•Tells City People Her Story @ 70
Bishop Bola Odeleke turned 70 a few days back and City People celebrated her. She was our guest on our City People Instagram Live Chat, during which she revealed a lot about her life and church.
Below are excerpts.
How do you see Covid-19?
Covid-19 is a time of reflection. God makes things happen as He likes. Everybody is saying satan brought it, fine! God owns the world; earth and heaven. So if anything is going to happen here, He permits it. To me, it’s a time of reflection and like I do tell every Pastor, “why don’t we go back to God instead of murmuring” let’s enquire from God, what He wants to do, what He wants to bring out of all these.
What is it that we are doing that we need to do better. What is it that we are doing that God didn’t send us. This is the time for everyone to look inward. If you look inward, we can use this time to do better. I have read like 5 books now, to prepare myself, to pray and think of what I could do again. Covid-19 is here and one thing is very sure, it’s not part of us. It will definitely go. God did not create it. It’s just a message from God to us.
Can you tell us your story, how you have been able to go this far?
Believing in myself is the key. Whatever happens to me, I don’t dwell on it too much. I don’t look or take what people are saying or doing to me right from when I was young. I always compete with myself. I always look inward and move forward. I know my calling is real. I know God called me and He has used me for millions of people through crusade, starting churches and all of that. I cannot give up now because somebody insults me or something happens because inside of me, I believe in myself and I believe in God more. And that’s what makes me to still be relevant all over the world.
How do you cope with the demand to attend to all your followers all over the world?
Right now, we are Online: Facebook, Instagram and Youtube. I am everywhere to attend to them. Then no 2. We distributed food to the old people, the single parents, like 4 times now since the pandemic started. So, I am reaching out to them, we are in contact. We also have a WhatsApp group.
Tell us about your background?
I was born in Ilesha. My mother is from there, but my father, Aboderin, is from Ibadan. From the age of 6 months, my mother took me to her mother, so I grew up in Ilesha with my grandmother. I also went to school in Ilesha.
At what point did you leave Ilesa?
When I got married in 1970 to the late Gen. Odeleke. I left Ilesa to go and start my life.
To where Ibadan or Lagos?
We were everywhere, you know the Army. We were in Kaduna, Bauchi, Port Harcourt, Benin, everywhere until 1983, that he decided to keep us in Lagos.
At what year did you start your ministerial calling?
My husband and I received Christ in 1970. By 1974, I have been hearing from God. Any prophet I was in contact with then always told me that God wanted me, I am a minister of God, yet I didn’t listen to them.
Because I was into business. I had 2 boutiques and tailoring shop. But in 1974, the Lord asked to fast for 3-days, no water, no food, though, I had earlier dodged it, but that time round, God met with me and I had a serious encounter with Him. That was how the ministry started. I had my first crusade in 1974, November been at Owo and till date, God is doing His work.
And how has the journey ma?
I enjoy it. If you want to see me happy, it’s when I am preaching or counselling. I enjoy the work till date. You know it’s a privilege when you are praying and hearing the voice of the Creator. The angels are talking to you and what they are telling you are coming to pass, you would not want to leave where or what you are enjoying (laugh).
How did you come up with “Agbara Kii’Baati Crusade?
The programme of Agbara Olorun Kii’Bati started in 1980 at C.A.C., Yaba, Lagos. But at the end of the 2nd year of that crusade, the Lord asked me to start a market for Him, where people with all manner of challenges will come and receive a solution. Where people will buy and sell; where a barren woman would sell off her barrenness and buy fruitfulness, where anyone suffering infirmity will come and buy peace and fitness. That was how it started and it was 1st, 2nd and 3rd editions. Then, by 1983, the Lord sent me to Okota to start a church and the meeting now metamorphosed into a church. So, it was that programme, crusade that gave birth to the church, and that is why people call us Agbala Agbara Olorun Kii’Bati”.
So, what is the name of your church now?
We used to be part of C.A.C before they said they don’t want women to lead the church again, and the Lord gave me another name which is Power Pentecostal Church, Agbara Olorun Kii’Bati.
What are the lessons to learn from this pandemic?
This pandemic has taught us a great lesson. Life can never be the same again. Everything has changed. No 2, somebody like me, I have learnt to always create time to rest. Our profession doesn’t have a retirement age, but God who wants us to be stronger made this happen. So, God knows about what is happening and it’s a message from Him.
What do you think will be the solution out to this?
I have not seen any sickness, or disease as tough as this. It is important for everyone to stay safe. Let us take good care of ourselves. Let us eat good food. Let us rest to revitalise. Covid-19 is telling us to take care of ourselves. Covid-19 came to humble us. Let everybody think of what we are doing if it’s essential, if not think of other things you could do. It is also certain that a lot of people are going to lose their jobs. Just think of what you could do to get better.