A Nigerian Pastor In Nigeria Baptist Convention
Reverend Dr And Miss David Rachael Bamiwola Of Ebenezer Baptist Church Kwamba Suleja Niger state Has Taken to Thank God For the Journey of 30years in ministry
According to report Reverend Dr Bamiwola Wrote
The Starting Point
“…Not by might, nor by power, but by spirit, says the Lord of hosts”. (Zechariah 4:6) I commenced ministerial work as a student pastor in January 1991 in Christ Baptist Church (now Goodnews Baptist Church) Idiroko, Awe, Oyo State. My service as a student pastor was greatly rewarded. I was loved and cared for by the church. As a result of what God achieved through my service, I was absorbed as their full-time pastor. After my graduation from Joint Baptist Pastors School Oyo (now Baptist College of Theology), Oyo. I decided to work with them with the direction and leading of the Holy Spirit Simultaneously, the Church that I took up vacation job with between June and July, 1991, (First Baptist Church Farin-Doki via Palko) offered me an appointment as their pastor. The vacation job also presented a life time blessing, as I came across the love of my life, former Miss Rachael Ogunleye-who was a member of First Baptist Church Palko at that time. Awe and Farin-Doki Churches were the two options after my graduation on 22″ May, 1992. I later prayerfully considered and accepted to work with Christ Baptist Church, Idiroko, Awe that commenced on 1st June 1992. The Church had no pastorium when I started with them, I lived in a rented room and parlour which the Church paid for at Isale Baale, Awe. Also, my salary then was #600 per month.
My Bitter Experience At Awe
In 1993, the Church agreed that I should be closer to Church. Aroom and palour apartment was arranged very close to the Church. Being a bachelor then, I moved in with my younger sister Christianah. My ministry was tough as I preached against cultism. Consequently, I was persecuted and the Church disliked me, but I continued with the Lord’s leading. One afternoon, August 15th, 1993 precisely, I sat in front of the rented apartment by the Church with one Mr Akinade (the church Sec.) close to where people pass by. I suddenly heard “A à í wò enití ó bá wó yóó kú” meaning “no one must see it who ever does shall die”. The
Secretary of the Church suggested that we should go in, that the chanting signified sacrifice (Ebo) which was unusual in the afternoon, unknown to us that the sacrifice was being carried because of me. I sat where I was praying until four masqurades came with cain in their hands. I was praying to God where I was that God should render the sacrifice ineffective which God did. The sacrifice fell off their hands before they got to their destination, to my amazement. They all returned angrily while the masquerades beat me with the main laced with charms in their hands till I had no power again. It was as if I had stroke as my body system was dead. The Church members who heard about the incidence ran to my house. They decided to report the matter at the Awe police station. The police men followed us to the scene. No one came out, as the culprits had disappeared. The matter got to the King, the Alaawe of Awe who promised to do something but surprisingly failed to do anything.
The failure of Alaawe to do something about the matter prompted the Christian communities in Awe, Akinmorin, Ilora, Fiditi and Jobele (Afijio CAN) to take the issue to court to stop re-occurrence. They promised to hire lawyer, a Daily Sketch Newspaper then, reported the matter thus: Masqurades beat a priest mercilessly, destroy Church in Awe. The matter was tabled before the court. The first day in court, many people appeared in my support but their lawyer did not appear which prompted the case to be adjourned, Atiba Hall in Oyo was used. On the second time of appearance in court, I was the only one that appeared; CAN Afijo Local Government has no representatives, no member of my Church including the hired lawyer, Lawyer Babalola appeared. What surprised me most was that the babalawos, Ogbonis from Ife, Iwo, Ibadan, Iseyin, Abeokuta, Oyo among others came in mass to court. The court adjourned the case because I was the only one in court. The Babalawos cursed me and threatened that I would die that night, and would not be able to appear in court again. That was how the case died down. On March 4th, 1994, 1 was preaching on the pulpit in my church and I found out that I could not talk again. I became dumb for 2days before God intervened and I was able to talk again. Hallelujah! My ministry continued unabated despite the Church did not give room for the truth. I continued the way God sent me.
My Marital Experience
I got married on September 10th, 1994 in the same Church CBC Awe, at Saja B.C Ogbomoso. Planning for our wedding was tough, the tailor did not sow my cloth on time. Our journey from Awe to Ogbomoso
was terrible as we had an accident that almost claimed my life. I was at engagement venue with pains in my body. My body had bruises all over but God took control. On the night of the second day of my wedding, another battle began. I just left home without purpose and I found myself at Ojoo in Ibadan from Awe. In Ojoo, I saw an old man in white apparel who hold me in his hands and told me that “David, you are healed”. He stayed with me throughout the night. He left me and I regained my consciousness. It was then I realised that I was at Ibadan. My clothes was tattered. I went to one of my village brother. After explained things to him, he gave me money and took me back to Awe. When I got to Awe, everyone had been troubled; they had been looking for me. When they saw me, they were very happy.
After the incident the Church called a meeting that I should leave their Church. begged but they refused. This made the Mother Church then, Christ Baptist Church, Idi Ogun Latomi, Awe prevailed over the matter. The Church committee members were summoned but the matter was not resolved as one of the committee members said that “Our Church don’t want a liability, Bamiwola should go”. I was so sad for being referred to as a liability? On this statement, I begged the Mother Church (lyá ijo) to kindly allow me to leave the Church and the meeting ended. When I got home that night, my wife was cooking beans (last food at home) on the stove for us to eat that night. Suddenly, we saw four visitors who were members of the Church. They told me that the Church has t them to take all the Church belongings in the house the Church rented for me and that from that night, the Church would no longer pay for the house rent again. That night, they removed the beans that was on the stove and took the stove away. They equally removed the beans from the pot and all other pots, spoons and plates was taken away. The most disheartening issue was that they took away the mattress that night. My wife and I that night slept on one of her wrappers. It
was so gloomy for me. That was how we ended the ministry in Awe town. The third day that we were asked to leave the Church, they refused to pay our salary. No food! No money. I later received visitors from Ode-Omu with letters for us to start work with them. I prayed and the Lord asked me to move forward to work with this Church. I told my wife and I made up my mind to visit the Church. They accepted us as their Minister.
My Experience at Ode-Omu
Ode-Omu was a good town though the Church we served was small. We started ministry in this Church on December 28, 1994. The Church agreed to pay #2,500 monthly. One of the members in Lagos, Chief
Omilani accepted to help the Church by paying #3,000 monthly for our salary but the Church pay #2.500 monthly for nine months and the remaining #500 to pay for our house rent. Our experience at Ode-Omu was so terrible as the monthly salary was not enough for us. Our first daughter was born at Ode-omu in 1995. An elderly woman who was a widow in the Church, Mama Omilani promised to help us by giving us land for farming. That was how we supported our ministry with farming at Ode-Oma. It was so tough for us that we bought items on credit before the month end. We pay debts with the whole salary, drinking garri in the morning and evening together with our new born baby, but our God was faithful. Our Ministry ended in that Church, Ife-Oluwa Baptist Church, Oke-Odo, Ode-Omu in October 2nd, 1996.
My Experience at Ebenezer Baptist Church, Suleja.
After series of revival, interview, dialogue and direction from the Holy Spirit, we agreed to work with
Ebenezer Baptist Church, Kwamba, Suleja. By the grace of God, we entered Kwamba community on 4th October, 1996. As our ministry started with the Church on Sunday, 6th October, 1996. This Church agreed to pay us #2,500 monthly though we were paid #3,000 at Ode-Omu but the capacity of the Church prompted the monthly payment of #2,500 which we accepted with love. Our experience in 1997-1999 was incredible. It made me to ponder and felt that it was not the will of God for me to be in this Church. The first challenge was the leadership of the Church before my arrival. But God made us to overcome. Another challenge was altercation between the youth and the elderly ones in 1998. The youths were worshipping separately at BJY School while the elderly ones were worshipping separately. My experience this time was great that I thought that everything was over. Because we would start the Church Committee meeting by 5pm and end it by 10pm or 11pm. But God was faithful to our calling. By the grace of God, the rift between the elders and the youths surrendered in 1999 and we agreed to leave on Baba Olawale’s land to our permanent site where we built Batcha to worship from where we have the grace to continue the work of God where we are at present. The Pastorium was also built. To the glory of God, the ministry has produced about 15 Pastors in Baptist denomination and other denominations. I cannot finish the experience of 30 years but God has been a pillar of support for us in the call. Glory be to Him forever and ever!
Rev. Dr. David Bamiwola