By Ebun Sessou & Jumoke Kolawole
Bishop Chioma Grace Dauji, is the founder of Amazing Grace Pentecostal Church Worldwide and the CEO of Great Life Changer Foundation International. She is an influential woman of God and an excellent proof of the unlimited capability and potentials of a woman. She celebrated her birthday recently. In this interview, the Bishop speaks on how she started her ministry with “Area Boys”.
How did you start your ministry?
It started at Ojuelegba roundabout as an NGO with some “Area boys” (miscreants). I also worked with some less privileged persons, the bus drivers, the drug addicts, smokers and I later went to Ayilara to preach to the prostitutes. That was how the ministry started.
How will you explain the mission and vision of the church?
Our main vision is to bring together the less privileged, to evangelize and present a visible demonstration of the love and power of God in line with God’s plan for mankind with the message of salvation, hope and revival. The mission of the church is to teach the undiluted life-changing and profitable word of God to the people, to bring people to the knowledge of God in order for them to realize their divinely ordained destiny. To establish and run rehabilitation centers, orphanages, schools and such other educational, social and spirit filled centers. To educate and empower members to improve their general well-being, to raise missionaries who will take the message of salvation to all corners of the world according to the biblical great commission as well as strengthen Christian marriages and families.
What are the challenges of being a female Bishop?
There are lots of challenges I had faced in the past. As an African, it is a taboo for a female to be a Bishop but I am not discouraged. I stay focused. As a Christian, I have a convincing call from God. If you know what God has called you for, it is important to work towards it without any challenge.
Unfortunately, people believe that women should be seen but not heard but by the grace of God I have passed that level.
Any regret so far?
I don’t have any regret. But I have been highly challenged in this ministry in so many ways. There were times where evangelism turned to abuses, however, it is part of the challenges.
…And your moments of joy?
The moment I appreciated most in the ministry was when a sick person was brought to the church. He was brought without any help not even a member of his family was around to take care of him. They thought he would die but with prayer and fasting he was brought to life. Another moment was when an ex-convict, a notorious armed robber was brought to the Church. It was a difficult decision to take care of him but I thank God that I did what was right by admitting him with all his many challenges. Today, he is doing well and I am happy.
How do you cope with your male pastors?
Although, it has been challenging with the men in the ministry but they understand the vision and mission of the church and they know that I am not doing anything without God’s guidance. As Africans, men would want to take you for granted but my male pastors have been encouraging. I stand as a mother, I don’t look down on them, I respect them a lot and we work as a team.
What are the achievements of the church?
There have been tremendous achievements. The ministry started 20 years ago. Those who were worshiping at Ikoyi, Badagry, Kirikiri Female prison can testify to the achievements. Whenever, a prisoner was released, he or she was integrated into the ministry. Some years ago, Lagos State Government gave me 90 armed robbers to mentor them. Today, these armed robbers are converted.
We are also identifying with the grassroots by way of sport (football). The ministry also sponsors youths education. We have sponsored seven youths to higher institutions, and twenty-seven into secondary schools. God has been helping us. Presently, the ministry empowers about one thousand widows every month and we take care of them.
How do you strike a balance between maintaining a home and the ministry?
By the grace of God, it is all about organization. I plan my home, I take care of my husband, I also work as a Bishop. God has been faithful to me. I make sure I play my role as a wife and a mother at home and not as a General Overseer.
How does your husband support your ministry when he is not a minister of God?
He is very supportive, even during the service he has been active. He has been supportive spiritually and otherwise. He has also been overseeing the other branches of the church.
What is your advice to the youths and the country especially at this period of recession?
I pray the Lord will give the leaders wisdom to proffer solution to the country’s economic challenge. It is only God who can solve the problem. A lot of people are suffering. There is hunger in the land. I pray the Lord will give the leadership of the country wisdom to carry through. The youths should know that, this is not the time to destroy their future, they should be engaged in their minds and keep working with their hands. They should be mindful of producing more jobs instead of joining bad gangs.
Crime is on the increase because most youths are jobless. I believe if youths are engaged, crime will be reduced. Government should also create opportunities for youths so as to address crime rate in the country.
Do you think Nigeria can produce female president?
It is in God’s hand. Women know how to handle things better than men when it comes to dealing with people. We carry babies in our wombs, we have the feelings, and in terms of ministry, when women minister, they are always careful unlike men. So, I believe in the nearest future, God will give us one. Although, our tradition does not allow female to occupy position that is assumed is meant for men.