Bishop Akinloye Ojo says he derives joy in imparting his assistant pastors, noting that it makes easy his mission of liberating people from the kingdom of this world. While charging fellow senior pastors to share the overloads of their anointing, gifts, successes and burdens of their ministries with their subordinates, the General Overseer of Livingway World Outreach, Ikorodu, Lagos, shares with Christian Benefits the impact of the community service of his ministry and other activities aimed at leading people in the direction of the kingdom of God. Excerpts
Sir, briefly share with us your background and upbringing
First, I’m from a Muslim background. While growing up as a Muslim I had the habit of laying hand on the physically challenged whenever I gave them money. I attended an Islamic school. However, I had a personal encounter with Jesus Christ while seeking solution to the problem in my business. The secretary of one of my associates, who happened to be a diplomat, led me to Rev. Gabriel Oduyemi (now late) of Bethel Ministries, Ajah, Lagos. That was where I gave my life to Christ in 1993.
Please, tell us more about your conversion experience at Bethel Ministries
When I visited the church for solution to my business problem, I saw the man of God, Rev. Gabriel Oduyemi ministering what I later understood as the power of the Holy Ghost to people and they were falling. I laughed and said keep packaging. I had barely uttered this statement in my mind when the power of the Holy Ghost descended on me too, and I began struggling to hold myself. Amazingly, the Holy Ghost held me bound for complete three days that I couldn’t eat, drink or do anything at home. After this encounter I started attending the church centre at Maryland, Lagos.
Tell us how you grew in the faith after your conversion at Bethel Ministries
After I started attending Bethel Ministries, Maryland, my mother led me to another man of God, Prophet Joshua Oyeniyi of Holy Ghost Intercessory Mission. At the time we visited the prophet he was just starting his ministry. When I attended the Sunday service of the church there were just six people as members of the church. After the service the prophet did something amazing that made me join the church. He gave the entire offering of the just seven people in the service on that day to me. Within me I said the prophet or the church needed the offering more than me. After a while that I joined the church I offered myself as interpreter of the prophet. I worshipped and served in that ministry till 1998 when I joined another ministry.
When did you eventually receive God’s calling to start your own ministry?
In 1994 when I was still under the ministry of Prophet Joshua Oyeniyi, the prophet took one other brother and me with him to a particular place for prayer. We locked ourselves in that place for seven days on dry fasting &prayer. In the course of that, the power of God came so massively upon us that we started speaking mysteries. And the Lord spoke through the prophet that he was sending the three of us; the prophet, Bro. Gbenga Adeyemi and me on different assignments. Shortly after we returned from the prayer I saw in a vision a huge man barbing people’s heads with cutlass. I heard a voice told me to go and stop him doing that. When I confronted him to stop barbing people’s heads with cutlass he was amazed and ordered my arrest. Instantly, I picked race and his people pursued me. I was lucky to run into safety inside a garden where I met an old man. And the old man said to me, you have to go back to that place. You have a lot of works to do for me. This was the encounter that opened me up into ministry. I never imagined I would be a pastor.
What is the specific assignment of your calling by God into ministry?
My assignment is all about liberation. God told me, “Open the eyes of my people and make them see the difference between My kingdom and the kingdom of this world.” I’m passionate about encouraging people that with God all things are possible.
Tell us some of the church programmes in line with this assignment of liberation
All our church programmes and activities are linked to liberation. Apart from our internal programmes, our Living way community service of family foods support and skills acquisition and empowerment programmes are all about liberation. We are not giving out of what we have. We are giving out of our needs. When you give out of your abundance is not as much as when you give out of your need. In one of our Living way community service in 2008, a lot of families thronged to our church to get foods support. Unfortunately, we lacked the capacity to serve the entire multitude. I went into my office and wept. But we had to make sacrifices to meet their needs; even when I don’t personally have one Derica tin of rice in my house to feed my family. It has become a necessity placed on us to feed widows, orphans and other less privileged in our community regularly. On the first Sunday of every month we serve quality lunch to people of all faiths and statuses in our community. We feed sumptuously. We also have some indigent but brilliant pupils/students from primary schools to tertiary institutions on the Living way scholarship sponsorship. Aside foods and scholarship, periodically, we also organize skills acquisition /empowerment for the unemployed widows youths and others in our community
Bishop Akinloye Ojo sharing food items to widows at Living way Community Service
Bishop Akinloye Ojo’s cash empowerment of widows at Living way Community Service
What are the gifts God endowed you to accomplish this assignment?
I’m a prophet by calling and bishop by consecration. I speak and God affirms. As a prophet I’m gifted by God in the areas of healing, deliverance and impartation.
Tell us why you are still active in ministry despite been a bishop where many ministers the moment they are consecrated bishop slow down the pace in ministry
I’m not carried away by titles. I had PhD in Pastoral counseling several years ago, but I have never attached Dr. to my name. It’s all about my mission, not about titles. I was called by God for a purpose and I live by that purpose. I derive joy in imparting my assistant pastor in order to enable her express herself. It makes the work easier. I will rather spend a whole day sharing with her instead of attending ministers’ conferences. I derive joy in relating with her. I always try to see how much of my gifting I can pour into others. I have so much inside of me that I want to empty to others. As pastors, we need to shed our overloads of anointing, gifts, successes and burdens to our assistants. We need to let go some portion of our anointing, gifts, success and burden in order for us to abound.