Pastor Bukola Oladiyun is the wife of the Senior Pastor of CLAM, Pastor Wole Oladiyun. She is also a Pastor, an Educationist and a virtuous woman who is a role model to many women and young ones. She runs a school called J-NISSI Nursery and Primary School, inside the LSDPC Medium Housing Estate, Oba Ogunji Road, Ogba, in Lagos.
It was her birthday a few days ago and City People got her to talk to us about her life with Pastor Wole Oladiyun. Apart from God, she can be said to be a great pillar behind the success of her husband of 28 years. She is part of the setting up of CLAM and she has been born again since her school days. No wonder, it was easy for her to fit into the 20 year old church. Pastor (Mrs) Bukola Oladiyun recently marked her 56th birthday, though on a low key. The duo of City People Publisher, SEYE KEHINDE and Assistant Editor, SUNDAY ADIGUN visited her school to interview her. We engaged her for over an hour during which she spoke about how CLAM started 20years ago, how she met her husband and also gave an insight into what her husband went through before he accepted the call of God fully. Below are excerpts of the interview.
You’ve been married to Pastor Wole for over 2 decades. You were also involved in the setting up of CLAM. How has the journey been?
I give God the glory for a wonderful opportunity to be connected with the Senior Pastor of CLAM. The success of my marriage has been God and I give him praise for that.
We will be 28 years in marriage, in July, by the grace of God. We are blessed with 4 prophetic children and we have a grandson now by the grace of God. The church clocked 20 on April 2nd and it has been a journey of faith and it’s by grace and mercy of God. It started when we were living in this LSDPC Medium Housing, Ogba estate when the Lord gave him the Vision And that’s how we started little by little.
And we can see the proof of God’s faithfulness and the fact that the hands of the Lord is upon the servant and the ministry by raising of lives that have been affected positively in outstanding testimonies that we witness on daily basis. But God has been really working, because just as the people are amazed on how God has been working is the same way we too are amazed at how God has been helping us. Its not something that we can attribute to ourselves but it is just God and we give him glory for that.
How did the church start?
We started with Thursday service at Dansol Tutorial school 20 years ago. Later on, it graduated to 7 day prayer and fasting program. It metamorphosed again to Solution Nights by divine instructions. So from there we just saw that the Lord had taken the church to a higher level. The Thursday service had been on for sometime until the Lord said that He was done with that, that we should move it to Wednesday and it should be early morning service because the Thursday service was in the evening before, so that was how we started the early morning Wednesday service. To our amazement people will come as early as 7am, they will still be there waiting. God has been faithful and we give him the praise.
What gladdens my heart is that people come to seek God and their situations are turned around. We have seen people who had been written off cases and they come back with testimonies of restoration.
So, personally I am glad about what God is doing because when I hear and see the doings of the Lord, it gladdens my heart that my father has never failed and he will never fail and I have chosen the right path to tread on. By the grace of God, I am the Director of Family Life in our church. Under the directorate is The Women fellowship. We have the Men fellowship, The Singles, The youths, the children church and the teens church. So practically all the arms of the family are under the directorate which I coordinate by the help of God and I have coordinators who also coordinate the activities of day to day, Sunday to Sunday, periodic programmes in those various branches of family life but whatever programme that will be done, they have to submit their proposals for me to approve and also to seek the consent of the man of God
So, if we have his approval, we would go ahead. That’s what we do in Family Life. I am also the chairperson for Marriage Committee, where we teach and tutor couples who intend to get married. It is a whole week programme. We start 8am in the morning and finish by 4pm in the evening. So, after that they can go ahead and tie the knot and we bless God that their homes and marriages will stand strong.
So that is what I do in family life. I also have a Ministry for Women. Its called Voice of Joy and Gladness Women International Ministry, and what we do is that, our services are targeted towards helping a family and generally to the body of Christ. We organise workshops to help, mentor men, women, teenagers, youth and singles. And every month we have empowerment programme for them. The month we don’t have empowerment programme we do 6 hours of worship to worship his majesty.
All the programmes we hold, have actually helped tremendously the youth, the singles. We do a lot of empowerment programmes. Sometimes, we do singles summits. Sometimes it is challenging and also motivates them, showing them the right path to follow so that their lives will count and not get used to the pressure of the society and their peers, to give them right focus and connect them. In the men and women fellowship, men learn to be quality husbands, giving direction to their family and also training the women to be submissive to their husband and also be an effective woman, so much so that they can render the necessary and needed help at home. So that the family can be happy and actually make positive impact in the nation, in their communities and whatever it is that God has laid it in their hands to do as a family.
Your husband usually tells the church how tough and rough it was at the starting of CLAM and how supportive you have been throughout the journey and the role you played. In the midst of all these battles, what were the thoughts that were going on in your mind as a wife and a mother? How did you cope the day you were thrown out of the house with the children in your hands?
Everything happened in this same estate we have J-NISSI children school. Before I got married, let me trace my story back to when I was in secondary school. I got born again when I was in Form 1. I attended Prospect High School in Ibadan. The very first Sunday, I got to the school I was allocated a room and the Prefect of that room was Sister Idiat Kasali. She was a Muslim convert. After service, she said to the new students to wait behind, I was wondering what I had been asked to wait for. I come from a very religious background. So, I was expecting everyone to go back to the room, but she started singing and we started another fellowship. So at the end of the service we were asked if we wanted to give our life to Christ and I got up to give my life to Christ consciously and that marked the beginning of my journey.
All through my secondary school days, Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays are my fasting days. So, that was how I lived my life and because I didn’t want to go back home and disappoint my parents because I knew that it was a great effort sending me to school since I wasn’t the only child and I was not ready to disappoint them and a thought cropped up in my mind that what did I want to become in my life, I know God created me well, but I wanted to be somebody, I didn’t just want to come to this world in vain.
I wanted to make my own positive impact. So my prayer point, “Lord empower me to do well, I don’t want to disappoint myself either and that was how I lived my life. At a point when I had very serious peer pressure, you know when you get to teen age, there would always be peer pressure, I told God “I want to be married, I don’t want to mess myself up, give me a man that will not take me away from you”. I did not know I was praying to marry a pastor, that was the foundation of our union.
Eventually, when I got married, I married a businessman, my husband studied Building Engineering. He travelled to Germany, and on his return, he went into business. He was into so many things, pharmacy, skimmed milk, chemical, wood exportation, spare parts importation etc, and he was into construction work full time.
I just observed at some point that my husband wasn’t going to work. He would stay in his study. I would leave him and go out to my Creche, across the house, I would come back later and he would still be in his study and one day somebody came to our house ranting and shouting early in the morning. And we were like what was happening and it was said the person invested in skimmed milk that went bad. My husband had invested in skimmed milk business. And he was making money from it. But he started losing money.
At that point he had lost so much money, as much that his own investment too went down the drain with the business, and I said so what is going to happen and he said he was demanding to collect his money back. At that point, the man was shouting, cursing and swearing and it was strange and its a Christian home. That was when I knew we had an issue on hands, I prayed and said God what is happening here? I went to see the skimmed milk, when I got there I wept, it’s this same skimmed milk that Cadbury would queue up at their office to buy, sometimes if they don’t come on time, they would break their store and fix it back and now they collected it and returned that they did not want. And it has now become rock solid, even livestock refused to collect it, they used it for feeds for their chicken. They refused to collect it.
Again in his construction work, the bricklayers began to misbehave in the wood business, the guy that was managing the wood business went away with the money, he refused to come out of the bush. So everything just got stuck right, left centre and I knew there was trouble. So I began to pray and I said Lord, how would it be said that I carried Holy Spirit, Holy Spirit resides in me and my husbands business will not thrive. I refuse to bear the name that you did not call me, so I began to pray and I had a leading by the Holy Spirit to go for counseling at Living Faith, and I took his permission and went there.
When I got there, I was directed to see a Pastor, and the first thing he said was “it is evident the mighty hand of God is upon your husband, there is nothing you can do about it” I said, is that the problem? And he said yes. I said no problem sir, just pray for me. At that point I was becoming worried, getting sick because I know God, I know you can’t serve him and your life will be messed up and I know I prayed before I got married, so he called the other ministers and they prayed for me and I left.
I got back home, I still met my husband in his study. This time around negative news had spread that I had converted my husband to be the Headmaster of my school. So I gave him the feedback from the Pastor and he said, “yes, that they have already told him when he was young that he is going to be a Pastor, and I said that means what we are going through now is a sign that the call is imminent, and my husband said he thought it was going to be when he is very old, after he has practiced his Civil Engineering and he is very old, so he can now go into ministry and I said to him “you know what, please pray, ask God, if he tells you to do ministry half way and do business half way, I would follow you. But if he tells you to do away with all the business and go into full time ministry, go, without looking back. I would be there to support you. I want you to be certain and be sure of what he is sending you to do.
So everyday when I wake up in the morning I will tell him I am going to work, make sure you hear him as sure as I know that there are lines on my palm, make sure you are certain on what he is telling you because ministry is about people’s lives. I can’t imagine sending my child to the University and at the end of the day he would go to one ministry and they are giving him wrong counsel.
You have to be sure of what he is sending you to do because ministry is life. It is about people’s destiny. We cannot afford to have the blood of anybody on our hands. Everyday, that became my Anthem to him until one day when I got home and he said to me that the Lord has shown him a scripture John 5, the Samaritan Woman. Another time he said, the Lord is showing him a logo, I said fine, another day he said the Lord is putting the name together about the story of the Samaritan woman by the well. So he got the name Christ Livingspring, and ofcourse its going to be an Apostolic Church because he’s C.A.C. So he said Christ Livingspring Apostolic Ministry, I said Praise God.
The other day he said to me, I remember that day was his birthday, he said if he does not declare the ministry that day God would take it away from him and he would have lost it. I said wow. Meanwhile, we had so much money on our hands that day because things were really good in Jesus name, but he insisted, so I took my children, we looked for a neighbour who gave us a ride to Dansol School, we had the declaration and that was it. I love the Lord, and it is not possible to miss it while serving God expecially if your heart is opened and you ask for grace to walk with the Lord, he would make your life beautiful, that is our testimony.
How did you and Daddy meet?
I told you I was praying the other time that I don’t want to mess up. One of those days as I was praying I was in the class in Form 5 to be precise, suddenly I was in a trance and I saw my husband. I have never seen him like that before. Now to answer your question, when it was time to go into a relationship with the opposite sex I knew it, and I said God, I was ready now. My parents were transferred to Ondo State, so we moved to Ile-Oluji.
One day I was in our garage making brooms, a man just walked into our compound and asked me he was looking for my brother, I responded and he left. I didn’t take any particular notice of him but a week later a young lady started coming to drop greeting cards for me, 1st time, 2nd time, 3rd time and she won’t tell me who has been sending her.
Then that 3rd time, I said to her if you won’t tell me who has been sending you, I don’t want to see you in this compound again. She just ran away. Later my husband himself now showed up, I didn’t even know he was the same man that came to ask of my brother because they both schooled in the same Gboluji Grammar School, and he said he has been sending cards to me and I said are you the anonymous because that is what he used to write on the cards, so he said what he wanted to say and he left. Later I asked my brother about him after I told him how he has been sending cards to me, and my brother spoke nicely about him, that he doesn’t have any negative report about him and I started praying and the rest is history.
So what were the qualities you now saw that made you agree to date him?
I noticed that he is a serious minded person, he is brilliant, he is God fearing and he is a responsible person. Before he became a Pastor in our community during holidays, he would gather students that are of University ages and organised a tutorial class for them. He would mobilise all undergraduates from different campuses. He had a very formidable university students union all over the university campuses in Nigeria, and he is the only person that coordinated them. So during their holiday, he would mobilise all the undergraduates to teach the students, just to prepare them too for University. He was also mobilising students to take Jamb, go to university, so that was the kind of person he was and also I come from a very strict Christian background, if you are not doing well academically my dad will not reckon with you. When I was going into the University of Ife, my husband was graduating.
People said you share a lot in common
I think its just God, this thing called marriage is indeed a black market but if you can give it all it takes and the fear of God is there, you will enjoy it.