David Abioye at 60: I’m Not A Self-made Man

‘Many people feel I serve with passion because they assume Bishop Oyedepo settled me with Goshen’

Praise the Lord!
Today, I count it a very great privilege given to me by God to be alive. It is not my right, it is by God’s privilege. He gave me the opportunity to come to this life and to be alive to this moment. It is not my doing but His doing. Like Paul of old, I can say I am what I am by the grace of God.

Haven giving glory to God for this great privilege, I want to say clearly that there is no self-made man. Standing here today, I am a single entity representing the investment of many people in my life. God being the Almighty, the sole investor in my life. But a day like this, I cannot but acknowledge with deep appreciation to God everyone who has been a part of my life and that is inclusive of all of us that are here coming to celebrate with us today.

I want to begin with God’s servant, my spiritual father, my inspirer and my life time mentor. Please permit my emotion. I see myself as nothing that God has made as something. I see no reason why I should be alive when others died at their birth. When some others died when they just completed primary school. Some finishing their youth service had no opportunity to work, that’s the reason for my emotion.

Getting back to this point, my spiritual parent, Bishop David Oyedepo and wonderful mother, the wife, Pastor Faith Oyedepo.
I want to acknowledge them specially today as part of my testimony for the privilege to meet with God’s servant, way back 1980. Man has his plan but God has His designs. As mentioned briefly in the documentary, I was heading to study Architecture at the University of Nsukka but the door was shut by God while one was open waiting for me to meet with His servant. I want to believe that God ordained for me to meet with him from the foundation of the world. Meeting him is not accidental, but it’s a divine orchestration by the hand of God. Sir, I will forever be grateful to God for meeting with you and for you receiving me.
Practically speaking, I’m in him and he’s in me. It looks as ordained by God.

Sometimes When I was privileged to serve in Maiduguri, I took everything on my head to a point that some people said oh, oh, he acceded Maiduguri to him that’s why he’s taking it serious and from there I was privileged to move to Kaduna and taking the work passionately as I saw him doing.

People said; well, you don’t know something, he is in Lagos, he is giving Kaduna to him and I was moved from Kaduna to Durumi. As usual all my head in the work and they said; no, no, no, he has settled him in Durumi and then again to Goshen and they said; do you know why he is taking it so serious? Papa settled down in Canaan land and he has settled his son in Goshen. Don’t you see everything similar?

They’re making a mistake because I heard God’s servant said if God tells him to move from Canaan land to Togo, he is ready to go. So also is it with me, walking in his footsteps. One day somebody asked why are you taking this thing so serious, is it your father’s work? I said yes, it is my father’s work, my heavenly father and my father Oyedepo, it is his work

Somebody else asked is it your ministry? I said yes, it is my ministry because it belongs to my father, my spiritual father and my heavenly father of course. I want to thank God for the privilege of the much contribution. Time will not permit us to say so much but many of us are witnesses to this effect.

I walked by the philosophy that you don’t have to be a founder to make your impact, you don’t have to. If God sends you, why not? But if He does not send you, don’t take a step. Everyone has a role to fulfill. Your number on the line is not as important as your function on the line, your function. It’s my joy today to have him and his dearly beloved wife our mother, the part of my making. I am not a self-made man. I can’t stop acknowledging people because people are my opportunities to rise to where I am today.

Haven done this briefly because of limited time, I want to get back to my very dearly beloved wife. Thirty-four years by the grace of God, we’ve been together as a couple serving the Lord. As soon as we got married, she resigned her job to follow me. So committed, focused and highly supportive, of course following the footsteps of our parent. We never saw God’s servant and his wife separated on the account of job, the same way ahead of us. She was working as a wonderful teacher in a highly rated school, in this nation, she left and followed the man. That’s how my wife has followed me.

The good thing is this: she has never for once asked me why are you following Bishop Oyedepo? Never, never! Neither has she made me to ever think, oh, this pressure is much let me look for something else to do. The first day she came to join me in church, we were 34 in number in Maiduguri. That day the entire church gave us the gift of food flask. Maybe they thought I have not been eating well now that he’s married let’s encourage her to give him food and gradually, gradually we have grown to where we are today. I appreciate you my very dear wife, I love you and God bless you.

Of course, our children. God has blessed us with them, giving us peace, joy and honour. I was amazed, I asked them what inspired them to write so much that they did about me to extend their goodwill to me, deep things from their heart. I feel honored by these children and I want to appreciate God for making them peaceful and joyful to my heart. The Lord bless you wonderfully, David, Ruth and Daniel.

Let me quickly come back finally to my family, my biological family. Today someone very special that would have been here whom I have missed greatly is my biological father, who spoke so well or so much about this past day even on his sick bed. In September, he told everybody around him that he’ll be at this birthday. I never knew he was calming me and relaxing me so I will not mind him from going until suddenly his exit. He is also a very beloved son and close at heart to my spiritual father Bishop Oyedepo.

They love themselves, they talk to themselves, they pray with themselves and for themselves without my knowledge. Today, I greatly missed him, a great investment he has made in my life. As a child I watched him praying at the altar. I watched him fasted. For many years he will fast for 40 days at a stretch, every year apart from sometimes of sudden fasting. A lover of the Bible, almost every page of his Bible was marked. I want to honour him today as well with my biological mother who is here and all our family acquaintances.

I used to say I have two fathers. The one who gave birth to me, Simeon Ademola Abioye and the one who guided me whom I spent much of my holiday time with; Sunday Ajibade Abioye, a deacon in the Baptist Church even though of blessed memory and his wife. I acknowledge all of them today, very wonderful investment they made into my life and every other family member represented here today, I honour all of you and God bless you all in Jesus precious name.

All my co-laborers, everyone I’ve ever met in ministry as my senior or contemporaries, co-laborers in other ministries, especially all of the sons of the prophet who love me, respect me as they respect my spiritual father. I thank God for all of you and array of them have been here today and then representing others. I want to thank God for every one of you. I’m sure recognition should be made later. Please help me give quality thanks to God. I request the choir to please rise with me and with due permission of my spiritual father, God’s servant, I like to just say one or two verses of this song that inspires me a lot which I’ve been singing almost the last one year as the approach for 60.

“I will bless the Lord because he is gracious and merciful, great in kindness. Please rejoice with me and thank with me. To God alone be the Glory.

How many of you see the way I appeared today? It’s from a great source. This is not just an ordinary cloth I am wearing with my wife, it is a mantle. I didn’t intend to say this openly but I am so overwhelmed. This gift is from my spiritual parent. Decorating us spiritually and physically as we cannot but give glory to God.

“I will bless the Lord and give him glory.
I will bless his name and give him glory.
The Lord is gracious and merciful, great in kindness and good to us.
For He is righteous in all His ways.
So we’re gonna bless the Lord, we’re gonna give him praise
I owe it all to Jesus
I owe it all to Jesus
If I am ever anything
Then, all the praise to Him I’ll bring
This song of love from deep within
I owe it all to Him.”

Please join me and give a big hand to the Lord.

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