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Oyedepo, Oyakhilome and Okotie: Beacons of Hope for the Church During the Lockdown -Michael Amamieye


Oyedepo, Oyakhilome and Okotie: Beacons of Hope for the Church During the Lockdown -Michael Amamieye


Bishop Michael O. Amamieye is the Presiding Bishop and President of Michael Amamieye Word Outreach, International (Aggressive Faith Ministries) based in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria. He is an evangelist by calling and had travelled across the world spreading the gospel and winning souls for Christ with signs and wonders following.

In this encounter with PROVIDENCE, Bishop Michael Amamieye bared his mind on burning issues affecting the society, Christianity and governance in Nigeria. Excerpt;

What is your reaction on COVID-19 pandemic as end-time prophesy?
Jesus pointedly gave us signs that mark the end of the world. Of all the signs, practically all have been fulfilled except the major two which are: Israel and the preaching of the gospel in all the world. I have not seen the pandemic as a major sign of the end time because there has been several pandemics over the years. This particular lockdown has leveled everyone to a great extent. It was glaring, it took us unaware even though God was speaking through some people we did not recognised. It shows many things we pursue as individual and people are not as important to keep us alive. It shows, as people we want to live and willing to obey government directives to shut down and stay home for months. That would not have been possible even in a military government.

What lesson did the church learn from the pandemic and the lockdown?
Now we see that the church is a people. It is not a building. Buildings are still necessary because our presence and coming together there makes it most exciting. However, church can be in homes and offices. Also, online services travelled far.

What are your expectation on church attendance and evangelism after unlocking of churches?
After unlocking the churches, church services will explode because people are hungry and yearning to be in His presence. Evangelism will take a new shape and dimension. New ideas are coming to us evangelists as to how to win souls and reach the world more.

How would you describe the gain and losses of the church and Christians during the pandemic?
Everyone lost a lot. There is practically no one who did not loose anything except for the NCDC, NDDC, government agencies that were busy as they were. I am aware of some policemen made so much money during the lockdown. Imagine where a Federal Minister claims, school children were fed during the lockdown and that cost the government N500 million. Where are the children, which school and what manner of food? It is glaring, those government agents must have become very rich. The church was not left out of the losses because most church members stopped giving tithes and offerings since there were no income coming in for them.

With advent of internet church, Church in the house and other online services, what becomes the church buildings and edifice?
Church buildings will still be relevant.

What role should the church play to stabilize the society?
The church will continue to bring hope to the hopeless, light to the darkness, healing to the sick and salvation to the lost.

Do you consider the locking up as a means to silent the church?
Everyone knows, the lockdown was a crafty plan to shut the church with evil minds using government machinery to silence the church. Some even quote Romans 13 to defend the actions. That is the only scripture the Devil knows. They will not quote Revelation 13 which describes the way and manner they did what they did. I can never agree with any government policy that is against the God of heaven. My biggest disappointment was church leaders who are government policy compliant. Those are the kinds of people who would have forced Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to take a knee at the king’s command. Thank God for men like Bishop David Oyedepo, Rev. Chris Oyakhilome and Rev. Chris Okotie. Those were the only beacons of hope the church had during this madness called lockdown.

With inability to access healing and deliverance programmes, how do you erased doubts of people on miracles?
Miracles still happen. No one will force anyone to believe. You can choose to believe or not. It is personal choice and conviction. But miracles still happen and it is real.

What is your position on locking up of Churches and what is the way forward?
I think that Christians need to get into government and stop all this madness of locking up churches in whatever guise. We need government machinery to achieve that. Then, let us get into politics.

What hope for Nigerian society after the pandemic and your advise to Nigerian government?
My advice to the Nigerian government: One, we need to hear directly from the President. Critical times like these, our President was also not seen or heard. Why should we be taking directives from Chairman, Presidential Task Force or NCDC? Are they our pseudo Presidents? Two, we need to listen to more qualified and experienced people in the fields where we have a crisis. I don’t understand why we should be listening to a doctor who has not seen a covid patient or treated one. I can’t understand why a governor who is a lawyer suddenly became an expert in a pandemic case. I would rather listen to a medical doctor who deals with the situation and has the knowledge. The only reason why they are still looking for cure for the virus is because the doctors who are informing our governments don’t see patients with the virus and treat them. Three, our government should stand up and out. We have the cure for the virus yet we are waiting for WHO to tell us. I can’t understand when the black man will wise up.