•Talks About The 27 Yr Old Church
Rev. Folake Achudume is the wife of Apostle Lawrence Achudume, founder of Victory Life Bible Church, popularly called VLBC in Abeokuta, Ogun State. She is the President of Royal Ladies International (RLI), an Interdenominational Ministry for ladies. She is the convener of All Women Summit, Nigeria, Royal Ladies Congress Nigeria, UK, and the U.S.A and the Eminent Personality Conference (EPC).
She is also the founder of Gem Ame Royal Institute, a mentoring school that seeks to train, coach, guide, and impact ladies from all walks of life for a purposeful and exciting life. She is the regular host of the TV and radio program “The Royal Lady” and “Life & Issues.”
She is the founder of The Save Her Project and Royal Girls Home established to rescue and rehabilitate abused ladies for a better life.
An author of several great books, her illustrative, passionate and empowering messages makes her a sought after all over the globe. She is also a leadership and marriage coach.
Last year, she celebrated her 50th birthday, in this interview with Bunmi Mustapha, Rev. Fola opens up on how, she and her husband started VLBC 27 years ago in Abeokuta, their many challenges, life at fifty amongst other things.
Can you tell our readers about Victory life bible church?
Victory life bible church is a church that was started in 1992, and god has been faithful to us, we have grown, we have increased in different areas of life. VLBC preaches message of deliverance, message of healing, message of restoration, our key word is raising a people with a culture of living and of worship, that is what we stand to be and we thank god for the different ways god has been faithful to us in time past and we have our testimonies, bounding in the life of our people, a lot of people have grown from grass to grace in the church, and that we can only be thankful to God for.
When the church started twenty seven years ago, how many members did you started with?
My husband was full of moved out with the word, the mandate, the instructions, so we started from zero members, and all we were doing was preaching and evangelizing, we started in Itoku, the building we started from was a building that was either used to be a strong occultic place in the city of Abeokuta, in fact, the place was deserted before the church took over, I was not there when my husband was to take possession of the place, but then the story I heard was the person that showed him the place could not go in with him, because of how strongly occultic the place was, it was empty because they talk about demonic visitation in that place that has made many people run away from the place, the place has been deserted for long. But when we got there, when god said that was the place for us to start up, we took possession, so we grew, of cause everyday someone was been added to the church, ten fifty to hundred, to two hundred, to three hundred, to thousands and the rest is history today, but god has been faithful.
Starting in that kind of environment and also new in the ministry, what were the challenges you went through before breakthrough?
The most important thing about life is, who is going with you and who sent you message, we had that confidence that we were riding upon his world riding upon the instruction of the lord and if god be for you, who can be against you, we were most passionate about what god sent us, and whoever we are going to deliver it to, we know that god will arrange it, it’s just for us to go, so the point is your place with god, your passion for god that makes you to know that, no matter what comes your way you are going to breakthrough, of cause there will be challenges. My husband came in straight from youth service to start the ministry, a lot of people believed that, could it be god, he should go and work, but when you know that god has sent you a message, it makes you to just look unto god, because if you mind the opinions of men you may not be able to do what god sent you to do, so there was that initial challenge of people not believing the instructions, the word, your mandate, believing that you could go and work or work with somebody, my husband actually wanted to work under people because he felt in life of the unknown, but then there was that persuasion that we know it was god, he was about to become a pastor with another ministry, we were not married then, but we were engaged, so I said to him, is this what god asked us to do, and immediately when that voice came that it was just god, and that was how we were able to kick start whatever it is god helped us to start. Normally any new work will have the challenges of its own, like who will believe in you, but with god, you go first then god will follow you with signs and wonders, the little challenges came, but you have to deal with yourself, you are sure that it is not man talking to you but god so you have to just resolute, just take that stands, so those where the steps we were able to take, like the step of faith, that if god sent us, yes he will keep us, that if god sent us he will make a way for us, and that was how we were able to overcome all challenges, the most important thing is to start, the main challenge is to overcome that huddle, and when you are able to start you will be able to see god showing on , so whoever he gives a call, he backups the call, and that was what we have been doing these years we have been doing the work of god.
What has been the experience since then?
It has been awesome, has there not been times of challenges, times of pains, I don’t want to call it troubles, I call it challenges and pains, there has been, but the beauty of it is your ability to hold on to god, because in every pain there is a gain, in every challenges, god always makes a way, so it’s been an interesting journey, an interesting journey in the sense that, the testimony makes it interesting, the many sided experience that makes the world interesting, so it has been interesting, the days of dealing with demons, the days of facing wickedness of men in Abeokuta, occultisms in Abeokuta, idolatry in Abeokuta, they are so many, but here we are today telling the story, because it was really interesting, it is a factor of who is your god and who sent you message. It has really been interesting, from Itoku, we moved to Adedotun, by the time we moved to Adedotun, other branches have started in Olorunsogo, Adigbe, Adedotun was the first structure we built and I remember those days of building, everybody went out to build, all church members, we will carry bricks, we were all excited that we were building, there are some labor that you don’t have to pay, that was around 1994-1995, everyone was helping, it does not matter the position you hold, we were all there especially the week they laid the foundation, the joy of doing that work and knowing am doing it unto the lord is there, and I see the people, lives been changed, lives been transformed, life been healed, people getting the understanding and the wisdom of god, it has been interesting and encouraging, and you will see us moving from one phase to another, one level to another, you know that is the beauty of life, the beauty of is about growth, about maturing from one glory to another, and what we have been able to see so far until we got to this our permanent site in Ajebo road, we had a first structure, the first structure we had here was pulled down three years ago when god gave us instructions that ok we should expand and here we are, we got here finally back last year.
Its VLBC convention week, can you tell us how it all started and when the church convention started?
Its over ten years since the annual convention started, and it s a time where all our churches members all over the world will gather together to celebrate Jesus, the church started in the month of April 1992, so since then every year the convention comes up, and it is always a time everyone looks forward to, because it is a time for great impact, it is a time for a re launch into the year to bring about gods mandate to come to pass in the lives of everyone, so it’s something we look forward to every year and god has always been faithful, it is a time for a refreshing, a time for empowerment, a time for increase on every side, it is a time when we gather together in Shiloh, for renewal, to receive new vision, to receive new insight, to bring about a newness in everybody’s life, this year the theme is dominion making a difference, 2019 has been declared the year of our dominion, having dominion, so that is what will expand through the year. One of the things the church teaches us is how to give joy to people, how to be an answer to people, how to be a solution to people, how to solve peoples problem, because actually that is what destiny is all about, what anybody will attain is from the platform of your mandate, its on the platform of knowing what god has sent you to do on the surface of the earth, and everyone that was sent on the earth and are connected to the lord have something to offer to his or her world, so in a time of convention there is that strength, there is that fire that is ignited into us to connect in the essence of our destiny, so that we can fulfill mandate in every aspect of our lives.
Can you give us an insight into your background?
I was born and raised in Ibadan, Oyo State, I am also from Oyo State. I was born into a polygamous home, and polygamy game me a direction in life, because I saw some things that I don’t like, therefore I told myself that, life must be different for me, and along the line I know the lord Jesus Christ and that gave me a new platform entirely to walk upon. It’s been a worthwhile journey.
Let’s talk about your fashion, you are very stylish and always look good, you are one of those women in the lord that won’t get it wrong when it comes to fashion, can you tell us what inspires your style?
A. That’s a wonderful compliments and I appreciate that, but I am just me, I am just one person that likes to be neat, to be smart, and I like to presents to the works who god is and I believe that it is your heart that dictate what they see inside of you, because if your heart is not at peace, no matter how you want to package, it is going to be reflected at sight, so the first thing that I cherished much is my state of mind and my state of heart with the lord, I have no reason to look at anybody where me is concerned, I don’t compare myself, I don’t compete with anyone, I take whatever I do with scriptures, I take whatever I do from understanding and revelations of who god has revealed me to be to me, and that is what I present my dress sense is just who god has revealed me to be me. I like smartness, and defiantly I have nothing other than I just want to be me, and whatever makes me to be me is what I do, I don’t go after fashion, I like being classy, I don’t do things because people are doing it, I don’t follow trends, what I like is what I do, what I feel is good for me is what I do, I don’t believe this is what they do now so I have to die to do that, I do what I know suits me and makes me stand out, I just want to be me ,I don’t want anyone to confuse me with another person, I am me, simple and straight forward, so when you see me dress it’s me, when you see me talk it’s me, when you see me behave and relate with people it’s still me, and that’s because of probably an understanding and my relationship with the lord, if you say I don’t get it wrong, it’s because god don’t want me to get it wrong and if you say am stylish it’s because of the inspiration god gave me, a designer can say she wants to sew this for me, I just look at it and think how will I look in it, then I tell them to do it my way and by the time they will bring it out, it’s me, so as a child of god, god is good, god is beautiful so I must be like my father and so that’s what I try to do, but I don’t do what will give me trouble, I don’t enter debt, I don’t go beyond my boundaries, I don’t measure with anybody, I am just me. Wherever it is that I am comfortable with I go with it, there are things that people will say, mama you can do this, if I am not comfortable with it I won’t do it. You know when god has introduced you to you, you stay in that terrain of who you are.
You celebrated your 50th birthday last year, how does being 50 make you feel?
Is it different from every other year, the only difference that I see, is the fact that, I look at myself and I tell myself that, you don’t have forever to live, and therefore fifty has made my eyes to be open, to be wise, and to work with time, it has make me to know that, what you have to do, do it and do it quick, because I look at myself, is it not me ten years ago celebrating forty,, and am like is that how time flies, you just sit and time is gone, and that is what I preach to people, that you just wake up one day and realized that, this is me and am seventy years old, so it just put me on my toes, makes me to know that, whatever you have to do, do quick because time is flying. I just see it as a season for me to launch out more, for me to be strategic and for me to forge forward, affect lives, and let the destinies of those God have attached to me that I should not fail them, so that in the place of procrastination, you are failing somebody, when you refuse to get up when you are suppose to get up, you are failing somebody, when you refuse to be nice, to be sensitive, you are failing somebody, when you refuse to understand somebody’s plight and issues, you are failing them.
Can you tell us how you met your husband?
Interesting, we met in service year, we both served in Kaduna State in 1990/91, we were both in the EXCO of a fellowship called the Kaduna Christians Corpers Association, interestingly people laugh, he was the general secretary and I was the assistance general secretary, but no string attached, we were busy doing our work, we were two serious minded people for the lord, my husband loves the lord, and to an extent I have had that testimonies that I love the lord too, and I know that I love him and I am passionate about the lord, so we were both serious minded people serving the lord, but somehow one thing led to the other and to the other and here we are today and the rest is history.