- An ICT guru turned Pastor
- His encounter with Bishop Oyedepo
- Speaks on Leadership, Governance in Africa & more
JIDE OGUNSAKIN is the president and senior pastor of New Kingdom Ministry International. In this interview with Pleasures magazine, he reveals for the first time, the reason behind his conversion from Muslim to Christianity, and how he was divinely called to establish a ministry. He describes African leaders as selfish and corrupt, urging leaders in the Continent to insist on doing the right thing to make way for the development of their respective countries.
His story is in some way akin to that of the Biblical Jonah. After Jonah defied God’s instruction to proceed to the legendary city of Nineveh to warn the people against the imminent destruction of the city if they failed to turn away from their evil ways, he boarded a ship going to Tarshish vide the sea to escape from God’s presence. But he didn’t go far before he was swallowed by a fish.
According to Biblical account, Jonah was inside the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. It was only after he repented and prayed to God, that the fish “vomited him upon the dry land.”
Thereafter, Jonah proceeded to Nineveh in keeping with God’s earlier instruction to him. And the result was that God used him exceedingly to turn a wicked generation to a God-fearing and righteous one.
Though Jide Ogunsakin, president/senior pastor of the Abuja-based New Kingdom International Ministry, didn’t encounter the fish experience, yet God used another means to compel him to obey His instruction to serve in His vineyard.
In an exclusive interview with Pleasures magazine, Pastor Jide Ogunsakin said: “I was born on July 28, 1974. I grew up wanting to become an engineer, but my father wanted me to become a medical doctor. I lost my father in the course of looking for admission into the university. Eventually, I got admission to read computer science and mathematics at the Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto.
“After my university education, I started running my own Information, Computer and Technology (ICT) Company. And while I was doing that, the call of God came upon me. I was doing well in my business, and so I wasn’t interested in becoming a pastor. My target and my vision in life were to be a global business man like late Chief M. K. O. Abiola.”
And like Jonah, God was apparently angry with Jide for not being interested in the divine call to serve him. According to Ogunsakin, his ICT business started to nose-dive. The business went down to an extent that Jide thought that he was a victim of witches and wizards. But he was mistaken. It was the hand of God.
“I even thought that the witchcraft in my father’s house was troubling me. But when I went back to pray, the Lord said to me that there was no devil behind my ICT business that was fast collapsing. The Lord said my business was collapsing because I refused to yield to his call upon my life.
“So, I said Lord, if you must call me, I don’t want to be a poor pastor; if you must call me I don’t want to fail in my ministry because my desire was not to be a pastor. And beyond that, I grew up as a Muslim, but later became a Christian,” he said.
Jide was born into a Muslim family in Ikare Akoko (A city in southwestern Nigeria, is located in the South Western oil rich Ondo State). His two younger ones died from mysterious illness, and the elder Jide was also on the threshold of death arising from an equally inexplicable sickness that had defied orthodox medicine.
Nevertheless, one day, he was miraculously healed by a prophet of God. Hear him: “Sometime in 1984, a prophet was passing in front of our house in the village, and suddenly he asked his driver to stop. The prophet said that there is one great man in this house that the witches have drank his blood, and eaten his flesh, and that he needs to deliver him, so that he will fulfill God’s purpose in his life.
“So, the prophet came down from his car and entered our house. As soon as he entered the house, he asked: where is this boy that is sick in this house? When the prophet came to me, he prayed for me. And that was it. I was delivered from that plague. I didn’t die like my younger ones.
“So, because of that singular miracle, my parents decided to become Christians.
“I didn’t still like to go to church after I was healed because I was involved in my Arabic stuff. But my father had to force me to follow him to church.
“But when I was in the university, I started studying to know whether to be a Muslim or a Christian? I started praying, and asking God to show me the way to follow. And suddenly, I started seeing myself in the dream preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. In May 1997, l went to Church and became a born-again Christian,” he said.
The New Kingdom International Ministry was established in April 2011, but before then, Jide had been a pastor in several churches.
He said: “Before the establishment of this ministry, I had served in different places. For instance, the first place I served in 1999, was a branch of a ministry in Abuja called New World Ministry. I was an assistant pastor to the resident pastor of that branch of the church in Maitama, Abuja.
“The resident pastor was still working in Tower Aluminum at the time. But when he was transferred to Lagos, the onus of that leadership was to fall on me, but I was not prepared to become a pastor of that status at that time.
“So, I ran away, but the members started coming to my house to look for me, and once they came, I would locked myself in the room. They will knock on my door severally; shouting, pastor, pastor, open the door. I said, I am not a pastor, leave me alone. And so that was how I left that place.
“I got a new job in Lagos, and when I got to Lagos, I started going to Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). And because of the calling of God upon my life, I rose to become the area youth pastor in RCCG. I later returned to Abuja to start my ICT firm. When I started, the Lord said to me that it was time to go and serve under Bishop David Oyedepo, of the Living Faith Church. When I began to serve there, I started all over again. For instance, I did fresh water baptism. But I wasn’t a full time pastor in Living Faith Church then.
“At a particular point in time, I had to move on again to serve in a particular ministry called Royal City Church which I now served as the resident pastor of the church. We started the church together with the founder of the church. I became the resident pastor, and suddenly, the call for me to start one came upon me.
“As at that time, I was the IT manager in a firm called NEWS Engineering. On my birthday, July 28, 2010, the Lord asked me to resign my appointment. I didn’t know what that meant. I asked God why you want me to resign. What do you want me to do? I have a family, I live in a house that is so expensive, how am going to pay my bills. But God didn’t answer me anymore. So, when I got to the office that day, I wasn’t myself anymore, until I wrote my letter of resignation. After I submitted it, peace was completely restored to me.
“And I didn’t know where I was going from there, though I was still a resident pastor of that church. I started praying asking God the next thing to do. That was when God dropped the name of the New Kingdom Ministries International on me. And that was when I knew that God wanted me to start a fresh work.
“God said to me clearly that the name of the ministry will be New Kingdom Ministry International. And when God told me this, he gave me so many ministries under the New Kingdom Ministry International.
“For example, he gave me the New Kingdom Church, the New Kingdom Bible College, the New Kingdom Hotels, and Apartments, and the New Kingdom Academy…
“What I did was that I told God you know I believe so much in Bishop Oyedepo. I said I want to travel to Lagos, after my forty days fasting to see the Bishop. When I got to his office the next day, so many people, including senators were waiting to see him. But I was told he had no time to see anybody that day. But I waited until his personal assistant saw me, and told him Pastor Jide was here to see him.
“I was the only person who saw the Bishop that day. When I entered his office, I prostrated, and when I stood up and wanted to talk, he asked me to kneel down, and I did. He stood up from his seat, and came to me. And then I was holding an olive oil in my hand. He took the olive oil, and he opened it; put his finger into the middle of the oil and then poured it on my head. And he put his hand on my head, and said: that church work that God has called you to do, it’s time to go and start it. I returned back to Abuja, and we started in the mountain in Wuye here. In an open air, we had about 500 people on the ground on that day. It was a vigil. It was a powerful service. And in April 2011, according to the instruction of God, we started the New Kingdom Church here in Wuye,” he said.
According to Pastor Jide, “the major calling of God upon my life, is to raise kings. That’s why when you look at our logo and you look at the name of our Church, its Kingdom.
“The word God gave to me was to take your position as a king in God’s kingdom. A lot of people understand the priesthood of God’s kingdom, than they understand the prophets of God’s kingdom.
“They don’t understand the kingship of God’s kingdom. So, God said I am sending you to go and tell my people that they are kings. That’s the key message God gave to me.”
Pastor Jide who described himself as an apostle instead of a pastor, said he would devote much of his time this year to train pastors, “so that I can be able to enter full into my apostolic prophetic ministry.”
Asked about his perception of African leaders, he said: One of the major problems in Africa today is leadership problem. Our leaders are selfish; they are self-centered, and that’s why it looks like African nations are backward in the world today.”
Speaking specifically about Nigeria, the man of God said: “God has blessed this nation. I have travelled to so many countries of the world, and in my opinion, Nigeria is one of the best nations in the world.
“But the problem that makes our best not to come out is our leadership challenge. We’ll begin to live up to expectation once our leadership is in the right place. There is no system that is working.
‘In Nigeria, we are very religious. We can pray–both Islamic and Christian religion – but the problem is that when you send even a pastor to be president of this country, he will mess up. The reason is because there is no proper implementation of the laws governing us.
On Enforcement of Anti-Corruption Law: Pastor Jide said “The people are corrupt, leadership at home is corrupt; father is corrupt, mother is corrupt. They raise corrupt children in every home. So from generation to generation in Nigeria, we grow up with a corrupt mindset such that we see corruption as a normal life style.
The law should be enforced to its fullest and without fear and favour. Enough of lip service, we need to strengthen EFCC, ICPC and other related agencies else they will just be toothless dogs, and sleeping lions.
On Social Transformation he said, “Transformation in education of the public is a necessary factor in social transformation. There is need for formation and reformation, orientation and re- orientation of the minds and heart of Nigerians for them to see that corruption is the enemy of development. This should be a continuous exercise right from the immediate family, the churches and mosques; of course these are the two main places where Nigerians believe in these days.
He also spoke about Small and Medium Scale Enterprise: “Let the Government roll out policies that will encourage and assist small and medium scale business. Let there be the provision of social amenities to make life worth living for Nigerians.
Making the System Work:“You see Nigerians obeying the system when they are outside the country, but when they get back to the country, the same people that obeyed the system outside the country, will misbehave here.
“The reason is that there is no enforcement of the system in the area of implementation in Nigeria. We are spiritual, we can pray, but we don’t do things rightly. When you go to China or Japan, they are doing well in the area of economy, but they don’t pray; they don’t have God. But whatever they do, they do it rightly, and they get the right result.”
A prolific writer, Pastor Jide has written about 27 books. He said that he was inspired by God to write those books.
He said: “All the books that I have written are books that I wrote as result of God asking me to write them. One of the books is ‘the prospering power of tithing.’ According to him, “this is an aspect of Christianity that I noticed that is confusing, and a lot of people are taking it to become something else.
“I have written it a long time ago even before this talk on social media about tithing. I didn’t know that there would be a time like this when people will be contemplating and talking about the issue of tithing.
“I have written this book for about four years now. I believe that the people that are confused about the issue of tithing when they pick this kind of book, and read it, they will understand what it is about tithing.”
He said that “tithing is real, and there is nothing anybody can do about it. Tithing is not an old covenant thing. it is both old and new covenant.”
He continued: “There are some concepts of grace that does not leave out the concept of the Old Testament. We can’t say because we are in a dispensation of grace, then we’ll not give offering.
“It means that if tithe is null and void, offering should be null and void. It means that people should just give when they feel like giving. So if tithing is actually wrong, offering should be wrong, because they should have been both old covenant thing.
“I pay 20 per cent tithe to God. I don’t teach what I don’t do. Sometimes, I pay tithe to the ministry of my spiritual mentors. As a church, we pay our tithe to Living Faith Church, which is our own parent church since the inception of this church. It is a choice that we must make. Nobody is forcing you to pay tithe. If you believe in it, you do it and you receive the benefit thereof, but if you don’t believe in it, stop castigating people that are doing it. The blessing of God is for those who will obey the ordinances of God.”
Other books written by Pastor Jide are: ‘Reigning daily with Christ, which is a daily devotional guide, ‘Handling Adversity’ ‘The power of persistent prayer, ‘22 universal and kingdom laws of money’, ‘Tapping into financial grace’, Daily Wisdom for Successful Living,’ The Miraculous Power in the Communion’, Faith that Works, ‘Turning Rejection into Blessings.’
The New Kingdom Church, located at Plot 819, Pameec Plaza, 2nd Floor, Beside Police Station Opp. Finance Quarters Wuye District, Abuja – FCT Nigeria.
Sunday: 9:00am – 11:30am
Thursday: Communion Service: 6:00pm -8:00pm
Friday: Prayer Service: 6:00