PASTOR Ifeanyi Ogude is the Senior Pastor of Heaven Bound Christian International Ministry, Asaba, Delta State. In this interview with our Festus Ahon, he spoke on the proposed National Conference and how his ministry was formed. Excerpts:
What is your take on the proposed National Conference?
National Conference is not something that started today. But the truth is that if they will allow Nigerians to air their views on how the country could be moved forward, Nigeria will be better for it.
Today we are still battling with security challenges in the northern part of the country. What is your take as a Christian?
The unfortunate thing is that they are not even unleashing mayhem on only Christians, even their fellow Muslims are suffering. Recently, the US labelled them as a terrorist group. I will plead with President Goodluck Jonathan to try as much as possible to put an end to this Boko Haram menace.
Government should step up effort by properly funding the police, equipping the military and sincerity on the part of the security forces. All Nigerians need now is sincerity on the part of politicians. Politicians should refrain from the use of militant groups to achieve their political aim; because after using such groups it becomes extremely difficult to dismantle such groups. So they should be careful not to raise any monster that will torment them.
Let us look at CAN under the leadership of Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. How will you assess his leadership?
Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor brought grace, light and sanity into the system. He has done very well for the period he has stayed as the leader of Christians in the country. For 41 years, Papa Ayo has proven that he is a man of integrity, a goal getter and someone who can be trusted. He has been a father figure to Christians in Nigeria; he has shown that he has a large heart to accommodate; he has proven that he is a genuine Christian. It is not easy to sustain a course for 41 years and I want to say here and now that Papa Ayo is a man I want to associate with because he is a father.
You were a member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. What informed your decision to move out?
Laughs! I didn’t break away from the Redeemed Church. Once a Redeemer always a Redeemer. The General Overseer is my father, the Redeemed Christian Church of God is the church I love but when God says the time is up there is nothing you can do. In 2007 when I brought in Apostle Suleman for a programme in Asaba in the RCCG, I was the Chief Protocol Officer then and the head of the media and area pastor, told me when I took him to the hotel; ‘I want to tell you something that you wouldn’t like now.’ He said ‘you are not a member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God’. I was very angry. I told my wife that Apostle Suleman wants me to be a member of his church but he quickly said something, that ‘you are not a member of my church either, you are not a member of any church, God has called you to be a leader, a senior pastor, a founder.’ I looked at him and he said ‘if you don’t leave, God will disgrace you when the time comes.’Then in December 2010, Hon. Basil Ganagana and I organised a crusade to win souls. I was the arrow head, he was the financier.
So when I brought in Okudili Eze, Abraham and one other. Pastor Okudili Eze saw me and told me, ‘Pastor Ifeanyi, I’m sorry to tell you, you are not a member of RCCG. The Lord said I should tell you that by December 31, 2010, your stay in RCCG expires,’ adding ‘if you don’t move, you are going to see things that will irritate you.’
I came back and suddenly I started having issues with my Provincial pastor, Pastor Okechukwu with whom I was very close. I was not indebted to RCCG, I served with my life; RCCG is the church I love. There was nothing I did but issues kept cropping up and I felt the time was up. My assistant senior pastor, Pastor Collins and my wife sat me down and asked me to resign. I had no dime; I didn’t know the direction to go. So I visited some of my fathers in the Lord, one in Ibadan and another in Warri and sought their counsel and unanimously they told me ‘your time is up, there is nothing you can do.’ Then the Lord Himself told me; ‘Son, the game is up, move.’ I came into my house and decided I will just be an evangelist who will win souls and bring them to the Redeemed Christian Church of God. I submitted my letter of resignation but was still worshipping in a smaller parish of RCCG on Sundays until something came up; the pastors became afraid because they didn’t want to incur the wrath of their leader.
You have a national convention coming up this week. What is the convention all about?
We want to celebrate God. Our theme is a ‘Mighty God’. We want to bring our members together to show God’s Glory and bless them and take the church to another level.