Home Features Christ Apostolic Church Hezekiah Oladeji: God uses foolish things

Christ Apostolic Church Hezekiah Oladeji: God uses foolish things

by Church Times

By Gbenga Osinaike


Ikeji Arakeji, the nondescript community in Osun State had more than the usual traffic of human and vehicular activities that Saturday May 12. It was the inauguration of the newly appointed General Evangelist of the Christ Apostolic Church, Prophet Hezekiah Oladeji. People streamed in from all over the world. Lovers of the CAC, friends, politicians, businessmen and women, gospel artistes and a host of who is who in Nigeria gathered in the expansive hall at the seeming spiritual headquarters of the church to honour Prophet Oladeji. But even as their intent was to witness the inauguration and duty commencement service, many took advantage of the event to take water from the healing stream in front of the camp site.

As this reporter entered the camp he was first confronted with a horde of people with kegs of different sizes taking water from a stream described as Babalola’s healing stream. Not far from the stream is an epitaph indicating where Babalola was said to have had encounter with God before he submitted to the call to evangelism. The enthusiastic worshippers poured into the streams with their kegs to take this coloured stream water. Many dignitaries were said to have also taken advantage of their visit to get their portion of the water which is described as having the potential to heal diseases and perform all kinds of miracles.

But that was just by the way. Inside the massive hall that Saturday were many of the stakeholders in the CAC and friends of the church. The governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, the wife of the governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, the revered singer, Bola Are, a representative of the Senate President, the deputy governor of Ekiti State and many top Nigerians were gaily seated as the proceedings of the inauguration pulled through. Arakunrin Akeredolu was to later regal the audience with rib racking comments as he recalled with nolstagia his affinity with the CAC church stressing to the people that he had a long untainted relationship with the church.

The president of the church, Pastor Abraham Akinosun in his speech took pain to explain the strategic role of the evangelist pointing out that Prophet Oladeji was going to step into the shoes of the fathers of faith. It would be noted that the first General Evangelist of the Church was Prophet Ayodele Babalola whose evangelical feat is yet to be equaled. And then the founder of World Soul Evangelical Ministry, Prophet Timothy Obadare who also demonstrated in no small way the power of God. And then the just retired Prophet Kayode Abiara who also is the General Overseer of CAC Agbala Itura.

With the inauguration of Oladeji, the church would be starting a new phase in its perceived 100 years of existence, dating back to when it was still subsumed in the Faith Tabernacle church before it broke out to form what is now known as Christ Apostolic Church.

Indeed, the church has come a long way playing a sort of strategic role in the emancipation of Pentecostalism in Nigeria. With such long and impactful history, the man who mans the position of its General Evangelist which appears to be the face of the church would certainly need a heavy dose of grace to pull through.

Prophet Oladeji the new evangelist seems to have this understanding. As he took the microphone to respond to his inauguration that Saturday, his first concern which he did not shy from making public was how he would not fail the people who deemed it fit to appoint him as the General Evangelist of the Church. He told the gathering, “I want to thank you all for the confidence you have in me. You did not see me as somebody who is not well lettered. You see the grace of God in me and went ahead to appoint me as the General Evangelist. My greatest concern is how to live up to expectations. My concern is how I will not disappoint those who put their trust in my ability. My concern is how the church will truly live to its billing and experience lasting joy.”

Even as he expressed this concern, he said to the audience, “When I went to God in prayers he said to me, I support those who are foolish. I use the weak things to confound the wise. My grace is enough for you.” He told the gathering that it is with this understanding that he was sure that he would make a success of the position.”

Oladeji, a former auto mechanic appealed to members of the church to rally round him in the new assignment. “I covet your prayers, I covet your support. I want you to back me up in whatever capacity that God enables you. Call me to order when I am going astray. Talk to me and scold me so I can be a blessing to you. Call me to correct me anytime to put me through.”

In an emotion laden voice, the 51-year-old evangelist expressed hope that God would see him through. He expressed deep appreciation to top leaders of the church appealing to them to support him in “this new assignment,” even as he noted that those who are expecting him to fall would fail.

Oladeji whose popularity in the CAC is of note is believed to be the right person for the position though the church is still split along two factions. He has been in the church system since 1986 and had labored rigorously to the point of establishing his own mission known as CAC Canaanland.

But the beginning was not rosy. His childhood was dogged by a sickness which almost left him paralysed. His education was said to have been truncated while in secondary school because of the sickness. His father then advised him to learn the auto mechanic trade. It was the day he resumed to learn the trade in Oshogbo that he surrendered his life to Jesus in a CAC church. That was how his journey in the church began. But then, he was to confront further hurdle as all attempts to continue with the trade after his freedom from apprenticeship did not yield fruit.

In a publication, the director of Publicity of the church, Pastor Ademisoye Alawode noted, “he accepted Jesus as his Lord and savior and began to devote his life to prayers and fasting. He received healing for his leg problems and did away with crutches. With this miracle he told God he was going to serve him in the Christ Apostolic Church.”
He was said to have had encounter with Jesus Christ and the late Ayodele Babalola in a vision. In that vision he was commissioned to work in the CAC and was instructed not to copy anybody in the execution of that mission.

That encounter did not make much meaning to him. He continued with his auto mechanic work upon graduation from his apprenticeship and worked for two years to earn a living. But all that did not yield fruit. He then sought the face of God in prayers, enrolled in the school of prophets and evangelists in 1992. Midway in the course, Prophet Babajide the founder of the school singled him out and said to him that he had already been taught from heaven. He was advised to go and begin his ministry. That still did not make sense for Oladeji who like Jonah took a journey up north even after a revelation where God promised he would bless him within a space of two years.

In the north, God sent an angel to him in the form of an Hausa man who told him he would not make it in that land. He heeded to the advice of the man and returned home. He got to garage Olode in Osun State where the Lord blessed him tremendously. His auto mechanic trade started to thrive. He then began a transport business and things started looking up. For him, God’s call was no longer necessary. Just as he thought he had arrived, things began to nosedive. He lost some of the vehicles while one of the vehicles had a fatal accident where two passengers died.

That was the turning point for Oladeji. He cried to God and pleaded for mercy. The passengers were rejected by the hospital as they were said to have been brought in dead. But Oladeji was not deterred. He cried to God for mercy and pleaded that God would bring back the dead passengers to life promising that he would heed the call to work for the Lord. Just at about 2 am the following day of the accident, God asked him to lay hands on the supposedly dead passengers. As he did, life came back to them. They began to writhe in pain showing signs of being alive. They were immediately taken back to the hospital where they got more attention. That was to be the last time Oladeji would play pranks with God.

Today, he runs a thriving ministry just like his predecessors while also manning the position of the Church’s General Evangelist. His passion is evangelism. He reveals that he would pursue that single vision as the General Evangelist of the Church and dedicate the rest of his life to winning souls. It is hoped that this new phase will indeed be the beginning of a new thing in the Church.


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