•It’s Called The Word Of Life Bible Church
If you mention Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor in the Christian fold, he attracts immediate recognition, awe, and admiration. If you also mention his church, Word of Life Bible Church, residents, and indigenes of Warri alike will readily attest to the fact that it is a popular church. It is the biggest church in Warri and not only did the church started 32 years ago, but it has also become a worshipping center for high-profile individuals in Warri and Delta State as a whole.
Pastor Ayo became the National President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) in 2005. A position he held diligently for 5 years. In July 2010, Oritsejafor was elected the President of the Christian Association of Nigerian (CAN), the apex body of all Christians in the country. Thus, he became the first Pentecostal leader to become CAN’s president. How did he find Christ and what led him to found a church? Let’s tell you.
In 1972, Ayo went out to visit a relation who lived in Sapele, Nigeria. On that memorable day, he had stopped by a local store to purchase some “crack/wraps” of Indian hemp. There came a young man, who handed him a flyer, inviting him to a crusade to hold on the 2nd of November.
The day finally came and he was half drunk, but still managed to get to the crusade ground in the company of a friend. Ayo heard the word of God with much clarity and precision, which went down the depth of his soul like never before. It was like God was directly talking to him, and when the call to receive Jesus was made, he reached out for the opportunity. He had silently waited for it all his life.
He struggled with tears as he rose and stepped forward, shoved off his friend, who was trying to stop him.
At that moment, he observed that he immediately felt joy, peace and so much love. Something dramatic had happened to him that could not be put into words. On their way home from the crusade, his friend called him “a fool” for allowing his emotions to overcome him.
Today, the man who was once called a fool has become an envy of many. Some had insisted that: “He will not last”, but he has outlasted their expectation and he is still raring to go for God. With his life totally transformed, Ayo made a commitment to serve the Lord Jesus for the rest of his life.
Though, he was offered a free Bible, young Ayo refused the offer, saying that he would rather buy himself a Bible with his money. He actually bought one the next day and from that moment onward, he began sharing the love of God with everyone he came across. Oritsejafor decided after that remarkable experience of being born again, which ushered in another phase when God began to re-fix his life, to go to Bible school.
He enrolled at the All Nations For Christ Bible Institute, Benin City, Nigeria.
While in Bible school, Ayo could not preach and could not do anything as far as ministering the word of God was concerned. He got to a point where he felt he had made a mistake in attending a Bible school.
His inadequacy was so obvious at the time that he began to raise an eye-brow why a person like him should go to Bible school to become a preacher. He had the zeal of attending a Bible school to be a preacher, and there he was in the Bible school but couldn’t preach.
He would miss classes, because he could not preach and he couldn’t do anything. He could not even stand before people. After a while, Ayo decided to pack his luggage and leave the school. It is better to correct your mistake early than to get stuck later”, he told himself.
One day, while in the bathroom, he said he saw a vision. It was a quick thing. He saw himself wearing a suit; it was a jacket with a tie. He was preaching to thousands of people and he heard a voice: “This is what you are going to be doing for the rest of your life” and the voice said: “Take my word to the world”.
Instantly, he came back to himself, got out of the bathroom, unpacked quickly and went back to the Bible School.
Owing to his renewed determination to please God, he enrolled at the Nigerian Baptist Seminary, Ogbomosho in Oyo State, and later proceeded in 1979 to the United States (US) for further studies at Morris Cerullo’s School of Ministry (El Cortez), San Diego, California.
He was born Ayodele Joseph Oritbemi Oritsejafor on November 10, into the family of Mr. Joseph Monday Oritsejafor and Mrs. Roli Durojaiye Oritsejafor in Lagos.
Desperately in need of a male child, his mother had prayed earnestly, believing God would bless her with a male child. She would say to God, “if you give me a child, I will give him back to you”. His parents, both of blessed memory, felt fulfilled with the birth of their son and named him, Ayodele, literally mean joy has come to our home.
Strange as his long-awaited arrival into the family was, even stranger was the fact that little Ayo could not utter a word until he was five years old. Doctors said nothing was wrong with him; yet he couldn’t speak.
The miracle of his speaking occurred on his fifth birthday. Not a few were amazed when eventually he started talking. The surprise on the occasion was that he was not talking as one learning to speak, but spoke fluently as any normal child. Ayo’s mother, a staunch member of the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), then used to lay baby Ayo on the church altar for hours praying that God would heal, bless and use him.
The love and affection was short-lived as tragedy struck rather too early in young Ayo’s life – his father, whom he was so fond of, died. His father’s death ushered in a new era to his life’s journey. It was an era marked with confusion, uncertainty, sorrow and much pains.
Young Ayo was left at the mercy of relations that made his life miserable, while his mother remarried and moved to the UK with her new husband to start life afresh in her new home. So, he grew up on his own and got involved with all kinds of drugs. He was rough and utterly violent, but he encountered God and He changed his life positively for good.
Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor’s Ministry was the first to launch a Miracle crusade (Lagos Miracle Crusade) from Africa to the world audience, via satellite, in 1987 with Evangelist Joe Martins. The dynamic preacher, Pastor, Evangelist, Teacher, Prophet, Apostle and an Author, with a unique anointing of God upon his life has brought Salvation, Deliverance, Revival, Healing and outstanding Miracles to millions across the world with his anointed messages as God’s power is demonstrated with signs and wonders.
As a keynote speaker, he has ministered in crusades with well over 2,000,000 souls in attendance. He has also ministered and still ministers in various international and local conferences and seminars, which have taken him to well over 50 countries and every continent of the world.
In a bid to carry out God’s divine mandate of bringing the message of Salvation, Deliverance, and Healing to the homes of countless millions, Pastor Ayo started a TV programme, (Hour Of Deliverance) in 1980. Currently, he’s on several cable networks all over the world and preaching the word of God through the internet via this website.
As a prolific writer, he has written several books among which are “Walking in Unity”, “Power through The Church”, “The Battle is in the Mind”, “Be an Over-Comer”, ” Power for the Journey”, “Faith Antidote For Daily Living”, “A Voice in the Wilderness “, “A Man amongst Men” to mention but a few.
In view of the Apostolic call upon Papa Ayo, his ministry acts as a covering to several ministries in Africa, Europe and America. Pastor Ayo got married to Helen Oritsejafor in 1997 at the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Lagos. Their union is blessed with beautiful triplets sons Ayodele Joseph, Ayodeji and daughter Ayodeta Helen and the family resides in Warri.
- TAYO FAJORIN OYEDIJI