“Victor, you are preaching at the birthday celebration this evening,” Brother George said to me after the Holy Ghost Caucus All Night Prayer meeting of August 22/23, 1986. All my pleas fell on deaf ears as fear gripped my heart. His first son Faith had turned a year old on Friday August 22 but had the celebration postponed to Saturday to maintain focus on the All Night prayer meeting that was part of spiritual preparations for an upcoming city wide crusade.
I had joined this growing fellowship of about 40 people comprising majorly of university and polytechnic students in May 1985. The small group of believers met in the sitting room of Rev George Adegboye who was to be ordained in November 1986 but was at the time popularly called Brother George.
Becoming a remedial studies student of Kwara State Polytechnic was to create the opportunity of a very close and eventually intimate mentor/protege relationship between myself and Rev George. I learnt how to witness, minister the Holy Spirit, study the Bible, preach, relate with people and even how to eat Amala and Abula (a local Nigerian Yoruba delicacy). His influence was massive and his passion for spiritual things was very contagious.
Other more mature leaders at the Holy Ghost Caucus fed us with the Word from time to time including Rev George’s cousin Joseph Saliu who was instrumental to my joining the fellowship, Akin Oni, Moji Adeyemi (my uncle who led me to Christ and ministered the Holy Ghost to me), Emmanuel Olowodola Sr and others.
When I was asked to preach before some of the above spiritual giants and many others, the feeling of trepidation overwhelmed me. I could only catch 2 hours of sleep after the All Night prayer as I got back to praying and preparing for what would be my very first sermon after giving my life to Christ. I remember picking ‘Salvation and Evangelism’ as the sermon title. 15 minutes into preaching, I ran out of what to say.
Brother George wanted to use this occasion to confirm his perception that I was called into the ministry. The result of his confirmation would be the opportunities he began to give me at the tender age of 17 to preach in High Schools, Tertiary institutions, Churches, Chapters of Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship and eventually to be the pioneer pastor of Rhema Chapel Ibadan. 30 years later, I’m still preaching to the glory of God.
Looking back today, my heart is filled with gratitude for the honour and privilege to have served the Lord behind the pulpit all these years and I count it the highest honour to be entrusted with the life changing gospel of Jesus Christ.
A few lessons of the last 30 years will be a blessing to young ministers and so I will endeavour to share them in a few articles in coming weeks. For today, just spend a few seconds thanking God for me that he called me to preach.