By Ephraim Oseji
Dr. James Bayo Owoyemi is the President, United Apostolic Church of Christ (UACC). In this interview, he expresses optimism that Nigeria will soon overcomer all the security, economic and political challenges bedevilling the country. He also speaks on the forthcoming Youth Conference of the church. Excepts.
Sir, what is your experience as the President of UACC so far?
Since I assumed the office of UACC President eight months ago, I have been enjoying the backing of Holy spirit. Though, the task ahead is enormous, I am optimistic that I shall succeed in the office.
Are you done with the visit and tour of UACC Assemblies and what magnitude of cooperation did you receive from locations visited?
We have not completed the visitation. However, we have visited most of our branches in Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Ekiti, Osun and Rivers States. We have also visted Yewa, Benin Republic. We will still visit our people in Lagos State and United Kingdom.
The reception we received in places we visited were spectacular. People are ready to cooperate with my administration to actualize our vision. Indeed, I was highly encouraged, given the unalloyed love exhibited by good people of UACC in all parishes we visited.
Sir, what plans do you have to visit UACC Assemblies oversea/abroad?
Part of our agenda for 2021 is to visit all UACC parishes across the globe. The essence is to familiarize myself with our people, encourage them to remain in faith and unveil my evangelical visions to them. By the grace of God, we hope to complete visitation of parishes in Nigeria and Benin Republic by August, 2021.
Our plan is to visit Brethren in United Kingdom by October, 2021. However, this is subject to total lifting of ban occasioned by Covid-19 especially in Britain.
How prepared is the church for the forthcoming UACC Youth Conference?
We are fully prepared for the conference. 2020 Youth Conference could not hold as a result of lockdown and restrictions in most places due to Covid-19. Therefore, we have been longing for the spirit- filled conference.
Sir, what plans do you have to establish a student fellowship in our tertiary institutions?
We are aware that youth are very important for Evangelism. One of the avenues to reach the young ones is to establish fellowship in campuses of all Tertiary Institutions in Nigeria. We have inaugurated, Olabisi Onabanjo University chapter. The fellowship had earlier established in University of Ibadan. We hope to take the good news to other schools.
The 56th Supreme Council Meeting of the Church, comes up in August, what would your focus during the meeting in Lagos be?
August meeting is very important to UACC as it’s the last meeting before the general convention. So, we will focus majorly on issues that will move the church forward and also deliberated on the forthcoming convention. We will also use the medium to pray for peace of Nigeria.
Recently, you talked about Regional Revival, can you throw more light on this?
After this visitation, the next plan is to embark on revivals. For effectiveness, our assemblies will be grouped to region. We will organize revivals in every region. This, will commence immediately after this year’s convention.
Sir, what is the synergy between UACC and Christian bodies like CAN, PFN and CPFN?
UACC believes in the fellowship of brethren. Hence, we have been playing active roles in CAN from national to regional levels. We belong to CPFN block of CAN and we are actively involved in all activities of the body from national to the local stages.
Sir, recently at the UACC Trustee Meeting in Ekiti you made some appointments, what is expected of them?
We need people of like minds to actualize our objectives. Hence, appointing such people to different assignments is imperative. They were appointed to work for the propagation of the Gospel of Christ and to move the church forward.
Sir, what has been the secret of your success so far?
God is my secret. I do not depend on my own strength. Though, we plan, with God only we can achieve. I strive not to grieve Holy Spirit and I pray for Grace to continue so.
What advice do you have for youths who are into drugs and other vices?
In God’s agenda, youths are important. Most prophets in the bible were youths. Devil knows this and determined to ruin the plans of God for them. Among the vices of devils to lure youths into immoralities. I enjoined the youths to shun immoralities and present themselves a living sacrifice unto the lord.
Sir, Nigeria is passing through hard times economically and security wise, what role should religious bodies be playing to make people have faith in government and check civil unrest in society?
All circumstances are under the control of God. We should put our trust in Him and obey his commandments. Unfavourable condition should not be an excuse to disobey God. God commands that we should obey the authority. Therefore, we should support the Government and pray for them as they lead us.
What do you have to say concerning the present state of the nation, and what advice do you have for Government and the people of Nigeria?
People in Government should put their trust in God. It’s obvious, the security and economic situations of the country are not conductive. Government should be proactive and work towards salvaging the situations.
Sir, with all the social crisis bedevilling this Nation, what is the prospect of the nation surviving the phase?
Nigeria is a nation of God. These unfavourable conditions will come to pass. We will surely overcome the challenges and normalcy will return to our land, should put God first. In Him only we can move and have our being.
We should love ourselves and seek the good of others. This will go a long way to bring sanity to our country.