interviewBy Alayinka Latona
APOSTLE Anselm Madubuko, architect, publisher of the Gospel Forerunner, producer of the New Anointing, convener of the popular 'ASUZA' Conference, founder/General Overseer of Revival Assembly Church, Ogba, Ikeja in an interview with Media personalities, speak on the church's 22nd anniversary cum annual Fire Convention commencing on December 14 to 17. Born of Ihiala, Anambra State parents who were civil servants, Madubuko studied Architecture at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. OLAYINKA LATONA was there. Excerpts...
Give us an insight of what this programmed is all about?
The church started on December 16, 1990. This is the 22nd anniversary. We are thanking God for His faithfulness and getting ready for next year. Normally, at this time every year, we invite guests and hosts events to mark the programme. We call it fire convention, but this year we are taking it to the next level.
We are bringing one of the most anointed speakers, Dr. Juanita Bynum. She is at the forefront of evangelization over the years. We are privileged to have her to minister for the first time in Nigeria. We will also be having guest artistes from South Africa, Uche Agu and Chioma Jesus from Nigeria. The 4-day programme is divided to two sessions --morning and evening sessions. My various guests and I will minister.
What is the difference between this programme and the church's yearly ASUZA conference?
Yes we are known for Asuza, a revival that awakens the church conference while this programme is our convention and anniversary celebration.
What are the challenges you have faced in ministry in the last 22 years and how were you able to surmount them?
I was trained as an architect. I never planned to be a pastor. After seven years of practice in 1990, God called me. It wasn't what I planned to do, it is God's business. It's been wonderful. Challenges are no big deal. I looked forward to a flourishing architectural practice after school, I worked with Tom Ikimi.
When I got saved in 1983, my plans changed. God began to speak to me to do what I am doing. I had an architectural firm. I did the Silverbird Galleria and lots of edifices. I planned to keep the ministry and my practice, but after three months I couldn't cope. I let the practice go. I wasn't sure if I would be able to take care of my family and at the same time the church.
What is the vision of Revival Assembly?
To raise a dynamic and vibrant ministry, to empower the members with power and prosperity through the Word of God to depend on the Holy Spirit for the impartation and empowerment of God's people; that is why the church is referred to as the church with the new anointing. To transform lives, release destinies and fulfill purpose.
I have impacted lives - hundreds and thousands of people all over the world. One day I was at the airport waiting and there was this young Yoruba boy who prostrated to greet me. He said; 'you might not remember me, but I got saved through you.' I have seen people who were drug addicts, 419, prostitutes, drug pushers who have passed through this ministry completely changed.
Why is your ministry not establishing branches?
Well, I like to have a personal relationship with my members. I have an apostolic ministry. I work with churches. I don't plant branches; churches come together to put up a conference.
Why the phrase 'fire convention'?
The church is becoming lukewarm, cold and not effective. We need a revival to be alive, to be vibrant and to be felt. That was what informed the term 'fire convention'. It is to provoke an awakening and that is what Revival Assembly is all about.
We heard of the demise of your wife Connie. How have you been coping and any plans for remarriage?
Well I have been coping fine. I am so busy and by the time I get home, I am tired and off to sleep. My children are taking care of me although one of them is about getting married. My plan and focus now is on this our 22nd anniversary and convention.
What is your comment on pastors buying private jets?
It depends on necessity. If the pastor thinks he needs a private jet.
You said you have seen people changed - drug addict, 419, prostitutes and more. What are you doing for them?
Well I don't have a house to keep them. The best thing I can do is to give them the gospel to see that they are saved. The gospel is all that have changed them. Many of them have had an encounter that changed them; some of them already have their own ministries, families and are generally doing well.
How do you handle people when they disappoint you?
I don't have expectation from people. In fact, I expect them to fail! That way it doesn't hurt. A lot of people have disappointed me. They have backstabbed me, said and did all manner of bad things but that does not stop me or make me to stop helping other people. So I don't hold on to that.
Some pastors now divorce and remarry which is against biblical doctrine. What is your take?
If your pastor divorces and remarries and you know it's not right, leave the church. Maybe the problem is that people do not like to think seriously; what is right or wrong and take a decision and action on it.