Pastor Femi Faseru is the Resident Pastor of KICC Maryland, at Mende in Lagos. He has been with KICC since 1995 and there are those who often wonder whether he would ever decide to set up his own church at some point in his ministerial career.
But Faseru who has continually linked the success of his career to Pastor Ashimolowo has asked anybody nurturing that thought or idea to banish it. He told City People Editors last Thursday matter of factly, that he cannot and will not set up a church.
Faseru is deep spiritually and he says it is Pastor Ashimolowo that has the calling for KICC, not him. Read on.
How have you been able to cope with the fame attached to your ministry?
The honest truth of how I have been able to handle the so called fame is that it’s been a tough one because about 3 or 4 years into a ministry, Pastor Matthew gave me a privilege which is a very rare privilege that you will ever have. I still don’t see it in Nigeria. I pray we see more of it in Nigeria, maybe it is only in Christ Embassy that I have seen something close to that, where you see a junior Pastor on national TV. Pastor Matthew gave me that opportunity, barely 4 years into the ministry and I have been on so many TV stations.
Sometimes, I want to get out of Television. I still had a conversation with Pastor about 3 to 4 weeks ago my slowing down a bit on teevee as we were preparing for this year, but he insisted I have to be there.
I hide a lot, I will be honest with you. You hardly see me in functions except I have to be there. I hide a lot. Because you can’t afford to let it get to you; It will kill you! I understand that the stage I have been given is not something I deserved; it is something that has been given to me by favour, so I can’t but very careful how I handle it.
About 2 months ago, I had a privilege of sitting with Pastor Tunde Bakare at a function and he was talking about him always listening to my messages and bringing correction to the things he thought I could do better.
He also warned me and said, I hope that you understand the price of the privilege you have, being on television. If you buy corn someone will see you, if you say something somebody will see you. So it is difficult to handle for someone who wants to stay effective in the ministry.
So I just hide myself. I face what I am doing and I am always in church most of the time. You don’t see me at functions unless I have to be there because by the time people begin to sing your praises, some where along the line, it may just get into your head and you think you are made when God hasn’t even started with you.
What was your parents’ reaction when you were going into ministry?
My mum was so happy because she is always involved in church. She was a Diocesan Lay reader with the Anglican Communion, which was the highest height any woman could be in terms of clergy function in the Anglican Communion. She was excited and she must have been surprised because I did not look like the one that would be a Pastor while I was growing up. I had a mind of my own. I wanted to do things my way. So they had a tough time raising me. I remember our Vicar in our Anglican Church back then, Arch Bishop Ademowo, he just retired. He was our Vicar then. So he knew me as a little boy and of course as a Pastor of my parents. My parents would have gone to him many times about me. So we were flying from the UK and I saw him at the Heathrow airport. When we got on board I went to his seat to say hello to him. So he said good to see you Femi: I heard that you are now a Pastor with KICC. How God works in a mysterious way. So that statement was much coded, even the Archbishop must have been surprised.
My mother was very excited and she prayed for me that I will succeed in it.
Tell us about your formative years?
I grew up in Ibadan and when my father went on to set up the Peugeot Company in Ilesa, the family moved to Ilesa in the early 80s. I went to Alaafia Institute, that is where I did my Nursery School and went to ICC Ibadan, City Council in Mokola. From there, my secondary was in Ijebu-Ijesa, from there to University of Ife. I studied Botany as my first degree but my father felt that wasn’t enough for me.
The idea then was I should go and do Botany, so that I will be well equipped to do Pharmacy but by the time I finished Botany, I was tired of University education. I didn’t want to go back. Like I said, I was difficult for them to raise, but together with a retired Anglican Communion, Arch Bishop Akinde. Arch Bishop Akinde was the HOD of Computer Science in Ife at that time. So my parents spoke with Prof. Akinde. Prof. Akinde then spoke to me that I had to come and do a post-graduate diploma in his department. He was the one who paid for the form so that I won’t say no. And since he wasn’t my parent, I couldn’t say no.
So I went, I had my post graduate diploma in Computer Science and that is what I built on in the United Kingdom to be able to be an IT Consultant.
My father was the only and the major Peugeot dealer in Ilesa then . It was a lucrative business for him at that time.
Do you get pressure from people to one day leave KICC and set up your own ministry?
I’ve heard people say to me you are so good, you should go and do your own but I never forget how I came into ministry. I came into ministry because my Pastor told me to go into ministry. I didn’t go into ministry because somebody told me I was good. So I never feel any pressure. To be honest with you, I don’t have any desire to start a church. I can’t start a church; it’s too much for me. I don’t have what it takes to start a church. As I am now, I don’t see how I understand that, beyond running a church, beyond the fame and the popularity that you see, there are other things that happen in the church.
Imagine little trees, that are growing under a big tree. When it rains, it is the big trees that shield it. The challenging parts of the ministry, Pastor Mathew handles that. The juicy part of the ministry I enjoy it. So, a decision to go and start a church would mean that I am leaving that cover and I am ready for the storm, and that I am ready for everything. And why would I do that?
Pastor Matthew has given me a platform where between Genesis and Revelation whatever I do he is happy with it. What would be my gain in setting up another church, when everything I can do in that church I am able to do now? So, that is why it is not sensible for me to think that way. Spiritually it is not wise to do that and personally I don’t have that desire. I am just doing this because I am obeying the voice of my Pastor. I can tell you that God has called me into ministry today not because Jesus spoke directly to me to go and be a Pastor but because God teached me through my pastor. Those who said they saw Jesus and Jesus told them to go and start a church, when you look at what they have achieved and you compare it to what I have achieved, then you’ll agree with me that God has been good to me.
You made an emphasis that vision for KICC is building champions. What are your plans for the youth?
We are starting a ministry called Royals and Royals now is going to be holding Saturday service, once a month for a start. The last Saturday of the month, 2 to 4pm. Royal Service is going to be anchored by Royals; people that are between the age of 18 and 30. Royals Services will be anchored by the Royals, for the Royals, by the Royals. We are working and training a couple of them so that they can run their own services.