REV FABUNMI @67; GOD HEALED ME OF BLINDNESS, PARALYSIS YET I REMAINED A TERRIBLE SINNER UNTIL…
By Gbadebo Akinyemi
The church appears to have been existing quietly since 1993 but it has an intriguing story behind it. Tucked away in the belly of Joju area of Ota Ogun State, Nigeria, the Christian Faith Center is home to Reverend Johnson Akinola Fabunmi, one-time miracle boy who has now grown to become a grandfather in evangelical enterprise.
Now 67 ,Fabunmi has a story capable of making your ear tingle and your heart beat rapidly in awe. Apparently God had chosen to be talking to him through signs and wonder from age five but Fabunmi was either too young to understand or simply impervious for a very long time.
The strange encounter began when he was suddenly struck with total blindness, a situation that turned him in to an unwanted source of burden to the family. Since no one knew how to really help him in his father’s house, Fabunmi was abandoned for his grandmother to look after. But what else could the poor old woman do to help except to feed him and then lock him up in the house for safety whenever she was going out. It was expedient to lock him up so that he won’t stray in to trouble in the woman’s absence.
On this particular day, Fabunmi’s grandmother locked him up to enable her attend a crusade staged by the patriarch of the CAC, Apostle Ayo Babalola. While the poor woman was praying at the crusade her little blind boy was receiving his miracle behind the closed door at home.
How?’’ From afar I heard the voice of Babalola saying that those who were sick should place their hand on their ailing parts. I quickly complied and to my surprise, a ray of light filled the room and within a few minutes I could see again’’ Fabunmi explained.
Meanwhile, the little Fabunmi had already been known to be a prodigy with ability to see strange things that ordinary people could not see. According to him God gave him the gift then as a child to see through the womb of a pregnant woman and determine the sex of the unborn baby. This special gift also found expression in an uncommon brilliance that distinguished him among his age mates.
So it was easy for Fabunmi to reintegrate into the school system and continue with his rare academic astuteness. He gained double promotion from primary one to three. But the joy of this rare feat was to be cut short three weeks later as he suddenly went paralyzed in a mysterious circumstance.
As God would have it, Babalola came again as the messiah.’’ One day, I was watching my mates play football on the field. To my surprise, Bablola who was returning from his usual retreat on the mountain passed by the football field.Not knowing what was in stock for me, I crawled to meet me. He then scooped me in his hand and said ‘may the Lord heal you my boy’. When he put me down, I crawled back to my former position to continue catching the fun of the game. But a voice kept on telling me to get up and start walking’’
Fabunmi kept on resisting the voice until suddenly his friends playing football dispersed and started scampering from the field. Thinking his friends were fleeing from a certain danger, little Fabunmi impulsively struggled to his feet and managed to wobble along. And from that day he began to walk again, though with some funny gait that initially made him butt of jokes to his peers. However with time he got back his complete balance and began walking like any other normal boy.
Later in life, he came to Lagos to live with an uncle and secured a job in a shoe company. It was at the shoe company that the strange encounters began again. Curiously things started changing for better for the company and his boss was able to easily trace the inspiring development to him. So to compensate him, his boss at the shoe factory put him in charge of purchase, an office that gave him opportunity to regularly make extra money in addition to his fat pay.
In a matter of months he had become very comfortable which serve as a fillip for him to take to a riotous lifestyle. He began to spend his money on alcohol, women and other expensive indulgences. Soon he suffered vicissitude of life that forced him up north before returning to Ife town, south west Nigeria where he stared his own business.
Meanwhile, Funmi, now nudging his twenties also saw the need to start fortifying himself with all manner of powerful charms. One main reason he sought this black magic power was to seek retribution against one of his uncles whom he accused of making him lose a fat business opportunity.
He continued the crude lifestyle until sometime in 1978 when his path crossed with Pastor Funso Olufowoji of the Redeemed Christian Church Of God who came for him in a drinking spot and uniquely preached to him in a way that touched him somehow. The RCCG evangelist then invited to the next Sunday service.
Not one to leave home unfortified, Fabunmi went to the church with his voodoo items affixed to various parts of his body. But during the sermon Fabunmi fell in to an out-of-the body experience. ‘’ My eyes became open and I saw on the altar Jesus Christ hung on the cross. He had been so seriously bruised and battered, blood gushing out of his body. I saw him managing to open his tired eyes as he said ‘Akin come’. In that trance, I got up and walked to him. As I stood close his body, his blood was dripping on me and within a short time I became drenched. Later, the whole figure dissolved in to a door and I heard him say ‘come in. And to my surprise, as I walked through the door I found myself plunging in to a large pool of blood. To my surprise, instead of my cloth turning red with the blood it was glowing white.’’
By the time he came round the service had ended and all the congregation had gone home, except the ministers who were just hanging around. He woke up to discover that he had been stripped of all the charms on his body. This marked the turning point for him.
He began to worship God as a genuinely born again Christian first in RCCG and later the Christ Apostolic Mission Church, CMC. It was at the CMC that he went in to full time pastoral work. Again he became easily noticeable among the other pastors through many raw miracles God performed through him. A classic example was raising a man who was already being prepared for burial.
Fabunmi was in CMC until 1993 when by the leading of God, he left to start his own ministry known as the Christian Faith Center. Having led his wife to Christ, Fabumi did not have problems convincing her to come along in the new direction.
To confirm that His hand was in the new arrangement, God started performing miracles upon miracles in the ministry. ‘’The dead were also raised to life wile the sick received healing. There was a case of woman brought in to the church paralyzed and she walked after being ministered to by Fabunmi.’’ In fact her Mother called in to a live radio programme in Abeokuta to inform everybody that her daughter had given birth to a baby after being healed of the paralysis.’’
However, Fabunmi said the ministry work had not been a walk in the park as there have been many challenges to grapple with. His testimony is that God has been there to supply the needed grace to plow on.
Asked who is his mentor, Fabunmi pointed at no other person than Pastor E.A Adeboye. H e said God usually used the RCCG overseer to show to him miracles to expect in his church programmes.
At 67, Fabunmi is not showing any sign of weariness yet. Rather, he still brims with both the spiritual and physical strength required to carry on and on. Perhaps what keeps him going is the fact that he has since recruited his wife and children into the work of God . And together they have been holding aloft the royal banner of Christ, winning more souls and conquering more territories for the Kingdom.