Ekpoma University, Ekpoma) in present Edo State where I earned my first Bsc in Electrical/Electronic Engineering.  I earned my second Bsc in Computer Science at Tansian University, Anambra state. I also earned a Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) in Computer Engineering at the Obafemi Awolowo University (O.A.U), Ile Ife, Osun state. I am a fellow of the College of Criminology &  Administration and a member of Chartered Institute of Commerce. I am a Professor of Christian Education & Applied Theology.

Share with us your encounter with Christ by which you became a believer?

In the late 1970s there was a group of people from The Apostolic Church, Anthony village who had a campsite at Ebute Metta, Lagos. They often came to pick up children, teenagers and adults for their afternoon prayer meeting at Ebute Metta. I was privileged to be among those who attended their revival/prayer camp. It was in one of my visits to the camp that I got born again, gave my life to Christ and began my Journey in the Christian faith till now. Within a short time it was evident the call of God was upon my life. Thereafter I joined the Deeper Life Bible church.

Why the Deeper Bible Life as your choice of worship centre after your rebirth?

I joined the Deeper Life because I was very hungry for more of God. In one of my encounters with the Lord as a young convert I lost the key to our family apartment. My parents had gone to an all night party when I lost the key. So, nobody was able to enter the apartment. Then I prayed and said, God if truly you are God whom I had just encountered let me find the missing key. Instantly, I heard a voice in my spirit said check under the car parked in the compound. I obeyed the voice, and lo and behold I found the missing key there. The key had dropped from my pocket while I was playing football in the compound. Finding the missing key under the car was a miracle to me. And this boosted my faith. Thereafter, I began preaching the gospel to my friends in the neighborhood and a lot of them also gave their lives to Jesus Christ. Later, I was privileged to head the Christian Fellowship in my school.

How will you describe your lifestyle before you gave your life to Christ?

My lifestyle before I got born again was not really eventful, but only that I was stubborn and loved fighting. I remember a young girl who often terrorized fellow students in her class. One day I challenged her that I would fight her someday. This girl would collect the food flasks of her classmates from them and eat their foods. In those days at the end of school hours we would go to the back of the school and practiced Bruce Lee Chinese fight. Bruce Lee was a popular Chinese movies star in those days. So, I often watched Bruce Lee movies to learn how to fight Chinese. After I had learned Chinese fight from Bruce Lee movies I began demonstrating my Chinese/Kung fu fight skills to this girl, and she became scared of me that I would knock her out in a brawl with me. That was how I freed myself from her terrorism while she continued harassing and terrorizing other students. Eventually the girl and I became good friends because I was no longer on the list of those she harasses.

As a young believer back then, who were those you looked up to as your mentors or role models in the Christian faith?

As a young believer I had quite a number of emulative people that I looked up to in the Christian faith. Pastor W. F. Kumuyi, the General Superintendent of the Deeper Life Bible Church was one of them because of his depth of holiness messages. Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor was another great servant of God that I loved to follow as a young believer. I used to cry whenever I missed his T.V ministration titled Hour of Deliverance every Sunday on Nigeria Television Authority (NTA). His teachings were too captivating and they blessed my life as a young evangelist. Archbishop Benson Idahosa of blessed memory was another great servant of God that imparted me in the Christian faith. Those days, lots of young Pentecostal ministers aspired to have a glorious ministry like the ministry of Archbishop Benson Idahosa. However, the foremost great servant of God that I practically looked up to and closely followed as my father in the Lord till his recent passage to glory was Rev. Dr Wilson Badejo, a former General Overseer of The Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria. I was privileged to have him attend the naming ceremonies of all my children. It was a great delight and honour too, to have him attend my daughter’s wedding last February 2021. I will surely miss him. May his soul rest in peace. Bishop Mike Okonkwo also imparted me as a young evangelist. I attended his church, The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM) a couple of times. He opened me up to the understanding that your dressing like a Deeper Life is not a ticket to heaven. He sounded it boldly to us that one can dress well in TREM and still make heaven.

Please, share with us how your calling and journey into ministry began

I started my calling into ministry at Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria. It was whilst I was in that church that God’s call upon my life became pronounced. While in Foursquare I was greatly imparted by Rev. Sylvester Igbero and Rev. Smith both now of blessed memory. It was after my experiences with these two people that I attended Samuel Bible Institute as one of the first set of the institute founded in the late 80s by Rev. S.A Oyeyemi who was formerly a member of Cherubim & Seraphim (C&S Ayo Ni o) church. Rev Dr. Badejo strengthened my confidence in God’s call upon my life. One of the proofs of my calling into ministry was when I joined Ernest Angley Crusade in the mid-80s. A young man who came to the crusade ground for healing was returning home discouraged that he didn’t get his healing. He shared his pains with me. I prayed for him and God healed him instantly.

How long have you been in the ministry, and how will you describe your experiences in the ministry over the years?

I came into ministry in 1985, and that is 36 years ago. My experiences in ministry these 36 years has been a journey of faith in crises, faith in victories, faith in perplexity, faith in the face of worries and faith in what next could happen on this journey. But Like Paul said, we are more than conquerors! I have had diverse experiences with different people and ministries. For instance, I preached in a church in the east for three days and slept on a bench without foam and pillow for the entire three days. Yet, I preached there joyfully!  I have had several encounters; including angelic encounters these 36 years in ministry. I have seen God’s mercy and faithfulness as love and the reality of who God is. Therefore, there is nothing more but to give him all the praises to God for His faithfulness in these 36 years of my work in the ministry.

What are the gifts God endowed you for the ministry work?

I am an apostle by calling. I am a passionate evangelist by the grace of God upon my life. As regards the work of the ministry I see the power of encouragement, that is, the gift of encouragement to the body of Christ as a core burden. God also endowed me with the gift of teaching, provoking deliverance through the apostolic gifting to the body of Christ. Hence our passion and commitment to the West African College of Missionary Bishop (WACOMBS)

What is the mandate of your commission by God into ministry?

The mandate of my commission by God is Luke 10:19, “Behold, I give you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and by nothing shall by any means hurt you.” This birthed the name Power Outreach Ministries which I used for several crusades in the late 80s into the early 90s.

 How will you describe the impact of your ministry over the years?

God has helped us to make impact in several places. We have had opportunities to preach within and outside this nation and made impact every place we went. I have been privileged to impact several bishops which of course you know. What recently inspired me was a call I received from a pastor that graduated from a Bible school some years ago. He shared a testimony of a book I wrote 20 years ago, “My Vision of Africa.” He said he discovered that most of the revelations that I gave in that book are now coming to past. That testimony is a great inspiration for me. There is a brother, a son of an Anglican priest in Port Hartcourt who was unserious on campus. By the spirit of God I spoke to him and he broke down in tears.  That marked the beginning of his restoration and his walk with God as a pastor today. I have also been influenced by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome. While at Bendel State University I rented an apartment next door to his younger brother, Ken Oyakhilome and we often saw each other virtually everyday.  I once approached Bro. Ken about the dressing of the brethren in their campus fellowship.

You are a respected preacher with a deep apostolic grace, yet you keep a low profile. Why do you keep a low profile despite your high pedigree in ministry?

A lot of people may not share my opinion on what I suppose should be the lifestyle of servants of God. I strongly believe that ministry work is not showmanship. Ministry is a call to duty and responsibility. It is a call to service, not paparazzi. I subscribe to the simplicity of our Lord Jesus Christ while on earth. The showcasing of opulence, extravagant living, wealth and fame by ministers of God today is not at best exemplified the life of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. I feel free entering Keke Napep.  I was awed the day I saw my father in the Lord Rev. Dr. Badejo in Sabo market in Yaba; a great servant of God of his status inside market pricing foodstuffs.

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