King Bishop Joshua Godson Abiodun is the President of JOGAMINT Foundation Global Network, the umbrella organization that encompasses several other organizations, including Branch of Heaven Apostolic International Church of God; God’s 21st Century Revival Outreach Programme; the crusade arm of the organization, The Apostolic Ecclesiastical Organization; a ministerial network that involves bringing ministers of God within and beyond Nigeria together for fellowship and impartations and Kings & High Priests of God Assembly, among others. In this interview King Bishop Abiodun shares his upbringing, salvation experience and the assignment that God gave to him. This covers the forthcoming annual special Independence Prayer for Nigeria which started since 2014. Excerpts
Please share with us your upbringing/childhood before your call into ministry.
I was born into the family of Elder & Deaconess Johnson Abiodun, both of blessed memories. My mother died 10 years ago while my father died 7 years ago. My grandmother is one of the ancient prophetesses still alive in my hometown in Ekiti State. My late mother was from Ikole- Ekiti while my late father was from Ayede-Ekiti; all in Oye Local Government of Ekiti State. My grandmother marked her 110th birthday last September 2020. She is still doing God’s work. I believe she has transferred her prophetic might to me. Before my parents died, God used them to establish a branch of our home church here in Lagos State, at their personal residence, which has grown now to a big cathedral church. I grew up under my parents until a certain age when I gave my life to Christ in my second year in Senior Secondary School. Instantly, I received God’s call upon my life. But due to the kind of wayward life I lived then, coupled with peer pressure and the kind of friends I hung around with, I was very radical to the extent that the devil wanted to mess up my life. Before I gave my life to Christ and encountered him through the influence of my parents, I always played street football on Sunday morning, instead of attending church services with them. While God was busy arranging my salvation, he would use my parents to beat me in order to attend Sunday services.
Tell us more about your rebirth experience and your walk with Christ so far.
On the very first day I stepped my feet into the church, I heard God’s word and gave my life to him under the ministration of the minister who preached in our home church of Christ Gospel Apostolic Church at Oshodi that fateful Sunday. God’s calling upon my life was so radical that I had to establish a fellowship back then. Having had a personal encounter with God after my salvation, I was so intoxicated and driven with passion for Christ. Initially, my ambition while in school was to be a lawyer. Aside this ambition was also my desire to be an actor because I was very good in that area. As at then, we were told that the only fellowship we could attend was the Deeper Life Fellowship. With my salvation and personal encounter with God, I was so intoxicated with the Holy Spirit that together with my colleagues in school then, we were not allowed to join the Deeper Life Fellowship due to the fact that the fellowship was into more of hand clapping, singing and the Word of God. Since we were more charismatic in nature, we had to set up our own Pentecostal fellowship at the Oshodi Comprehensive High School. The fact that we had to establish fellowship became a problem because our fellowship hours coincided with that of the Deeper Life meeting hours every Friday afternoon. Our fellowship attracted many students because it was an avenue for deliverance, for people to speak in tongues and for other demonstration of the Holy Spirit. Before we knew what was happening, we were reported to the school authorities by the executive body of the Deeper Life, some of whom were our colleagues then. This became a very serious issue because our fellowship had fully grown already. Two of my colleagues and I were almost expelled from school as a result of this issue. Today, one of those two colleagues of mine has been ordained a Reverend by me few years back, though he does not work with my ministry; while the other is an elder in his home church. As at the period we were almost expelled from school, we had to stand before school authorities. Some students back then wanted us expelled on the grounds that we were using evil spirit to manipulate students; thereby, causing division amongst the school authorities. We had to convince everyone that we were not manipulating students through evil spirits; rather, we based on not only God’s word, also on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. To God’s glory, we scaled over that experience which was a really tough one.
Share with us your transformation after you gave your life to Jesus Christ?
On the fateful day I gave my life to Christ, I had gone to church under compulsion; after being beaten by my parents. I usually attribute most significant things that happen in my life to 19th of the month. Presently, I am 44 years old and based on this, I would say that my salvation occurred while in SS2; precisely, 27 years ago. Beaten by my parents that fateful day into going to church, I went to church with anger in me. I had to even wrap up the Bible they gave to me that day with newspaper so that the friends I was hanging out with that period would not laugh at me. Getting to church that day, Pastor Adeyemi, now a senior minister in CGAC, ministered; narrowing his message down to water baptism as the basis for God’s acceptance and stuffs like that. Listening to his message, I felt God speaking and pushing me into doing the water baptism, and before I knew what was happening, I saw myself at the altar, giving my life to God during altar call. And from there I started attending baptismal classes.
Did giving your life to Jesus stop you from your former or old way of life?
Giving my life to Christ did not stop me from my worldly ambitions and way of life, but as God would have it, my younger brother who was just ordained a pastor, had a friend called Timothy, who was either 6 or 8 years old then. My brother told me that Timothy, who was a very renowned radical preacher then, was holding a crusade somewhere. Surprised that a young boy like him was doing something like that, I decided to attend the crusade. On getting there, I saw Timothy preaching. This was when God himself spoke to me and told me that just as he is using the elders, he is equally using the young ones, and that is exactly what he wants me to do for him. Right there, I broke down and burst into tears and told God that I was ready and willing to be used by him anywhere he wants. This was shortly after I gave my life to Christ. With all these, the fire of evangelism in me propelled me into evangelizing in school so much that I had to call some of my fellowship brethren and told them that there was need to do extra for God as long as we were still within the school environment, which then led to the formation of that school fellowship then.
How did you continue your Christian life after your left secondary school?
After I finished Secondary school, God’s call further drove me to a theological seminary school called United Missionary Church of Africa Theological College, at Ilorin where I obtained diploma in Theology. As part of my practical while there I pastored with the Redeemed Christian Church of God. This was due to the fact that it was part of the requirements that we would be engaged with a church throughout the number of years we were in the theological school. When I finished from Ilorin, God made me know that with his calling and assignment for me was not to be a conventional church minister but a global mission; an interdenominational assignment that has to do with the body of Christ at large. When I finished from the seminary, I was being expected in our home church, where one of my younger brothers had just been ordained a full time pastor. But I refused to go return to our home church, because God already told me that he was not going to place me under authorities that would not allow me to grow the way he wanted since I was not just a minister for the church, but a minister for the body of Christ globally. Due to the experience I still needed in my ministry, my mother had to connect me to a prophet here in Egbe, whom I worked with for two years. From there, I got connected to another church, God’s Power and Blessing Ministry, in Ejigbo, where I got ordained as a pastor. From there, I moved again to other ministries that include Christ Apostolic Church, (CAC Agbala Adura), Mushin, Lagos where I spent two years, before I was led by God led to establish an independent ministry for him, and which I did for two years in Mafoluku, along the International Airport way before God finally sent us to Egbe where we have been for over a decade now, doing his work. In a nutshell, while I was into my ministerial assignment, other courses of my theological requirements were being attained and achieved via the programmes I was running. When it comes to the issue of my ministerial elevation, God finally brought us to Egbe in 2006. He appeared to me three times and said he wanted me to base in Egbe. This was why we moved from Mafoluku to Egbe. However, we have our own site somewhere in Egbe here that we have not relocated to as our permanent side. When we did our inauguration, I was ordained and promoted from the pastoral level to the prophetic level, thus, becoming a Prophet. After some time, one of my mentors connected me to a white missionary man ordained me as a Reverend. This was within the space of three to five years. After all these, I started seeing a vision of the late Apostle Paul Okedoyin, the General Overseer of Christ Gospel Apostolic Church, CGAC, which happens to be my home church. In those visions, I often saw him pursuing me whilst I also followed him. I was confused with these visions, which I had been seeing for decades right from my days in school at Ilorin, and therefore shared that visions with my spiritual mentor After he had listened to me he told me that God was giving me an apostolic calling like that of the late Apostle Okedoyin. Based on this, I was ordained an apostle in 2010. I continued with God’s work. In the course of this, I lost contact with my spiritual mentor when he traveled out of the country. So, I began praying for new spiritual father to submit to. I am someone who loves to be under authority; however, not an authority that will limit my growth. In the course of my prayer, God directed me to a new spiritual father, His Eminence Archbishop Professor James Haruna (JP), who presently my spiritual father with Archbishop Professor M. A. Fadeyi (JP). I submit to these great servants of God and they have been guiding me in the ministry ever since.
What was the reaction of your “worldly” friends to your rebirth conversion?
After my salvation, my friends were still pressuring and pulling me. In most cases, I never let them know when I attended church. There was one amongst them, Hakeem, whom I became so close with that it was difficult for people to believe that we were not related. The truth is that anybody that God is interested in using; the devil is equally interested in using such a person. Hakeem and I got connected to Indians at our age, requesting for charms. After paying the money required of us in bank drafts, the charms would be sent to us without the knowledge of anybody, including the Indians, because we had to combine our names to become ‘Hakeem Olayinka. One of my names is Olayinka. However, after my experience at Evangelist Timothy’s crusade ground, I took my stand and now went to seminary school. This was how I became completely cut off from those old friends of mine.
Again, share with us your seminary school experience
My seminary school experience is another story because on getting there, it became an opportunity not only to study, but for God to download all the three years experience I had. It became a privilege for God to separate me in order to download His agenda for my life. By the time I was done with seminary school, I came back as a completely different person. However, God was still telling me that he wanted me to go through some experiences, thus, leading me to some ministers of his, some of whom I have already mentioned. It was while I was in one of those churches, C.A.C, that I had my marital experience; and after two years, God told me that my assignment there was over and that it was time I moved away to start the independence work. Since then, we have been moving like that. Thus, as I run the church, I equally run the outreac; organizing crusade; all in different places in Lagos state and outside Lagos like Ekiti and some other places in Nigeria. Primarily, I am a crusader by calling. And by God’s grace, I have done a 90-day crusade non-stop.
How did you meet your wife and know she is God’s chosen partner for you?
As at the time I completed my Bible school, I began preparing for the next phase of my life and asking God to show me what is next. It was during this time that I visited a friend at Agege, who is working as a pastor under CAC. We met at the seminary school. This friend introduced me to a prophetess, who was either his colleague or daughter-in-the-Lord. Prior to the day of visitation, I was already praying to God for direction in my next phase of life; even waited on him for 21 days, knowing the nature of my ministerial calling and my special assignment to the body of Christ. It was in the course of the 21 days prayer that God told me that he was going to give me a gift, in the form of a wife. This is why I call my wife “Gift”; it is my pet name for her. While discussing with the prophetess, I told her about what God told me about giving me a gift. Immediately, it struck her and she told me that she has a Christian sister, whom she is a mentor and a family friend to. When I finally got around and met the lady the Holy Spirit immediately told me that she was my wife. After some time, I excused her and told her what God told me clearly. One thing about me is that I never delay or mince words in delivering whatever message God has given to me for people. I am always straight-forward. Even my appointments with people were always instant because I am always under divine mandate. She told me what messages God had also given her based on her own spiritual level too. She however, still went to God for confirmation and God confirmed it. With this, we came got married on a 19th in 2003. This is one of the reasons why I always attribute significant events in my life to 19th. I was born that same date, got married same date, became bishop same date. Though I may not be able to remember the date of my salvation, I will always attribute it to 19th. Today, we are blessed with lovely boys and girls as our children
What are the major challenges you have faced over the years and how have you been able to overcome them?
Basically, what I can say about my major challenge is the issue of working with some untrustworthy ministers. Sometimes, you expect some people to be faithful and loyal when you commit things into their hands, but they end up jeopardizing them and failing you. I am the kind of person who trains people, but some of them after going through the training, end up not having the same mindset with you. Some of them expect the ministry to always be forthcoming with money, so they focus their attention on it, and when it is not forthcoming, they become cunning and end up leaving the ministry. Another major challenge is financial constraint. I do not see this as a big issue because I want to believe that the ministry is God’s planted work. Some months back during the pandemic, I asked God why he never gave me a helper, considering all the great works he has done through me. I am not trying to elevate or justify myself by saying that I have really done great works, but I know that in God’s record, he has used me for this nation, considering the kind of passion and commitment he has laid in our hearts to carry out his mandate for the purpose of the kingdom, all of which are just foundational works in respect to what is coming ahead. Immediately, God told me that there is something he wants to make out of me in terms of my ministerial and spiritual level and that is why he is deliberately not bringing people of substance to me. He told me that he did not want me to be influenced with wealth and affluence. To prove his point, God further asked me if there was any person responsible for the level I have gotten to in life.
What can you say about your ministerial growth and development?
Well, the brief thing I can say about my ministerial growth experience is based on the fact that the experiences which individuals called by God go through vary based on the mandate that God has given to each of them. Here, I would love to draw reference to the life of Prophet John the Baptist. The Bible recorded that God had to train him for a whole period of 30 years because of a mandate that was meant to last for just six months. He had to go through his ministerial experience in the wilderness for that number of years and this was as a result of the nature and intensity of the assignment given to him by God to carry out. Before Christ’s coming, he was the last prophet of Israel to minister to God’s people. Based on this, God had to prepare him seriously ahead of the six months task he was meant to carry out. A study of God’s word also shows that between the period of the last prophet, Prophet Malachi and the period of John the Baptist, who surfaced to prepare the way for Christ’s coming to the Israelites, there is the inter-testament period known as the Period of Total Apostasies, in which there was no other prophet speaking to the Israelites after the Prophet Malachi for a period of 400 to 450 years, until John the Baptist came. This was why John’s assignment was so great because first, he had to turn back the hearts of the Israelites to God after how many years of their loss of communication with God; and secondly, he had to introduce Christ to them as well. Looking at John’s experience, I would love to liken mine to it. Our call from God happens to fall during the period of Christ’s second coming. His second coming has become so imminent and our God-given assignment is to do the work of John the Baptist, which means that our assignment is to prepare people’s hearts ahead of Christ’s second coming. All these, have made my personal ministerial growth experience to be unpalatable due to the fact that despite God putting us under the tutelage of one minister or the other to give us experience in ministry, the fact that we are mandated under divine assignment to go and prepare the way of Christ’s second coming, has made it very intense because we have come to believe that God’s expectations from us are high, and we cannot afford to just jump into the ministry and do his work whichever and whatever way we deem fit. We need to stay under the University of the Holy Spirit in order to go through all the necessary experience God intended for us in order to be found fit and capable to carry out His mandate on earth.
What is your annual National Independence Prayer Programme all about?
Six years ago, I got the vision of the National Independence Prayer Programme for Nigeria. As at the time God spoke to me, he said I had grown to the level where he wants to deliver a national work into my hands, by gathering 24 senior ministers in the country on a singular day to pray for the nation and the people who attend the programme. He told me that it is a watchman ministry that he was handing over to me. God further told me that just as he himself, is surrounded with 24 elders in heaven, that I should also pray and look for 24 elders, possibly those who are older than me in the ministry, and gather them together because of Nigeria; which has over the years, irrespective of the things happening within her, is like the Israel of Africa. This is why God afflicts us anytime we go astray. However, with all the news of terrorism and insurgency being reported, it is his intention to make it known that his covenant and special desire is upon the nation and that is why, there is need for those He will always preserve to intercede and carry out special mandate for the nation in order to help fulfill and implement his purpose and agenda for the nation. Thus, with this vision, I took the step of holding it every October. And over the years, we have taken the programme to different places as God directed us that include Egbeda, Okokomaiko, Ajao Estate, the International Trade Fair complex; using churches of big ministers like the Archbishop Joseph Ojo, who is one the ministers under the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa. This year, the sixth edition of the programme, and which also commemorates the 60th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence, God said we should not make the programme indoor as it has always been; rather, it should be an elaborate one. I got this message from God at the period when the COVID-19 pandemic was badly affecting Nigeria; in the month of May. Within this period, I was totally indoor; waiting on God for many days; first, for 40 days and then for another 40 days. After this, I went for another 21 days; making it 101 days. Currently, I am in another 30 days, in preparation for the upcoming programme; as directed by God. I am not a pastor who imitates others; I do exactly what God tells me to do. God told me not to hold this year’s programme in the church, because he wants to mark Nigeria’s 60th independence in order to fulfill his promises to her. God is really using Nigeria in the world, especially in Africa; when it comes to prayer, praise concerts, raising missionaries, around Africa and the world, you will definitely know that God is really interested in this country. Nigeria is not like any other nation. She is the Israel of our time. This is why God always disciplines us whenever we go wayward, like choosing corrupt leaders who refuse His counsel. This is why He wants to pass through her, by mandating us to organize this year’s programme in this way.
What has been the experience on this programme for you over the years?
The experience has been very great in the sense that I regard it as a very great privilege anytime I find myself calling and beckoning on these fathers of faith; that the day will come when all of them will assemble. I may not have the money to give them but there is one grace that God has lavishly given me and this grace has been working for me till tomorrow in Nigeria and beyond. This grace is that anybody who comes across my path and makes a positive contribution of any kind, I always try to reciprocate in whatever way I can, even though it may not be financially. I always try to make an impact in the lives of people I meet, who in one way or the other, have also impacted in me. For the ministers who will be coming for the forthcoming independence programme, there will be a special session where they will all raise their hands up in prayer for Nigeria; their hands must never come down till the end of the session. Like the other previous programmes, I will always tell them that while I am playing the role of Joshua, they are playing that of Moses. Whenever Moses raised up his hands for the nation of Israel, the Israelites would be winning in the battle; even when his hands began to tire and ache, they had to look for Aaron and someone else to hold up his hands in order for the Israelites to keep winning. Now, if Moses could do that for them, God who said that there should be a gathering of 24 elders to represent the 24 elders in heaven, it is expected of us to raise our hands to them so that God can arise for the nation, no matter the agenda of the devil for Nigeria. It is God’s will that we prevail but it is our responsibility to make it happen. The experience has really not been palatable and like I already said, the programme has only been in churches and I do not invite guest artistes. It is only the fathers of faith that we invite. One of the ways God has made it possible for me to be able to win the hearts of these ministers is that most of them who know me, know me as a very dynamic and committed Minister of God. I am not materialistic in nature and operate strictly based on God’s word which some of them have come to find true and positive. As an upcoming minster of God, seeing those fathers surround me anytime I call upon them for God’s assignment fills me with joy.
What are your expectations from the upcoming independence programme?
Wow! Well, the best way to answer this question is to say that my expectation is based on the maximum thing that God intends to do. Like I already said, I am someone who always advocates for God’s heartbeat. It is left for God to do less if it is His intention. As much as we are going to try our best in prayers and intercession, if God’s intention is to do more, then to Him be all the glory. I know that all he has in mind to do for the nation of Nigeria, for the land of Ejigbo we would be using, and for the people that will be participating, is my expectation for the programme. Thus, I am expecting great salvation of souls, deliverance, healing and God’s blessings being showered upon these people. This period, we would be inviting 12 guest artistes in addition to the 24 elders that will be coming as well. We have never done this before. God already said that this year’s programme is a special one and also a festival unto Him; in compliance with the book of Exodus Chapter 5:1 and Chapter 9:1, where God told Moses to tell Pharaoh to allow the Israelites to go in order for them to worship him. This is what God has spoken to us to do, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic that has ravaged the earth, of which Nigeria was badly affected.
One of your titles is ‘King’ and you even wear king’s regalia as a mark of that status. Please shed light on your “King’ title; is it a traditional title or what?
I want to say here that the issue of this kingship title originally started five years back; though, my mission network of relating to kings has been close to a decade now. It all started when I began observing that God was always sending me out to kingdoms; paramount kings of communities, to minister to them, pray for them, and liaise with them to conduct crusades. About five years ago, God began speaking to me, asking me if I was aware that even among preachers, I am a king. Not understanding what he meant, the Holy Spirit began showing me scriptures to prove the point. Sometimes, we need God’s revelation to understand certain things we come across in the Bible every day, which we do not even understand. This was how the Holy Spirit began revealing not just one scripture but six, to prove his point to me. One of them is Revelation 1: 6; where Christ said he used his blood to redeem us and that he has made us Kings and Priests unto God. This same scripture is similar to Chapter 5:10 of the same book where he equally said that we shall reign on earth as Kings and Priests. The same applies to the second book of Peter 2: 9. The reason why I am pointing out these scriptures is that I have gone out with several ministers, who have asked me similar questions on this issue. When God began giving me the revelation of this kingship issue and my identity in him, I began understanding the fact that he made us first as Kings, before making us Priests. The question we should now ask is how come none of God’s ministers parade as Kings; choosing rather to just operate as Priests. Why do we choose one part and leave the other part? Thus, I have come to realize that several ministers feel that it is only when they leave this world and get to heaven that they will rule and operate as kings; forgetting that the Bible states that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Having gotten this revelation, even though there are other deeper ones than this, I have come to realize and accept that no matter where I find myself, I have to dress the part of a king. This is why I have some king, high priesthood and bishopric regalia. I always project these images because that is what God has made us. We are not ignorant of God’s word. It is because of our ignorance of God’s word that hooligans and demonic agents are ruling over us. When I began getting all these revelations and convictions, I had to go meet my spiritual father to tell him about it all; and God had to use him to answer all my questions, telling me that we are ecclesiastical kings; ecclesiastical here, has to do with the church. The Bible says that a time will come after rapture, known as the “millennium reign” which is the reign of a thousand years; most churches and pastors are not even emphasizing on this. This was how I got this revelation and I have an organization to that effect known as the “Kings and High Priests of God”. Every one of us in that organization which was inaugurated on the 19th of October, 2019, is King and High Priest of God. Professionally, we have kings of music like Sunny Ade as ‘King of Juju’, Wasin Ayinde as ‘King of Fuji.’ I am therefore, an ecclesiastical King and not a traditional king. It is all part of the revelations of the end time.