His face seems to be everywhere in the Pentecostal circle. When it comes to organization, ministering to the saints and getting things done, Bishop Wale Adekoya is at home.
A native of Odogbolu, Ogun State, he is the presiding bishop of Shalom International Christian Church based in Gbagada and the president of Equipping the Saints Ministry, (African Commission).
He has indeed come a long way in ministry work. His young look however contradicts his years of experience doing God’s work. Shortly after his arrival from the UK in 1993 he began a training ministry to equip the saints. He attended International Bible Institute of London, Kessington Temple and Equipping the Saints Ministry, US. These schools exposed him to discipleship training programme.
With this background, he came back to Nigeria and began a series of customized training programs for churches in Nigeria He recalled that over 1200 churches have benefitted from his training programmes.
Adekoya author of over 25 books on leadership and discipleship became born again while a student at the then University of Ife before he travelled to the UK.
He says of his time in the UK “We used to knock at people’s doors in the UK to preach the gospel to them. The British people could be very deceptive in their response. Some of them allowed us to share the gospel with them while some are not interested. The divorce rate is high that is why there are too many single mothers while many of their men remain unmarried. “Many of them have lost the fact that there is God. They believe because we were Africans we were troubling God. Some had the background of Christ and that enabled them to respond to the gospel.” He observed that the greatest need of the white man is relationship. Loneliness is a major problem in Europe. They envy our communal lifestyle.
Adekoya who taught in a secondary school in the UK however noted that “the UK environment is not hundred percent conducive towards black. When they see you as a black teacher the children are not comfortable. The teachers are not comfortable with you either.”
He said the dream he had where he saw himself giving bread to blacks, further propelled him to come back to Nigeria. On coming to Nigeria he got involved with the churches where he shared his wealth of experience in discipleship.
“There are few foursquare churches that I have not been to. I had ministered at their national conventions, I ministered a number of times at Gospel Faith Mission, WOSEM and a lot of other denominations including the Redeemed Christian Church of God. By his grace we were able to train the first set of missionary pastors of the MFM who were sent to the mission field. Dr. Olukoya was the one printed my first three books free of charge”
Many pastors according to him “appreciate that the main problem they are having is lack of disciples. They preach every Sunday but they lack the art of disciplining.
On how he started a church, “I did not start a church. The church was handed over to me just on the day it was started by a group of friends. We had just finished a Sunday service where we worshipped and God spoke to us that He was going to give us the gift of a church.
“When we left the church that Sunday we went to visit a family friend and they were starting a fellowship. They were all lay men. When I walked in the supposed leader of the group said God has brought them a pastor and he invited me to take over the fellowship. They were young people .
“That was how the fellowship started and it grew to become a church and that is what we are having today. The church is not my plan. It was not my initiative. I had known the brother who started the fellowship in the UK.”
Because of his itinerant ministry he couldn’t concentrate as a pastor for a long while. He said of the church in Nigeria, “God has used the church to do so much in Nigeria but the church still has a major role to play in member’s disciples.
“There are millions who claim to be born again in church but they are not disciples. Many of the top government officials in Nigeria sit at the front rows in churches yet corruption is till high in government circles. Who are the people carrying out the corruption? Angels?
On Nigeria’s centenary he says, “It is God who allowed the amalgamation of Nigeria. Nigeria is a complex country. I don’t think Nigeria will split. This attack on the church is to waken up the church. Many times the church thrives during persecution.
“The growth of the church has always been on the blood of the martyrs. Now it seems they are attacking the church but a season of harvest is coming when the souls of those who have been slaughtered would cry and it will result into great harvest as was recorded in the Acts of the Apostles.
“We don’t need to despair but the church must be focused. Thank God for the prosperity message but we need to do more of discipleship so that we can bring out the Daniels and the Josephs through equipping them and sending them out to go and make a change. They are what we call national transformation”