Pastor Olaniyi Ezekiel is a Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C) pastor to the core, yet a voracious reader of Bishop David Oyedepo’s books and messages.
In this interview with Christian Benefits, the host pastor of Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C Oke Iyanu), Egan, Lagos, shares his salvation story from a nominal Christian family that was not averse to ritual practices, how God revealed his calling through a herbalist and his reservations about Bishop Oyedepo’s Living Faith Church (Winners Chapels) despite being an avid consumer of the bishop’s books and messages. Excerpts
Please, can we meet you?
I am Pastor Olaniyi Ezekiel, Senior Pastor, Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C Oye Iyanu), Egan, Lagos.
Briefly share with us about your upbringing
I was raised in a nominal ECWA Christian family from Kwara state. Although we professed to be a Christian family, we were not averse to ritual practices until my personal encounter with Jesus Christ on April 3, 1988 at Ado Ekiti, Ekiti state. Since then I have been following Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal saviour till now.
What exactly happened to you that year that you had this encounter with Christ?
I was passing through some challenges that actually led to my salvation encounter. I was an apprentice in a particular company in Ado Ekiti when I gave my life to Christ. It was right from that company people started calling me pastor because of my refusal to tell lies unlike my co-apprentices in that company. Sometimes, my colleagues would beat me for my refusal to join them in their dishonesty acts. Our boss trusted me so much that I would never tell lies unlike my fellow apprentices. He was a Christian and a member of The Apostolic Faith Church. It was my walk with the Lord that eventually led to my leaving Ado Ekiti for Lagos state in 1990.
Tell us what exactly happened that led to your leaving Ado Ekiti for Lagos
I am the first child of my father. It happened that my father was the only survivor of his mother’s eleven children. He was afraid that he may loss me his only son too to the wicked people. So, he often brought charms to me to fortify me. But I always rejected the charms because of my new life in Christ Jesus. This led to so frequent tussles between my father and me over my refusal of his charms to the extent that my apprenticeship was terminated. As a result of this, I came to Lagos to continue my apprenticeship elsewhere in Lagos.
Share with us how you settled down in Lagos and continued with your Christian life?
In 1991 I had a particular problem. I was then attending a Christ Apostolic Church (C.A.C) at Demurin, Ketu, Lagos. One particular day while praying I dosed off and I saw in a dream one elderly man holding a staff. And the old man said to me, Niyi, read Psalm 59 and Psalm 109 into water, drink the water and the problem will be solved. I woke up and fasted till 12 pm. I returned home, read the Psalm verses into water and drank it. I sleep off and vomited in a dream a strange substance that was the cause of that problem. That was how God delivered me. Later, God told me that with the use of water, through me He would work wonders in the lives of people. Despite this revelation from God, I never imagined becoming a pastor.
How then did you eventually become a pastor?
After completing my apprenticeship in building materials business, I joined C.A.C (Oke Ibukun) Igando, Lagos. Here it became evident that I would be a pastor. The church leader often told me so. Meanwhile, I got the revelation earlier during my apprenticeship at Ado Ekiti when one elderly strange man accosted me on the road during lunch break and told me that he saw me in a white robe and with a staff in my hand, and said God was going to use me. He said he was a herbalist, and then gave me his address in Ado Ekiti if I want to confirm the revelation. But I never visited him for any confirmation because he said he was a herbalist. I resisted the call until 1994 when I reluctantly accepted with tears to serve the Lord. Thereafter, I started with what we call “Tule” (tutelage) in C.A.C under the Baba at that C.A.C Oke Ibukun. I also trained and served under the now late Baba Agbedu at C.A.C Olorunsogo, Mushin, Lagos. I later proceeded to C.A.C seminary, Ile Ife in 1995 and graduated in 1997. In 2000, we started this present work, Christ Apostolic Church (Oke Iyanu), Egan, Lagos.
Specifically, what is the mandate of your calling by God into the ministry?
God assured me that if I read His word and believe in them; through me He would do wonders in the lives of people. That is why most of my messages are based on the word of God. Although I have some reservations about his church’s practices, particularly their mode of dressing, I read a lot of Bishop David Oyedepo’s books and messages to build my word capacity. God specifically told me to be reading the bishop’s books and messages because his ministry and mine are somehow similar in terms of the preaching of faith and the word of God.
What are the gifts God endowed you to back your commission?
God speaks to us audibly. Aside this, we have the grace of a true shepherd.
Tell us about your church programmes in line with its mandate and some testimonies from the programmes
One of such programmes is “Wakati Ipade si rire;”a three-day programme from every last Wednesday of the month. We also hold vigil every Friday. We hold a monthly prayer meeting on every monthly theme that God gives to us. We have lots testimonies of fruitfulness in marriages and businesses, breakthroughs, healing, deliverance, salvation, restoration, victories, promotions and countless numbers of other diverse testimonies. We have testimonies of formerly homeless people now house owners, landlords and owners of landed properties everywhere.