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I Gave Excuses as a Woman, Wife and Mother Not to Serve God – Rev. Christie Fagbamiye

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I Gave Excuses as a Woman, Wife and Mother Not to Serve God – Rev. Christie Fagbamiye

Rev. (Mrs.) Christie Modupe Fagbamiye is an Electrical Engineer by profession, graduate of The Polytechnic, Ibadan and product of Faith Christian Theological Seminary, Sango-Ota, Ogun State, Nigeria. She’s an alumnus of Haggai Institute, Maui, USA. She has attended many local and international theological and educational training. She is a visiting professor of Faith Christian Theological Seminary, Chaplain Commandant to oversee the activities of Ile-Oluji Zonal Command in Ondo State and Amuwo-Odofin LGA to Badagry Region in Lagos State, upto Seme Border of International Institute of Pastoral Education and Chaplaincy (IIPEC). She is a prolific writer who has authored many books. A pastor, conference speaker, marriage counselor, bible teacher and theological lecturer. Rev. (Mrs.) Fagbamigbe is the General Overseer, Redemption Faith Mission Inc., Satellite Town, Lagos. She bares her mind to Gracious Akintayo on her 30 years journey in the ministry with other sundry issues. Excerpt;

Briefly, tell us about yourself.

Rev. (Mrs.) Engr. Christie Modupe Fagbamiye, the Gen. Overseer, Redemption Faith Mission Inc.

I am a woman, married, mother, grandmother and minister of the gospel. That’s the domestic aspect. Academically, I went to the Polytechnic, Ibadan and studied Electrical Engineering. I was the first woman to pass out from that institution. Because, boys don’t allow ladies to stay in that department but thank God, I was able to come out with a good grade. I started working with an electrical contracting company and when I got married, I changed jobs and came to Lagos. I was working with an engineering consultant and was in charge of many projects, including the Mamman Kotangora building in Lagos. I also did other work outside Lagos and handled some supervision work as a consultant. Invariably, I had an encounter that got me into trouble with God. When He said, I should leave my work and go to start preaching. I gave an excuse that, as a woman, wife and mother, I can’t do it. I refused bluntly, because I am more passionate about prayer. I love praying. At that time, when you come to my house, you will hear the noise of people praying.

I met a boy that was interested in prayer and we got married. That’s how I ended up marrying the man that knew what makes me happy, praying and mentoring people.  When I was younger, before I got married,  I would gather children and be teaching them. At the time, I was teaching at a secondary school in Osun State and was a Sunday school teacher in my church in my town. I was just serving God with all my heart. That was how I was brought up and not because my parents were pastors or ministers. But it was how I grew up and that propelled me ahead in life. Otherwise, I would have long been dead. But God kept me, taught me to be His own and I never turn back. What gladdened my heart is that I feel fulfilled, God help me and I never outstayed Him, because, it is that which is for the Lord that prevails.  Even as a child, people saw me as been different, I was an odd girl. I could not walk on the street with boys. What am I looking for? And this impacted on my children, a daughter and the only girl among four boys. They are all married now with their families. No one can entice her with money. That way she pleases the Lord, not me. That is our home and it’s not out of place to come and hear the noise of prayer. Godly home is my passion, even my grandchildren knew this. I am over 70 now, when I celebrated 60 years, my granddaughter wrote, “I love my grandma, she’s always praying for people, also prays for me”. That’s what she wrote for me and thanks God for that. 

How was your journey into the ministry?

It was when I was working and supervising the Mamman Kotangora house in Lagos, that I had the call. I was the only woman at the site as electrical supervisor and fortunately the architect, of blessed memory, was also a woman and she loved me. Because she knows, I was spiritual and God really helped us at that period of working together to overcome some challenges. 

All along, they took me to Mamman Kotangora in his lifetime, that he should give me contracts. I said, I’m sorry; I’m not looking for contracts. He said, what kind of woman are you? I said, sir, I’m sorry, but  the burden I have is more than money. So, I left the place and their projects.

Rev. (Engr.) Yemi & Rev. (Mrs.) Engr. Christie Fagbamiye, Chaplain Commandants

I wanted to be doing a small scale business and opened a supermarket, an electrical shop, until God said, no, I didn’t ask you to go and work. So, what would I do? I needed money. And when I continue telling God that I’m a woman, nobody has ever been a pastor in my family, I had a serious accident and the mark is still on me. Apart from the car accident, I had two other incidents. My husband is a gentle type; we are not on the same page. He is cool, I am hot. When it became clear that I have to answer the call of God, after about three and a half years I decided to go to Bible College. I went to Faith Theological Seminary, Sang-Ota, Ogun State, where I had an experience confirming my calling with the College Provost, who on meeting me said, the light I see on you is so bright, the devil cannot stop it. He then went on requesting me to be teaching and I said, sir, I’m not here to teach, but to learn. He succeeded in convincing me to teach and was giving me a stipend at the end of the month.

After my graduation, I continued lecturing there and grew up through the ladder to become a professor in the institute. Apart from being a professor, we had partnership with Hawaii State University. I became a visiting professor in the USA. But, because I had to leave when God said I should move on, I moved. That was how I started this ministry, Redemption Faith Mission Inc and thank God, my husband had been a great support, helping me administratively  and in many other areas. Most of my children are serving God, my eldest son has been ordained and serving as a pastor since 2000.  

Were you at anytime under any ministry? 

I wasn’t under any ministry, the name of the ministry was revealed to me in a revelation. But, I was in Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) serving God in my own gentle way. Even when we went for an annual convention at Babalola Camping Ground, a prophet said, “This woman, you are hiding, we know you, and you will soon be exposed”. I said, I am just a sister in the Lord, trying to serve God in my own way. I thought, I can only serve God, doing good to people and preparing food to feed pastors with their disciples whenever they are to break their fasting. That’s what I was doing instead of answering His call. I thought, God will leave me alone and it will not be possible for me to be a pastor. But, I was wrong, He didn’t oblige me. That was when I went to the Bible school and seminary to acquire knowledge with exposure to ministerial work.

When did you finally start your ministry?

Christie Fagbamiye, a life of a professional career woman; doting wife, loving mother, grandmother, celebrated pastor, respected leader, dutiful mentor and teacher.

 

Afterwards, I realized that, if I refused to heed this call, something dangerous might happen and I don’t want to die before my mother. I started the ministry fully in April 1994 inside my mother’s house. Thanks and glory to God, it has been 30 years of fruitful journey in the ministry.  

How would you describe the 30 years journey and what had been the challenges? 

For 30 years, it has been a journey full of challenges, trials and success. The major challenge I had from the beginning was spiritual warfare. Physically and spiritually challenged, but with the conviction that God is my hope and power, I overcome most of the challenges. I never see myself as a woman, I thought that what a man can do, a woman can do better. If we are doing anything in the house, I would climb the roof with my husband and be teach him how to do some things. He read mechanical engineering and he is a Fellow of Nigerian Society of Engineers (FNSE).  Until I saw my children growing up, they read engineering and are taller than me; I started to change, thinking now as a woman. I have to stop and said, I’m not climbing the roof again.

What has been your motivating factor? 

My moving factor these 30 years had been the word of God and power of prayer with supportive husband. The power of prayer has been a strong factor in my life, ministry and marriage. Because I faced lot of challenges you would not think they are true or real? But, in all, God proved Himself strong and possible, I prayed and He answers. Also, there was a time of testimonies, thanksgiving and celebration. There was a time people crying, wailing and saying mummy, we don’t know if it is still possible, they brought a dead child  and we prayed, and the child came back alive after prayers. There are people having child delivery issues and delay childbirth, after taking them through the word of God and prayers, we will end up praising God. There are records of great and mighty things with facts God has done in our midst, these 30 years. This is not about zeal, but God doing it. The worst is, most people don’t come back to testify what God has done in their lives. But I give God the glory for all He has done and He will continually do in years to come. It gives me joy to see what God asked me to do working out. That’s why I cannot diversify or compromise, because, Christ answer prayers. I prefer to lie down, crying and talking to God than go or do something else. God has been faithful and so good to this church. 

Give more insight on Chaplaincy

When I was teaching at the Bible College, I was told to come and take over the work of Him. There are people going from here to there as chaplain who are not sincere with God. Some got the certificate to train chaplains, took the certificate and left, and till date they are nowhere to be found and not doing the teaching or training. 

Chaplaincy without Christ is not chaplaincy. You cannot bring an herbalist to be a chaplain. It has to be somebody  that is on fire for God. Chaplains are soldiers of the Cross, soldiers of the Lord and their lives have to indicate that they are people for the Lord. Chaplains are community based ministers not based in a particular church. Though they apply to be chaplains through their church, they are trained to minister to all and often work in outlying areas where people cannot attend a church, such as military outposts, prisons and hospitals. The characteristics of a Chaplain are about Jesus. A chaplain must be Jesus- centered, gospel- focused, mission-minded, and community-oriented. He must be a person of integrity, wholeness. Be able to put the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual needs of others above his/her own in order to lead them to Jesus and glorify God. Have team spirit and an excellent mind.

I asked for Badagry region, God gave me. I asked for Ile Oluji, my hometown, He gave me with certificate of approval. And to God be all glory, I was doing well and fine. I love teaching, because when I teach I feel satisfied that I am mentoring and impacting people. 

Do you mean, your children are all in the same professional field with you and daddy?

Yes.  

Is there any among your children who are into the ministry work? 

My first son is fully in the ministry. He read civil engineering from FUTA and still working professionally. He’s into water engineering and 100% in the ministry. 

Looking back, what would you say is missing in today’s church and Christianity?   

People are no longer committed, dedicated and faithful to God and the service of God. Most people now in the ministry and in the church are primarily dedicated to money, prosperity and material gains. They are no more sincere with the service and work of God. They are not pious, holy and trustworthy. Mainly, most of the ministers just want to do this thing, feed their family, and meet their needs. Then, they are happy when addressing them as G. O or any other big title and when they calling them Daddy or Mummy.