I was born into a Roman Catholic family setting,
with a strong influence of the Roman Catholic culture running through the entire family because my maternal Grandparents had been very committed and recognized leaders in the Roman Catholic Church.
I was baptized and confirmed at an early age and soon enlisted as an Altar Boy (Mass Server). At this early age, the Priests and Reverend Fathers in charge of our local assembly (mostly foreigners, especially from Ireland), deliberately sought to groom, tailor and mentor me in the direction of becoming a Roman Catholic Priest, encouraging me to attend the Seminary once I came of age.
I grew up with this background
and was indoctrinated in it until I had my first encounter with another Christian Group in my Secondary School days when a group from the Scripture Union organized a fellowship in our school and preached the gospel to me. I attended a few of their fellowship meetings and tried to practice their teachings on holy living.
I soon gave up on this, because of the shallow understanding of the doctrine of salvation that I had at the time. My elder brother who by now had been born again and was in the University had a strong desire to pioneer a new Youth Fellowship in my school.
Despite several efforts that he made to actualize this,
because of my earlier experience, I happened to be one of those who didn’t take him quite seriously and chose to remain a committed practicing Roman Catholic. Later on in life, however, I would again encounter and identify with a Christian youth group not associated with my Roman Catholic extraction, but this time, my life was never to be the same.
Precisely during the 1983/1984 academic session in my earlier days in the university, I was invited by a course mate to a fellowship meeting on our University Campus. On the set date, I accompanied him to the meeting expressing obvious disinterest.
With my books in hand, ready to leave at the slightest opportunity,
I reluctantly attended the meeting ensuring to take a seat close to the exit to ease my departure once I got dissatisfied. As the meeting progressed, I found myself enthused by happenings in the arena which at the time was strange and foreign to me, but which I later was made to understand was the demonstration of the Spirit and power of God.
Ministering up the platform was a captivating young gentleman, our man of God, Pastor Chris, simply known at the time as Bro. Christian along with some other leaders of the fellowship. The manifestations of the gift of the Word of Knowledge were so abundant; different cases were mentioned relating to different people present in the meeting. There was such an abundance of signs wonders and miracles, that I became oblivious to the world around me.
At a point, as “Bro. Christian” ministered
to a particular young lady she suddenly found herself lifted off the ground and suspended in the air. One miracle in particular that shook me up completely was when a Word of Knowledge was given about my own roommate. As the word came forth, it addressed an inner ailment which he had kept secret for many years, confiding only in me.
He came out and was healed of the sickness. At this time, it became absolutely impossible for me to think of leaving the venue. I was feeling a discomfort and unrest which I couldn’t explain and then the call for salvation (altar call) was made. I fought back an urge to respond to the call, but my friend who had invited me came over to persuade me to do so.
I argued with him,
saying that I didn’t have to since no word was given concerning me specifically. I, however, gave in to his nudging and went forward to receive Christ into my heart. As soon as I was led to Christ, my eyes and heart were opened to an entirely new realm of life. I’m always excited to recall that I received the glorious Holy Spirit that same day.
When hands were laid on me to receive the Holy Ghost, it felt like a surge of electricity coursing through my entire being and immediately, I spoke in tongues profusely. When the meeting ended, I was transfixed for a while in the Glory of God’s presence that had experienced.
I just couldn’t leave the arena,
so I immediately made myself available to the technical personnel, assisting to disconnect and pack up their equipment. Since that day, I’ve never looked back, but have remained in the centre of activities of that fellowship which gave birth to the global and ever-expanding ministry we have today.
So I always like to say that I received salvation in the days of supernatural firebrand evangelism and I haven’t had a single regret since then as I have been blessed by the mentorship and leadership of our beloved man of God from the first day till now. Every member of my family have all since been born again and serving the Lord fervently at various leadership levels in the ministry.
Some of them I led to Christ personally,
but all of them have been deeply influenced by this glorious life I have in Christ. I’d like to use this opportunity to express my gratitude to my man of God, Rev. Chris Oyakhilome (PhD) as I always would. Pastor, you are my father, my friend, my mentor, my prophet and my hero. Following you all these years has made life worthwhile. I can only but imagine how uninspiring life may have been if I had gone in the direction I had thought out for myself.
But the supernatural intrusion of your person and message into the course of my life knocked me into a new orbit and has delivered me into a glorious experience of life; the Higher Life. I’d forever be grateful to you Sir for the place you have and continue to occupy in my life, after Christ, it is you, Pastor Chris. Thank you for bringing me the Gospel, leading me into salvation and leading me daily in the life of righteousness and devoted service to the Lord. I can never thank you enough Sir. I love you from the depth of my heart. Praise the Lord!
Are you Catholic? Why do you think Rev. Tom Amenkhienan was a Catholic and he still had to give his life to Christ? Does the Catholic doctrine support being born again? Please share with us in the comment box.