How I Overcame Ministerial Error and Initiation into occult –Princewill Afolabi
Pastor Princewill Afolabi is the Senior Pastor of God’s Power Evangelical Mission, Oke-Ado in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. He is called with the mandate to raise prosperous and fervent believers with burden for the kingdom enlargement. In this interview with PROVIDENCE, he speaks on how he started his ministry, almost led into error, mistakes he made and as to be initiated into occult by another pastor. Excerpts:
Kindly tell us your background and encounter:
I was born into Afolabi family in Ibadan. My late dad was a Muslim and a retired captain in Nigerian Army but my mum is a Christian and my grandfather was an Anglican Arc-Priest of their village. By the grace of God through the help of my mum, we were raised in Ebenezer Baptist Church at Okoro Village Badagry, at Cotonou. At some point my uncle wanted to force us into Islam, he bought us books and brought someone to teach us about Islam and Quran. But anytime, I went to the Mosque for prayers, I will sit at the back and will be hearing a voice telling me, follow Jesus. One day, I couldn’t stand it again; I stood up, jumped over everyone as they bent and came out. That was the last time that I entered any mosque.
I met Jesus in the year 1991. There was a church in front of our house and the Pastor was Chuks Onsu, he ministered Jesus to me and I gave my life to Christ. One of the things that moved me when he preached Christ to me was telling me, God sent him to me and wants to use me and has prepared an assignment for me. I started crying; not knowing what came over me and that became my salvation point.
I started working with the Pastor in the church. A year after my salvation, due to my zeal for God, I was made the leader of Evangelism, intercessory and deliverance department. This put fear around me. I was with the pastor for three years, along the line, he went into an error. He isolated himself and did not give rooms for relationship or association. He has no friend or mentor and we were like that. At a point manipulation entered the church, false prophesy crept in and he told us that we should go back to the Garden of Eden, to the form of naked man because sin made man to know he was naked. He came to church naked, stopped us from using body cream and others things. He was arrested and taking to psychiatric hospital. But it was not a case of psychiatric, it was ignorance and isolation. That is when I knew, before the devil destroys a man, he first isolate him. The church was scattered, but I was zealous for God with burning desire to know God more, so I left.
There are three kinds of relationship needed in life; mentors, friends and people coming behind. But our pastor then isolated himself and did not have any of these. One day while praying, God told me, I have an assignment for you and that led to the birth of the church. When we started, we also made some mistake. The first mistake was involving a friend, but we did not decide on leadership. The church grew, one day he told me, he had chosen some members as the church committee and the committee has chosen him to head the church while I will be his assistant and I should be the one to formally announce him. I came up and announced him as the new General Overseer. We were about 22 years old then. Three month later the church was scattered, because he was dating a lady in the church and was having affairs with others. So in July, 1998, I started all over again.
What have been the challenges and how are you able overcome them?
There are many challenges and they are still there in life. The first challenge was how to convince people to believe God called us. When we are in need of financial assistance and I spoke to some people, someone actually told me, not that I did not have the money to give, but you have not proved your land is a fertile ground to plant seed. So, to proved that, I cried to God to prove Himself and He did. After then, by the grace of God, I started meeting and associating with respected men of God who received and welcome our ministry. That goes a long way to help and prove our calling. The other challenge is ignorance and mismanagement of people. Making wrong choice of ordaining people, thinking that will make them to stay. I did not know my left from my right and did not understand some things.
After struggling for about four years, I met my mentor, Bishop Taiwo Adelakun, who accepted and adopted me as a son and I learn a lot from him, including how to talk to members.
The anointing is there, God has used me to do some marvelous miracle and I was so proud that, I tell people, I do not need anyone. But when I met and started relating with Bishop Adelakun, I realized, I know nothing. I learned how to speak with people, how to be patience and tolerance, and that helped me a lot. Also, I learnt finance management, setting priority and organisation from him. Mentorship is one of the greatest things that happened to me and I dare say, if you are not mentored by the right person, you can never get it right in life.
How about your ministry?
When God called me, He gave me a covenant scriptures and the direction of my ministry started with John 11. As I read the passage, a heavy burden came on me and I heard the voice saying, “son, go with the message of possibility in Christ and raise for Me men who will work in purity, power and prosperity. That was how I received it.
Some years later, as the ministry grew, I had a vision, where I saw a tall man with a chained Lion and he said take this Lion like a dog and I said this is a wild beast, not a domestic animal, it cannot live among men, And he said, tough men and women among your people who are not supposed to be around mean men convert them, so they can live among men and I heard a voice, saying, “Study the Word and deliver them worthy of Christ”. After these encounter, some set of people started coming to me and I treat them as important people, preach Christ to them, they gave their life to Christ and they are serving God.
Most time I speak when I see things that contradict the Bible been done. I am never comfortable when it looks we are going contrary to the Bible.
What has been your driven force in the ministry?
To accomplish the purpose God set for me and to make heaven. I do not want to go to hell. I realized everything does not end here on earth, there is life after death and one day, I want to sleep and open my eyes to find myself in the hands of Jesus. Those are things that drives me.
There was a time, I went to the mountain to pray and that was the first and last time I went to the mountain to pray. And after the prayers, I met the man that led the prayers and narrated my challenges in the ministry to him and he introduced me to another man and that man tried to introduce me into cult practices. What saved me was, the man said I should come back the following week and I never went back.
Do you mean, going to Mountains does not determine God hearing or answering prayer?
God is the God of the mountain, of the valley and the entire universe. Though my first experience and what I encountered discouraged me. Since then, I know God is God of all; He can meet you at anywhere. He said where two or more are gathered in His name, He never says when people gather on the mountain or in the valley. Now, I have a covenant time where I communicate and meet with the Lord every day in my room.
You enjoyed mentorship, what is your advice to young ministers on mentoring?
The Bible says me woe to him that walk alone. Even when God made Adam, Adam was not happy been alone, God gave him someone. I studied the life of Job and found that, people that surrounds him, including his friends and wife could not see or understand what was going on in his life. They castigated him and no one to encourage him, if he has a mentor, his mentor would have seen beyond the happenings.
Before chosen Bishop Adelakun as my mentor, I had one who mismanaged me; he enslaved me instead of helping me find my foot. Everyone who has gotten to the stage of a father should understand that if they refused to bring up the younger generation in their life time, their legacy will be wiped out. Likewise, younger generation should understand the benefits of mentoring;
– It helps you avoid mistakes and you will not be living your life in trial and error.
– If you have a mentor you have an example.
– If you have a mentor, you have a land you to sow and reap harvest in future. Sow in your mentor, you will have a mentee to sow in your life too.
– You will have a workman over you; there will always be fear in you to go into error.
– Your member and others will have confidence in you, knowing you are accountable to someone above you and not working alone.
– Standing alone is a terrible and dangerous thing in the ministry and in life. Before devil deals with any man, he will first make him isolated.
What are your guiding principles?
I have few of them, but the three major ones are;
A man who does not have a good family is like a plane without a Pilot, it will crash.
After my relationship with God, my family comes next.
Value the relationship with my mentor. No matter how far a man run in the wrong direction, his dreams remains unattainable. Finding a way means you have a mentor
What should be the major factor of church and Christian development in Nigeria?
Unity, there is no unity among us. The major problem is self made doctrines that are almost taking over the Bible doctrine. Church leaders should encourage people to develop personal relationship and have direct encounter with God, lead people to the Holy Spirit and not doing the work of the Holy Spirit for her. Nigerian government should rise and do more in area of securing lives and properties of Nigerians. Indiscriminate killings and human rituals should be stopped. Human lives lost to bloodshed as a result of insecurity are becoming more than that of animals. President Buhari should build more confidence of his leadership in the heart of people.
Do you support Christian’s involvement in politics?
Wholeheartedly, I am in support of Christians going into politics, because, when the righteous rule, there will be peace and if Christians do not get involve and participate in politics, we will lose our rights and place in power. We have the Holy Spirit in us to get involve and occupy not to let down the society.
What is your take on divorce or separation of Christian marriage?
Reason Christians are experiencing divorce and separation today is because the devil is seriously fighting against Christian marriages and homes to frustrate the plan of God. It is only in Christian marriage you can find true discipleship, when children don’t see their parent cheat or fight, they will follow in the footstep. The failures in the society today are result of failures from homes and families that is why Nigeria’s morality is nothing to write home about. It is only in Christian family that we can preserve value, character and generation of the righteous. Pastors should live righteous life and the church should teach godly marriage that has God as the foundation and the Word as the pillar. God hates divorce and the bible did not encourage it. God plan for marriage is to be fruitful, multiply and merry. Not to be barren, crisis ridden and endured.
Tell us about your family:
I have a happy home and lovely family. My wife and co-labourer in the vineyard, Oluwayemisi Afolabi is from Ijebu-Ife. She is a good wife and mother to our biological and spiritual children. We worship, work and always together. We are blessed with two girls and a boy.
How do you spend your past time?
I like playing football until I had injury and stopped playing football. Now, I loved been around my wife and children when less busy, because they come next after God and His service.