The Passion for Helpless Souls Fuel my Ministry – Dr. Ben Omoregie
Apostle (Dr.) Benjamin Osagie Omoregie, the pioneer pastor and the General Overseer, Rehoboth Church of Christ’s Ambassador Worldwide (RCCA) and Rector, Christ Ambassador Theological Academy (CATA) was born into a family and community that practiced African Traditional Religion in a very remote village, in the outskirt of Benin, Edo State. He shared his 20 years journey into the ministry and how God have been good to him with Gracious Akintayo. Excerpt:
Kindly describe how you started the journey into the ministry and pioneer a church?
A big thank you to God Almighty who picked me as nobody, an empty bag of dust to become somebody and His working tool on the earth among great people. Interestingly, my father died when I was about three years of age and at that age I was relocated from my village to Benin City, where I started Primary School.
Then on my way to school, I began to hear a voice calling my name on the lonely path every morning; the name my father gave me is OSAGIEMWANGBON, meaning (God’s messenger to the world). The voice would often whisper that name to me. Elders observed it, they went for divination and traditional exorcism, but the exorcist told them that the spirit calling me was a strange one to their tradition; He does not accept their practice and sacrifices. Hearing this, in 1971 they took me to Abudu, a town at the border of Delta State and I met a lady (while still in Primary 1), a student of Esigie Teachers Training College, Abudu who preached Jesus Christ to me and other Children. There, I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour and since then I have been following His footstep. During that time I saw visions of the Lord visiting me twice. He introduced Himself as The Everlasting Father and asked me to follow Him completely as long as I live. So my walk with Jesus Christ began early from my childhood. I lived a lonely life and God has been my closest companion. He would always help me, reveal things to me before they happened and literally defend me in times of trouble.
In 1987, as a youth worker in Christian Missionary Church, the hand of the Lord came heavily on me pointing me to a life of ministry of the gospel and immediately, I began a personal evangelism in Benin City. I had started a civil job in 1985. Then in September, 1990, Elders of my village informed me that I was to be made their Duke (Enogie). While meetings on that were going on, at about 4:30pm that day, the Lord visited me and asked me to reject the offer and prepare for a missionary journey. About three days later I received a letter from Lagos, asking me to come over, that there was work for me, so I departed for Lagos State without extra money or a definite place to stay, but God miraculously settled me down in Epe, Lagos State the same day I arrived.
I joined the Deeper Life Bible Church and worked with them for a few years. Then I returned to the Seminary for further studies in Theology, Church management and Administration. Meanwhile, I have already done courses on Christian Ministry and denominationalism.
In 1995, I began church planting at Lekki Peninsula, Lagos State with Christian Missionary Church (CMC). The work grew massively to other East and West African countries. And, God was working with us with miracles, signs and wonders.
By the leading of the Lord and with confirmation of my General Overseer, Rev. Dr. Edosomwan. In September 2003, my wife and I left for a new job that now became Rehoboth Church Of Christ Ambassadors Worldwide (Inc.), with administrative headquarters in Lagos. And God has taken us to more fields, as far as India and Pakistan.
What motivated you into establishing a church?
The voice and visions of the Lord. When I am sent, I respond promptly. I had good jobs between 1985 and year 2000 as a contract staff of NNPC when I resigned into full time ministry. It was an extremely difficult decision, but the burden for salvation of souls and preservation was strong on me.
How did you overcome challenges associating with pioneering a church and ministry?
First, I thank God for the grace, also I have never been among those preacher of heresies who subvert the truth and the hearts of innocent people. Through that way, they destroyed what God is building. Till now, people are hearing the truth, repent and begin a new life, but before you know it they are given “another gospel that is not of God”, they return to the world but remain in “the convenient religion”.
Funding is another challenge. We did not start with upto N1,000.00 (One Thousand Naira only) then and till now, by the grace of God, we generate our funds internally. Between September 2003 and December 2010, we have built chapels, broke them down and had moved seven times because we often lost accommodation. Sometimes other religion coming to disturb our meetings were another problem.
However, God used these challenges to advance us, after a setback we come out stronger and better. Grace has been propelling us to do better. With each challenge comes opportunities to advance God’s Kingdom.
At what point did you contemplate giving up and what kept you going?
Yes, there are times I contemplated giving up. First, it was at the early stage of the church. Things were extremely hard, and my resignation was not submitted by my manager in the office. He intentionally did that so I may easily return when my “madness” was over or when there will be no way forward, because my colleagues said only a madman would resign from a job of comfort and a rapidly rising profile. At that time I felt like returning back to work. But the vision of the Kingdom kept me moving on. Many times through the years, we faced the challenge of funding and difficulties of church accommodation. Those situations made me feel like, “leave these few people and settle down again”. But the Lord kept me strong and going forward. The passion for those few helpless souls was the fuel of my ministry.
What has life and leadership taught you this 20 years?
The past 20 years as a church leader have been good. Truth is, there is no effort in life without challenges. All these years, I have learnt to be patient and trust God at all times. There is no reverse gear created by God for His people, therefore the only movement is forward. When you stop for any reason you become a monument, but when you press on as Paul the Apostle wrote in Philippians 3:7-15, you become limitless. It is God who makes you, not you making yourself. I have learnt not to make my own wave, but to ride on the waves God created for me. People will attempt severally to pull you down, just remain focused on the substance, not on the distractions.
Between when you started 20 years and now, how would you rate the calling and church pastoring?
Looking back from where we started, there have been visible results for everyone to see. Remember, I started in 1988 and at different times have the privilege of great leaders and father’s of faith like late Archbishop (Prof.) Benson Idahosa, Pastor Kumuyi, Rev Dr. Anyanwu, Rev. Dr. Edosommwan and Rev. Dr. Oyedeji as my mentors, teachers and leaders throughout those years. They taught me Kingdom principles that don’t fail. I served the Lord under all of them and I remain eternally grateful to their leadership, teachings and mentoring. I only began a new work as an extension of what I met them doing, and I believe I am just beginning to begin. Church leadership is a shepherd’s work; it is a lifetime engagement. No retreat, no surrender. Rev. Dr. Edosomwan once addressed a congregation saying, “Brother Benjamin only went on to expand the ministry we are building”. I am too small to compare times and seasons, what does finite know in the presence of infinity? I am just thankful to God for unfailing love and faithfulness.
Shed more light on the anniversary and where do you expect the church to be in the next 20 years?
As a family of God we want to thank Him who has been our all in all. We are starting on October 4th with Holy Spirit revival and on Saturday, there will be church ministers and workers retreat and on Sunday 8th, the grand finale with thanksgiving. Meanwhile, I will be ministering to our brothers and sisters in India on the 1st of October.
In the next 20 years, I see the church moving from growth to expansion. To touch more lives globally with positive dimension. I want to see our Bible School produce the Lord’s Army in large numbers, the evangelical arm of the Church to reach more unreached people and prepare our generation for the advent of Jesus Christ. This is our supreme task that must be carried out successfully by the grace of God.
What is your opinion about the current state of Christianity and the church?
To be honest, I would say, globally, the present state of christianity and the church has greatly deteriorated in spiritual value. With many error message being preached as the gospel of Christ, false doctrines springing up everyday and hirelings coming out in large numbers with, evil traditions finding their way into churches. Example is the issue of LGBT in some churches, it’s really a disturbing end time headache, but God will save His church and protect His people. The present church is like spreading on the land surface but lacking roots on the Rock of Ages. Our youths, children and even adults are confused as to what is true gospel unlike when we got it raw with conviction. My advice to the present day Christians and the church is to return to the true gospel of Jesus Christ.
The church is no longer strengthening true doctrines of Jesus Christ and the Apostles. We should be more heaven focused than politics and fame.
Looking at the moral decadence in our society, has the church done enough to positively impact the society?
The church is trying in some ways, but with present societal moral decay, we need to do more to braze up for more work. We should meet the people where they are and influence them for God. Any bad person can change when they see hope and a destiny. Changing society is the work of the church. I will say the church is working, but more work is needed.
What is your advice for young and upcoming ministers?
If you would earnestly seek God and make your supplication to the Almighty, If you were pure and upright, Surely now He would awake for you, And prosper your rightful dwelling place. Though your beginning was small, Yet your latter end would increase abundantly (Job 8:5-7 NKJ)
The young and upcoming ministers should be patient, persevere to seek true knowledge. Don’t be in a hurry to blow, we are not in the entertainment industry. We are in the gospel ministry. Be strong in spirit and be heavenly minded. Haste makes waste. Understand that after all, we shall all stand before God to give account of our stewardship. So run to win, don’t run to be famous.
How do you combine your busy schedule as a church leader with your role as a family man?
Anyone God calls He equipped for service. Yet our efforts matter in the working and overall result. It is God carrying the burden, we are just a labourer. Family is very important part of ministry life. Whoever fails in family has failed in everything he engages. For me, the old principle of life’s priority comes handy. What is it? I arrange my life accordingly: 1. God, 2. myself, 3. my family, 4. Ministry, 5. church, 6. others. It is a whole lot of teaching to understand this principle, but it is the bedrock of a successful career. I don’t alter the arrangement at all. For example I need to be well to attend to the rest on the list, and after me comes my family then ministry. I attend to the needs of life according to priority.
If you were privileged to meet the President of Nigeria for 5 minutes, what would you tell him?
Whether we like it or not, there’s already a President and if I am privileged to meet him, I will tell him to use the opportunity of his good office to change Nigeria into a nation of truth, justice and prosperity as spelt out in our National anthem and pledge.
With the scourge of broken homes, divorce and breakdown of family values, what is your advice to the married and intending couples?
When a person builds his house on sand (falsehood), it will eventually crash down; it is only a matter of time. Remember the teaching of our Lord in Matthew 7:24-27, every relationship will encounter challenges, the foundation of such relationship is very important to its survival and life. Build your marriage relationship on The Truth and truth. Job 8:11-13 says, the paths and hope of all who forget God shall perish. In starting a relationship, start with God, and in sustaining a marriage make it God’s own family. Anything else for a child of God will fail.
As youths and single about 30 years ago, emphasis was placed on the place of prayer before decisions, especially in choices of who to get married to. I did and it paid fantastically. Today young men and women marry the body, according to their sight, not according to God’s guidance and counsel, which is why there are many broken homes today. To all intending couples, put God first.
What is your advice for Nigerians at this crucial time of economic inflation and financial crisis?
Fellow Nigerians, it is evident that times are hard, economic realities are visible to all, my advice to everyone is that; be strong and courageous. Do not despair, do more positive creative ventures at this time for a profitable life as an individual. Let us behave like Isaac in Genesis 26: 2-4,12-14. Take advantage of the hard time, look at the need of the people around you, provide it for them, you will have much people patronising you and you financial status shall rise above the prevailing economic condition. Become an entrepreneur so you can lift as many out of poverty. See something good in everything you see.