PASTOR ZACCHEAUS ADEBOYE OGUNSANYA
(The General Overseer)
Though I actually gave my life to Jesus in 1976, I had always been very close to Church. My grand father was the leader of the Anglican Church in my village, my father was also an elder in the church. After my conversion, as a Church worker, I was very close to my pastors.
I attended a full-time Bible school, where because of our previous exposures, we were made to attend classes during the weekdays, take part of Church activities almost every evening, and go to pastor local assemblies at the weekends. I was an assistant pastor, at Ode-Aye, a town very close to Okitipupa, in Ikale Local Government of Ondo State of Nigeria.
Immediately I graduated from Bible School, in August 1980, I was sent to pastor a Church at Ikole Ekiti, in the then Ekiti North Local Government of Ondo State, now Ekiti State. I pastored the Church between August1980 and early 1983, when God told me under a seminar at Ibadan, to go and start a Church that would not only be a gospel Church but also a holiness one. This was why I originally called the Church “Holiness Gospel Church.” Today, it is called “Bible Pattern Church.”
Bible Pattern Church started in July, 1983, using an abandoned cocoa store, at Otunja in Ikole Ekiti. We later built our own worship centre at Ara road, in the same town. We moved the headquarters of the Church to Lagos in 1988. We have opened and closed branches in places such as Lokoja, in Kogi state, Ikare Akoko, in Ondo state, and also in Ijesa-Isu, now in Ekiti State. And we are still opening more branches today.
By the grace of God, over the years, I have learnt some lessons that can benefit both those who are going before and those who are coming behind in the pastoral way. I am still a very serious student. I am knowing more every day. I want to encourage you to please come with me, as I go to study pastoral principles, at the feet of the great Apostle Peter, where the Holy Ghost will not only teach us, but will also change our hearts so that we may become the type of pastors, God will like us to be – pastors like Jesus…
MORE REVELATIONS ABOUT THE PASTOR (General Overseer)
Here is Paul’s example of what we are sharing here:
2 Cor. 11:22 Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? so am I. 23 Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. 24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. 25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; 26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; 27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. 28 Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches. 29 Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is offended, and I burn not? 30 If I must needs glory, I will glory of the things which concern mine infirmities. 31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not. 32 In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: 33 And through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.
a. He is a child of God.
In 1976, He left the white garment church he was formally attending, joined a living church (Gospel Faith Mission International, Gofamint), and became genuinely born again. For almost 40 years now, (by the grace of God), He has remained totally committed to Jesus. He has never thought of backsliding.
He has lived with only one wife since 1976 that He married, though they were often faced with all kinds of tempting challenges.
For more than 10 years now, he has been saying during some of his preachings that, “I can say at anytime, anywhere, in the presence of anyone and any day of the last 10 years, that nobody has offended me that I am yet to forgive.” By the grace of God, he is a child of God.
b. From his day one in the gospel, he was so eager to know God and serve him.
In fact, out of zeal (though mixed with ignorance), he did not do water baptismal study before being baptised: I gave my life to God on a Sunday; his water baptism was done the following Sunday. Though it was as a result oversight on the part of the church, it was actually the will of God for him.
c. He was (by the grace of God) so faithful and committed in the church.
Though this was not a demand of the church, usually, the whole of his Sundays were spent in the church area, for evangelism and other special church meetings.
d. He did not do workers’ training.
The reason was that as a new person in the church, before he could know that there was anything called workers’ training, he had become so much involved in the workers activities, that nobody could suggest that he should stop and do workers’ training. And also, although Gofamint always disciplined erring workers, as a church worker, he was never disciplined for any wrong doing, however small.
e. He became a full-time minister in 1979.
It was on a Sunday, while listening to a sermon, [preached by evangelist Akapo (of blessed memory)], he received the call of God. Few weeks after, he left his job, went for a full-time ministerial training in the Bible College. He was not involved in any wrong doing, all the days he was in the Bible College. He was so dedicated to his call to the extent that all the period he was in the Bible College, he could not visit his family, not even when his second child (Peter) died.
f. Immediately after his ministerial training, He was posted to a church location (Ikole Ekiti) to Pastor.
Will it sound well in your ears that, all the years he was a pastor in that location, because of lack of money, he could not visit his village, though he still had a father and a mother (the father is now late). He started with salary of 60 Naira per month and it did not reach 100 Naira till he left the church in 1983, though it was increased every year. Since that August 1980 that he started to pastor, he has not gone for any form of vacation, not even now that he is a General Overseer.
g. He was a faithful and committed branch Pastor.
His district overseer, (Pastor J. I. Bagere now retired), who was formerly his pastor in Lagos, could testify to the fact that, all the days he was a branch pastor under him, he always tried to be an obedient servant of God and of the church. Most of the time, he was the first to reach their monthly pastors’ meeting at Ado-Ekiti. There was a day the district pastors (himself included), were returning from Ibadan to Ado-Ekiti), had a quarrel (which they later regretted) with a lorry driver, who almost killed them through rough driving. He was the only one, who did not come out of their vehicle, because he felt quarrelling with the driver would not bring glory to God. Later, when he was about to be reprimanded, for not joining the rest in the quarrel, they suddenly realised that what they did was wrong and they left him alone.
h. It was a call of God that made him a General Overseer, not desire for money, position, glory or any other earthly thing.
He never knew that anything could make him leave Gofamint, though life was not easy, and he was aware of the resignations of some of his colleagues, who left the church before him. But during a ministers’ seminar at Ibadan, while Pastor M. A. Paul (the then Ile Ife district overseer, now of blessed memory), was teaching them, though he did not see any vision, have any strange feeling or hear any audible voice, he knew (very clearly and perfectly well) in his spirit, that God wanted him to start a church, that would not only be a gospel church, but also a holiness one. Let me add again that, until that moment, he never thought that he could do any other thing with his life, than to continue to be a minister in Gofamint, until one day, the rapture would take his away, or he would die and go to heaven.
Although the place he was a pastor (Ikole Ekiti), was primarily a farming community, and many times he could not get enough food to feed his family, all the days he was with Gofamint, he did not plant one heap of any crop. His reason was that, that was not what he was sent to do there. And therefore, he would rather lead his workers to the bush, to gather and break stones for their building work. Surely, some of his members then, will come across this write-up. If they discover that there is a little lie here, they will surely remember, and that will be the end of the very high regard they continued to have for him. He was not a lazy man at all. Though he did not learn about building before, at their church construction site then, (and even today), he was and he is still almost everything possible: a labourer, a carpenter, a bricklayer, a stone cutter, an architect, etc. I do not mean that he knew or know even today, how to do these things well, but he was ready to go to any length to do anything for God. No! No! No! and No! He is not a lazy person, by the grace of God.
Let me also say that, all the days he was with Gofamint, he did not have a reason to attend programmes in any other church or ministry, apart from Gofamint, and wherever Gofamint said they should go. Then, because of the stories he was hearing, he loved Pastor Kumuyi of Deeper Life so much, but he did not partake of any of his programmes anywhere for even one second. This was not because he did not like to listen to the word of God, (In fact, reading is his hobby, and Bible based books are his primary focus), but he did not want to disobey the instruction of his leaders.