•Reveals How The Church Grew To Over 3,000 Members
Pastor Matthew Morakinyo is the founder of God’s City International Church (GCIC) Abuja, one of the leading churches in Abuja. Pastor Matthew, as he’s fondly called is one of the most sought-after Pastors in Abuja. He is a deliverance, healing and restoration Minister who serves the Lord with all his power and might. He used to be a top Pastor at The Redeemed Church of God (RCCG) where he served diligently for almost 20 years.
Ever since he started GCIC, they have been having an overwhelming programme, from the Sunday service which has 4 different services and over 3000 people in attendance to its other powerful weekly programmes. Within 3 years the church has opened another 2 other branches and has properties scattered all over Abuja. Many celebrities and a lot of top government officials attend the church.
He is happily married to Pastor Mary Morakinyo, a beautiful and highly intelligent woman. Despite being a Pastor (Mrs.) she always turns heads anytime she steps out.
Pastor Matthew Morakinyo clocked 40 on Wednesday, 20th March 2019. The first stage of the 40th birthday celebration took place in his church where some of his mentors were invited to pray and bless him. One of the leading caterers in Abuja, Boltee Confectionery, supplied refreshments at the event and all his members had so much to eat and drink. Saturday, 23rd March 2019, was the main day; a surprise dinner was organized for this respected man of God. One of the biggest halls inside Harrow Park, Wuse 2, Abuja was the venue and was beautifully decorated by Perfect Integrated Décor.
The event was attended by crème de la crème in the society and the dinner is still the talk of the town. A few weeks ago, City People Abuja Correspondent, ADEBOLA OLORUNYOMI, met with this wonderful couple and they opened up on their lives, ministry, marriage and plan for the future. Below are excerpts of the interview.
Congratulations on your 40th birthday. How do you feel at 40?
I feel God. I feel His grace. I feel His love. I feel grateful. I feel indebted to God; He has been with me from the very beginning of my life, and I’m so grateful to Him for my life.
Can you let us into your growing up days?
I was born on the 20th March 1979, in Ibadan, into the family of Pa Moses of blessed memory and Mrs Morakinyo. It was a little bit rough growing up. Of course, being born into the faith family, I had a Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) background and it’s been CAC all the while. I attended St John Primary School, Ibadan for 2 years, I was later taken to Christ the King primary school, Ibadan, because of the canal that was always getting filled up when it rained. I later proceeded to the prestigious Lagelu Secondary School. After I left Secondary School, my parents couldn’t pay for my West Africa Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). I ended up doing some odd jobs before I could register myself for the exam. I later got an admission into the University of Ibadan where I did a Diploma in Educational Management. I later proceeded to the University of Calabar, where I got a B.ED in Social Studies. I forged ahead to the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, where I bagged a Master’s in Public Administration.
God City International Church (GCIC) will be 3 years in a few weeks’ time, and we have witnessed diverse testimonies and expansion of the church. How does this make you feel?
Again, I’m so grateful to God because in 3 years; what God has done, is beyond human comprehension. It actually shows the signature of Almighty God in the work. If the grace wasn’t given, we won’t be able to do anything. We feel so grateful to Him. I am what I am by the grace of God. By His grace, we have never had the cause to regret anything, not one day. He has been faithful with His words from the first day, and we have seen His fingers and His hands, from one level of glory to another.
Within 3 years God’s City International Church has 2 branches and lots of properties scattered all around Abuja. How does this make you feel?
Again and again, it makes me feel God. It is just by the favour of the Lord. I’m so grateful to God for this because He is the giver.
Your ministry controls lots of crowd in Abuja, what makes yours different from other churches?
Just like I said earlier, it’s by the grace of God, and the help of God. No man can receive anything except it is given from above. Despite the fact that we don’t even have our pictures on billboards, bulletin and church souvenirs, it shows the grace and the help we have been able to receive from God. We don’t do anything except it is commanded and we follow His directions.
What are the challenges you have been faced with controlling such a huge crowd, especially on Sundays when you have close to 3000 members in 4 services?
When it is God, is going to be good. Almighty God has been helping us. Then, God blessed us with loyal, faithful people to work with and people that are dedicated to God and they know what they are doing in each department. They are wonderful people.
Now that you are 40, is there anything you will like to change about yourself?
Of course, many of them. Like the way, I use my time. Although God has been helping me in the way I use time, but I will like to focus more on what is important. I will be more focused on the assignment, and to grow in the intimate knowledge of God. I think that is the ultimate for me. I want to pursue God more. I want to be able to hear Him always, not just His voice alone. I want to grow more in knowing about Him.
You have been married for 12 years. Can you tell us how you met your beautiful and amiable wife?
I will say by divine direction. I was pursuing God’s work. I was the area pastor with the Redeemed Christ Church of God (RCCG), that was 2006 and I wasn’t married. Pastoring a church and overseeing about 10 churches as at that time. One of those days, I was praying about the programme I had in church when God said, open your eyes which I did, and He said look out! that is your mother in law. My mother in law was living in Ife, and her daughter (my wife) was pursing her higher diploma in Oluyoro Hospital there in Ibadan. She only came to Ibadan to visit her daughter. I was so shocked, because I was only praying for the programme. I asked God that, which one is mother in law. I left it that way for about 1 year. I did not talk to her, because I had where I wanted to go but God said don’t go that way. This is the way I want you to go. I remember during those days, during the holiday, my wife would pack her things and go back to Ife. But this other lady was always around but God said that is not the way. So I waited for another 1 year for her to complete her programme and she went back to Osun State., and I said God I think I’m free. Eventually after a while, she showed up again. She got a job in Osun State, and I was like how can you get a job here (laughs), but God said this is your last chance. If you miss this lady, that’s all. That’s how I found her.
Ma, what was going through your mind when he asked for your hand in marriage and what was your response?
I was not really shocked. I just told him to give me sometime to pray about it, then I would give him my reply. He did and I prayed fervently. God gave me the go ahead and I told him yes, after 3 months of getting the full conviction from God.
As a mother, wife, Pastor, and also a businesswoman, how do you manage the home front?
Well, it’s been God all the way. Although, I’m not practising my profession presently, but I’m into the ministerial work fully, but I do some other business which is being managed by someone. I design clothes. I’m not always in all those places at the same time, but still, all the glory goes to God, because He made it easier for me and I bless His name for this.
You are a very stylish woman, despite the fact that you don’t wear jewellery or makeup, but you know what to wear at a particular point in time, what determines your fashion and style?
(Laughs) well, since I don’t use jewellery and makeup, I decided to always dress well and look good. I don’t follow the fashion trend. I wear what suits me and what I am very comfortable in.
What are your beauty routine?
Do I have any? I don’t think so! But I know I drink a lot of water. I enjoy drinking water, maybe that is the routine. Then I rub powder on my face.
Sir, was there any prophecy that says you were going to be a pastor?
Well, I had a passion for God. While I was growing up, even when I missed my way, I will still go back to God. You know there are some things you do when you are younger, but something kept telling me, there is something unique about you, even when I found myself in the mining field and I was selling Indian hemp, I never smoked it. I have friends that smoked from secondary school days, but I never did. Something kept telling me you can’t smoke. I never smoked once. I left my parents house when I was 16. I rededicated my life in 1997 and different prophecies started coming that I was going to serve the Lord. And that was how I started till December 30th, 2015, God said I have another assignment for you, I lodged at Bible Guest Society to prepare for watch night, and He gave me 4 mandate, which is Deliverance, Rescue, Restoration and Mobile Fire. And ever since then, we have seen diverse testimonies. Recently, we saw a blade came out of somebody’s leg. The blade he has eaten with some concoction since 2003. The man was still here with me yesterday.
How do we differentiate between a true man of God from fake Pastors?
That’s a wonderful question. We must know that this has been even from the time of Jesus. You can never have counterfeit when there’s no original. For instance, since there’s no #5000 denomination in existence, there can’t be fake. As long as there’s original, there will be counterfeit. However, every child of God should know God. When you have intimate, personal, palpable relationship with God at close range, because they will perform magic and it will look like a miracle, and if you don’t have a close relationship with God, you may not know. They may be using the name of Jesus, and they are not real but when you truly know the Lord you will know. They will do everything the original is doing, but when you have a deep knowledge of God, you will know they are not real.
Where do you see God’s City International Church in few years to come, let’s say 5 years to come?
Oh! wonderful, 5 years to come, the church will be everywhere. God would have moved us from glory to glory, I see all the visions coming to pass. I see all the brethren moving from glory to glory.