By Ebun Sessou
Reverend Edith Adefunke Okubanjo, the founder of the The Church of Evangelism, Healing Camp, is an Evangelist with vision to win souls into the Kingdom of God through her healing ministry.
According to her, the healing ministry started about twenty years ago after battling with her Creator to or not to do the work of God. Today, the church has lots of branches in some parts of the country. She speaks on her humble beginning, challenges and the vision of the church.
I was in the University in the United State of America in 1982 when the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to me and anointed me. He then instructed me to go and work for Him.
At first, I did not know what it was to be a servant of God. So, I decided to seek for counsel. I met my pastor and told him everything and he confirmed the word. I never knew how weighty God’s call was until I was fully into the ministry in 1998.
Fortunately, I have a Christian background. My father was a Baptist Minister, he was a pastor at the Baptist Church,Campus Square, for over thirty-seven years.
Before the call?
I was a full-time student in the US. But, I was prayerful and also involved in some church activities. Jesus Christ appeared and anointed me and sent me forth. And that is my conviction and watchword that has kept me until this day.
Were you married then?
I was already married.
Your husband’s reaction?
My husband, Oloye Dotun Okubanjo, of blessed memory encouraged me. He was a Christian and he was happy that his wife was doing the work of God. He gave me his word that he would encourage me and that was exactly what he did. He was by my side throughout the journey until the Lord called him home.
The challenges of being a female Pastor?
There are lots of challenges either as a pastor or founder of a church. But, those challenges should not discourage us as Christians. We should be focused.
There were times, I was told to invest my money in other things instead of running a church. I was told, a woman was not supposed to be a pastor. But, I was instructed to do the work of God. “It was a command for me to go and preach the gospel of Christ, so, gender inequality was not an issue. Even, Jesus Christ had women in his ministry who supported him. I was not discouraged and God in his mercy has blessed with me with workers both men and women in the ministry who are supporting to lift the banner of the Lord Jesus Christ. In fact, I have more men in the church than women.
So, what would you say about “Women to be silent in the church”?
God said, “Go ye to the world and preach the gospel”. He did not say only the men should do His work or that women should be silent in the church. He is not saying women should be bench warmers or become an idiot. Woman are outgoing, they are tolerant. God said, we should win souls, which is wise. It is important to transform the lives of those who are lost. Women are really doing great in this regard and until people recognize that women are useful, Nigeria will still be having lots of challenges. Women are home builders and our husband can not survive without us.
When did you think female would take charge of the affairs of the country especially in Nigeria?
I am sure the time has not come, when the time comes they will know. When our husbands give us allowances to cater for the family, it is the responsibility of the woman to think of how to manage and allocate the money appropriately. Men cannot handle such responsibility.
If the country would move forward, there is need to engage the women and I mean honest women, proven and tested. Women of integrity should be placed in some strategic positions. I would also advise men to listen to their wives, but if they continue to allow the ego to take charge, the result would not be pleasant.
Let us talk about the Healing Camp?
It is the place where God answers prayers. Testimonies are abound and people are still testifying to the glory of God.
He has been using me as an instrument in His hands to change lives for over twenty years. When God spoke to me in 1982, I ignored the call until 2001. By the grace of God, the sick have been healed with prayers and the power of God. The camp itself has become a healing ground where people come to pray and prayers are answered.
There was a man who had collapsed but the name of Jesus restored him. He was then taken to the hospital and was confirmed hale and hearty. There are lots of testimonies that God has made manifest on the Healing Camp.
Any plan to remarry?
I am married to Jesus. I had a wonderful marriage, which I think there is no man that can replace my husband, he was very loving and caring and we are together for over forty years. We have lovely children and I missed him a lot. At my age, I never thought of remarry, I am more focused on the work of God, I run school business and also take care of my children and grandchildren.
Challenges of working with men in the church?
I am their mother, they are all taking care of me, I believe, it has to do with the heart. I have made up my mind to be focused. My husband and I had a vow in England during our wedding and it bothers me when people break their vows. Today, I am leveraging on our vow. As a woman, there are lots of challenges but, I am not bothered.
People cheat me and I believe, if my husband were to be alive, such would not happen. My husband’s death has created a vacuum that I will forever miss. His godly and fatherly support cannot be over-emphazied. My children are my husband now.
What is your take on generational successor?
God made me to understand that the power of hell will not prevail in the church. Healing camp is a church of God and I will not nominate anybody as a successor, God will do it by Himself. I am not saying my descendant cannot succeed me but I will not dictate for God. The person would be proven and confirmed by God Himself.
And your children?
Most of them are pastors, I did not force them but it came from their heart. They decide for themselves. If God says, they will take charge, then, they are free to work for Him.