By Bose Adelaja and Olayinka Latona
If not for providence, Pastor Joseph Ayodele Oritsejafor would have been a cast away. As a young man, he was rascal to the extent that people questioned if the hand of God could be extended to him. God had His plans for the then young man as Pastor Ayo against all odds gave his life to Christ during a crusade in Sapele, Delta State.
That was some 40 years ago and today, he is still waxing strong in the Lord. He has been preaching the gospel of Christ for about 40 years and has become a sought after among Nigerian preachers. His anointing has drawn many people such that the founder/General Overseer of Warri-based Word of Life Bible Church is the Number One man in Christendom in the country today; the mouth piece of the Church in Nigeria.
He was in Lagos last Friday as the mangement ans staff of the most read newspaper in the country, Vanguard, played host at the company’s end of year progra-mme which took place at the corporate head offices at Kirikiri Avenue in Apapa, Lagos.
There were renditions of praise and worship to usher in the Yuletide. The atmosphere was fully charged with many members of staff and their relatives as well as the company’s well wishers who graced this occasion were in high spirit in anticipation of the arrival of the man of God.
As early as 10.00 a.m, the management and staff of the publishing outfit were already receiving visitors gfrom different parts of the state of acquatic splendor, all in full spirit as the Hope Psalmist of The Redeemed Christian Church of God RCCG, Hope Centre Parish, Mile Two kick started the programme with a beautiful number titled; All things are possible, which thrilled the congregation and took them to a higher spiritual realm with dances and praises to glorify God for His mercy over all.
Vanguard premises where the programme took place wore a beautiful and radiant look with Black, Green and White colours as people came to grace the programme. The theme of the programme was:”There shall be showers of blessing”.
As luck would have it, the usual gridlock on Oshodi-Apapa Expressway gave way to a freeflow of traffic and the programme was a huge success amidst tight security. There was no dull moment as Godspower Ogbemo popularly called MC Power thrilled the congregation with rip cracking jokes.
At exactly 1.05 p.m., Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s convoy eventually arrived Vanguard premises in an ash coloured SUV and after a brief pleasantries he was led by the Editor-in-chief/General Manger, Mr. Gbega Adefaye, the Editor, Mr. Mideno Bayagbon and other top editorial staff to the office of the publisher/executive chairman of Vanguard Media Limited, Mr. Sam Amuka who officially welcomed the vistor to the premises.
The CAN President who was dressed in a pink and yellow attire who was delayed at the Benin Airport for several hours immediately mounted the rostrum a few minutes after. He eulogized Vanguard for organising such a programme.
Oritsejafor said: ”I appreciate the management of this organization and everyone of you that is working in this organization. May God bless you all. The publicity of your Christian programme is wonderful to the extent that my friends abroad have been calling me and asking; are there people who believe in Jesus like this?
“And I told them, yes. They do. So I congratulate you for this wonderful fellowship you have here in Vanguard. May God bless you to grow from strength to strength. The Number One newspaper I enjoy reading is Vanguard and I have read it this morning,” he said, adding “I read Vanguard because it contains factual stories that the people of this country need.”
The cleric whose message was titled; ”The powers that open the Heaven”; said there was a spiritual heaven over every nation. ”When God is against you, the gates of heaven are closed,” he noted. Quoting from Ezekiel 34:26, Galatians 6:19-21, Psalms 50:5-6, Leviticus 30:19, Deuteronomy 28:12, I Chronicles 21:1-14 and Mark 21:1 respectively said prayers alone cannot open one’s heaven, but sacrificial giving and praises to mention just a few.
He also gave a brief biography of himself as a deviant youth who people never believed could amount to anything or be transformed for good. His case was like the Biblical rejected stone that became the head of the corner.
”I have been preaching the gospel for some 40 years. I remember when I stood in a congregation like this to give my life to God but many never believed in me but I thank God today, the same person who was relegated has become a mouth piece for the Church in Nigeria,” he explained.
Oritsejafor also used the occasion to commend the Senate for her rejection of gay marriage. “I congratulate the Senate for coming out to say that gay marriage is not possible in Nigeria. I congratulate them for this very one. There are nations currently legislating on how human beings will be sleeping with animals; but the Nigerian Senate has boldly rejected the idea of same sex,” said the cleric.
Earlier in his address, the Vanguard Media Christian Fellowship Co-ordinator, Elder Emmanuel Obuh said the congregation was expectant to receive from God through Pastor Oritsejafor adding that Mr. Sam Amuka was instrumental to the success of the end of the year programme.
”The chairman of Vanguard Media Limited, Mr. Sam Amuka is the grand patron of Vanguard Media Christian Fellowship. He has been a blessing to us in this fellowship, especially in terms of preparation for this great day,” he said.
Vanguard Editor-in-Chief/General Manager Publications, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye said the organisation is now experiencing transformation. ”Vanguard is moving ahead, when you are progressing and it is in the process of transformation, what we are about to do now is to sing a new song. I wish you all a happy celebration,” he added.