HOW I MET ARCHBISHOP BENSON IDAHOSA NARRATES BISHOP WALE OKE.
ARCHBISHOP IDAHOSA CHANGED THE FACE OF CHRISTIANITY IN AFRICA.
HOW ARCHBISHOP IDAHOSA CONVERTED OUR FELLOWSHIP TO A CHURCH!
ARCHBISHOP IDAHOSA SAID-JESUS SAID I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH NOT I WILL BUILD MY FELLOWSHIP!
FELLOWSHIP MY FOOT! HOW DARE YOU CALL A CHURCH A FELLOWSHIP?
I AM COMING TO IBADAN….
-Bishop Francis Wale Oke at CGMI (Part 1)
Whatever God used Papa, Archbishop Benson Idahosa to do; Baba was ebullient, Baba was elegant, Baba was outgoing, Baba was all over the place but in joint partnership with Jesus, this is the power behind the throne. Church Gist.
(Pointing at Mama Idahosa)
Mama – in prayer, in fasting very quietly behind the scene, she stood by Baba for all the decades that they laboured together until Baba went to glory. And after Baba went to glory, she took the mantle and has taken work to another level.
Please, celebrate mama. Celebrate mama. Clap, clap, clap, clap.
You know – wait a minute (turns to the audience), are you angry with me? You see, God governs the universe by the law of sowing and reaping. When you celebrate somebody, you are planting a seed for your own celebration.
Please celebrate mama. We celebrate you. We celebrate you. We celebrate you.
Mama, more Grace to you. The Lord will renew your strength day by day. You will not be weary. You will not faint. You will continue to mount with wings as eagles. You will run and not be weary. You will walk and not faint. Mummy, we love you. Please, give her a big hand. We love you, ma. We love. Thank you, thank you.
Please, sit down.
Let me celebrate all the leaders, our Lord Bishops and all the other leaders, all the other pastors, who are the Aarons and Hur; all the leaders who have been acting as Aaron and Hur to support our Archbishop to make this work easy for her, to give her joy in doing the work, I celebrate every one of
Please help me celebrate our leaders. Our Bishops. Thank you, thank you.
And last but certainly not the least, let me celebrate my brother, my friend, my Bishop, the Bishop of this Cathedral, the man who has been looking after me since I came, the man eh who is a carbon image of Papa in height, in skin colour, in facial appearance, in speech, in wisdom, please help me celebrate Bishop Feb Idahosa. We celebrate you, sir. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Please, sit down.
You see, no one needs to wonder why the grace of God is so much and evident upon his life. He works in humility and the Bible says, “God gives Grace to the humble”, and you see, he’s an epitome of Grace because he works in humility. Please, the Bible says, “the elder that rule well is worthy of double honour”.
Give him a hand one more time. We celebrate you, sir. We celebrate you, sir. Thank you, thank you.
I am back – I am back home. Archbishop picked me up; 1985 February, I came to do a crusade in Benin and the news got to Papa and he asked me come and have a lunch with him in his house. February 1985, 1986, sorry.
1986 February. I’ve been hearing about the Archbishop since 1975 that I got born again. His image loomed so large.
I remember being at the 14th ‘World Pentecostal Conference’ in Zurich and I was wearing my label, my tag that says I’m a Nigeria. And during the time we were mingling together, people will come to me – “oh, Nigeria? – and they were asking me, “Do you know Benson A-Idahosa?” That’s how…and I was saying to myself, “ah ah, of all the millions of people that are in Nigeria, why are you asking me…?”
The first person came, the second person came, another one came, “do you know Benson A-Idahosa?” His image loomed so large.
But then, when he invited me for a lunch in his house, I was like, caught with awe, how will I be a guest in a man so great, so global in influence…so I came on time, I didn’t want to come late. (Laughs)
So, I saw a white house, I saw a red carpet. I’ve never seen a preacher living in a house like that.
Archbishop changed the face of Christianity in Nigeria. (Audience claps) He did. I’m wearing this today to honour Baba.
In those days, in those days of S.U, you wear this (holding his agbada) to preach, they will be casting demons out of you.
They will be binding the spirit of worldliness that you are wearing agbada. But Baba will come in his flowing agbada, his agbada is not as small as my own, he will make sure it reaches to the ground, you know, and not apologize for prosperity at all. He was very bold in proclaiming prosperity – the gospel of God’s Grace.
So, I came to the house, Papa went to dedicate one hospital somewhere. I remember.
So I sat in the corner, and Papa bursted into the house, “where is the man from Ibadan? Where is the man from Ibadan?”. I identified myself, I said, “I’m the one, sir”. He said, “what is your name?”. I said, “Francis Wale Oke”. He said, “Dr Wale Oke”. Dr. First meeting.
I wasn’t a doctor, not a medical doctor, not an academic doctor, I was just brother, brother. I had not even been ordained. Dr Wale Oke. And that is what Papa called me until he went home. From day one, he began to lift me. (Audience claps). A lifter of people.
And then he said, “when were you called into the ministry?”. I told him. He said, “fine. Do you have a church?”. I said, “no, sir”. I, I would have stopped at “no sir” but I went forward. I said, “we have a fellowship”. He said, “fellowship, okay.
How many are you in your fellowship?”. I said, “we are over 600”. He said, “600?”. Papa said, “fellowship my foot! Jesus didn’t say ‘I will build my fellowship’. He said ‘I will build my church’. Why are you calling a church a fellowship? I’m coming to Ibadan”
I didn’t – before I invited Archbishop, he invited himself. A – a small boy like me. And then he asked me another question. He said, “have you been ordained?”. I said, “yes, sir”. Now, I didn’t – I wanted to push back. I said, “yes, sir. John 15:16 – you have not chosen me, I have chosen you and ordained you. You should go and bring forth fruit and your fruit should remain”. I said, “God has ordained me”.
Papa said, “that’s very true – that’s the scripture. But what heaven has done, earth must testify to it”. He said, “Helen, Helen”. Helen was his secretary- “bring my diary. Let’s fix a date to ordain this man”.
First day of meeting him. And then he said, “look at, look at, look at my diary. Any Sunday that I’m in Benin, any Sunday, show me”. And then Helen said, “oh, you are in Benin – Daddy, you are in Benin at so so so day”.
He said, “Dr Wale Oke, you will bring all your leaders, your wife and all your leaders, come to Miracle Centre, I will ordain you”. I said, “thank you, sir”. First day. And then, he said, “sit down” and I sat. Archbishop – I said I’m fasting and he said, “I said, Dr Wale Oke, your prayers are answered” (Laughs)
He said, “you are with me today, your prayers are answered. Eat and rejoice!” And then, Papa scooped a spoon of food and put on my table. He said, “eat that one, it is anointed”. Now, how will the great Archbishop serve you food and tell you it is anointed and you said you wouldn’t eat? I picked my cutlery and I began to deal with it (laughs).
And I cleaned the plate, of course, when you come to Daddy’s house, those who are eating are plenty but you must not leave a grain of rice in the plate.
You must – you must – nothing must be wasted. You must finish. Those who know Papa, you know what I’m talking about.
You must not- you must not waste it. Finish it. I enjoyed myself. That was my baptism into the life of Archbishop Benson Idahosa.
He was warming with love. He swept me off my feet. I was – I was speechless. Nobody has treated me like that. He gave me doctorate degree prophetically first day. He fixed the date of my ordination first day.
He changed my fellowship to church first day. I mean, he served me food and I’ve never been hungry since that time. Common (bursts into laughter – audience claps) never been hungry.
Note: Agbada is a large flowing garb used by men usually for celebrations or big events especially in the Yoruba culture.