Pastor Oluwarotimi Oyekunle PhD is the Serving Overseer of His Masterpiece Church, Lagos. He is assisted in the ministry by his wife Evangelist Modupe Oyekunle and a host of others. He is a dynamic teacher, a prolific writer, and a conference speaker.
Oyekunle was commissioned into ministry by Pastor Tunde Bakare. He is the convener of 1BillionSouls Mandate, a group of passionate men and women who under the influence of the Holy Spirit and the love for Jesus are passionate about souls. Using various mediums and platforms to reach out for soul-winning.
Beyond his church engagement, he is an entrepreneur, town planner, and board member of many companies and organisations. He is a real estate consultant, a business strategist, and a spiritual intelligence coach
He holds a bachelor’s Degree in Geography and Regional Planning, a Master’s in Business Administration, and a master’s in transportation planning and management at the University of Lagos.
He is a Registered Town Planner by profession with the Townplanners Registration Council ( Toprec) A full member of the Nigerian Institute of Townplanners (NITP) He practices in Government and private sectors. He also has a Master’s Degree in Christian Counseling (MCC) from the Christian Leadership University USA, where he also obtained his Ph.D. in Christian Theology from the same University in New York, USA.
He is a senior Consultant at ICRS Ltd in partnership with His wife who is the Managing Director of ICRS Group of Companies.
He is an alumnus and global leader with the Haggai Leadership Institute in Maui USA an ordained Minister of the gospel. He is a Certified Master Trainer in Dynamic Church Planting International (DCPI) & The Next Generation. He spoke with Church Times Ngumah Isaac
You have a very impressive credential. How did you come about church work in the first place?
It was the desire to serve God and humanity. That was the burning passion in me. Starting a church was not my focus initially. When I gave my life to Christ in JSS1 in Saint Finbarrs College many years ago, my love for God pushed me into so many things.
When I was 15 yrs old a prophet came to my family and made a number of prophecies. One of them was that I would not live to the age of 18. Four of the five prophecies he gave came to pass before I clocked 17. So it was like I had one more year to live. So before my 18th birthday, my mother prepared me like I was going to die.
She gave me a lot of liberty. It was that freedom that made me attend Vineyard Christian Center at Ilasamaja That was where I began to hear the word of faith. That was where I prayed and told the Lord that if He allowed me to live beyond the age of 18, I would serve Him all my life. I had a series of encounters that propelled me to make a covenant with God with my life. I have been quite conscious of that covenant ever since.
You and your wife are both involved in the ministry?
Yes. We met at the University of Lagos. She was part of an evangelical team while we were at the university. That was where God connected us.
It was in our final year that we both put together a campus program tagged The Heart Cry of God. It was that programme that connected us to Dr. Tunde Bakare, who is our spiritual father and mentor.
We progressed to start a Bible study fellowship that met every fortnight and later every Tuesday. While doing that we were serving at the Latter Rain Assembly now Community Global Citadel Church. After 14 years of serving in the then Latter rain assembly, now CGCC, the Lord spoke to Pastor Bakare, that it was time for us to step out. We did. After a few months, he came to commission the ministry. The ministry came into being on April 7 2022.
What are the proofs that God was called you into ministry?
The fact that I didn’t die at the age of 18 is the number one proof. And then, he gave me a covenant in Isaiah 59v21. That scripture says, “This is my covenant with them, that the word I have put in your mouth and the spirit that is upon you it will not depart from you and from the mouth of your seeds and from the mouth of your seeds now forever”
I understand three things from that Scripture in Isaiah 59 v 21: I am going to see my children’s children..three generations.
Secondly, there is a word that he gave me that we are still standing on till now. After ten years of working with Him, I know that he has called me.
Another proof is the fact that we waited for eight years for children and God gave us twins and after the birth of the twins God has used us to touch the lives of many. I can’t count the number of twins that have been born as a result of contact and prayers from us.
And then of course the evidence of the transformation of lives from the people which is the most important aside from the gift of prayers. I cannot count the number of people whose lives have been transformed in the course of interactions
Many marriages have been transformed. People with medical challenges have received healing. Many homeless people have become landlords. The economic lives of many have been transformed. Above all, God has used us to lead many to his saving grace.
We have also been involved in empowering people. We have a cooperative that is doing great and may become a microfinance bank. We started the cooperative from zero. Today, it can boast of millions of naira. We have an arm of our ministry where we train young people in entrepreneurship. We have trained over 5000 in the past few years.
If you had come into this building a couple of months ago before June 24 last year you would have seen a banner that has over 27 businesses that started from scratch through our intervention. Those businesses are still in existence today and they are thriving.
Permit me to also say that one major event that is proof of our calling is what happened on June 24 2022 to us. The entire facility we are in got burnt and everything came down. Nothing was left in all the things that we had, except our amplifier. All our major equipment got burnt.
But in a few months, God brought all that we lost back to what you are seeing today. And they are looking far better than what we had. All the equipment were replaced with far better ones.
The church attendance tripled. That couldn’t have been anything but God. It is a sign of an endorsement of heaven. You don’t start a church with ambition but with a vision from heaven.
You seem to have gone through a lot of challenges in a short space of time.
I don’t consider what I went through as challenge. I see opportunities. In the first place, I did not send myself to do this work. There are obstacles or what we call challenges. But I see them as opportunities. I see the troubles that confront me as an opportunity to learn to trust God and become a better person.
I am not trying to downplay what people call challenges. But from my personal revelation, I see them as opportunities to develop stature and capacity in various areas.
Do you sometimes get bothered about some of your colleagues that live flamboyant lives in the midst of poverty of their members?
What I do is face my lane. The book of Nehemiah says, let everyone build the wall in front of his house. I did not call them to ministry. I have no comments about any other person. I can only comment about myself. I can only judge myself. I can only strive to become better than how I was yesterday and live my life by the word of God. I can only yield myself more to the Holy Spirit to his counsel and to mentors and also to my father in the faith.
Given the poverty in the country, will you subscribe to a church leader owning a private jet for instance?
If I have the opportunity today I will own one even you that is interviewing me will want to have one. As a pastor, no matter how much try, the poor we will always have because some of them have expectations beyond what you can do. Even the federal government cannot make everyone rich. No matter how prosperous a nation is, that nation can’t eradicate poverty.
If you go to the US, you will see homeless people. Everywhere in the world, you will see homeless people. Is it that the system did not give them the opportunity to be rich? No. It is because of the bad choice some of them made.
When you see poor people in a particular place before you say they did not get help, investigate. You will see that 90% of the time the church has done a lot for them. But many of them squandered it because of laziness and their worst came upon them like a bandit. So if I have the opportunity I will have a private jet. It is a tool for ease of movement for evangelism.
There are cases of schools set up with church funds but church members can’t afford them for their wards. How will you react to this?
The cost of living, and the cost of doing everything well are expensive. Nothing excellent is cheap. That their members can’t afford is another matter.
It could be subsidized or some given scholarships but they can’t drop the standard just because of the multitude. Excellence can’t be attained with peanuts. It is very expensive to run anything. It is expensive to run a church. In the church for example we have to buy diesel for N250,000 every two weeks depending on the programs that we are doing. So if you put all that together plus refuse collection, PHCN bill, etc. It goes to show you that it is not easy running an organisation.
What are your views about the 2023 elections?
There were a lot of things that were not accurate about the elections. But I am of the opinion that God is working something out and at the end of the day that which He is working out will manifest.
The seat of the president is dedicated to God and He would not allow anybody or anything outside of His will. I am not particular about the kind of person in power. If God can use Cyrus he can use anybody. But one thing is so critical, whoever is permitted to sit on that seat is there because that is God’s choice.
But some parties are at the tribunal contesting the election.
it is the right of anybody to go to court. When anybody feels aggrieved the Court is the competent place for which any aggrieved person can seek redress or justice.
There were clear cases of infractions during the election. How will you react to this?
It is inevitable for people that are in power to sometimes abuse it. It is inevitable that those in power will want to rig at all costs no matter how we want to minimize it. No matter how we want to minimize it violence is part of any do-or-die election. There is no election you want to do even in the church that you won’t have people that are for or against the outcome.
The argument of those at the tribunal is that the election was not credible.
We need to ask ourselves what are the laid-down rules. If there was a standard set and we fall short of the standard then we can say it is not credible. It is the person or organisation that set the standard that knows whether it is credible or not, not onlookers.
Do you think Nigerians will still have confidence in INEC to conduct a free and fair election?
Currently, it will be difficult for you and me to say anything because as time is advancing so are processes being perfected. But for the next election, it will be fair for us to say it is the process that will determine the credibility. If you notice during the governorship election they were uploading almost immediately. They allowed the system to run effectively. So I believe we will all have the best election in the near future if we all learn from the past and allow the process to be perfected.
What informed the theme of your church’s anniversary this year? and what counsel do you have for young ministers?
Our theme this year is No more limits. Our expectation is that all our youths will come to a particular point where they don’t see challenges but opportunities.
I think young pastors should constantly ask if they are in God’s will. They also need to be sure they are not using the word of God to take advantage of people but rather as a tool of correction, encouragement and exaltation in righteousness.
There is an increase in the number of people who claim to be pastors these days. Is going to a Bible school enough to qualify one to be a pastor?
Nothing qualifies anyone to be a pastor, because it is not a profession. It is a calling. Bible school can educate, prepare and mentally equip you. It is only Jesus that can qualify anyone. So going to Bible school can only enhance what you already have. It is like going to sharpen what you already have. It is like taking your products to NAFDAC to label them and to help you to test if it is right and ready for human consumption. Bible school is an enhancement institution, not a qualifying institution.
There are some pastors who believe prosperity messages distract people from the truth and should not be encouraged. What is your take on this?
Prosperity is not a reason why Jesus died to set us free. He died to give us an opportunity. He died to make us sons and daughters of God. As many as received Him, to them he gave the power to become sons of God.
Prosperity is not a bad message, it is an understanding that helps us all to be able to support and execute kingdom assignments. So to focus on prosperity without purpose and without Christ is not true prosperity. It is also a state of mind that is attained in Christ.
The focus for us should be a life of sacrifice. It should be that whatever God gives you is not to enrich yourself it is to spread the gospel. So the impact of prosperity is to spread the gospel not to spread the name of the man of God nor his empire.
Let’s talk about your marriage. How has it been?
We have been married for 20 years. My marriage is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. My wife is my best friend and someone I will look forward to marrying if I I were to come back to this world ten times. And again if marriage is permitted in heaven I will look for her to make sure nobody marries her because she is the best thing after Jesus.
Some are not enjoying their marriage because of domestic violence and sexual assault. What practical advice do you have for people in this category?
Domestic violence and sexual assault are not part of the package for marriage. When any union becomes a threat to life, what we advise is to walk away for a period of time and see if it can be resolved or be dissolved if it cannot be resolved. It is better to be a living divorcee than a dead spouse.
So my counsel for anyone who is in that situation is to speak out and report the case to the church authority to save your life and eventually the marriage and most importantly save the children. This is because the young man or woman who grows up in an atmosphere of violence or abuse in marriage will think that violence is the language of love.
The person who grew up in an atmosphere of violence would either run away from marriage or be single all their life. That is why those who experience trouble in their homes must not keep quiet.
Finally, the next government will be sworn in on May 29. What is your take on this?
My take is that God should help them, hold their hands and lead them to make Nigeria great again!!!.