Mike Adewale Adebayo
A former custodian of a family deity in Igede-Ekiti, Ekiti State, Mr. Mike Adewale Adebayo, gives insight on how God revealed to him to abandon the man-made deity. He shared the turning point of his life with Mary Ekah
In Africa, the worship of deity or shrine is very common in most families. Though Christianity and Islam have penetrated very deep into most parts of African continent, there are still families that worship deities or shrines. Many families in Nigeria especially in the rural communities venerate these deities in accordance to existing tradition from their fore-bearers.
Mike Adewale Adebayo, who hails from Igede-ekiti clan in Ekiti State, was born into such families that worship deities. Adebayo, who is a trained engineer with expertise in electrical and automobile engineering, said his father before his death was the custodian of the family’s deity where human beings are used as sacrifices. With the death of father, Adebayo said he became the next custodian of the family’s deity called Orisaolua Olulogbo of Ilogbo meaning (the deity in-charge of destiny). But Adebayo later realised that fate had different plan for him concerning his own destiny.
“I am from an idol worship family and in my father’s house we worship a god called Orisaolua of Olulogbo of Ilogbo in Igede-Ekiti. In fact, I was supposed to be the chief custodian of this idol after my father’s death. The idol do give people children and when someone dies and you come to the idol; it will tell the cause of the death of such a person. It can summon the spirit of the dead person if the you have the courage to stand it and if you chose to just hear the voice of the dead person the dead would then tell you what/who killed him.”
That was how potent the deity in Adebayo’s household was said to be. But God had a different blueprint for the extremely determined young man. According to Adebayo, he decided to abandon the worship of the family deity in 2002 when God revealed to him in a dream that the practice was evil.
“God said He was going to collect the shrine from me and give me a Bible; that instead of being a priest of an idol, He wanted to make me a priest of the Living God,” he said. This marked turning point in Adebayo’s life and he eventually surrendered his life to God.
According to Adebayo, he had actually set out in life to make money but did not know that fate had a different plan entirely in stock for him. He said he was divinely ordained to work in the vineyard of God and not in the secular world where he would make quick money as he had planned. His becoming a cleric didn’t come easily because something significant took place in his life, which ultimately led him to Christ.
“I lost my mother the year I finished my secondary school and that marked a turning point in my life because my mother so much loved me that till today; I have never seen anybody that loves me like she did. My wife is a loving and caring woman but I don’t think she has given me the kind of touch that my mother gave me. My mother was an illiterate yet when I was about taking my school certificate examinations, she told me she had saved enough money that would enable me further my education abroad,” he recalled with a heavy heart.
Unfortunately, that same year Adebayo’s mother died in a road accident. “She was 49 years old when she died. I was bitter and I mourned her for one year. In the course of that, I gave my life to Christ. Christ was my last resort at the moment because I had lost hope of everything. I was delusioned and demoralised, so I had no choice but to seek for solution and then someone invited me to a church and there I gave my life to Christ in 1992 but then attack started.
“Initially, I worshiped with the Baptist Church and then God put a burden on me to start the Baptist Student Fellowship during which I received the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues but the Baptist Church authorities were not comfortable with that. They taught I was bringing foreign doctrine into the church. With my inquisitiveness, I started going to other Bible-believing churches like TREM and Deeper Life to listen to the word of God and all the doctrine I heard in these churches were opening my eyes to what God wanted me to be but I didn’t know how to go about it.
Adebayo’s mind was instead focused on pursuing a lucrative career in the secular world where he would make fast money. “I was bent on making money so I did not take heed to God’s calling instead I struggle with it until one day God said, I must attend to His calling and so I decided to attend a Bible College in 1994. Meanwhile, I decided to get a paid job where I made a lot of money. But when you are not working according to God’s will, things will prove difficult.
“I made so much money and decided to go back to Ekiti, my hometown to invest over a million naira in Cocoa business but I lost everything and almost lost my life too. That was when I realised that I had gone the wrong way and then I made up my mind to come back to Lagos. On the course of this, I lost a child and even abandoned my wife and two sons in Ekiti. That is how bad it is when one rejects God’s calling,” he noted.
After a lot of ups and downs in his life and a log struggle with God, Adebayo eventually heeded to God’s calling, which culminated in Christ the Prevailing Light Ministry, a church he has been running in Ikorodu, Lagos, since three years ago.
The Cleric who is a proponent of the message of peace and unity for Nigeria believes that Nigerians are peaceful and hardworking people who deserve to live and not to die prematurely as it were today. He said that God has given Nigeria great men of God who have the responsibility to tell Nigerians what God has in stock for the nation. “God has given us prophets and Nigerians deserve to know what God is saying to them at such a time like this,” he said.
He therefore warned that the unity of the Church is the unity of Nigeria and that there was an urgent need for the Churches in Nigeria to come together or else Nigeria will collapse. “The success of the Church is the success of Nigeria, except the Churches in the nation are united, the unrest and killing in the country will continue and we all will pay for it”, he sounded a note of warning.
“God told me that if the church does not unite, Nigeria will not make any reasonable progress because the church as it is, is the symbol of what is happening in the world,” Adebayo said.
According to him, if the church were run in the way it ought be run, it would reflect on the nation. Adebayo regretted that today in spite of the number of churches and men of God in the country, there has not been any significant change in the society and nation at large. “What we see today is everybody to himself - selfishness, which is a reflection of what we have in our churches today,” he noted further.
In order to sound the message with all the seriousness it requires, Adebayo was led to start publishing a magazine with the purpose of unifying the church and that was how he started The Potters, a magazine with the aim to interview men of God who would voice out God’s intention for the nation. He has been struggling with no tangible success in getting the magazine published.
And now that the situation is getting worse, he thinks every Christian should not just be worried but should be concerned noting “We claim to have the best churches and great men of God in this country and yet we have not really experience God’s presence in the nation. The churches are now becoming investors because they have been hijacked by some financial managers from the spiritual leaders. They are now focusing on getting more money. They invest in schools, which are more expensive than the ordinary schools, which ought not to be so. The missionary schools used to be the cheapest and the best. What I am saying is that the spiritual leaders should be bold enough to tell these managers of the economy not to lose focus.
“There is no doubt that the political leaders are confused because the situation in the nation is beyond their power. They need spiritual direction but our spiritual leaders are not doing their job. I am pleading with our spiritual leaders to come together and tell us the mind of God and also they should humble themselves and listen to some of us that are still very young in the ministry.
It does not mean the men of God should run one Church under one roof but let the leaders of these churches come together decree and declare God’s mind on the nation through fasting and prayer and then give the nation a direction. We need divine intervention and it is better now otherwise, we would have more problems in our hands.
Therefore, he said “Let the men of God declare God’s intention on the nation; if the Americans have predicted that Nigeria will be divided by 2014, has that been revealed to the men of God. Nigeria’s amalgamation was in 1914 and by 2014 it would be exactly 100 years. Does it mean that the amalgamation was arranged for 100 years? Must everybody die before we act on the mind of God? So if you know the mind of God and if He has said that we should go our different ways then say it so that we would know and be prepared for it. But if God says we would still be united then, let’s know through the mind of God and then God would tell us what to do because He rules in the affairs of men.”