Kalejaiye Vanessa Obioha
J.T. Kalejaiye is a man that is greatly revered in Christendom, mostly for his unapologetic and unwavering faith in the gospel. His name is synonymous with the Anointing Service that has become one of the traditions of the Redeemed Christian Church of God.
Armed with the gift of the gab, he makes an interesting subject to interview any day. Therefore on this particular anointing service at the church’s FESTAC province, the press men found themselves spellbound by the wisdom of the sage.
For certainty, there is not much difference between the man on the pulpit and the one in the public space. With over 20 years in the ministry, Kalejaiye by all accounts displayed modesty. He refused to be swept away by titles, rather opting to be described as Brother J.T Kalejaiye. Neither will he be persuaded to talk about miracles or deliverance. To him, it is a way most people have adopted to entertain the devil.
“We didn’t start the Anointing Service as a ministry or tied it to a particular identity. It was just a morning service like we have this morning. Later people came to me and suggested we give it a name. I told them to give it any name except deliverance. Because I don’t like the way people do their deliverance, just trying to entertain demons.
“I don’t believe in that. I believe deliverance is anointing. He sent His word and it delivered. I don’t talk about healing or miracles too. But I talk about the miracle-worker. I admonish my colleagues who take glory in miracles performed. You don’t need all of that. Let the people have Christ and then the miracles will follow no matter where you are in the world.”
Interestingly, the anointing service started as a counselling programme. Kalejaiye was sent to settle disputes among warring members. From there, he began to counsel and pray for them. That single act was what metamorphosed to Anointing Service.
Today, the service is held in different branches of the church in and outside Nigeria. This requires Kalejaiye to minister more than once in different outlets.
He described his ministry as soul-winning. “I just want to make sure that I win thousands of souls for God every day,” he said. “It’s not about revenue but about revelation. If you calculate the number of souls God has won through me since the beginning of the month, I give God the praise. Apart from those who make altar calls, there are those who got repentance through their spouses or friends.”
The two decades he has spent in the ministry have not been without obstacles. There have been temptations and distractions but the Man of God sees them as catalysts to do more in the service of God. While many have bowed to pressure or given in to the pleasures of the world, Kalejaiye is steadfast to his faith.
There are times when his faith has been tested. He recalled an incidence with one of his properties on the Island. The lawyer had wanted to take the case to court but he backed out. He refused to compromise his faith for material things.
His generosity is seen in his compassion for widows. Having lost his father at a tender age, he understood the struggles of widows, therefore, he goes out of his way to bless them. He didn’t come for a rich background either. He started hawking fufu for his mother at the age of six and had to attend four different primary schools. He has a degree in Accounting.
If not for providence, Kalejaiye wouldn’t have been a regional pastor in RCCG. It was in the year 1983 that he gave his life to Christ impromptu.
As a young man who enjoys drumming, he was invited to a church to play. But on getting to the house of his host, he discovered that his host was involved in diabolical practice. He left and never looked back. But an encounter with the General Overseer, Adeboye turned his life around.
“Somebody invited me to RCCG. I was working then in Lever Brothers. They told a lie against me, so I went to church. Not that I wanted to surrender my life, I wanted the pastor to pray for me. Daddy GO was ministering. It was on a Thursday. He made an alter call. As we were about to kneel on the altar, he said that the Lord told him that our problems have been solved.
“I was like…this man has not even listened to me. Do you know that I got to the office the next day, my boss apologised that all was said about me was a lie? I was moved. So when God solved that problem, I made up my mind to serve him. I have never looked back. I’m a stubborn Christian.”
But it’s not all business for the man of God. He displayed his comical side when he revealed his full names. According to him, his initials, J.T., was a result of lack of space to write his full names during his school certificate examinations.
“There were only 23 boxes and I couldn’t write Johnson Oluwatobison Kalejaiye, so I just wrote Johnson Tobison Kalejaiye. When WAEC sent my results, they wrote J.T. Kalejaiye.”