Exploits of Nigerian Preachers in the Diaspora with Olatokunbo Bankole (U.K)
Pastor Wale, as popularly known by the church, is married to his beautiful wife, Abosede Shonubi, and they are blessed with two lovely children. The cleric is very humble, but down to earth. He is a member of the choir and drama groups as well as a Pastor at an assembly of Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C) in the United Kingdom (U.K). In the below interview with the indefatigable Christian Benefits U.K Editor and B.A.M.E Award winner, Olatokunbo Bankole, Pastor, Shonubi shares his meteoric rise from a polygamous Muslim family background to becoming a chorister, a drama minister and a Pastor in Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C) in U.K. Excerpts.
Congratulations on your ordination as a Pastor. Please tell us how it feels
I feel honored and grateful to work for God. I’m grateful to God for counting me worthy to serve in his vineyard. It’s a big task but I know and trust that the One who called me will give me the strength and ability to do the work, amen.
Have you ever thought that you were going to be a pastor someday?
I will say yes and no! I’ve heard a lot of revelations, testimonies that I would be an ordained pastor but I didn’t believe. The first time I met our father in the Lord Pastor A.O Fashina, the Pioneer of C.A.C Outreach World when I came to London from Italy he revealed that I’m going to be a pastor. Even in Italy some ministers told me God would use me but I wasn’t convinced due to my Muslim background.
Will you please share with us what your upbringing was like?
I was born into a polygamous Muslim family. My mother is the 4th wife. I’m her first child. I’ve two older half siblings. I was born at Ebuta Metta, Lagos. I had my primary education in Lagos before I moved to Kaduna where I had my secondary education. I later studied accountancy at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos.
How did you encounter Jesus Christ?
I met Christ when I was young but didn’t take it seriously. I accompanied a friend to his church where God met me. But I wasn’t sure due to my Muslim background. My Christian journey started when I travelled to Italy in 1997 through my Pastor (now my father-in-Law) and a friend of mine who is a pastor in Deeper Life. It was a great transformation for me. With God all things are possible (Mathew 19:26).
How has the transition been from Choir/ Drama groups to Pastor?
I see myself as the same person. What matters is the glory of God upon my life. I’ve received his favour. I pray that God should make me humble and help me not to lose focus. God loves those who humble themselves. I’m still a member of both the choir and the drama groups. I encouraged my children to be part of the church drama group that it’s a way of worshipping God and working for his kingdom.
What is it like to be a C.A.C Pastor?
It’s a unique favour from God to be a C.A.C Pastor. C.A.C Pastors don’t act on their own ability. The spirit of God always leads them. C.A.C is not rich financially but rich spiritually. If you read the stories, testimonies of our forefathers, you will know that God is reigning in C.A.C. He is doing wonders and will continue to do wonders, amen. I see it as a privilege to be a C.A.C pastor.
How has it been since your ordination as a C.A.C Pastor?
Now that I’m a pastor I need to keep my home intact. Being a pastor requires a lot. I thank my wife, Mrs. Abosede Shonubi, and my children for their support and understanding. My wife really helps me a lot, especially now that I am a pastor. She is a very good wife who appreciates a lot. I thank my children for their support as well. I’m happy for the family I have because they’ve all been supportive.
You and your wife are in the choir. Did you meet each other in the choir?
I met my wife in Italy in the choir. We both attended the same church where her father is a pastor and one of my mentors. I didn’t start talking to her until she revealed to me that God had informed her that I’m going to be her husband. Both of us are still members of the choir. We are blessed with two beautiful children,
Who are the people you looked up, and still looking up to as your spiritual role models and mentors after you gave your life to Jesus?
God is my personal saviour and mentor. I always look up to him. However, I listen to the sermons of different men of God like T. D Jakes, Pastor A.O Fashina, Pastor Adeboye and Pastor Kenneth Copeland. It helps me in my Christian journey.
What has been the greatest obstacle of being a pastor?
I will say time. It’s important not to waste time. Every second in time is precious. I need time to study the word of God and to be able to do what God has sent me to do as well as have time with my family. It’s important to spend quality time with the family as well. I also work full time. However, I have taken the oath which I need to keep. I pray God will continue to give me the strength to do this.
How do you cope as a chorister, drama minister and pastor all together?
I’ve an understanding and lovely wife and children who support my ministry. Their support goes a long way. My first congregation is my Family. I thank God for his grace and for counting us worthy to be a Faith family.
Lastly any word of advice for all our readers?
God works in mysterious ways. But his way is truth and light. People tend to lose focus and follow men of God rather than God. It is advisable to read and study the word of God as this helps us in understanding him more. As Christians our goal should be to make heaven. And I pray that we will make it in Jesus name, amen.