Bishop Leonard Umuunna is the General Overseer of Bible Life Church Worldwide based in Apapa, Lagos . He has traversed the nooks and crannies of Nigeria and beyond with the gospel of Jesus Christ. In this interview with Kingsley Ehilegbu, the church leader bares his mind on his life and ministry
My birth was prophesied ever before I was born. My father was the head of idol worship in our village and he wanted a male child. That was how God got his attention. God told him in a dream that if he served Him, the true God he would give him a male child. He surrendered his life to Christ and abandoned idol worshipping. It was after he had started serving God that I was born. I was born on the 25th June in the rainy season. I vomited colored substances shortly after I was born. I later died because a doctor gave me an injection but my father’s prayer brought me back to life. At another point I was seriously ill that about half of my body was condemned. My family members literarily covered my body up to my neck and I was in that condition for three and half years just taking treatment and trusting God to get out of that condition. God answered my prayers and I came back to life. My whole being was revived.
Tell us of your ministerial experiences?
God told me that whoever hears me hears Him. I hear God and preach relevant messages. By God’s grace, there is no single prophecy that has come through me that did not come to pass. God has used me to draw many back from death and we have seen many miracles; so I can only bless God for this grace upon my life.
How church survived in the slum
Behind every glory, there is a story. God told me to give out my car. I did and trecked for five years. I also had to close my account. God also made me promise that I will not look up to man for survival. As God will have it, he used Oluwa a traditional king to give us this land. We fasted because the place we were using was filled up with refuse bin and we were doing three services. One day catapillar came and broke through, pulling down places and because I was around, the driver asked me of the portion that belonged to the Lord, I showed him he filled it up and left refusing to tell us who he was or who sent him. Up till today we don’t know him. We prayed again God sent Buba Maruwa as Governor of Lagos, who came and create road and make the place passable.
Why is drama ministry special in Bible life and why is the altar so high?
Yes God used me to start drama as it is in the church today a pastor saw what we were doing and laid hand on me, telling me that I will go places. As for the altar and the praise room is beside it just to make sure that fire of God will be in the altar continually.
What are your expenences generally?
I have seen a lot but let me say that while I was sick and almost died; I promised God that I will build Him a hospital if He heals and keep me alive which we have done. I also promised Him that I will build Him schools if I can be educated, I have 3 PHD, and we have built schools. I promised that I will build Him a Church if I survive not knowing that I will be an overseer.
What are your challenges and victories in Ministry?
Which one do I mention I have being shot, matched stoned. Hired assassins came, to kill me just because I preached the undiluted word of God. They broke everywhere but God kept me. They bombed the whole church and everything burnt but the the church documents were preserved.They went and got permission from Lagos state government to pull down the school, hospital etc. But God used people that he has used our ministry to bless and they got the government to reverse itself. So these are some of the challenges. But I think the major challenge is when I went to Pakistan, all the security agencies and my own associates advised that I should not go but I was led to go .I nearly paid with my life but I never saw the kind of miracle that I saw there in my ministry.
They went to hospital to bring the people that were sick to be prayed for. I was tired and I removed my shirt, the person I threw it to missed it and it touched another person and they received their healing so they started passing it and they all were healed so what became my cloth? I do not know. I tried to leave the place. As I took a step down the stairs I saw a woman on a wheelchair I pull her up and she started walking so other people on wheelchair who saw her took the step of faith followed after her action. After the program I manage to get into the car but latter the driver announced that the gear had pulled out, the radiator busted and we were advised not to stop in that area. When the tyre busted we had no choice than to stop. But God sent us Soldiers that helped us repair our car. That was how we were able to leave the place
Your advice to young ministers?
Be sure that God called you!!! Then study to show yourself approved. Remember that God will strip you and break you before he uses you.
On the Governance in Nigeria?
Nigeria don’t want the removal of subsidy so no one should force it on them. So let the President look for another means. Let the rich give more to the development of Nigeria . The president must put his feet down and do the right thing. We don’t need to know everything all we need are the right and honest people in strategic positions in the country who are given free hand to operate. He should also be ready to give his life if need be for the betterment of Nigeria .
On Boko Haram?
Nigeria can split if we don’t do the right thing. Life here now has no value. Someone can kill another person and go free. So, if we don’t do it right, we may be in more trouble. President must be pro-active and work. He‘ll always see challenges higher than his ability so let him get the right security people in place to deal with the phenomenon. But I also believe Christians must spend more time to pray for Nigeria and for peace in the country.
We are already bad, let no man make us worse. We are not US and we don’t want to be like them when it comes to immoral issues like gay marriage. The challenge in this country is more of how to live. Trying to legalise gay in Nigeria will only worsen our condition. I thank God that the House of Assembly has passed a legislation of 14 year jail for any person involved in homosexual acts. But I think the issue is only a symptom of the general decadence that we have found ourselves as a nation. I believe salvation is in Jesus and Christians must make the world to see Christ.