Hello everyone, I bring you the testimony of my Daddy; there are fathers and there are daddies, Reverend Tunde Afe is my daddy, not only has God used him to build my walk in Christ in the last three years, he is also a prophet over my life and many of his prophecies have come true.
It was an emotional moment for me when I visited House of Faith Christian Centre after three years; this was the church where the passion for the gospel was birthed in my life. The rare privilege of sitting in his office and sharing my experiences and mistakes with him was indeed a blessing; you are blessed when you have someone like Reverend Afe as a dad, you can't go wrong with his advise and prophecies. I love and celebrate you sir.
Reverend Tunde Afe is an apostle and a man of great faith strategically located in Ekiti State to preach and teach the word of faith and the result has been mind blowing. In this interview, he shares on how he became a Christian, his great faith moments, principles of ministry growth in a student environment, House of Faith church building project, God's plan for our beloved Ekiti State, and marriage. Excerpts...
M.B: How did you become a Christian?
Reverend Tunde Afe: I gave my life to Christ on July 14, 1994 but before that time, I had a very unique encounter with God; I had finished my final papers to graduate from the Economics Department and I waited back in school to assist my friend who had a carryover to write his papers which was illegal and while I was writing the papers, an invigilator came in and took my I.D card and also the answer sheet which bore my friend’s name, he looked at the two of them and saw that there were different names then he dropped them and left. There and then, I had a voice within me which said “I spared you”. God told me He let me off because of His mercies but I didn’t become a Christian still. I had the one year mandatory National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) program at Sokoto State (Northern Nigeria) and after that, the natural thing then was to leave Lagos in search of a job.
Before l left for Lagos, I had a friend who just got a job at Shell and he told us that he got the job because he went to an herbalist who gave him some charms. He also took me there and I was given some charms to use; some black substance to put on my lips; I was told that it would bring favour and then there was another charm that was given to me, it was smeared with the blood of fowl and lots of things; I kept using these things as prescribed but after six months, I just got frustrated because no job was forthcoming. Then one day I made up my mind; I picked up my bible and spotted a Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) at Ladipo Oluwole Avenue, Adeniyi Jones, Ikeja, Lagos. I got to church very early because I told myself I must give my life to Christ today and when the altar call was made, I was the only one who went out and I gave my life to Christ, that was on July 14, 1994. I can’t forget that experience; I returned to church on Sunday and got baptized in the Holy Ghost and I began to serve God.
Within two years of serving God at RCCG, I was ordained; which was contrary to the normal procedure. Within three years, I was sent to start a branch of the church; before I finally left RCCG, I started six parishes and was then nominated to become an Area Pastor when God spoke to me and told me to leave all that and come to Ekiti to start this work.
Before I left Lagos, I was also working; remember I said for 6 months after NYSC, I didn’t get any job but a month after I gave my life to Christ, God just began to open doors. I got a job with Bellview Airlines, from there to Intel Oil Servicing Company and then United Parcel Services where I had a very fruitful professional career before I finally left for Ado Ekiti on 31st August 2001.
M.B: How did your ministry start in Ekiti?
Reverend Tunde Afe: When I left Lagos in August 2001, I came to Ekiti to pack the sand of the city and then took them back to Lagos; for two months I was praying and stepping on that sand according to scripture which says that “whichever land the sole of your feet will step upon, I have given to you” (Joshua 1; 3). After that, we packed our bags and then we came down. We started the Ministry in our living room and on November 7th, we inaugurated the Ministry with a church service. We began to minister mostly to students because God told me to “preach the Word of Faith and bring the best out of people.” I just felt at home with young people and my ministry has been largely to young people.
M.B: Recently you celebrated 12 years of Ministry in Ekiti; how has it been?
Reverend Tunde Afe: It has been exciting and it has been a learning experience. One thing that’s been exciting for me is that my faith has grown because Ekiti is not like Lagos or Abuja or all those big cities where you have a lot of money bags in your church. We minster largely to students and then you have to give them the Word and you give them physical things as well. I have learnt to walk by faith seriously and in these 12 years, God has taught me how to totally depend on Him. He has taught me how to survive in very terrible circumstances then He has taught me to always rise above every storm; there have been challenges but if not for those challenges, we would not have grown and been a blessing to people. The twelve years have been very interesting years of learning and we look forward to many more years if Jesus doesn’t come before then.
M.B: Can you share some of your great faith moments in ministry?
Reverend Tunde Afe: There are several of them; I remember about six months after the Ministry started, we had a major breakthrough and it was that a member of the church gave us the reception of his office to use as church (laughs). For me that was a breakthrough, we were trusting God to give us a place and somebody came and said God spoke to him to give us a place, for us that was a great faith moment.
There was also a day I was going to the church office; the reception also doubled as my office and my wife asked me to buy Akara (beans cake) on my way back. That day, I had no money on me and then I began to release my faith; all I needed was Two Hundred Naira ( less than a Great British Pound or One Dollar and 40 cents), that was 2002. When I was working in Lagos, God blessed me abundantly; I bought cars, lived in good apartments and so on. Yet, on this day, I was looking for N200 and I couldn’t get it. The first thing was either to react or respond; I could react by blaming God for sending me to Ekiti but I chose to respond ; the way I responded was that I asked God for the money and I released my faith based on scriptures. By 3pm, nothing had happened, I close by 5pm and when it was time, I noticed at the corner in the office that there were old newspapers so I picked some and drove to where the bean cakes were being sold. At the end of the day, I ended up exchanging the newspapers for the bean cakes.
The irony of the whole thing was that I was well dressed and I was still driving a very clean car that I brought from Lagos; it was a paradox that I came out of a good car, well dressed and I was exchanging papers for bean cakes. The people there would have thought I was mad but that’s how God chose to answer my prayers. That taught me that God will answer your prayers not necessarily in the way you thought He would answer it. It’s a powerful principle and I have been living by it.
If I ask God for something now, I just close my mind to how He will do it but I know He will do it; I don’t try to figure if it’s this way or that way because He can choose to answer it the way He wants. When the woman gave me the bean cakes; I felt bad at first but then I began to praise God because He answered my prayers.
At the second year of the Ministry, somebody gave us a hotel hall to use for free; we were also running a broadcast on air; normally we record the broadcast with the equipment in church. We didn’t pack the equipment and we returned to my house; we just assumed that the place was safe but by the time we came back, all the equipment were gone! It took us a lot to get those equipment. We sat down and we were feeling bad when God spoke to me and said, “you have a new set of equipment” and I asked where they were, God said, “your car”. So I drove my car to Lagos, sold it and I used the proceeds to buy the equipment.
Before that time, I had been giving but I had never given a car; it was a thing of joy for me and I knew that it took great faith to do that. The bible says, ‘Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain.’ It was a great leap of faith, I was able to give my car and it was the only car and at that time, it was the only thing I had left that showed that I once had money (laughs). I didn’t get another car back until two years later but then I kept believing God and between that time and now, I have given six cars to God. We have a lot of great faith moments; a lot of them.
M.B: What are those principles that make Ministry thrive in a student environment?
Reverend Tunde Afe: This environment is peculiar, thank God it is growing now, it is just this year that we noticed a transition because some of those students we brought up stayed back and are now married and living in Ekiti. It’s a transition we are witnessing now; today is New Year’s Eve, seven years ago, we wouldn’t consider having a service this evening because there wouldn’t be anyone in the church. Once Academic Student Union of Universities (ASUU) is on strike, church reduces to virtually nothing. That’s one of the things we have been coping with over the years.
The first thing is that you have to be someone who believes in raising people because if you don’t believe in raising people, you will be disappointed and then you have to be someone who has a long term perspective about Ministry and about life. You have to be someone who is ready to give without expecting anything back; most of the young people that we minister to finish from school and still go for four years without a job and by the time they get a job, they have forgotten the church that nurtured them for five years so if you are really looking forward to get anything back from them; you might be disappointed.
You just have to believe that Ministry is much more than just gathering people and putting them in a building. Ministry is serving people no matter where they go by imparting their lives and obeying God by doing that. That’s one thing we understood early and we have been running the work based on that principle and God has been faithful.
There are things God has done for us that you can’t see the membership and think that it’s possible. God has raised helps from several places; thank God some of these students actually remember and then they also give back to the work.
M.B: Can you share on how this church was built, I remember you used to tell us how this church would be so beautiful and I used to wonder when that would happen but here I am three years later and the church is indeed a beauty to behold.
Reverend Tunde Afe: When I gave my life to Christ, somebody gave me a book by Frederick KC Price; How Faith Works and that actually built me in faith works. I am a Word of faith person, I am a stickler to the word of God and because I read that book, I looked for similar books like Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar etc. I have always been along that path. So I went about it with faith and confession because the Word of God says we will have what we say (Mark 11:23), we started making declarations about the building. God told us we would start building when the church turns seven years; so it was wisdom for us to start believing and making declarations when we were five years. So we began to do that; we were believing God for ten plots; everyday, we would get to the office and gather the staff, pray and make the declarations.
Then one day, a member of the church told me that there were ten plots that they wanted to sell in a very central place in the city. We saw the land but there was water around it so I thought it couldn’t be this place, two weeks later, I was praying and God said He was the one who kept that land for us and that they just sold four plots out of it and that if we don’t act fast, the entire ten plots would be gone. I called the person and asked him and he confirmed that four plots had been sold. We had to run to the land owners and tell them that we were going to buy the plots. We made part payment and completed later. Then we moved to site and discovered that the water that we saw initially was child’s play compared to what was there but because God was the one that spoke we forged ahead; if God said He was going to build you a house inside water you better believe it because He will do it.
We began the work and when they dug the trenches of the foundation, the engineers discovered that we couldn’t do a normal foundation and that it has to be a raft foundation which is very expensive. The estimate for the building was forty five million Naira ($300,000 or 140,000GBP), when we started we had N300, 000 ($2,000 or 1200GBP) then we discovered the foundation was going to cost six million naira. The first thing I did was to tell everybody that we would stop building; for like six months, nobody came to the site; after about six months, God spoke to me and said it was time to return to site.
I wasn’t conscious of it but I discovered that within those six months, I had been able to move up in faith that even if we didn’t have that money at hand, God was progressively going to provide for us. So we came back and for us to buy the iron rod which was one million naira ($6,500 or 4,000 GBP), we sold another car. I didn’t tell you that to pay for the balance of the land, we sold another car also. We used the money to buy the iron rod and the work began, we then asked all the engineers to leave because I watched them work and I felt there was nothing special about what they were doing and we asked church members to volunteer. That’s how we were able to save five hundred thousand naira ($3350 or 2000 GBP) monthly on labor. That gave us speed and three years after we started the building, it was dedicated. For some pastors reading this in Lagos or Abuja, you might think that it’s too long but if you are here, you would know that to do what we did in three years would have to be God.
|Bishop Felix Adejumo and Reverend Tunde Afe|
|Commissioning of House of Faith Christian Centre by Bishop Felix Adejumo|
|L-R; Rev.Albert Femi Oduwole, Rev. Tunde Afe, Bishop Felix Adejumo, Pastor Mrs. Afe|
M.B: What is God’s plan for Ekiti State?
Reverend Tunde Afe: Ekiti is a great place to stay; when I got here, I hated this place, I was in Lagos but I didn’t like Lagos. I have always loved a very quiet environment. When I got here, it was quiet but it was ugly but God told me something about Ministry and Ekiti State. Apart from the fact that He told me to teach and preach the word of faith, He also told me that He brought us here for the economic revival of Ekiti State. I can never forget that, that’s why we do a lot of economic empowerment for young people and we also run a business school. God told me one day, He said, “very soon, white people will be all over Ekiti and they will be coming without invitation because I have put treasures here in Ekiti that nobody has seen”. I am here because of these words because God is not a liar; so I am always looking forward to the discovery of mineral resources in Ekiti because God said they are here and I believe that it’s coming to pass gradually.
Because of the word of the Lord, it does not matter the challenges we have in terms of governance, I believe that God will always raise good people to govern this place because God has a very strategic plan for this place.
If you look at the map of Nigeria, you will discover that Ekiti is halfway between Abuja and Lagos and that’s very strategic. A lot of people have not seen it that way and I didn’t know it was like that until God told me.
So when I see the plans of government and all of that, I am not surprised at their plans. For example, the Ikogosi Warm Springs is big enough to attract a lot of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to Ekiti State and there are lots of other natural things like that here. Our prayer every day is that God will keep on raising good leaders because with the right leaders, we can maximize the resources that God has put here and if we do, a time will come that Ekiti will be a place that people want to come and live. Our Ministry is not just a teaching ministry, it’s also apostolic; I believe we are sent to this land.
M.B: How did you meet your wife?
Reverend Tunde Afe: I met my wife in the late 80s, she was in secondary school and I just left secondary school. We were friends and then we started dating, we were not born again; I was in University of Ilorin and she came there too, then she left for University of Ibadan.
We didn’t communicate much after school until I started work and God spoke to me clearly that I should go back to her. I became born again in 1994 but she still was not born again but by the time God spoke to me, He said, “go back to her, she’s your wife and now she’s born again and I have brought her into the Kingdom.” By the time I went to see her in school, she was already seriously serving God at Rhema Chapel. After a few months I proposed to her and we got married. She was still in school when we got married; she had our first two babies in school.
M.B: You have been married for 16 years, what can you say about Pastor Mrs. Afe?
Reverend Tunde Afe: It’s been exciting but challenging, every marriage has challenges, no marriage will work automatically. My wife is a very hardworking woman, she’s industrious, productive and let me say that if not that I married her, I am not sure that another woman would have followed me from Lagos to Ado Ekiti. If I had married someone who had never been to Ekiti, maybe we would just be fighting on that issue and then we forget about Ministry. So I keep thanking God that I married her. Over the years in this place, she has been very active in the Ministry; in fact, the car we sold to balance the land was her car, it’s been exciting together; we have three kids, one is 15, the other is 13 and the youngest is 9 years old.
M.B: Thank you so much for your time sir.