By Femi Aribisala
I have never seen a man so totally anointed with the raw power of God.
Pastor J.T. Kalejaiye of the Redeemed Christian Church of God might not remember me. But God used him to confirm my healing ministry at its inception. In the late 1990’s, while I was still a member of Victory Parish of Redeemed, Victoria Island, Lagos, Pastor Kalejaiye came to minister on two consecutive days. The pastor revolutionised my understanding of Christian ministry. I have never seen a man so totally anointed with the raw power of God.
I had never heard of Pastor Kalejaiye before that visit. He started the service by taking off his jacket; asking an usherette to keep it for him. But instead of handing it over, he flapped it at her. The lady practically somersaulted and fell to the ground. Kalejaiye then declared that everybody who witnessed that incident was a candidate for a miracle.
He preached a solid message on Abraham and Lot, and I hung on every word. Then, he ministered to the sick. As the power of God identified them dramatically, he would ask them to look into his eyes, or touch the hem of his garment. Immediately they did, they would be slain under the anointing. Some were put to sleep for the entire service. Kalejaiye told us the Holy Spirit was busy conducting surgeries on them.
Sometime during the service, a lady caught his attention. Kalejaiye suddenly took out his handkerchief and threw it at her. Before it reached her, the power of God picked her up and then cushioned her to the floor. Kalejaiye said the Holy Spirit had identified her for healing.
Later, he asked us to hold up our right hands while he asked the Lord to identify those he would anoint with special healing power. Suddenly, my right hand became electrically-charged. Before I knew it, the power of God literally picked me up and flung me unto the empty set of chairs behind me. The ushers quickly carried me to the pastor. I was surprised to discover I was the only person in the entire church who had that particular experience. Kalejaiye asked me what happened. He then confirmed that God had called me to a healing ministry. He said the Lord would use my right hand for mighty signs and wonders. Then he prayed for me.
At the end of the service, I went back home in bewilderment. I asked the Lord: “Is this man your son? Was he using your power or something else?” The Lord replied: “Did he do anything without scriptural foundation?” I could not but agree that nothing he did contradicted what Jesus did in the scriptures. But they were nevertheless astonishing.
The Sunday service next morning was no less eventful. Pastor Kalejaiye began by asking that anybody suffering from demonic oppression should come out for deliverance. Of course, nobody responded, not wanting to be stigmatised. He then told us to keep quiet while he spoke to God about it. He asked the Lord to identify those concerned by his power.
Suddenly, there was pandemonium in the church. In particular, “big men” in flowing agbadas started screaming at the top of their lungs and spinning like tops. The ushers then carried them to the pastor and he prayed for them. I am unreliably informed that some of those “big men” were so mortified, they insisted Kalejaiye should not be invited back to Victory Parish.
Kalejaiye preached another insightful message. Nevertheless, the highlight of the service was again the manifestation of the power of God. He observed that churches need money in order to operate effectively. Therefore, he asked the ushers for a carton of envelopes. He laid his hands on them and asked for three volunteers to confirm they were now anointed. All they had to do was to pick one of the envelopes.
None succeeded in doing so. As each one of them touched the envelopes, they were instantaneously slain under the anointing. This demonstration certainly made believers out of us. Then, he asked for twelve people who were prepared to give our parish 500,000 naira each. I did not know there were so many rich people in the church. Twice that number made a beeline for the pastor to make the pledges.
I told a friend of mine, Pastor Peter Akalamudo of RCCG, about Pastor Kalejaiye’s outstanding ministry. He too then insisted on inviting him to their Resurrection Parish (Big Tent), in Lekki, Lagos. We went together to see Pastor Kalejaiye at his parish in Idimu, Lagos. When Kalejaiye saw me, he asked me if the signs had started manifesting with my right hand. I told him I had seen nothing yet. He told me not to worry; they would soon commence. He then drew our attention to a curious problem he was dealing with.
People were dumping dead bodies in his church at night, expecting him to raise them from the dead. As a result, he had to bring the matter to the attention of the local police, and was sometimes saddled with the burden of having to bury the dead.
Pastor Kalejaiye accepted Pastor Peter’s invitation, and that service was again exemplary. He preached another sound message, backed by yet another superlative display of the healing power of God. After he had finished his ministration and gone to sit down, Pastor Kalejaiye returned to the podium with one specific request. He asked an usherette to beckon to me. I was in the front row; so I quickly climbed the stage. He asked me to raise my right hand while he prayed for me again. I only heard the beginning of the prayer. There was a loud whoosh and I went down under the anointing.
I did not see Pastor Kalejaiye again until ten years later. It was at a “Power-Link Anointing Service” at a Victoria Island, Lagos parish of Redeemed. I wanted to tell him how God had since confirmed his word to me. But I was so disappointed in the service, I decided against it.
The anointing was virtually non-existent. There was now no tangible manifestation of the spirit and power of God. The message was pathetic. It was all about Kalejaiye and not about Jesus. Essentially, he told us how rich he had become. He said he never has anything less than a 200 naira note in his wallet. He said he spends at least 70 days abroad every year. He said if anyone wants to buy a Toyota in his parish, he would personally upgrade it to a Mercedes-Benz.
Indeed, a colleague who attended another service said Kalejaiye claimed he drove past a car-dealership and a car on display called out to him: “Kale, Kale, Kale.” He responded by turning around and driving to the showroom. He then bought the vehicle that allegedly called him, which just happened to be a Hummer; a very expensive American Jeep.
Pastor Kalejaiye ended the service I attended by decreeing we were all going to buy brand-new cars miraculously. He directed we should stretch out our legs and hold the steering-wheels of our imaginary cars. We then turned on the ignitions simultaneously, started the engines and “drove around” in our brand-new cars.