Paul Oluwole Obadare is the firstborn of the late Prophet Timothy Oluwole Obadare, founder of World Soul Evangelical Ministry (WOSEM) and currently the General Overseer of the ministry. He was a resident pastor in United Kingdom before his father’s death. In this interview with ENIOLA DANIEL, he spoke about what led to the crisis rocking Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), his relationship with his father and the future of WOSEM.
Since you came back to Nigeria to rebuild your father’s church, what have been the challenges?
I am in the country to bring changes in the church. But you can understand that changes are not so easy. Coming back to the country to lead the church is for the purpose of educating the people, and to continue where my father stopped. It was not easy initially because of the problem I encountered in the process. This is like a coin, where one can see one side at a time. We must look at both sides to know the detail and what it entails as a whole. But I am grateful that the people are working together for the success of the ministry, through training and constant reminder of where we are going. And going back to the root and the vision of the ministry has helped us make headway. I have engaged in some drastic changes since I took over the mantle of leadership and which is yielding the fruit of moving the ministry back to its ancient vision. This is needed, especially at this time. Bridging the gap between the educated and uneducated people, the rich and the poor, is also a challenge to the church.
What was your relationship with your father before his demise? How have you been faring without him?
The relationship is in two ways. As a biological father, he was a good example not only to me, but also to the entire family. I thank God that I came through my father, who was a mentor to the whole family. He tried his best to protect us. My father always visited me just to know how I was doing, even when it was not convenient for him. He was a spiritual mentor. He taught us the way of the Lord. Hearing him speak the word of God was one aspect I cherished in my early life. I saw him as a coach, who would always correct us whenever we erred. He was always there for me all the time, which gives me the boldness to do what I am doing now. I miss a spiritual mentor, a good counselor, a coach and a friend.
Your father desired to see the whole church of God united. What then led to the disagreement between CAC founded by Babalola and WOSEM?
I believe that there are two factors to that. Ministry is different from the church. Church can only give birth to church, but ministry must operate on a ministry level. Ministry encompasses different cultures and regardless of gender or age, people are given the opportunity to be who God has called them to be. They come together for common goal as citizens of heaven, which is different from the culture exhibited in a local church. The visions are completely different.
WOSEM, as the evangelical arm of CAC, will always see the church as the mother church, and we are proud to have such a wonderful background. What happened many years ago was that the administrator of CAC felt threatened that WOSEM would end up swallowing the church. But this has not happened up till today. WOSEM was getting larger than the mother-CAC. So, that made them uncomfortable. The glory of the ministry was blossoming and they became envious. Hence, they picked up the quarrel that led to the crisis. They fail to understand the fact that ministry cannot be tamed. I believe that was why there was that kind of issues.
The value of the ministry within the church was downgraded, and they tried to send it out of the church. That was the beginning of the problem in the early 90s. But WOSEM will always remain the evangelical arm of CAC as a whole, not CAC in division. We are working hard that the two sides come together so that WOSEM will continue to do its assignment as it was prior to the time the enemy came to split the church.
WOSEM as a ministry cannot return to CAC. It will remain a branch of CAC. What happened years ago was that they wanted to cut off the branch. But there is nothing anyone can do to cut it off because it has always been a CAC and will remain a CAC. The two branches must come together and WOSEM will continue its mission.
The vision came out of the church. Remember that God is not a God of confusion. It must be allowed to continue to face the purpose of its existence.
If WOSEM came out of CAC, why are you still bearing CAC-WOSEM?
When a father gives birth to a son, the latter can become anything he wants. But regardless of what he becomes, the son still has a connection with his father. No matter what WOSEM becomes, it will always find its root in CAC. The church must recognise the gift of the ministry and let it give to the people what God wants it to dish out. WOSEM will always carry the emblem of CAC, regardless of the constitutions in CAC. There is no iota of truth as was reported in some quarters that Baba Obadare has concluded an arrangement to handover the ministry to CAC before he died. WOSEM is a vision and one’s vision cannot be handed over to another person. The vision of soul winning cannot be handed to anybody since they can’t handle it because they don’t know what to do with it. Rather, they will kill it, owing to the fact that it is not theirs. Obadare did not do such and we do not intend to do it.
What are you doing to alleviate poverty among members?
The first thing is to reach out to the youth; to have a forum, where they will come together for the purpose of identifying their needs and helping them succeed academically. The Bible says ‘but seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.’ The church will embark on training them; identifying their needs and helping them achieve success in any career of their choice. The ministry has taken steps to help the youth beginning this year, and we hope to continue to impact the lives of all of them, because they are the future of the church and the nation. Our old ones will not be left out, as the church will also do more to help them.
Is WOSEM a family business?