Bro Wale–A Big Adefarasin For Christ
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Bro Wale–A Big Adefarasin For Christ
Pastor Wale Adefarasin
Nigeria, the name Adefarasin strikes a familiar tune. The Adefarasin Brothers are synonymous with winning souls for Christ, and with this, they have today become forces to reckon with in Christendom.The 3 brothers are charming, well-groomed, well-trained men who many see as role models. They are the 3 sons of the late legal luminary, Justice Tunji Adefarasin, who are Pastors and the different ministries they run.
aworships’s awt crew was in Lagos and it is not everyday you catch an Adefarasin and when you are in a season when you are catching plenty, you cannot but say a big thank you Lord in berthed breath.
Yemi Adefarasin, is Apostle Michael Adeyemi Adefarasin is an apostle and a teacher with Prophetic Anointing. His life as a Minister of the Gospel demonstrates the triumph of divine grace and purpose over human trials.
The call of God took him to the Action International Bible College, Accra, Ghana which is a part of the Christian Action Faith Ministries International under the leadership of Archbishop Nicholas Duncan Williams.
Pastor Wale Adefarasin
In 1993, he was ordained a Pastor and posted to Cotonou as the Resident Pastor of Action Faith Ministries, Republic of Benin and in the last 10 years, his charismatic anointing has shot the Action Faith Church to the forefront, capturing the attention of the movers and shakers of the nation to the glory of God.
It is on record that Action Faith Church is the only church in Benin Republic where you find cabinet ministers, top government functionaries and other influential individuals as members. He has to his credit a Bible School set up to raise Leaders, Pastors and Evangelists with many branches of the church planted in major cities in Republic of Benin. Apostle Yemi, as he is fondly called, is a sought-after international conference speaker as he preaches the Gospel and spreads the message of Christ’s throughout Africa, Europe and the United States.
He is the tallest of the 3 brothers, and is happily married to his lovely wife, Sharon.
Then we have Pastor Paul Adefarasin, another trailblazer and an engaging preacher, a great fisher of men whose church, House On The Rock, occupies an influential space in Nigeria. He has continued to mould young leaders, infusing in them morals and values as well as preparing them for tomorrow’s challenges.
He is a great teacher of Scriptures and a highly sought-after pastor in Nigeria and beyond. His weekly television programme is aired in many nations of the world. He is known for his Messages of Faith, Hope, Empowerment and Christian Living, just like his mentor Bishop T.D. Jakes. He has a burning desire to see transformation in people’s lives and the society at large.
His annual international gospel concert tagged “The Experience”, which features renowned gospel artistes from around the globe has continued to change lives. Pastor Paul holds a degree in Architecture from the University of Miami, Florida in America.The amiable Minister is happily married to Pastor (Mrs) Ifeanyi Adefarasin and their union is blessed with 3 lovely children.
And we have finally Pastor Wale Adefarasin, the eldest of the brothers. He is a clergyman with a difference. The amiable man of God, who prefers to be addressed simply as Pastor Wale, has used his ministry to build leaders and prepare men for edifying roles in their various callings.
He is the Founder and General Overseer of Parkview Estate Extension, Ikoyi-based Guiding Light Assembly. The gifted teacher,who stops at nothing to positively impact the lives of his church members, schooled in America where he studied Business Administration. The over 50-year-old man of God, who is currently the National Secretary of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), is married to Pastor Laolu Adefarasin and they have 3 children.
So who did we ride with through the tunnel, in the various Christian circles in Nigeria and more intrinsically, in the Pentecostal Fellowship, he is a bold name but not so with his face. He is a silent worker, an indefatigable soul winner. After a thirty minutes probing- interview with him, one wonders what kind of humility is behind a man who does so much for the less privileged yet, he remains at the background. In a nation where people do things in the presence of the press, so as to be acknowledge and be praised, he is touching lives around Obalende and one wonders if the residents of the area know who is behind it all. This is not the only revelation of this tunnel ride. His method strategic and his determination profound.
He is a clergyman with a difference. Schooled in America, where he studied Business Administration.The amiable man of God, who prefers to be addressed simply as Pastor Wale, has used his ministry to build leaders and prepare men for edifying roles in their various callings.
And yes through the tunnel is the big brother of the Adefarasin home…Pastor Wale Adefarasin
AWT: Sir, you are very concerned about a new Nigeria, only recently you were in the forefront of pioneering a new concept of going back to our old days, I gathered a changed in national anthem or so…infact many call you a value pastor or Mr. Morality kind of…’
WA: (smiling surprisingly) How did you know that, it means people are taking notice, but anyway…We believe that at the root of our problem as a nation is moral depravity, erosion of values. As a people we have lost values. Nowadays, the end justifies the means; we can not find hard work, orderliness, decency, justice, equity, good neighbourliness. So we formed an association for the restoration of values through seminars, teaching, going to schools to teach the values we once upon a time had as a nation.
One of the campaigns associated with this is the restoration of the old National Anthem. Even though it was written by an expatriate, we believe it captured the essence the founding fathers of Nigeria had they fought for the independence of this nation.
The old anthem starts with…Nigeria we hail the…
That is a very patriotic statement. When you make a statement like that, when you sing an anthem that is that patriotic, you find that it inspires people. The Andrew saga started after the anthem was replaced in 1978. The anthem shows we are a diverse people, over 500 different tongues ready to live in brotherhood.
It also talks about the fact that we are ready to serve. One of the things I have found about our nation is that people want to serve so that they can rule. But at the heart of God is serving people.
The second verse of the anthem says …
“Our flag shall be a symbol
that truth and justice shall reign…
”in peace and battle, honour…
Now, many people say truth and justice have fallen in the street of late. One of the things that inspire me again in that anthem is that “we count as gain to be able to hand to our children a banner without stain”
I think that generational aspect of the anthem is so important. If you go to schools, especially government run schools, you will see that the conditions are so deplorable.
We as a church is working on a school where we have to renovate the classrooms, the roof, provide more toilets to upgrade their one toilet to 2000 people.
In Nigeria , we are not really handing over to our children a banner without stains, but we want to give them a legacy, an opportunity to continue the human race with sense of pride.
The last verse says
“ Oh God of all creation ” …that acknowledges God
“Grant this our one request, help us to build a nation where no name is oppressed…”
Now today, you see oppression everywhere, people who do not know their rights are being oppressed daily by governors who drive them off the road when they want to pass. So oppression is rampant in our land.
The next verse says.. “And so with peace and plenty, Nigerian may be blessed..
So, when we can remove oppression, we will be blessed.
The Boko Haram, robberies, kidnap etc are largely results from oppression where just one man could go scot-free having stole so much of our patrimony.
The current anthem, I believe it’s a good anthem, an amalgamation of about five entries. But it has a militaristic disposition:
”Arise oh compatriots
Nigerians call Obey …
The old anthem has the essence, the vision and the dream of our founding fathers.
AWT: Sir, I feel like I have just been through a school, but can you mention some countries who did that before’
WA: France has reverted to their old anthem. Germany also did. More recently, South Africa did after apartheid. They now have an anthem with three languages and verses, the first in Zulu, the second in Afrikaans and the third in English. So it’s not unusual that countries change or revert to the old anthem.
AWT: Since when did the old anthem begin to make newer meaning to you sir’
WA: I grew up with the old anthem. I was born before it was introduced. When I was in primary school, we sang God Save the Queen. We learnt the old Anthem when I was still in the primary school which was introduced in 1960 and lasted till 1978 when the regime of General Obasanjo changed it.
I don’t think good reasons were tendered for it change. The only reason I heard was that it was not written by a Nigerian. I have done a lot of research on National Anthem and I found out that most Anthems were not written wholly by indigenes. Most National Anthem had foreign inputs either by way of the music or some of the words, etc.
But just listen to the old anthem: the words are meaningful, and I think the anthem is more than just reciting a song. It has a spiritual strength to garnish the ability, the strength of the people. To give them hope.
AWT: As a pastor we should be talking spiritual matters, and here we are discussing an anthem but really, whose idea is this’
WA: It’s a thing I have always thought should be done, but I won’t claim to be the only one. I have met and talked to several people who enjoyed and preferred the old anthem. People who disagree that it should be change, but it was done by a military fiat.
I watched a television programmes recently where some eminent Nigerians and a former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon were present. The old anthem was played. I guess this is saying this is the right time to revert to the old anthem.
AWT: On this issue of immorality and erosion of values, where would you say the rain begin to beat us’
WA: Let me just a give you a story. There is a school close to us here. After school hours, a driver came to pick a child and the child refused to enter, causing some traffic jam. The child refused to enter because he said the driver came with the wrong car. At the end of the day, the boy called his father on his mobile phone and the father sent the car he wanted.
At the end of the day, you would say that is a spoilt child. But the child learns his values from somewhere. Values are learnt from three places: the church (or mosque), the family or home then in the school. But who teaches the home and the school’ The church. So the religious organisation has a big role to play in teaching values. So my dear Mallam are we not talking church now, and indirectly Christ (smiles).
Over the years, especially during the oil boom era, people were out making money and had less time to spend with their children. Most of the time, we neglect children in their formative ages with the house helps. We forget that the first ten years of a child’s life is the most important because what he learns then stays with him for life. That is why the bible says train up a child in the way he should grow, when he is old, he will not depart from it. We have left our children.
I know parents who forget their children in school after close of studies. This shows how we have left children to be on their own. As a people we have allowed material things to be so important. A child tells his friends that he rides in this type of car. We have forgotten that our sojourn here is far from these issues.
Let me drop a bombshell: I am thinking of going back to being called Brother Wale instead of Pastor Wale. Just last week, someone told me that a couple of days ago, they were offered Bishopric for N250, 000. People are just running after titles. These are offices not titles. Whether you use the titles or not, you still use the office.
We have become that foolish in Nigeria that we hear people call themselves Engineer this, Barrister that, architect this. Funny. In the West now, when you become a doctor, nobody calls you a doctor. In fact, it is becoming offensive now. They call you Mr. But if you call a Nigerian doctor Mr. , he takes offence because he wants to create a status for himself. These things are not important. We are not taking any of these out of this world. The important thing is we get jobs to do, let us do it and touch lives.
AWT: What is the vision behind your church, Guiding Light Assembly, I mean sir, what did the Lord tell you to do with the people He committed into your hands’
WA: For many years, I had thought building people’s character was the main thing the church could do. Not until two years ago when the Lord stopped me and told me that building men of character is not an end in it self, it is a mean to an end. Through that process, I ended up having as a vision ‘Building leaders, changing our World”
The concept is when people come to Church, the church is not their homes. It’s a training ground, from where they are sent to all facets of life to be ambassadors of God, where they will live to show the values of God as preached in the church.
One of the things we do in our church is that if we want to change our world, we must be able to touch our community; to help people by alleviating their problems. And to do this, we don’t just to throw money at them. That will only create more dependencies, but through education and other programmes, we affect their lives.
* We adopted a school in Obalende area of Lagos , where we spend millions of Naira.
* We also face health care; we adopt a school every two weeks in Obalende and give free treatment and free drug to many people that come every Saturday.
* Every Saturday, we prepare cooked meal for 800 people which we distribute to the poor and needy.
* We also give raw food to the widows which they could cook for the week.
* We have an economic empowerment scheme for people who genuinely want to do something for themselves and need help to do it.
* We have people who face the environment in Obalende, by providing them bore holes. We did one in the school and another in the Medical centre. We have now done four in the Obalende area, and we are still doing two so that people in that area can get water.
* Then we look at refuse collection. Obalende generates 150 tones of refuse everyday and Lagos State Waste Management Board can only send 5-10 tones truck everyday. So we are providing them refuse bins, big bins, each costing about N65, 000 which we put on the street so they do not throw their refuse in the gutters.
* We also educate the people through flyers about the dangers of poor sanitation. Our people go to that area to work with them every Environmental Sanitation day. These are the things we do now.
AWT: Apostles of Church growth posit that one of the challenges the church faces today is that many pastors are not trained in the pulpit ministry. As it occurs to you, what would you say is the place of education, training, anointing and administration in the pulpit ministry’
WA: Well, if I went back to the bible, I would ask what level of training did Jesus, Peter and majority of the disciples have’ Let us not put much emphasis on training. The truth is calling. Whether you are trained or not, if you are called of God, He will prepare you. The problem is, there are more people in the ministry than people who are actually called by God. A lot of people have chosen the ministry as a means of livelihood. Unfortunately our constitution allows a freedom or worship and that allows anybody to set up anything and call it a Church.
As the Lagos state President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, all we can do is to regulate people who voluntarily subscribe to our regulation. And we are reaching a time now where as an organisation, if we can be above board and be seen to be going somewhere and your vision is clear, then it will be desirable for any Pentecostal church that is not part of us to feel they want to be part of us.
When people will need to be part of PFN, at that point we will be able to say this are the ideals we appeal to and must be fulfilled to be a part of us.
Right now, you can be a part or not, but in the next few years, you will see how our organisation will be able to bring changes to the way we do things and how churches are run in Nigeria.
AWT: I hear one of the issues bothering PFN is this matter of break away pastors and new ministeries…’
WA: On the issue of someone getting disgruntled with his pastor and goes to start his own church, it may go on for a while but sooner or later, truth will catch up with the person.
AWT: How do you refill’ You water people, how do you get watered’
Tricky question but my answer is I think it is important that pastors must have people who will always tell you the truth. If you are truly meek, you learn from even a child. My refill is my people, God’s people.
AWT: Now let us know when and how you got born again. Where are you coming from’
When my wife and I got married, we stumbled on a very good meeting through a very good man of God, Dr. Tunji Alakija, an evangelist and a medical doctor (pediatrician) who invited us to the office of Pastor Tunde Joda. About ten of us gathered in Joda’s office that time and that was where I gave my life to Christ.
I was then a business man. Never in my wildest dream did I think I would become a pastor. But day by day, God began to put more leadership roles upon me until a time I knew I was called to pastor people.
I was a business man and I was enjoying being one until a time I knew I could not do both at the same time again. I would sit in my office to pray or read the bible and the phone would ring to sort out some business issues. I could not concentrate.
I then asked God what to do and He said I should move into the ministry. I had to leave the former for the latter gradually and did not look back. I appreciate that some people combine both, the ministry and their businesses to earn a living. Paul is a good model of that. But in my own case, I knew it has to be ministry or nothing.
So that is who I was. My father was a very simple man even though he was a prominent man and my mother too, well known when she was the president of National Council of Nigerian Women. They both brought us up in a godly manner and environment.
AWT: The Church Guiding Light Assembly, how did it start’
WA:I did not start Guiding Light Assembly. The Church started in the same year I got born again, 1985 by a US diplomat. He was the Air AttachÃ© to the US Embassy at the time and an Assemblies of God trained-pastor.
He opened his home on Sunday for about 10 of us. The gathering began to grow and I become a deacon, then the head of the deacon, and when it was time for him to leave, he was posted to the US , the leadership of the Church fell on me. I was not the pastor of the Church, we used to invite pastors from outside to come and preach and I also preach once in a while. It went on like this until the Lord called me to full time pastoring. At that point, we registered the church as Guiding Light Assembly and I became the first pastor of the registered Guiding Light Assembly.
AWT: And if I ask how did you become Paul’s elder brother or a brother to Yemi, you would flog me sir, I am sure you are proud of what God has used him to accomplish’
WA: You have said it in that last phrase, we are blessed to have him as sibling but importantly from where we are coming we are happy that God can find us as tools to use.
AWT: Thank you so very much sir
WA: Your site is blessed…the pleasure has been mine.
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