Those against tithing are mischievous —Adejumo
Felix ‘Remi Adejumo is the Presiding Bishop of Agape Christian Ministry Worldwide. In this interview with Hakeem Gbadamosi, he speaks on his journey into the ministry, his church spiritual and humanitarian services to its immediate among other issues.
How did you find yourself in the ministry?
My journey into the work of the ministry started in 1978 after I gave my life to Jesus Christ and I made a commitment without knowing that I was going to serve Him with the whole of my life, but that did not happen until 1983. I served under my pastor for about 10 years and I did not leave immediately when God spoke to me about the work here in (Akure). God spoke to me that I need to arise and work for Him with the people of praise and power; people with possibility mentality, people who will operate with the family mindset, and people that will praise Him always. I decided to obey God but it was not that easy for me for four years; I was still asking, why me, why do you want to send me? Also do I really have what it takes, and so many questions. But after several revelations, God showed to be to be in, Akure, the Ondo State capital. I was at Ibadan and since He said that was where He wanted me , I came down to Akure. I attended His Grace Evangelical in Challenge area in Ibadan then and I left in 1987. When I came to Akure, I started the church in our house as a House Fellowship in May 1987 but we started the church at Oluwatuyi area of Akure, and from August 7,1988, we started as a church, we did our inaugural and then, gradually, we began to spread.
How have you been managing the affairs of the church in the last 30 years.
The ministry was like a child you give birth to and nurture. We have nurtured it for that period of time but we cannot say that we are through with it. Now the ministry is of age, because as far as the ministry is concerned, we have reached the age of maturity and we have seen ups and downs in the course of nurturing the Word but we thank God his Grace has sustained us, not because that we are better off than others but God made us what we are today.
You started the church at 34, do you have some spiritual fathers guiding your steps?
Yes, definitely I have mentors because you cannot do anything successfully in life without people guiding you. There is no man that is self-made. You’re a product of some people’s input, so I had a lot of people guiding me. Even though I had to listen to God and the Holy Spirit, I still checked on those names who had gone ahead of me. Whatever I wanted to do, some people had done it and they had succeeded, so it’s always good to follow such people. The bible even says that you must not be slothful, but be followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises, (Hebrew Chapter 6:12.) So, this is what I feel that without mentors you can’t actually get far in life; some men of God had been there for me. People like Bishop Oyedepo, Bishop Wale Oke, and other senior men of God have been encouraging me .
What was the disposition of your wife to the calling and founding of the church?
Naturally, anything that is of God will definitely face resistance here and there but I thank God for my wife. She was cooperative and believed in me. So we started the church together and she’s been doing all her best to make sure that the work progress. She is an important plus in my life; an important stakeholder in this work and an important factor as far as I am concern. She been there always and God has kept us alive together and our marriage is about 34 years now and we are grateful to God for our children and grandchildren.
How did you arrive at the name “Possibility Ground”?
When we came in to build the church, we discovered that from history, this is where the masqueraders used to dress before going to town; it was a sacred place, as it were demonically, it is a sacred place for people.
Again, it is a swampy area, full of water and for us to be able to do what we are doing here, in the same place where people fear to come, which is waterlogged, it couldn’t have been man. It is God and so, we called it Possibility Ground and God has actually done many miracles on the ground, and we are still seeing Him doing miracles consistently, changing lives. That is the reason we call it Possibility Ground, where all things are possible.
You talked about ups and downs, what are the challenges you faced in the course of nurturing the seed that you planted?
I think the greatest challenge I had was acceptability. It was not easy when we came because to many people it was strange; they looked at us as a contemporary Pentecostal church, and to now operate within a network of churches that do not believe certain things and we have come with those things they see as strange. Some churches fought us, criticised us and even tried to stop the work but God did not allow it. When you’re criticised for things you don’t even do, it’s painful and as young people then, if not for the grace of God, it was discouraging for us, but the grace of God kept us alive till today. Then, there was the challenge of finance, but if that was our focus we would not be where we are today. Service to God was our main focus and we also as much as possible tried to change the mindsets of the people about the issue of prosperity when we came, because except you programmed somebody’s mind about something, there can’t be a change. We reconfigured their minds through our teachings, through the word of God, that it is possible to prosper even in the midst of famine because we have been experiencing this recession for a long time in Ondo State. However, God has changed the lives of people. We also empowered them; we build human capacity to be sure that they can do something extra to earn them extra money and that’s the reason we have overcome the issue of poverty, because people come around to seek for help and we still have to respond to them. They don’t have; that’s the reason they have to come and they are still coming. Thank God we are not like when we were in the early years when things were so bad. But now we are getting better.
Tithe, is it biblical?
Let me ask if payment of tax from salary is biblical? What is the tax used for? Is it not for the development of the state? So, it is only people who are mischievous that are twisting the issue of tithe. To me, it is sheer of irresponsibility for somebody to say that tithing is of Old Testament and that they are not paying their tithes. They want to reap where they did not sow and they are the same set of people who will say they don’t take care of the people in the church. Where will the money to take care of the church come from if you’re not also sowing? In Britain, they live on tax; without tax, the government will collapse. So, without tithe the church will no be able to function any longer. The Bible says give and it shall be given back to you in great measures; test it and see it. The book of Malachi Chapter 3:10 says if you give, if you bring your tithe and your offering into God’s house, God will open the windows of heaven, pour you blessing, it’s a personal thing; it’s a covenant and responsibility for everybody to pay their tithe. So I endorse it; even Jesus Christ endorsed it.